"SOUL LIFE LOVES REPETITION, SLOWNESS, CONTEMPLATION, MEMORY, DREAMING, DRAMA AND CIRCUITOUS INEFFICIENCY." ROBERT SARDELLO, THE POWER OF SOUL
Weaving in Rauland
In 1989 our family spent 8 months at the Rauland Academy in Telemark. All of us had a wonderful year, learning, skiing, and looking at marvels of scenery and craft. We all agree this year changed our lives.
Detail of Sunniva Tapestry
I began this tapestry the year before we went to Rauland on a large frame loom Gene made for me. I completed it when we got home.
Sunniva Brings the Good News North
Sunniva journeyed from Ireland in a coracle before she became the patron saint of West Norway. You can read more of her in Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter. I treasured Lila Nelson's comment that I had created a haunting image ( in spite of other technical difficulties). I have indeed been haunted by ancient tapestries made by women working on their handmade looms.
We arrived at the Academy in time for Julebukking
Haunting Hardanger fiddle music floated through the school day and night
This contemporary weaving greeted all visitor to the Academy
Elevenses coffee break for teachers and students. Mari, my textile teacher and Leif Romtveit, Gene's knifemaking teacher sit in front of glorious traditional tapestry.
Rauland's architecture was endlessly fascinating.
We brought the spark kick sleds back to US with us, but they are better suited to mountain snow conditions
Ann-Mari and Tjur throwing pots.
Wonderful Ann-Mari with Tjur! She helped us accomplish so much, in addition to being the go to administrator at the Academy. She had recently designed the Telemark Ski Sweater worn by Norwegian teams at the Olympics in 1994.
Harley Refsal took this photo. The Refsals were a big part of the fun that we all had during this study time in Rauland.
I chose to weave this traditional tapestry design mostly for its simple colors and wonderful borders.
Astrid and Ingrid help Mormor pose in her Telemark Bunad.
Double weave small runner done in Vesterheim class
In Norway I admired the large wonderful wall hangings done in double weave. After returning home I was able to take a course in this technique.
Magne Holter gave us permission to use his design
Magne Holter, designer of the Kon-Tiki Museum, was teaching a decorative wood carving class at the Academy. He let us use his designs to create carved and painted panels with the caveat that we always give him credit.
One of Mari Rorgemoen's textile projects for her Academy students was making a "fantasi bunad." I designed an overall dress based on the Setesdal man's bunad, which had exciting accessories like leather suspender straps, silver buttons and leather riding boots. The style was archaic, less refined than other bunads, and better suited to herding things up and down the mountain valleys.
My Setesdal fantasi bunad in progress
The material of the men's bunad was wadmal with applied black and green wool. I loved the goatskin trim and leather straps with handmade buckles. The unusual embroidery was done over a linen grid to help count stitches and place design.
Preliminary drawings for bunad and embroidery
I visited Setesdal during its summer Kappeleik for marvelous dancing and fiddling
This book has wonderful old and new photos of Setesdal folk wearing bunads.
Master Bunad Shoemaker
Marit, the silver teacher brought me to see Asbjørn Bjørgum and his wife Tore when we were in Setesdal so that I could order some handmade riding boots, another extremely attractive accessory of the Setesdal Men's bunad.
These riding boots are one of my most prized possesions
Aagot Noss booklet on how to make Setesdal bunads
Aagot Noss took a scholarly approach in her booklets about different textile techniques, including step-by step diagrams on how to do them yourself.
Greetings from the Folk School in Rauland
Marit Anderson on the right, a silver instructor at the Academy and Marit Rysstad, a Setesdal silversmith with our friend Harley Refsal, all of whom helped with my study project on the Setesdal Bunad.