Janne Robberstad

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Furniture future

By spotogspindel | March 3, 2010

I´ve been asked to help out a bit at Bømlo Folkehøgskule, my old folk high school, where I´ve worked for 40 years (… no, wait, it was just 12 years…)

Anyway. Those of you who aren´t from Scandinavia, should really consider finding out about these private schools if you have a kid that´s around 18-19 years. They are excellent: living in dormatories, no exams, no grades, you make your own curriculum together with the class and the teacher, you choose subjects that you want to learn more about (find out what to do with your life) like arts/crafts, sports, music, dance, theatre, kitchen catering, international studies and so on, you get to travel, and you get to learn a whole bunch about yourself. And others. Sound like utopia? It´s not, it´s been my everyday life for , well, actually 14 years (I´ve been at another couple of schools too). The only thing it requires from the students is to show up and take active part in the year. And to restrain from drugs and alcohol. And generally behave relatively nice. I cannot recommend this warm enough. It´s a safe first year away from home, on the verge of growing up and into adulthood. There are sometimes foreign students at the school, this year there´s a girl from Wisconsin. Actually there are about 80 different schools like this in Norway, and you can read more about them here (in English), and I think about 10% of all Norwegian youths take a year like this. But Bømlo Folkehøgskule is the one closest to my heart 🙂

Anyway. I was asked to come help one of the teachers (my former student Heid! Yaiks! Time flies by! I´m so proud of her!) She was starting a new project in her Re-design class on reupholstering and refurbishing furniture. Yessss! Fun!

I started of with a crash-course in fabric-painting, moved on to another crash-course in machine-embroidery, and then some paint-techniques for wood, like marbling, staining, and such.

Here are some pictures from our day:

Demonstrating fabric painting.

Using one of my fun-foam portrait-stamps.

Not bad…

Placing it on the back-piece of the chair.

… and stapling it in place

On to the machine-embroidery. Drawing with the sewing machine.

Mix the embroidery with applique, and what do you get?

A love-bird for the chair? The bird is still not finished, but it might make a good alternative for a chair.

Ida liked the machine-embroidery, and spent most of the day making decor for bracelets and hairbands and broaches and…

Kristian had just joined the class a couple of weeks ago, and is becoming good friends with the sewing machine.

Here is his cow, half-way in the making. Isn´t it cute?!

And here is Nelly with her Nelliphant!

I had to put the teacher to work too, so here´s Heid painting an ordinary 70s kitchen-chair in BRIGHT yellow!

Heid working on the seat for the yellow POP-art chair. We´re using fun-foam stamps that I´ve made at an earlier occasion.

Not finished yet, but this will be cool!

From this (above) to this (below) in 6 hours:

Almost ready. Just need to staple the seat-fabric and tighten those screws.  This could make a fun kitchen-chair, don´t you think?

Topics: Diverse | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Furniture future”

  1. Justin Segal Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 19:14

    This is wonderful, Janne — great post (and the day looks like tons of fun, too — love that chair, all my favorite colors!).

    The idea of a school where students are just there to share and learn and NOT stress . . . well, that is something of everyone’s fantasy, isn’t it? (remember that movie, “Accepted?”). But knowing these schools are thriving warms my heart — me, who was lucky enough to go to different schools, going abroad to Europe during college and traveling, traveling, learning about life with all the rest. I think people need to experience everything, instead of being 100% driven for one narrow goal. It makes it more fun along the way, to my mind …

    Keep teaching. You have so MUCH to share!

  2. spotogspindel Says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 19:42

    Thanks Justin, that´s very kind of you.
    I do feel very strongly that traveling should be mandatory to anyone who can afford it, and grants should be able to apply for, for those who don´t have as much money, as traveling, and experiencing other countries and cultures are so important. More and more important every day now, as the world “grows smaller” due to globalisation. The best way to bring as much peace into the world as possible, is if as many people as possible, know their neighbors and understand their culture and ways of life. And by neighbor, I´m thinking a relatively big neighborhood 🙂

  3. lulu Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 06:04

    LOVE this chair! Janne, how do I take a class from you? This looks like so much fun!!!
    : ) lulu

  4. Andrew Finnie Says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 07:45

    Well I must say that you get in there and get dirty. To give a class expands our boundaries because we are forced to think about our work in such a way as to be able to communicate it – and so shed light on the process (Gee that was a long sentence)

    Nice to see your pic too… 🙂

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