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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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


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 »


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 »


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 »

Viking Energy – renovation!

By spotogspindel | January 23, 2020

I am so excited, I just have to share the news with you. Eidesvik´s offshore vessel Viking Energy, built in 2003, is about to be renovated into the world´s first 100% emission-free offshore-vessel. (click on the picture for Norwegian news-article)

The new fuel will be made of ammonia, which only lets out pure nitrogen and water. I really do get excited when new technology and innovation brings forward such great answers to our climate reality chalenges.

The part that makes me even a bit more excited is that I have art onboard this ship! It was one of the first Eidesvik-ships I made art for, and I still remember sewing on the texts onto the pictures I had made. (click on the picture below, and it will take you to the original post in 2003)

Topics: Art, Diverse, sustainable | No Comments »

Inside the calendar-book

By spotogspindel | January 8, 2020

I said in the last post that I wanted to add color to my days. The base-color is is just that: a base. After the book is bound, I start adding all the collage, mainly around the edges, before stamping the dates on. A lot of the collage-material comes from Teesha and Tracy Moores´s Artstronauts-club, some from magazines, postcards, tickets, receipts, whatever crosses my daily-life-path.

Still the pages are only half-finished. As time goes and I use the calendar, I add doodles and more color with crayons, paint, stamps, and of course notes on meeting, to-do-lists, etc.

what do you do to add color to your days?

Topics: arting, book-boinding | 1 Comment »

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