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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summer and such

By spotogspindel | July 6, 2015

I didn´t think I was taking a summer-break from the blog, but it seems it´s just happened anyway. I´ve been working on Peter Pan. There is a lot of planning to do. Sketching and thinking and calculating. And of course the occational alligator to tend to 😉 I got this one via eBay, and he is a fake, even though he looks pretty real. (Gotta do something with the eyes) He´s here to scare Hook in Peter Pan, but he might scare more than just Hook.


I took the director with me to Stavanger/Jæren and we visited 8 different charity- and second-hand-shops in a day (scattered over quite a big area). We got home in the evening, exhausted,  with a car filled with goodies and props. It does feel good to get a head start  though.


The past week summer has really come around, and we´ve attended to some much-needed non-creative-painting: painting the house. As you can see, there is quite a difference in the color (and the paint-color is the same, it´s just faded). So I´ve been building scaffolding (and muscles), painting and gardening and basically enjoying summer, pretending I am a normal person with normal interests 😉

Helping my sister yesterday, wall-papering her living room, I actually managed to step deep into the glue-box. I don´t usually do this kind of thing, so I was a bit surprised. She just laughed and laughed and laughed, so at least I made her day 😀

Topics: Diverse | No Comments »

The room that contains all the world

By spotogspindel | June 24, 2015

This week I´ve been working on the set for Peter Pan. Below you can see part of the model. I´ve been working vey close with the director, throwing ideas at each other. It´s a very fun and creative way of working. Instead of sitting by yourself, thinking up things, you constantly get questions and new ideas building on your own. It´s especially nice, since the director, Runa, and I have worked close together as colleagues for many years before. Then we were both teachers, working with a theatre-class, now we are both professionals.


Our version of Peter Pan is slightly different from the movie-version. Instead of changing the set from the bedroom to the flight in the night to the rain-forrest to the cave to the cliff to the pirat-ship and then back again… we´ve made the shoe story take place in one room, which does´t really change all that much during the story. It´s all there from the beginning. So there are surreal elements, partly being inside, partly being outside, but imagination can make anything real, so why not? :-)

The building of the set won´t start until after the summer. Once the carpenters have built the different elements, I´ll come back in and start the painting, plastering and distressing.

Topics: set design | 2 Comments »

Empty space – full space

By spotogspindel | June 18, 2015

I am at the start of a new and exciting scenography-project. Bømlo Teater is staging Peter Pan in October. It´s a classic favorite for many, and I think most of us have seen at least part of the animated Disney film. Which means most of us think of Peter in green tights, Hook with big, black hair, Wendy in her light blue nightgown, and of course the sparkling Tinkerbell. With a resources slightly less than Disney, I have to think a bit different. Working very close with the director, we´ve had creative meetings with ideas flying in all directions! Such a delight to be creative together!!


Now we are trying to find the best way to both be true to the story, and to make our own version of it. As you can see, it´s not only a white page that can be scary for an artist. A big, empty, black stage can be equally terrifying. I´m not scared though. We´ve had some really fun ideas, based on our understanding on what is important in the story. Even though my model above still is almost empty (with a left-over actor from Laksalinja (The Salmon Surveyor)) the process has started. Below is the creative chaos on my desk, as I´m making the model. I´ve started in one end, but it´s kind of nice to let the creativity flow and affect the process as I go along.


We´re meeting the artistic team next week. Hopefully they will be as enthusiastic about the idea as we are. So until then I still have time to fill the empty stage with the fairytale-world of Peter Pan. Ooo, I´m gonna have a nice weekend :-)

Topics: set design | No Comments »

tied down

By spotogspindel | June 17, 2015


Topics: Art | No Comments »

new book

By spotogspindel | June 11, 2015

Time for a new calendar book again! This time it´s a very special book. It was made for me by my good artist-friend in Canada, Tammy McGee. That´s the nice thing about artist-friends. Sometimes their a bit busy, and you get your Christmas-present in May 😀 Who doesn´t love to get a beautiful gift when you least expect it?!


Tammy painted and printed the soft fabric-cover.



The spine has lots of vintage buttons, holding the paper inside in place.


She also made all the binding, in a way I have to learn, I´ve never done it this way before. Sewing the paper together with strips of velvet, which in turn is bound onto the spine and held in place with all the buttons.


All the paper was white when I got it, so I washed the pages with fabric-paint, so soften them a bit. I put brown, flesh-pink and purple on my palette, and mixed directly on the sheets when spreading it with a sponge. I stamped on the dates, and have started to add on bits and pieces, so in the end, each page will be a little collage.


I think the binding is just so beautiful!

Topics: book-boinding | 2 Comments »

More sea-creatures

By spotogspindel | June 10, 2015

The final three days at Brosteinteateret & Hemmingstad Kulturhus have been busy! I almost regret to say that the final day was today: the people here are so wonderful and inspirational, and it´s been such a treat working with them!


Kriatina showing off the starfish she´s been working on the past days. None of the costumes photographed are absolutely finished in these photos, you´ll have to come see the show to see them in action! The starfish has gotten a lot of extra glitter now.  I mean, how can you be a star, if you don´t sparkle??!! 😉


The crab was done in a jiffy! Much quicker than I thought. The hood with the bulging eyes are one piece. The leggings (shoes missing here) another piece. And finally the body is in one piece. The arms are a bit long, but he reaches the claw with his thumbs, so he can make them work.


The big, bad octopus! This is the first fitting, and it has been altered. His legs and feet are two of the legs, his arms another two, and the remaining four legs are sewn onto the head. Each leg is pretty heavy, so it´s a real work-out for the actor to just move around in this costume.


And finally, one of the four guppies (small fish). Still with a lot of chiffon-fins missing. The head-gear is imported by the director from China.


The fabric palette. Quite ordinary fabrics, but used in the right combination of shape and size, it can turn out to some cool costumes.


Thank you to the gang over at Brosteinsteateret! I am so looking forward to coming back to see the show in November!

Topics: Costumedesign, theatre, workshops | No Comments »

Cold winter

By spotogspindel | June 7, 2015

It seems like a strange title, now well into June, doesn´t it? I don´t know if it´s global warming or what it is, but the past decade or so, the weather has been increasingly strange. This year has hardly had any winter, I can´t remember if there has been snow at all (where I live, that is). And the summer, well, it´s 2 weeks until the sun turns and we head toward winter, and summer hasn´t arrived yet. Talking about the weather is boring I know. But I admit that sometimes I wonder about these man-made weather-changes, what it´s doing to the earth and to all of us living here.


But it´s not really the climate that inspired the title of this picture, it´s more the cool, Scandinavian colors. I work a lot in turquoises, one of my favorite colors,more seldom I go for the very cold scale. But I do like the feel of it. Maybe I´ll make some more pictures in this style of color. This picture will be at the Bekkjarvik-exhibition next week.

Topics: Art | No Comments »

This seasons tote-bags

By spotogspindel | June 5, 2015

Two new tote-bags are here! Both sewn in heavy cotton fabric, and the print is of my art. The government has induced a fee on plastic bags here, so using textile tote-bags when we go shopping is good for both the environment and the wallet.


The green bag has it´s main motif from Hespriholmen, a very small island in the south-western part of Bømlo, where there was  continuous mining activity for over 6000 years! This was back in the stone-age, and they extracted a very hard stone, which they used for tools, like the axes on the bottom of the bag.


Where the ancient slopes of

naked rock patiently listens

to the seagulls wailing

 – this is where my soul is sailing


The second bag is is warm orange colors, with the sun setting over three other islands (of the 1004 islands here). The bags will be sold at Marinaden. Or you can contact me directly.


Where the bare rock-faces

whisper secrets in your ear,

– this is where the dusks

are crisp and clear

Topics: Art, textile | No Comments »

The summer exhibition at Galleri Bekkjarvik

By spotogspindel | June 4, 2015


Topics: exhibition | No Comments »

Seacreatures in the making

By spotogspindel | June 4, 2015

“The mermaid and the Mystery of the Deep” is the name of Brosteinteateret´s new show. It´s an amateur group in Haugesund with a very creative and versatile, professional director, who also wrote the show.


The past three days I´ve been with a wonderful, little group of women and we´ve been making the costumes for the different creatures living in the deep. I have a dual purpose in the setting: as a costume-designer and as a costume-making-teacher in our 3+3 days workshop.


We do have quite a lot to actually make, so after a very short introduction, we just got down to business!


A lot of the action is going on underwater, in the sea outside Haugesund. So the challenge is to make costumes of sea-creatures, that will fit around the human body. I´ve done a lot of animal-costumes before, but not so many sea-creatures, so this was a fun challenge :-) First up is the sea-urchin: Made with 10 panels appliqued and sewn sepearately, before mounting t all together. After sewing the pieces together, we added more fabric over the seams to hide them. The little girl who´s gonna wear the costume was very happy with it, and we actually managed to finish this costume the very first day!


The second costume is a flounder (flatfish?) Here the basics are in place, we´re still missing the odd lip, and some color to add depth to the pattern.


To make the layers stay in shape, we sew three layers together: calico, a 0,5 cm soft foam, and finally the top-fabric, which of course varies from costume to costume. First we overlock (using a serger) to fasten the fabrics to each other, then we actually se the pieces together.


Below is part of what will become a shrimp! We´ve made a cotton-vest, adding a lot of filling in sewn cables. In front, I added big straws to simulate all the tiny frilly legs or whatever it is they have there in front. I´m very satisfied with using the straws, I think they will look so cool when it´s done!


Kitty is being helpful, posing as a live mannequin, allowing me to see what needs to be altered. Still some fun stuff to do on this one :-) (She actually helped with a lot of cutting to – she was such a big help today!)


And of course, being a fantasy-story from the depths, we need a bad guy. Guess who?! The octopus! We´ve been sewing lots of legs for him to, but it´s the beginning of the head that I´m showing you. Here there are 4 layers of fabric. You can hardly see it in this picture, but the top fabric is a cut-out chiffon, covered in small, matte sequins. It´s be the coolest octupus I´ve ever made, that´s for sure! 😉


Stay tuned, next week, I´ll be back with an update of what we´ve managed to come up with the next 3 days of the workshop :-)

Topics: Costumedesign, theatre | No Comments »

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