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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By spotogspindel | October 6, 2016

I´m in Japan! IT´s been a dream for so long, I can hardly believe it´s come true. But here I am, still slightly jet-lagged, but fine. It´s only the first day, and already now I suspect two things strongly: 1. I have to come back! and 2: I did a good thing when I booked through Inside Japan tours. I didn´t have the time to read up on Japan before going, and they´ve just fixed everything for me!

Like the hotel where I´m staying. Andon Ryokan hotel is a small family boutique hotel. With beautiful, authentic art on the corridor-walls. Small rooms which are surprisingly cosy, with their straw floors, soft lighting and minimalistic interior. Super friendly and helpful staff makes it  good place to be.


Today, I started the day with a guide, who helped me straighten everything with the rail and metro. Wow! I would have used a whole day figuring that out without her! She revealed the secret of the Japanese. They are always so serious and super-achievers officially, so they are really crazy, when in private. They like things cute and funny and sweet, with a bit of humor. You can see it everywhere! Like in the marketing board below. (Who would´t want a commercial to look like that – it´s so aesthetic. Even though it probably is just saying. Buy a used car from our trusted car-dealership, or something…) Notice the little bunny-mascot in between there, just o brighten things up. It´s so funny!


Anyway, the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is one of the oldest in Tokyo, but it had to be rebuilt/restored after WW2. It´s a Buddhist temple, not un-similar to those I´ve seen in China. Beautiful, rich colors, the air filled with incense.


Right next to it was a Shinto-temple, on the same ground. Shinto is the original, Japanese religion, an animalistic religion. Most Japanese follow both religions, although, as the guide explained. Shinto is more a cultural tradition, whereas Buddhism is more a religion. Shinto has some very sympathetic virtues, treating all life as sacred. (Very deep ecology, really)


I do have to share a couple of more materialistic photos as well. Above is a row of washi-paper in a paper-shop. The Japanese pay such attention to detail! Every little thing is decorated in the most artistic way. Aesthetics appears to be so integrated into life here, I really admire that!


And talking of aesthetics, I spent the afternoon in Nippori Textile town. A street with a hundred fabric- & haberdashery-stores. Heaven. I´m in heaven! That is, of course, I keep telling myself I´m not that interested in going to fabric-shops, because I´ve already been to so many, and my attic is full of fabric, I don´t really need anymore. But then… I kind of forget that 🙂 Above is the typically cute Japanese printed crinkled rayon. I was hoping I´d find some before I came, and yeah! I did! And am now owner of a couple of meters I can play with 😀 If had a spare suitcase, I am sure I could fill it with linen. The linen has such high quality both in material and style & design. I did get a little bit of that too, but just a little bit. Can´t be too heavy, when hauling that suitcase around.


Tourist-photo! I didn´t mention it, but it´s summer here! Like really! Reading in the guidebooks, it says autumn is cool. But it was 30 degrees today! So hot with bare feet in sandals. But not complaining! Never! I´d rather be warm than cold!


Topics: Diverse, travel | 1 Comment »

embroidery and language

By spotogspindel | October 1, 2016

The first embroidery-workshop took place at the museum this week. Although it was more of a dialect-lecture than an embroidery-workshop. One of my art-pieces in the exhibition is a word-cloud, filled with dialect words and expressions.


Inspired by this, we launched this workshop where you could embroider your own favorite word(s), while listening to professor Gunnstein Akselberg talking about the local dialect here in Sunnhordland.


Topics: embroidery, workshops | 1 Comment »

Roadtrip to Ålesund

By spotogspindel | September 11, 2016

To be perfectly honest, it´s more a business-trip than a road-trip per say. But road-trip sounds more fun. This time my sister kept me company and helped me. She´d never been to this part of the country, and the scenery is actually absolutely stunning, and we were driving, so in many ways it was a real road-trip. The reason for the trip was for me to deliver and mount my art on the lastest DOF-ship, Skandi Buzios. As you can see, she is quite big!


91 (+7) pictures and 11 hours later, our helper James, showed us the bridge. I am standing on the far right, taking a picture over to the far left, which you can see on the right side , by the windows. I didn´t measure, but it must be at least 30 meters across. It´s HUGE!


Here, James is showing me the communication central on the bridge. The technical development is moving so fast in the offshore business. ALL the equipment on this ship was new, unlike the outdated equipment on the 8 year older ship he last worked on.


Energy-reenforcement in the form of popcorn, ice-tea and chocolate is perfect for long evenings.


The morning after we´d finished the job, we decided to linger a couple of hours in Ålesund. It is such an amazingly beautiful city! Maybe the prettiest one in Norway! The whole city burned to the ground a winter-night in 1904. After the fire, everything was rebuild in the new, modern style of Art-Nouveau /Jugend-style. At the time it was probably concidered vulgar, as new things often are, but luckily, the citizens have taken really good care of their architecture, and Ålesund is known as the Art Nouveau-city in Norway (maybe even in Europe)


It lies close to the sea, and the sea has been the main source of income for generations, one way or the other. First fishing, later, offshore. Even the old se-houses are restored and are now used as hotels, shops, offices, and so on.


Right through the middle of town is, well, actually the ocean. Part of the city is built on an island, and the two parts are connected by a little bridge.


We took a stroll along the quay on one side, crossed the bridge and continued on the other side. I only have one word: beautiful!


Thank you Astri, for spending these days with me, and enduring my constant talking for the 9+9 hours it took to drive 🙂


Topics: Diverse, travel | 1 Comment »

Skandi Buzios

By spotogspindel | September 11, 2016

DOF´s Skandi Acu has a twin sister, just about to “set sail” from Søvika towards Rotterdam to get her big crane. When that is installed, she´ll be working offshore Brazil the next at least 8 years. With cabin-room for 120 people, it´s a big ship!

I am honored to have delivered artwork for all of these cabins. Here are some of them:

The Captain is from Ireland, so we agreed upon a picture of a green island above his sofa:


The island depicted is Siggjo, anyone from around Bømlo will recognize our landmark.


The chiefs (altering rota) wanted an island too, so they picked the turquoise one:


This island is from outside Goddo, also Bømlo.


Next up are the two big client-cabins:


Above is “Night-sailor”, where a boat is carefully traveling between islands and reefs.


The second client also got an island, this one bathed in a sun-set.


All these pictures are 40×80 cm and print sandwiched between aluminum and plexiglas.


In the mess, hangs a “self-portraint” of the ship. Printed on the back of a plexi-glas, and mounted a couple of centimeters out from the wall. It casts a shadow on the wall behind is, which gives a nice 3-D effect.


As always, such a pleasure to be onboard, it´s so fascinating to learn about offshore-tecchnology!


Thank you James, for helping me hang all these pictures! And thank you Astri for helping me preparing them for hanging.


Topics: Art | No Comments »

Lights and leaves

By spotogspindel | August 30, 2016

So a pretty crazy thing happened today. I was asked by someone in the technical department in the municipally to have a look at a stage-curtain, to see if it could be fixed. Turns out the municipal is restoring the old stage in the “town hall”. They were about to throw away a whole lot of old things there, including these old “pig-faced” lights. So I called the man below, and he came to have a look at them…. two hours later, our garage is filled with theatre lights! They all need repair, so he´s got his work cut out for him the next couple of weeks. They are so cool! I want one in the living room!


So what is today´s task for me? Adjusting after 1. fitting and adding more leaves and “forest floor” to Peter´s costume…


Does this look like something Peter Pan would wear?


Still lots to do with it, but at least it looks like a pair of pants now.

Topics: backstage, Costumedesign | 3 Comments »

The big costume-sale

By spotogspindel | August 27, 2016

From quarks to costumes. The Norwegian National Opera in Oslo had a costume sale today. A rare event – the last one I went to was 15 years ago, thought I think I might have missed one in the middle there. A great event – this is top-notch sustainability. High-quality, beautifully crafted costumes sold to be reused by amateur theatre-groups who otherwise could never afford these type of costumes. And a lot of private buyers too, looking for that extra-ordinary outfit for a carnival or Halloween. All the costumes now get a new life!


The house itself is stunning, designed by Snøhetta Architects. It is all in white marble and glass on the outside and birch on the inside, resembling a floating ice-berg, as it slopes into the fjord.


I knew it was going to be popular, so I came early, and was one of the first hundred lucky souls to get in. So much to choose from!


My main task was to find costumes I could use for Peter Pan in January, and I think I found some 🙂 Including some incredibly cool boots for the pirates!


After I hauled it all back to the hotel, I went fabric-shopping. Wool, silks and linen. Whenever I go into a fabric-shop, I always become so inspired – I want to start sewing straight away.

Lucky me, got to have lunch with two of my former students, who both are/have worked at the costume-department at the Opera. Three other former students of mine also work/have worked there, and I am so incredibly proud of them! They are super-talented tailors/pattern-makers/hat-makers!

Topics: backstage | 1 Comment »

WASO/GSO workshop with real scientists!

By spotogspindel | August 25, 2016

This week there is a Global Hands On Universe/ Gallileo Teacher Training Program- conference at Stord Haugesund University College. 45 astro-physisits and particle-physisits, other scientists and educators from 5 continents gathered in Stord. It´s been an amazing week! Long, inspiring days has left no time  left to write anything on the blog. But tonight I just had to post some photos!


I was part of the team conducting a 4-hour workshop in how to “Write-a-Science-Opera (WASO)”! Operas usually last for four hours, now we have to make one in the same amount of time! Well, of course we didn´t make a 4-hour opera, it lasted maybe only 4 minutes. But the four hours were a practical introduction to the methodology of the WASO/GSO (Global Science Opera)


Kirsti, the never-resting drama-instructor lead the way, with musical Frode and me pitching in. We chose the theme for the opera from last nights news: the discovery of a new exoplanet in our next-door solar-system, only 4, 23 lightyears away: Proxima Centuri b.


We tried to do as much of a democratic process time would allow us, but in order to actually make something, I had prepared the materials for the participants to use. My three groups were divided into set-design, costume-design and lighting-design. In the end, we only had 35 minutes to actually work practically with this part of the process. But everyone was super-motivated, and the level of creativity was really high!


The set-group constructed a landscape-environment on the surface of the planet, made with bamboo-sticks and paper-tape. The light-group worked together with them, very low-fi, using overhead-projectors, colored filters and water. The costume-group experimented with draping, twisting, folding fabrics. Two of the costumes even changed during the show. One of them illustrating a seed appearing from the black soil. Another one illustrating solar-flares! Amazing! I am so proud of them!


The other groups managed to make both lyrics and melody for a song, and three different musical backgrounds. I am truly amazed at whet these people achieved in 35 minutes!


We were pretty tired after a long day, but good company at dinner afterwards restore the energy. Here with some of my new friends from Japan, USA, Austria and China. Again, I can only say I am honored to be in the presence of these brilliant minds and kind souls!

Topics: sustainable, teaching, workshops | No Comments »

Particle-physics exhibition!

By spotogspindel | August 20, 2016

School doesn´t really start until Tuesday, but today I had a very exciting and interesting day, volunteering to help put up an exhibition. All next week there will be a science-conference at the college, and the old auditorium is the place to be! Last night an Austrian artist/particle physicist(/ski-instructor) came to Stord and today´s task was to make the old room come alive with particle-art!


The chaos in the beginning…


Meet Michael Hoch, scientist and artist, working at Cern. Cern as in the-large-hydron-collider-Cern! He works in the ARTcms department with the wonderful motto: Art of science, Beauty in creation.


He has some very interesting pieces of art with him. Large photo-collages of the LHC up-close (which is impossible, and therefor put together from hundreds of smaller photos). He´s played around with these images, and made some intriguing artwork. I find it truly fascinating how one can make a purely technical motif look so serene, calm and meditative, almost like a Buddist mandala or even a flower. The more I looked at the images around me today, the more and more I liked them!


To know that this kaleidoscope is real, that it is 17 meters tall, and that 40 million proton-collisions pass through here (-ish) a second. See, it ´s unfathomable! As in difficult for me to wrap my head around that last part. How mankind can invent an instrument that is able to measure something so small and so quick…


… wow… it is a completely different world than the one I´m living in, that´s for sure. But so very interesting! Even thought I hardly understand anything about quarks and bosons, I find it very fascinating. We´ve certainly had an educational lunch and dinner today!


These are just a very few of the images/artworks he brought with him, there are a lot more on this link.


Topics: Diverse, inspiration, teaching | No Comments »

Starting to gear up

By spotogspindel | August 20, 2016

All of a sudden (it seems) summer is ending. It´s time to gear up! The past weeks I´ve started studying again (trying to catch up on some reading), I´ve worked with the fall´s workshops, designing and sewing costumes. I´ve been interviewed by the local newspaper about my up-coming trip to Japan in October. And I´ve made little walks in the garden, picking just enough wild raspberries to make a little jar of jam 🙂 Actually it´s going to be good to get started for real!



Topics: Diverse | No Comments »

Nature boy fabric

By spotogspindel | August 8, 2016

I would like Peter Pan´s costume to reflect his attachment to nature. In the original story, the author writes how each of the lost boys live in a tree, especially adapted to them. And if they couldn´t find a tree that fit, the boy had to change his shape to fit! Peter Pan is often portrayed in a green costume, which I like, especially since the set is green, and it makes it easy to hide him in the set. However, being the maximalist I am, I didn´t want the fabric to be just ordinary straight-forward green. I want it to look like he´s dressed himself in the floor of the forest. If that makes sense. A leaves-carpeted floor of the forrest.


So that is what I am working on now. I´ve already cut the pieces of the pattern in an elastic cotton chenille. And I am appliquéing leaves and pieces of other green fabric onto the bottom chenille. I ordered a bag of “silk” leaves from China on eBay, and am sewing them down. Later I will add pieces from a fake ivy plant, but since they have plastic parts, I´ll save them for last. It is also important to remember that the original elasticity of the chenille will decrease with the applications, so I might need to add extra width to the pattern.

Topics: Costumedesign, textile | No Comments »

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