Weaving Teachers Offer Advice

Skinnfell chair cushion

Taking weaving classes at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah has enriched my life tremendously.  Each class is an opportunity to spend a few days in concentrated learning from excellent instructors in a beautiful community.  Each year the roster includes at least one teacher from Norway.  Earlier entries on this blog describe a class from Britt Solheim this year and from Ingebjorg Monsen last year.

Lately Vesterheim has been facing  financial challenges common to all nonprofit institutions.  Also, due to the atrocious exchange rate, it is very costly to offer courses by Norwegian instructors.  I think it is up to us to help!  Take classes!  Watch the website for planned 2010 classes, and mark your calendars now.

The Norwegian instructors who have been chosen to teach at Vesterheim over the years have impressed me with the way they approach their courses – with a strong emphasis on technique and tradition, and a genuine sense of passion and excitement.  They also amaze me with their stock of sayings and proverbs!  Here are three that Britt mentioned in the skinnfell class this fall.

  • Are you using an extra-long piece of thread cut for sewing?  It’s the lazy-man’s thread.
  • You know what they say if you cut yourself and blood gets on your piece?   That you “syr kjaerlighet inne i teppet.”  You sew love into the coverlet.
  • Det er “hvile i byte til arbeid.”  There is rest in changing work.  So if you are tiring after long concentration on one task, you may be re-energized by switching to another.

I would like to teach at Vesterheim in the future, but I think I really have to work on building my stock of sayings.