Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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My little world

By spotogspindel | July 13, 2020

Sometimes the news brings so much chaos. It´s a big world out there, and there is so much going on, sometimes it´s too much to take it all in. Wars, corruption, selfish people in the time of a pandemic, climate change, elephants dying and  birds disappearing mysteriously… I recognize the need to stay aware and updated, but most of the time I limit my news-exposure to 10-20 minutes a day, not to overdose on negativity and despair. Some days I don´t want to relate to this big world. Some days I just want to relate to the small world around me, the world I can see, the people I know, the good things. In one way you could say its an escape, but I am not sure.  I think its important to focus on positive things, and to contribute where you can. Often that is in the immediate surroundings: the small world. It is also about noticing the beauty that surrounds me, a reminder to not always be longing for something else.

In any case, here is a picture from my little world, specifically Slåtterøy, in the northern part of Bømlo. The naked rock faces are so raw up here noting grows on them. Still they are smooth, being washed by salty waves again and again over thousands of years…. there is a raw and fresh beauty up here.

What do you like about your own tiny world?

Currently this picture is in the Bømlo Art Groups members exhibition in Bømlo Culture house. I have 10 prints of this, and two are sold, contact me if you are interested.

Topics: Art | 1 Comment »

The magical, mystical, the weird and wonderful world of books!

By spotogspindel | June 27, 2020

A good book is a treasure. It can take you deep inside yourself, or far, far away. To other other worlds, to other cultures, to other minds. It can broaden your horizon and it can broaden your mind, your imagination, your talents, in addition to your knowledge. It can make you forget yourself, forget time and space. It will have you explore and experience and identify with characters and teach you empathy for others, by vividly showing you that there is more than one or two sides to a story, more sides than you´d ever even imagined. If one book can do all this, how much cannot a library do?! A library is a treasure-chest, filled with new worlds, and new horizons, new thoughts. A good library nourishes the imagination and tickles the curiosity!

These are my initial thoughts about books and libraries. When I was asked to contribute to my local library, it made me so happy. A library is such a good place to be. I felt really lucky to contribute with my own imagination in the creation of such a magical place.

As a scenographer who have mainly worked with theatre, a relatively fleeting affair (the show usually only goes on for a couple of weeks), its been a luxury to make something much more permanent. And as an agent for environmentally sustainable art and design, as an ecoscenographer, it has been a chance to really explore the options of good, healthy eco-design. For the past years I have been studying eco-scenography, and as a Phd-student researching eco-creativity, it can at times become a bit theoretical. So this opportunity to put theory into practice was a golden opportunity to test out different approaches.

Bømlo municipality is an island community, with around 12000 people scattered over 1004 islands, and it is my home. We´ve had a library for years, of course, but recently it was decided to move the library from the top floor of a shopping-centre to become an integrated part of the culture-house. With a cinema, a big theatre/concert-stage, art-exhibitions, the culture-school and a cafe, this is the perfect place for even more art and culture! And since children are the most eager and frequent users of the library, they wanted to make the children´s department extra special.

I´ve been hunting charity-shops for old globes fro 4 years with the intent to use in a scenography once upon a time…

The entrance to the the children´s department is marked by a big chandelier, in the shape of a 2x 2 meter white cloud hanging down from the black ceiling. Underneath it hangs twenty vintage globes. What better way to symbolize that you are now entering a world of many worlds, as I mentioned above.

Continuing, you enter a forrest. The architect had already designed in the “tree-tops” in the ceiling and ordered the carpeting. It was very easy to build on this idea and complete it with birch-stems, from floor to ceiling. Inviting nature in to become an integrated part of the fortress of culture was a very conscious move. Both on a philosophical and aesthetic level. The aesthetics is easy: they look really nice! They build a bridge between the stylized forrest-decor inside and the real nature outside, where you can look out over the lake and the trees on the other shore. Part of bridging this gap, and add a touch of humor, was adding vintage lamps to the stems. Not only vintage, as in from second-hand-stores, but most of them visibly home-made, hand-carved wood-bases, probably around 70-80 years ago. Adding light into a dark forrest, will make it ever so slightly more magical in a mild, cozy kind of way.

The birch-stems, by the way, are locally grown. Cut by my uncle on his farm, only a few kilometers from the library. So locally sourced by local labor. It is actually quite rare that one gets to work with material that one knows the complete life-cycle of: no additives, no toxins, no chemicals, no processing, no pollution. 100% natural, traceable, sustainable, fair-trade. Very rare!

The forrest, on a more philosophical level, or even symbolic level, I am inspired by Posthumanism and Næss´ Deep ecology, stating that we are not only part of nature, we are nature. And bringing nature into culture in this manner is a reminder of just this, how integrated they are, we are. Norway has a nature-loving people, but modern distractions and life in the fast lane make an increasing part of the population people less interested in nature. This reminder of the tree-trunks  hopefully reminds us of our original closeness to nature.

I just remembered: (most) books are made with paper from trees… maybe books are the ultimate bridge between nature and culture?

In one of the trees I added a bird-house. You can´t have a magical forrest without birds, can you? I decorated the entire birdhouse with salvaged vintage needle-point embroidery. This has been a favourite medium for me the past years. Finding old, discarded, unloved embroideries in charity-shops for next-to-nothing-prices breaks my heart a little. As a textile-teacher I know how much time, effort and love went into making these, no matter how kitchy some of them are (according to modern taste). People built their houses, and decorated them to make them their homes with things they thought were beautiful. And a lot of these are replica patterns of classical paintings, bringing a cultural-historical aspect onto the scene.

A day-bed for lounging around in, while enjoying a book or the view. The wooden bed is from around 1910 from Heibø farm in Notodden, the needlepoint embroidery is from charity shops, all given a new life in a new environment. 

So in addition to the birdhouse, I used salvaged needlepoint embroidery for the mattress of the daybed and cushions for the built-in house-sofa (architects design). For adults, the nostalgic trip down memory-lane often occurs (“I remember we had this in the hall when I was a child!”), for a young audience they are presented to an alternative aesthetic, and alternatives are often a good thing when encouraging exploration. Also, the daybed is good to lounge around in. One of the librarians told me she fell asleep on it the day before opening day 🙂

Antique seamans-chest from charity-shop with a new coat of paint.

Hidden in the corner lies a strange opening in the wall, like a cave, you have to bend down to enter. Outside stands a ship-chest. Another charity-shop-find, at least a hundred years old, maybe older. It was already painted shabby-chic style, so I painted it bright turquoise to pop out instead.  Inside lies an invisibility-cloak. Because sometimes you want to be alone in your deep-dive into the magical world of books. You can borrow a head-light at the counter, and disappear from others´ views. And the books?  Well, why not enter the fantasy-section? Step into the cave….

And here is the “piece-de-resistance”: the curiosa cabinet!

I have since I was a child wanted one of these. Or rather, all the weird and wonderful, scary, fascinating things that you could see in these cabinets! They truly tickled my curiosity, made me want to explore! One moment as an Egyptologist, the nest an astronomer, and the next a geologist or a biologist… So many things I didn´t know about, that I wanted to know about! I wanted to learn about the planets, about the Sfinx, the gorilla, glaciers and crystals…. I wanted to learn about nature and psychology and history and all that I could imagine and all that I couldn´t imagine!

And here I had the chance to inspire others the way I had been inspired by old pictures of these cabinets. I feel that my “mission” is two-fold. As a teacher I want to inspire the curiosity towards learning.  And as a eco-designer I want to show an alternative to the “quick-fix”, ready-bought solutions and give hope to a sustainable future.

Part of the Potions-exhibit: Vintage-finds from charity-shops mixed with vintage finds from my attic, drawers and treasure-troves… All filled and labeled accordingly.

The cabinet itself contains ten shelves, inspired by different subjects at Hogwarts school of Magic from Harty Potter. (In itself a point, to have a room be inspired by one of the great children´s literature successes of recent years.) Here you can find Alchemy, Astronomy, Potions, Herbology, Beastology… I started rummaging around thrift-shops and did find some treeasures before the pandemic closed down the country. As it turns out, I am a collector. Around a third of the things in the cabinet actually comes from my own house.

Part of the Herbology-exhibit: The mandrake-baby is a natural tree-“knot” from the blood-beech in my garden, silk-remnant-leaves and an old pot. The mushroom-poster in the back is from a local school that closed.

Some of the things I have been saving as treasures from I was 8-9 years old: a green rock, a plastic monster from New Zealand airlines… little bottles that I have now filled with everything from human hair to Tibetan salt and of course the portable-day-on-the-beach. From fart-seeds and Yeti-sweat to poisonous fangs, I try to balance the facts and the fiction with humor and wonder.

Part of the History of Magic and Beastology-exhibit: Replica dinosaur-fossil, with real sheep-skulls and shedded adder-skin, and a  handmade unicorn-horn.

Sticking to the truth as far as I can, and in between serving pure imagination. Unicorn-horns are hard to get, so I admit I made one. From an old pyjamas-pants and plaster (maybe I shouldn´t tell you, I´m taking the magic out of it now, right?! But there is a reason for telling you: not everything has to be store-bought! Some of the best things are handmade & selfmade)

Part of the Divination-exhibit:An collection of crystal balls, among them an old sea-float, and a real “diamond” with a hole in it that I found when I was 10 years old, coins from a charity-shop necklace.

Playing on different talents, I photoshopped the librarians faces (and my own) into vintage wizards and witches portraits, that now fit perfectly in an old photo-album from November 1902, bought at an antique.shop in the Portland, USA-area.

Part of the Defence against the dark arts-exhibit: Rocks with corrogated copper from local copper-mines, an old wand the librarian´s kid gave me to include in the exhibit, and an old Christmas-decoration turned into a Nimbus 1500 broom. And the antique photo-album of course.

The rest of the post is more academic and explains some of my thoughts connected to “the how and why” of eco-design.

I have mentioned eco-design/ environmentally friendly design several times here now. What exactly is that? Well, the truth is that there are several answers, because it is a complex world, and sometimes the criteria contradict each other. I will still give a short list of some things that I have considered when creating this space.

I base this on Datschefski´s theory of five criteria for sustainable design: A good sustainable product has to be Cyclic – Solar – Social – Safe – Efficient

Solar – means that a product is made with renewable energy. This is often very difficult to check. However, renewable energy like solar and wind-power is becoming more common. Norway is a hydro-powered country, so everything produced here would be at least partly made with renewable energy.  The birch-trunks are certainly 100% solar-powered. They were transported 3 kilometers by car, but that is still an “overcomable” shipping-cost in terms of carbon-footprint.

Cyclic – means that a material or product is recyclable or compostable. It also favours designing a product with several life-cycles in mind. I prefer using natural materials, even if these sometimes are processed quite a bit and/or mixed with man-made materials, they will still be better than 100% man-made fabrics (which are basically made from oil/fossil fuel. All the things thrifted, bought second hand or upcycled come under this point, as they are given at least one extra life. This is the case for all the embroidery and most of the things in the cabinet, and all the globes.

Safe – Creating or using a product should not be toxic or polluting. It should be safe to produce and use. I make conscious decisions regarding types of glues and paints as far as possible, keeping them non-toxic.

Social – All the thrifted things I have bought at charity shops have another good effect: the money they make on me, they in turn do good for others. When I shop locally, I support the local community in both goods and services. For instance I had a local carpenter custom-make the curiosa-cabinet-doors for me.

Efficient – means to make sure things are of good quality, made properly, fill their purpose and are made to last.

Though Datschefski gives five solid indicators of a good sustainable practice, I think there are a couple of aspects he is missing. Perhaps because I come from a tradition of teaching, I believe that there is a value in itself of creating things yourself. Learning a skill, crafting a beautiful and functional object will bring something as old-fashioned as happiness to the creator. The process of performing high quality craftsmanship will bring joy both to the creator and the user. Being self-sufficient and capable of creating things you need and can use, will give a confident sense of mastering and meaning. A self-knitted sweater is much more valuable to me than the sweater I bought at H&M. Not because the bought sweater isn´t nice. But I have spend time and care to create my own sweater, so I will value it more. For starters, I don´t take for granted the time it takes to make a garment, and am therefore more reluctant to be reckless with it, or chuck it away after a few wearings. In any case, the joy of creating should not be underestimated.

Of course there are other ways of being sustainable too. Recycling, or even better: up-cycling materials or objects. Upcycling simply means giving discarded objects a new life. Instead of throwing them away, you give these materials or objects a new life. So just like with the birdhouse above, I used vintage, discarded embroideries to create a day-bed with the seat and pillow telling silent stories. Older people, when they see the vintage embroideries, they often reminisce back to their childhoods. Young people might laugh at the changing aesthetics, but they too reminisce, and its a kind laugh. Children use them as energy for their imagination, and can create entire fairy-tales from one picture.

Another way of being sustainable is to ensure high-quality. Both in materials and craftsmanship: quality is essential for making something that lasts. The over-production of objects and the fast-fashion state-of-mind are very much part of the enormous waste-problem on Earth. By consciously choosing quality in the things we use, things simply last longer, hence reduces waste.

Of course buying second-hand things from charity-shops is also a very good alternative. Things are given a new life instead of ending up on the landfill, and you support a good cause financially. One man´s trash is another man´s treasure. Like all the weird and wonderful treasures in the cabinet.

And finally, using short-traveled materials or services can mean saving quite a bit of the carbon-footprint of the material/object. The best example here is the 15 birch-trunks.

I hope you´ve enjoyed the virtual tour of Bømlo Folkebibliotek (Bømlo Library). If you are near by, please come visit and see it live!

Topics: Art, arting, embroidery redesign, inspiration, interior, library, redesign, set design, sustainable | 1 Comment »

Facemasks

By spotogspindel | April 13, 2020

Do facemaskes really help?

It depends on the nuances of the question. They protect MORE others from you if you are carrying the virus without knowing it, than you from others. But it does reduce the risk of you catching the virus too. How large the reduction is, depends a lot on what material you use. There is a lot of great research readily available online.

I have made a batch of masks for my local doctor-office. And some for my family and friends. It´s a national “dugnad” after all, and it feels quite good to be able to contribute and give back!

Topics: Diverse, textile | 1 Comment »

Facemask embroidery

By spotogspindel | April 12, 2020

10 000 stitches later….

Wool needle-point embroidery on stramei, 20 x 20 cm.

Topics: Art, embroidery, textile | 1 Comment »

Arting in the time of Covid-19

By spotogspindel | April 12, 2020

These are strange times! Over 40% of the world´s population is now under quarantine or restrictions related to the Corona-pandemic. Myself, I am in voluntary lock-down, staying at home, only shopping for necessities. This must be the biggest social experiment of all times, at least in peace-time, and we have no idea where we will be as a society at the end of it.

I am not great with words, so I find it difficult to find the right way to express myself here through words. But I have been painting, trying to get at least some of these feelings and thoughts translated into colors, textures, shapes…

It is strange, it´s like a collision between our own little world and the made-in-Hollywood sci-fi movie you watched on TV. It doesn´t add up. It´s too surreal.

I saw a sign that says “Kinda feeling like the earth just sent us all to our rooms to think about what we´ve done”

Despite all the tragedy, I hope to see a silver-lining in the future. Maybe we shouldn´t go “back to normal”. “Normal” was rather unhealthy for both people and planet. Now that production has been radically reduced over the past month(s), it seems to be giving the Earth itself a little breather.

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” – Kitty O’Mera

Already in the beginning of February, as a comment to the impeachment-circus in the US,  I saw this sign somewhere: The roaring 20´s (it´s been an exhausting decade!).

Now it´s April, and the words have never been truer. Let´s hope the rest of the year truly will bring healing, both physically, mentally, across national, cultural, idealogic and financial borders.

I´ve been following my friend Brian Wallace´s  live-streaming paint-sessions every day now in the Easter-holiday, and it feels comforting to be part of a larger, creative collective.I highly recommend using some of all this time constructively, doing what you love and learning something new at the same time.

And also, it keeps me painting 🙂 My new art-journal is already filling up.

A new horizon, (experimenting with colors)

This page with Lindesnes lighthouse at dawn will be the last in this post, as a beacon of hope for a new dawn of true and prosperity for both people and planet.

 

Topics: arting, Diverse | 1 Comment »

The Full Monty

By spotogspindel | February 7, 2020

Today is the opening night of The Full Monty (I blanke messingen) with Kompani Andersen. A small group of amateur-theatre-enthusiasts decided to stage the musical about the unemployed Sheffield-workers who put on a strip-show to earn some fast cash.

Not unexpectedly, they discover that one thing is to undress, another thing is to do it while hundreds of people are watching.

They become painfully aware of their own bodily flaws…

… and try different approaches to get to terms with it.

(Almost) The whole cast and backstage-crew involved in the show.

I designed this set a couple of years ago, when the director first started talking about staging the show.

As always, I try to be as ecologically sustainable as possible in my designs. And with a small newly-started amateur-group with hardly any budget, one of the challenges was to make the set as affordable as possible. I decided very early on that I wanted to use corrugated iron plates. After an advertisement on Facebook, people called in, and donated old, rusty plates they had lying around which they hadn´t thrown away yet. And we used all 31 of them!

One of the essential principles of being sustainable, is to ensure that a product has several lives. These plates were already used, and were heading for the landfill. They were partly rusted and partly still grey. However, since I wanted a visually warm feel to the show, I painted over the grey areas. (And when I say “I”, I mean a group of wonderful volunteers! Including the community is another welcoming sustainable principle). The plates are made to be outside, and I chose an oil-based paint, which in itself is not ideal, but it does prolong the post-show life of the plates. At least some of them will go on to their third life, as new building-material (its already been arranged before we painted them)

The team of volunteers included four carpenters, which built a very solid foundation for the structure. All new wooden material was used here, which may or may not be ideal. But it needed to be strong and safe, and it will be carefully dis-mantled and stored for the next production.

It is a very versatile and practical set-up, with two hidden stairs, and two visible. Lots of space backstage, and plenty room for the band. Even though it was made with a run-down industrial city in mind, the set could be used any number of other shows/plays.

An eight-man band was placed on top of the stage, behind a little fence of more rusted corrugated iron. Since a lot of the plates were cut, the edges were very sharp, and we took especially care to hide all edges with thin, wooden shielding plates. For the final strip-show, we used a glitter-curtain, which again is not especially sustainable. But once you have it, use it again and again. This was first used in 1999, and has been in many shows since then. It´s all about using what you have, giving it a new life, and help it get even more lives afterwards, using local resources, involving the community, using natural materials, and quality craftsmanship for safety, durability and joy!

I do love the theatre!

Click photo above for TV Haugaland story

The Full Monty

Kompany Andersen

Director/choreographer: Hilde Hoff Andersen

Scenography: Janne Robberstad

Lighting design: Simon Alvsvåg

 

Topics: backstage, Diverse, set design, sustainable | No Comments »

A real-life researcher

By spotogspindel | January 28, 2020

Hello.

My name is Janne, and I´m a researcher.

The past years, as the market for new-built offshore vessels have gone down, and the shuffeling of jobs in the theatre-section has led to less (paid) artistic work for me, I have gone back to my “roots”. Taking all my experience and knowledge both from the artistic and the cultural worlds, I (re)entered education and research. I took my Master´s degree in 2017 in Creative disciplines and Learning Processes  at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). My Master thesis is titled Creativity and Ecoscenography in the Global Science Opera. (You can even Google Scholar me now! How cool is that?!)

Currently I am a Phd-student at the same university, HVL, researching Bildung and Pedagogical Practices.  All this might seem a bit out there, me, an academic! (I admit it feels a bit strange for me too, I have always been more practical than theoretical, if you knwo what I mean). But it just so happens to be that the stuff I am learning about is really interesting. And important too!

My Phd-research is a continuum of my master-research, albeit going deeper into the matter. So I am still researching the connection between creativity and sustainability. My main aim is to learn as much as possible about environmentally friendly or ecologically sustainable materials and design-processes, and how we can achieve a more planet-and people-friendly design and production in all things. No small goal there. But I do believe we can all start where we are, in our own daily lives and at our workplace. Lucky for me, I have the whole world as my workplace:

And the context of my research, the Global Science Opera (GSO), is super-interesting and fun, and I have already met so many people all over the world, it´s rather amazing!

I have been given opportunities beyond belief (and far beyond my rank) at HVL, as I am now the production-manager of the Global Science Opera (GSO) . Each year the GSO produces an opera, based on a scientific subject. Around 20-30 countries around the world participate. Students from primary to university-level, collaborate with teachers, artists, scientists and researchers, and create and perform their scenes. And on November 20th (the International Children´s Day) we have a simultaneous premiere on the world-wide stage of the internet!

Both in the GSO, CASE and GSO4SCHOOL (see below) I am working trans-disciplinary with science and arts, so-called STEAM-education. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Both fields are treated as equals, and can learn from each other. You might think they do´t have much in common, but they do! Creativity and curiosity are driving forces in both fields! When I started my work on eco-design (ecologically sustainable design) I found this was the perfect combination of these two fields, as you need the best of both in order to succeed.

In addition I am the coordinator of two – TWO! – Erasmus+ research-projects. CASE and GSO4SCHOOL.

CASE stands for “Creativity, Arts and Science in Education”. (Click logo to get to website).

GSO4SCHOOL is the Global Science Opera teacher training project. (Click logo to get to website). Both projects host teacher-training summer school workshops in Greece for teachers all over the world, though mainly from Europe.

You can read more about both of the projects here.  This is the new website-page, where I will gather links on my academic work and research.

 

 

Topics: academic, Global Science Opera, research, teaching | 1 Comment »

GSSO4SCHOOL

By spotogspindel | January 28, 2020

GSO4SCHOOL is the Global Science Opera teacher training project. (Click logo to get to website).

The main aim of the project is to propose an innovative transdisciplinary method to motivate school students and teachers to participate in science and arts initiatives and to develop and establish a network that will work together, exchange practices and maintain the activities of GSO4SCHOOL in the future. The use of arts practices constitutes a strong advantage in order to enhance science education and address inequality in science learning; in recent years the trend is to include the “A” in STE(A)M education that stands for Arts. By doing so, the project will foster the development of school students’ interest, participation, motivation and performance in science. According to research the “quality of the experience” is often more influential than the “content that is taught”. This is exactly what GSO4SCHOOL is proposing. To engage school students in developing their own GSOs and experience the whole procedure supported by their teachers and by the provision of very well-structured materials. Moreover, GSO4SCHOOL aims to promote the acquisition of 21st century skills (including social and emotional skills, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, soft skills and entrepreneurial skills) (OECD 2015), science (analytical thinking, inquiry-based learning) and culture (performing arts, music). One of the main pillars for the project will be the collaboration and co-creation of school students in an inquiry-based and student-centred approach. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own products and operate the network as a learning organisation that will produce each year performances, educate their peers, in local and/or National Level, and promote the creative methods of GSO4SCHOOL in Europe and beyond.

The GSO4SCHOOL project also aims to contribute directly to teachers’ professional development. The project’s consortium has the expertise and experience to develop and run effective trainings targeted to school teachers in order to enhance their ability to integrate creative, collaborative and transdisciplinary practices in the classroom. Moreover, during the implementation of the project the participating teachers will be continuously supported in their work through digital and non-digital means.

Topics: academic, Global Science Opera, research, teaching, workshops | No Comments »

CASE

By spotogspindel | January 28, 2020

CASE stands for “Creativity, Arts and Science in Education”. (Click logo to get to website).

The CASE project relies on an understanding that scientific inquiry must be known more as an integral part of daily life and less as a faraway myth occurring in isolated institutions. In our increasingly knowledge-based economy, education systems need the imaginative force of culture, and the curiosity that comes from cultural expression, in order to realize Europe’s creative scientific potential. Currently, education policymakers all too often narrow teachers’ focus to lists of facts and formulas, covering information in a way does not reach deeply enough below the surface. Rather than fostering curiosity, which is much more important in the long term than rote memorization, this approach often causes students to “tune out”. Enhancing teacher skills, strengthening their ability to motivate innovation and creativity is thus crucial. It is precisely the enrichment of the creative elements in Inquiry Based Science Education as an integral part of such a system, based on a wealth of existing European knowledge, which is the cornerstone of the CASE project.

Topics: academic, teaching, workshops | No Comments »

A crafty fall

By spotogspindel | January 27, 2020

I´ve been knitting this fall and winter. A lot more than usual. And not for any show, just for the pleasure of it, and mainly for myself. I´ve always loved knitting, I guess you could say I´m an idea-starter, not necessarily an idea-completer, when it comes to private projects. So I set a goal to finish some of the already started projects this fall. Here is most of the past 6 months´ production of #finishingprojects

A big yellow hoodie started in 1997-ish (I found a receipt in the bag from 1997). This is made form all different types of yarns, gathered by color, not quality: Handspun and hand-dyed silk from Japan, hanspun alpacca, wool, cotton, rayon, acylic velvet yarn and cotton velvet yarn, linen. It´s all in there. The design is self-made, and came to life as it progressed. And organic design, I guess you could say.

A black yak-wool sweater I started about 4 years ago while working on a show at Haugesund Teater, and stayed in a hotel for a month or so… SO soft and warm, I´ve worn this so much already. It´s the first time I´ve knitted raglan-arms.

This one I probably knitted about 5 years ago, but made arms and shoulders wrong, so basically all I did on this was to take off the arms, cut away a big chunk of the shoulders, and put the arms back on. This is thick alpacca-wool, and incredibly warm! It´s actually got a lot more life in the color than this photo shows. The design is self-made, and inspired by the 1940s.

Another oldie. Back in the 1980s mohair was the big hit, and I did knit a big blue sweater for my then boyfriend. I do belive there might be a bit of leftover in this one. The body was already knit sometime  last century, so this fall I knitted the arms to finally finish it. In this bag I found a ferry-receipt from 1993, so yup, I do take my time with some of the projects… This one is almost 100% mohair-wool, except for the rainbow-colored yarn in between which was (to my disappointment acrylic)

After finishing all these already-started projects, I rewarded myself by starting a brand new knit! I went into the store thinking I´d be working with reds and hot-pinks with a hint of yellow… and came out with this instead. Alpaca tweed in dusty mint, heather and milky colors. Oster-kofta is a traditional Norwegian cardigan pattern (from Osterøy, not too far from Bergen), which is here in a new type of yarn and new colors. Again, alpaca is really soft and warn, and this yarn is a bit thick, so it is really warm. (Can you tell that staying warm is important to me?)

I also made this pink mohair-sweater for my niese who is 5. And a lilac hat, but I don´t think I have a photo of that. Wh really likes them both. And come to think of it, for Christmas she got a shawl I knitted to her as well. Dark pink thin alpaca, patent-knitted. Purple and pink are her favourite colors.

Another finishing project. This big thing I´d had for a while, probaly started about 5 years ago. I didn´t know exactly how I wanted it, so I just kept going. The arms were finished, so it was more about figuring the drape and design, before making the shoulders and knitting the collar, trying to use up as much of the yarn I already had in the process as possible. Again super-warm fluffy alpaca, patent-knitted, and given to my sister for Christmas, so she wouldn´t freeze while working in her shop (it´s really cold sometimes at her job).

Finally another new project, which I started from scratch in… December, I think. And again a new version of an old traditional Norwegian pattern. This is from Fana, outside Bergen, in a short bolero-version with embroidery, crochet and 118(!) mother-of-pearl buttons. It took me longer to do all the other work than to actually knit the thing. It turned out pretty sweet though. Again 100% alpaca (can you tell I really like the softness and warmness of the material?).

I still have loads of started and unfinished projects, and will continue on my quest to get-ti-done-already! Currently though I have a new project on the needles, about half-way done, I would guess. A 100% sheeps-wool pattern made by Wiola. This yarn is much coarser to work with, but is much stronger than the alpaca, and will stay nice longer, maybe even generations.

Want to knit with me?

 

Topics: embroidery, textile | 2 Comments »

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