Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as a costume-designer and an artist, 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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Merry Christmas!

By spotogspindel | December 24, 2015


Topics: Diverse | 1 Comment »

Sculpting in copper and drawing with stitches

By spotogspindel | December 22, 2015

Here she is. Elisabeth in full size (her feet are cut away in this photo), She is freestyle machine-embroidered /sewn in grey polyester Mettler-thread on grey polyester soft-tulle. The two pictures are of the same embroidery, but one is with a white linen in the background and the other has a black linen in the background. This way it seems like one positive and one negative (like an old fashion photograph), even though the girl in grey is the same.

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As a little extra something, I added my family-portrait. This is my entire family on my mothers side: aunts and uncles, nieces and newphews, and their spouces and children. Sorry about the bad background here, but I wanted to hang it in the window, which was my original idea: to make a contemporary lacy curtain (panel).



(photo: Charlotte Tvedte) Seen from the outside, you can clearly see, as the sun sets, the shades cast on the wall inside, repeating the faces on the wall.

A few experiments and trials and my sewn log-book/instruction-manual, to show some of the process.


And the copper-designed art-installation model is here too. Since the model itself is about 1/10 of the original intended size, I made the background with the mine about the same size in the showcase model. The “road” in front of the mine is made of a photo-print on thick bookbinding cardboard, with a little “pool” in it, where I could fit the model and some real gravel.


The copper-mines were on my family´s farmland , and there was activity there from between 1868-1905, in 3 periods. Over 90 men were at work here, and they excavated over 500 tons of chalcopyrite. S P O R means trace(s)(steps, clues…) and is meant to both point backwards and forwards in time. Traces of what have been, and what are we leaving behind. One can still see traces of the copper-mining from over a hundred years ago. What traces will we leave behind for our great-grandchildren?


I also made a real-size model in wood, painted with copper-paint, although not as 3-dimentionally deep as the real thing would have been, just to give a more real-life experience of what it might look like.


Oh, I forgot to tell… this is my exam-exhibition for the first half-year of my Masters-studies. I am learning a lot, and have some absolutely wonderful co-students!

Topics: Diverse | 1 Comment »

Freestyle machine embroidered drawing

By spotogspindel | December 13, 2015

(Oh no, now I see a spelling mistake!)

This is the first in my brand new series of How-To books. Actually it´s a free fantasy type of log-book for my drawing-exam. I chose to draw with a sewing thread via a sewing machine. So of course the whole book had to be textile. I wanted to explore thee optical illusion of how one color changes when you change the color of the background. In this case, how a grey picture of a person seems to change depending on whether the background is black or white. It seems almost like a positive or a negative in a photographic film. I also added a couple of other tests and thoughts.


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Since I wanted to sew everything, there is not much actual information here. I´ll put that on my account for artistic freedom! 😉

Topics: book-boinding, embroidery, Technique, textile | 1 Comment »

Keep calm

By spotogspindel | December 12, 2015

This is  my favorite of all the Keep Calm and Carry On-versions I´ve seen. (I love a good pun) I am now in the inning of my exams, trying to get everything done by Monday. This little thing is part of a freestyle machine embroidery manual. Sewn of course. I´ll show you more when I´m done. I am actually having so much fun with it, you wouldn´t think it´s an exam 😉


Topics: Diverse, embroidery, textile | No Comments »

Pieta and sewing details

By spotogspindel | December 11, 2015


One of this years theatrical highlights is Pieta at Haugesund Teater. Sitting in the audience of the opening night Thursday I was completely engulfed in Marie´s 90 minute long monologue. Funny, sad, frivolous, serious, food for thought… this story had it all. A brilliant script and a brilliant actor conveying the story.


And the sewing? Well, it´s coming along nicely. Although, take my words of wisdom: do NOT sew in the wrong place. It is almost impossible to unpick these stitches without poking holes in the thin fabric. The soluble fabric helps a bit, but my heart was in my throat for a while there… You can see the unpicking process above. And below… almost done. Now, to get rid of the fiber and see what we´re left with 😀


Topics: Diverse, embroidery, textile | 1 Comment »

A World of glass and sew on

By spotogspindel | December 9, 2015

I went to experience Terje Isungset and Arve Henriksen´s magical concert last night: World of glass. Without a doubt, one of this years absolute esthetical highlights! All the instruments were made of glass by Estonian glassblowers. The music is so visual! Not only all the instruments, bathed in a cold blue light, but the music itself. I had all kind of pictures in my mind while listening, but I can best describe it as is a glacier made music for the Aurora Borealis to dance to. If you do have a chance to hear them, you should absolutely do so, it adds to the experience to see them, not just hear them. And on top of everything, the whole concert was improvised. I am so impressed by people who are that musical!


As for me, I thought it was about time I got down to business on practical part of my exam. So I´ve spent the day drawing with my sewing machine.


I am quite eager to see what it will look like when it´s all done, to be honest. I am making a 3 feet high embroidered version of my little niece (actually she´s only 81 cm, so I´m quite on target considering how the embroidery will make the fabric shrink).


Well, the feet are done…-ish. I´ll have to go over everything once I´m done, and do some tweaking here and there.

Topics: arting, Diverse, embroidery, textile | No Comments »

The anual paint-day with my favorite kids

By spotogspindel | December 8, 2015


It´s become a dear tradition: inviting the kids over for a Christmas-gift-workshop. They all make one painting each, a present for their Dads. Elisabeth is now almost 2, and enjoyed it so much. When the other kids were done with their paintings, and started to paint their hands, so did she. And when she was done with her own hand, she continued with her mothers hand.


Part of the fun, is eating the equally annual Christmas-tacos! And dreaming of going to Harry Potter-land, and playing and talking and goofing around.

Topics: Christmas, Diverse | 1 Comment »

Cozy & lazy

By spotogspindel | December 6, 2015


A long, lazy and cosy weekend, spent knitting Christmas gifts. There´s a storm outside. I always feels extra lucky to be inside a warm house, with a cup of tea and candles (it is 2nd Sunday of advent after all). I really enjoy making gifts for others, and I think that today, people appreciate handmade more than a decade or two ago. Now you can get just about everything for money. But something that you know someone has made, while thinking of you, that´s special. At least I hope my gifts will be appreciated. I am not making nearly as many as I´d like, life is a bit too busy for that, but at least I managed to finish two this week.


My very favorite December-scent: hyacinths!

Topics: Christmas, Diverse | 1 Comment »

Square thoughts

By spotogspindel | December 3, 2015



Like most of you I am sad and angry about some of the horrible terror-events taking place around the world the past months. Whenever it seems to escalate, my heart grows darker with sorrow for humanity. I know it´s only a very small percent of people who let evil rule their actions. But it´s not only terrorists. We´ve had a lot of refugees and asylum-seekers coming to Norway the past 4-5 months, and it is really bringing out the intolerance in people. Sometimes I wonder about them, how can ordinary people become so narrow-minded? How can they not see themselves from the outside, how can they not see things in perspective? It is honestly not our achievement that we were born in this country! We don´t own it! We are here to borrow and nurture and take care of. It is not our birthright to be arrogant and better-than-thou-racists. What if we were the ones who had to flee? Of course, I know, a lot of people will call me naive (at best).

But am I really? I have travelled the world, I have met people of different religions and races, and you know what? I don´t think I own the truth, because there is no one truth, there are several truths. I even lived in a foreign country for 3 years when I was young. My family weren´t refugees or asylum-seekers. We went there because my Dad got a job there. My sister and I went to school, my baby-sister was born there. If you want to put us in any booth, I guess you could call us  financial immigrants. Not really immigrants, it was only temporary. Since we are a white family from a very wealthy country, it was labeled as an adventure, not gold-digging, the type of adventure we encourage our young to do: travel the world, study abroad, maybe even work abroad a couple of years, gather life-experience, learn a language… treasured traits! If you are rich. If you are poor, you are free to be looked down upon. As if people from rich countries are better, smarter, whatever…

I learned about white privilege when I was 11. I had just been to my new school, in this new country for a couple of months, when one of my fellow students grabbed hold of me, asking if I had been bullied because I was from a another country and couldn´t speak English all that well. I said no, I hadn´t. Along with him, was a third classmate of us, a young boy who had started at the school about the same time as me. He was a boat-refugee from Vietnam (this was back in the late 70s). And now he had been bullied by some of the other students. His all-american friend was so angry he was crying about the injustice.

I have thought about this so many times later in life. How differnet our stories. He fled in a small boat, not knowing anything about his future. I flew in a jumbo-jet across the Atlantic. We were both 11, both aquardly shy, both new in this big country. After 3 years I moved back to Norway, and I never knew what became of him. But even though we didn´t know each other all that well, he and his story, brought to my attention by his friend, has always stayed with me. In the newspaper today I read about how another friend of mine, here in Norway, is getting death-threats, by other Norwegians, because of his political stand fighting for the refugees and financial aid-programs…. I am lost for words. Someone is trying to use the political power they have to do good for other people, and for that they are threatened on their lives? I am lost for words.

So what is with the square world? It is a little picture-experiment, that turned into a social comment. My beautiful island, turned square, to match the square mindset some people have. I think I´d be bored quickly if it was the same everywhere I turned, to be honest.

Topics: Diverse | 1 Comment »

A calm day at sea

By spotogspindel | December 2, 2015


I am calm. Outside there´s wind and rain. My calendar is filled with deadlines. I am calm. Luckily I´ve trained myself to concentrate on one task at a time. I´ve delivered two written semester-exams, and sent off several dozens of  pictures to the printers today. I could also tell you about all the things I haven´t done. Like making the home Christmassy. But I am calm. Today is a calm day. Maybe I´ll light some candles, put on some Bing Crosby & Nat King Cole Christmas songs and finish knitting a present tonight.

Don´t stress. Do what needs to be done. Be calm. And enjoy. That´s my Christmas-wish for today.

Topics: Art, Christmas | 1 Comment »

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