Is it alright to wear and use Norse symbols like the hammer of Thor?
Unfortunately, there has been some misuse of Norse symbols in connection with some extreme groups, and the use of these symbols might be seen as non appropriate by some other groups. My impression is that this view is fading away fast, due to the high level of interest today of Scandinavian history, especially the Viking era. Since these symbols constitute a very important part of our cultural heritage, they deserve to be both seen and used. Therefore, my opinion is that it is perfectly alright to wear the symbol you like, and the more "ordinary" people that does this, the better.
Who owns the right to ancient symbols?
I´ve noticed some degree of debate regarding who did what first when it comes to forged jewelery and other items. (I´m pretty sure that debate exists elsewhere too...) I know of a number of other smiths who bases designs on the serpent and spiral, for instance.
All these symbols have been around for a very long time, and therefore it would seem unreasonable for anyone to own the right to such a symbol. The unique for each smith is his or hers interpretation and design, and my guess is that there is more than enough market for us all. If you´re using traditional techniques, there are no real shortcuts so it takes a considerable amount of time to do each piece. For me, as a hobbyist, the number of pieces made in a year is very low.