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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embroidery experiment

By spotogspindel | November 22, 2014

Time is not just used for pre-Christmas workshops. I´ve also been busy trying to work with my Textile Culture paper. The subject is self-choosen, and I´ve chosen to work with freestyle machine-embroidery on water soluble fabric.



Freestyling within the embroidery frame.



It´s always fascinating to see how the fabric dissolves itself in water.



Trying out different qualities of thread.


And a little sample.

Topics: textile | No Comments »

pre-Christmas-worshop at home

By spotogspindel | November 22, 2014

Our oldest girl and her little boy has been here for a couple days, and we´ve had such a good time. It´s been so busy lately, it´s been good to take some days off and just BE.


Victoria hash´t sewn much at all since since middle high, but wanted to make an advent calendar for Nikolas. She wanted to make a little stylized Bambi-deer, and surprised herself by actually knowing how to sew anyway :-) Isn´t the deer super cute?


She also made unbreakable bulbs for the tree. A good idea with a curious 9 month old who´s just learned how to crawl in the house :-)

Myself I did some knitting, so at least there will be some homemade gifts this year too :-)

Topics: Christmas | No Comments »


By spotogspindel | November 15, 2014

Finally! I finally tried hand-spinning! Below is my teacher, Vigdis, demonstrating a Norwegian spinning wheel. She also taught us how to use a hand-spindle.


It´s pretty difficult to photograph and spin at the same time, so I only have photos of the finished work, and not the process. I bought some fiber at Etsy, the orange is 100% mohair. Super-yummy, but a bit difficult for a new beginner. The hair was in different lengths, some quite short. But as a chunky effect-yarn it´s very nice. (The chunks are a result of my beginner-status)


My second try was different fiber-mix: Merino-wool and silk. Very smooth, carded fibers made it easier to spin. The workshop was only a 2-hour thing, so I didn´t really get tino it. But I do have a new spindle, and will continue when I get home.The part I´m really looking forward to is using the yarn in a knitting-project.


Topics: textile | No Comments »


By spotogspindel | November 14, 2014


Hardanger is famous for two things. It´s fjord and it´s embroidery. The fjord is very scenic, and is frequently visited by large cruise-ships. The embroidery has gotten it´s international name for their own version of white-work-embroidery, used in their bunads. It´s also used in interior textiles, such as table-cloths.


This weekend I am once again at the textile-culture workshop, and this time we started of at Hardanger Museum in Utne. There was a lot of interesting thing to see there, but today´s post is all about the Hardanger embroidery.


We saw some awesome examples of fine craftmanship. Like the apron in the second photo, especially made for the 1900 world Expo in Paris.

Or the tablecloth above. The linen it is sewn on is so finely woven with thin threads, and this type of embroidery is all about counting threads, to make sure the pattern will turn out correct. The details here are so fine and whoever sew this must have had sharper eyesight than me, that´s for sure.


To be perfectly honest with you, I´ve had a ambvivalent relationship with this craft since i worked long and hard on a small tablecloth in the 8th grade. That was 30 years ago and it´s still not finished….


So guess what our little activity was time time: Hardanger embroidery!

There are two main parts of the embroidery. The basic stich, which binds the backing fabric. Usually that is 5 stitches lying above each other in a row, each over 4 threads. Then a vertigal row, and a new horizontal… As above..


Once I did the outer ring, framing my little piece, it was time to cut out all the threads that were bound by the stitches made. When done, it looked like this.


Ok. Time for the second stitch: an 8-stitch, which holds together the remaining threads.


At the end of the lesson, I´m still not finished, but my broken realtionship with Hardanger-embroidery of 30 years is now healed. I mastered it! :-)


Topics: Diverse | No Comments »

A knitted house

By spotogspindel | November 13, 2014


Looking for one thing, often leads me to find something completely different. Today I found a knitted house I made about 25 years ago, while still a student. It´s about 20×30 cm. It was an interesting experiment, changing all the colors, going back and forth. I soon discovered that it would be easier to knit both ways (both from left to right and from right to left on the front), not having to purl on the back as well as keeping track of all the threads and the pattern. I think the original idea was to make it the front of a baby-sweather. I found the beginning of a tiny arm in another bag. But knowing I would never finish it, at least I made the front into a little wall-hanging. Oh well.

Topics: textile | No Comments »

Caroline Erigine Weidel Rasmussen

By spotogspindel | November 12, 2014

This is Caroline Erigine, the wife of a former lighthouse-keeper Rasmussen at Bovbjerg. She had a parrot that could talk. (For real, I´m not making it up!) Of course, it´s impossible not to be intrigued by a lady like this.

Caroline-Erigine-Weigel-kopi Caroline-Erigine-Weigel2

So I added some color to her serious black & white portrait, and the parrot of course! And printed it onto a dictionary page, for added life.


I also made a little stamp, and printed a whole little collection of postcards. This years Christmas-cards will be pink! :-)



Topics: arting | No Comments »

Bovbjerg fyr

By spotogspindel | November 9, 2014


Today was the opening of my solo-exhibition at Bovbjerg Lighthouse. My very first exhibtion outside Norway. 67 pictures all together, 23 of the my Familylife in the lighthouses-series.


Bovbjerg lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse in itself, but it´s all the people her that make it such a special place. Hundreds of volunteers help with all sorts of arrangements and events. I´ve been so well looked after while I´ve been here!


The Norwegian consul Inger H Christensen did the official opening of  my exhibition, and I am SO honored!


Søren Christiansen (on accordian) and Christian Risgaard (on Hardanger fiddle) played beautifully! Norwegian tunes including the moods of the Aurora Borealis and songs by Alf Prøysen, and the had the whole audience singing along! :-)


“The West-Jylland mermaids” 40×50 cm  was made from an old photograph I got from the historian connected to Bovbjerg. At the opening a lady told me, the young girl on the far right was her mother! She ended up buying the picture, and it´s always such a pleasure to know that a picture comes “home”.

How to catch mermaids?


Use a net made of glittering silks! This is machine-embroidered net of ca 60x350cm


Six etchings of the naked rock faces of Bømlo.


In the arched hallway, all the lighthouse-pictures are gathered, including a new one from Bovbjerg lighthouse. (below)


The café is a calm room with a high ceiling, where pictures in different techniques were presented.


Another local picture is of the shepherdess  petting the piglet. The lighthouse is in the background.


My favorite of the local pictures is of this fisherman. I met his grandson today! He told me that the dogs name was Mollie :-)


The family-life-exhibition was placed in the old lighthouse-keepers apartment. This part of the building has not been renewed as much as the café-part, and has a really nice atmosphere for the nostalgic pictures.





Thank you so much to everyone at Bovbjerg for making this such a special event! I am so grateful and happy.

Topics: exhibition | 5 Comments »

Ready… set….

By spotogspindel | November 8, 2014

It´s not everyday I have this scenic road to work! I´m in Denmark, staying with some of the lighthouse-enthusiasts, and this morning I walked from their house to the lighthouse via the beach. Pretty darn beautiful, isn´t it?!!! And so different from our coastline in Sunnhordland.


We´ve spent most of the morning hanging all the pictures. All 67 of them! In eight different rooms. Good thing I wasn´t alone :-) Here Laurits and Ole are working in the café.


So now I think everything is ready for tomorrow. Which will be such an exciting day!

Topics: exhibition | No Comments »

Textiles in Bergen

By spotogspindel | November 7, 2014

October´s textile culture gathering was in Bergen, visiting museums, galleries and other places of interest. A few photos to share some fascinating textiles with you. _MG_0273

First up is perhaps the most exotic one: remnants from an old viking-grave. Which means that the bits a pieces above are around one thousand years old!


The next piece is only a couple of hundred years old, a printed linen waistcoat. The print is made of one single big wooden block.


A couple of embroidered collars for bunad-shirts. One black-works (linen on linen) and one in plant-dyed wool on linen.


Visiting an exhibition of modern printed textiles by Cathrine Rasmussen. Apparently not a lot of people specialize in printing anymore in Norway. It´s an expensive way of making art, and people are much more willing to pay for a painting than for a textile. In the middle ages, it was the opposite. Which is why  you sometimes can see painted drapes in old buildings. They couldn´t afford actual textiles, it was cheaper to paint them! A fact few art-historians bother to mention!


The day also included a visit to Salhus, a former spinning and knitting factory, now museum and home to the Textile conservation services. Such busy days, with such interesting places to see. Only a few weeks to the next gathering, with more cultured textiles to be seen.

Topics: textile | No Comments »

The shamer´s daughter

By spotogspindel | November 6, 2014

Tonight was the opeing night of The Shamer´s Daugther at HSH, the teacher´s college. The Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl´s fantasy-novel was the inspiration for this year´s “write-an-opera”-project. So welcome to Dunark, a mediaeval county, and Drakan´s dreaded rule.


Drakan´s dungeon houses a courtyard filled with dragons! You can almost see the dragon here behind the smoke and the bars.


My eight students have made all the set, the props and the costumes in just three weeks. From the soldier´s uniforms, shields and spears, to the smoke-spitting, eye-glowing dragon.


And of course the dungeon/castle itself. Made with a wooden backing, glued down styrofoam which is shaped before adding fabric and glue. And finally painted in layers. They really did a great job! Notice the nice detail with the painted coat of arms. Beautifully designed by Marina, one of the students. She made the big flag, the shields, and smaller emblems for all the soldiers.


The costumes are primary patterned, and quite simple to sew. The variation is in the colors and fabrics.


The shiny, knitted fabric used in the soldiers tunics make them look like armor.


You can´t see it on the blog of course, but the music was really good! The students also made all the music and wrote the lyrics in the same three weeks.


Lots of drama! Seriously! Fantasy isn´t for sissies!


And of course: a happy ending! :-D

These weeks with the students have been so fun and refreshing. They´ve worked really hard, and have been an inspiring bunch.

Topics: Costumedesign, Diverse, set design | No Comments »

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