Inspiration from a Weaving School Friend

During my first days in Norway I stayed with my friend Inger Berit Myhre in Bjørkelangen. We studied weaving at Valdres Husflidsskole in Fagernes, Norway, about a billion years ago, in 1977. On day one we had an enormously inspiring visit with our classmate, Liv Kolsrud, in Blaker. We saw her newest projects, several from the past few years, and even a couple of pieces saved from weaving school days.

Besides weaving beautifully, Liv also plays the guitar, writes her own songs, and is probably the world’s biggest Bob Dylan fan. In addition to the “altar” with stacks of CDs, vinyl, and books, Dylan pops up many other places in her house and studio. Here he strums next to a framed textile, “He is our peace.”

Liv has an upcoming exhibit in connection with the Skagen Music Festival, for which she cut up 15-years worth of festival t-shirts to create hangings to commemorate all of the musicians.  She carefully clipped out the band names from the list on the back of each t-shirt.

It is so difficult to photograph black textiles…but here’s a band name close-up.

This piece in the series was hanging from an upright tapestry loom in the studio. Notice the tufts of horsehair, and also the skillbragd woven in Husflidsskole folded at the top.

The pieces have lovely rock fringes.

A new band piece in the works.

This weaving in her flat was created in collaboration with Agnes Guttormsgaard, who was her weaving instructor many years ago. Now Guttomsgaard uses a wheelchair and can no longer weave, but she drew the image of herself in her wheelchair.

Liv wove the shape with short lengths of nylon thread, burned at the ends to create small spheres.

The vertical black piece at the top in not part of the work; it is one of two cylindrical pieces, one woven with paper yarn, and the other with linen.

Several years ago Liv made many brushes, woven with metal, encasing perfectly trimmed horsehair.

Are you beginning to pick up on Liv’s color palette of choice?  Her house, and most of her work, is beautifully black and white.  Wherever your eyes land, another collection or work of art invites study.  Cameras, for example.

But there is color in the studio, too, like this orange corner.  And remarkable historical textile equipment, from buttons to shuttles to metal and wood temples.

Lately Liv has been experimenting with metal weaving; it’s not easy to lay in the metal warp threads evenly.

One of her own paintings hangs in the dining room. She said she was sitting at the table one day and felt it needed something.  Metal.  So she started adding silver metallic paint to the mostly yellow background. That decision was great!

I feel lucky to have these lifelong ties to friends and weaving. Among Liv’s many historical artifacts, she had a photo album. Inger and I were together this week and back in 1977.

From Liv’s board: To weave is to live

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