This weekend I gave a seminar, Overview of Norwegian Weaving, at the Midwest Weavers Conference in St. Paul. Whew! I am so happy it is done. Hopefully I imparted interesting information to the 32 attendees, some of whom knew little about the topic, and some who knew a lot. I recently gave a talk at the Zumbro Falls Fiber Guild, in which I used a portion of the longer Midwest seminar. Marit Lomen heard me twice in a month and she said she wasn’t bored at all, so that was reassuring. The talk was given in three parts; an introduction, a whirlwind overview of many techniques, and a section on historical and contemporary billedvev (tapestry). After the final section, Kate Larson from Indiana said she especially enjoyed the slides of some contemporary tapestry weavers. (Me too, Kate!) I’m already thinking about restructuring the presentation to include modern pieces in the other techniques, too.
The experience was great; reading all the books I have amassed over the years was like taking a graduate-level course. I have no interest in doing another three-hour seminar, but I have a terrific base of research and slides prepared now, and look forward to doing hour-long lectures on various aspects of Norwegian weaving in the future.
In my handout I included a few links for the attendees to explore after the conference, and promised to send an electronic version. (Who likes to type in those impossibly-long URLs from a sheet of paper?)
Norwegian Weaving: Textiles, Travel, and Tradition
June 19, 2015
The Digital Museum. www.digitaltmuseum.no
The Digital Museum gathers objects from many museums around Norway. Good search terms include åkle, billedvev, or båtrye
Husfliden is the national handcraft association. If you click on tekstil from this page, you can look at the pages of many weavers. For example, the page for Gro Elisabeth Lyngstad includes an interesting short YouTube video. She is very fast at switching drawloom pulls, and there is a stunning doubleweave shown in the middle of the video.
Dip in anywhere for images of wonderful tapestries by contemporary (and some older) weavers. Prepare to be glued to your screen for a while!
KORO. Public Art Norway. http://publicartnorway.org/
Norway has an amazing public art program, and textiles are well-represented. Kristine Sæterdal’s tapestry, “The Blue Control Room,” is perfectly suited to the Jørstadmoen Military Camp, site of Norway’s fight again cyber attacks.
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Virtual gallery: Textiles http://collections.vesterheim.org/items/browse?collection=3
Vævning; hobby, håndarbejde og kunsthåndværk Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/27984483461/?fref=nf
The group posts as much about weaving out of Norway as in Norway, but good stuff.
For people who are interested in warp-weighted looms, here is a Facebook group and a couple of videos:
Historical Warp-weighted looms Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1424919557797916/
Veven i Mandalen. https://tv.nrk.no/program/FTRO00004687/veven-i-manndalen (Norwegian interview about warp-weighted looms)
Åkleveving på oppstadgogn (Åkle weaving on an upright loom, a silent film): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a19lGJGOZWY
I thought it was interesting that the warping portion of the film is in black and white, and then it switches to color as the woven piece progresses (at about 19 minutes).
“Weaving has become Trendy,” a recent article about how weaving is popular again in Norway. “The pieces are still small, but the colors have changed. At that time, meaning the 70s, there was a lot of purple, orange, and brown. Now there are fresher and stronger colors. Thick coarse textiles and tassels or rings make the weavings look more modern.” The article includes a link to a funny video from the 1990s, a tongue-in-cheek punk deconstruction of looms, messy-yarn street theater (the “Lille Lørdag segment). http://www.nrk.no/kultur/veving-er-blitt-trendy-1.12410112 It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand Norwegian. At one point, the narrator comments that illegal substances might have quite a bit to do with their inspiration.