Friday, September 24, 2010

Opening day of Exchange in Kerteminde

Opening day in Kerteminde, getting up and getting oneself organized inside and out for a few hours of SEVEN talk and enjoyment.
The weather is fairly nice, no rain around opening hour at noon.
We had decorated the bushes outside with our extra Canadian and Nova Scotian flags for this opening of Exchange.

Entry to the art store, museum and gallery.

The view when walking towards and into the gallery space.

Jane Nielsen, our contact person with the gallery had come from Aeroe to officially open the exhibit. She gave a short introduction of the group
To the visitors and talked about the importance and excitement of sharing work and thoughts across borders, and how important she felt it was that we, a Canadian group, was there to show the audience of the gallery what we do and how we do it. Then she asked me if I would be kind enough to give a more in-depth presentation of each of the artists of SEVEN.

Our welcoming buffet, grapes, white wine and pop, at a good height and easily accessible.

Taking full advantage of the opportunities the gallery had to offer. One being several plinths for exhibiting pieces up high and fairly freely and also some glass tops to protect smaller pieces of work, which worked out absolutely beautifully for Marie's Bitty Bawdies as well as for some of my felted fruits.

We found a shelf which could hold all our information + the guest book, which I hope people will see and sign during their meandering through our exhibit.

And a cosy corner was created with Kelly's poem on the dvd player and right next to it the basket I borrowed from a friend, so our big international crochet project has a home to sit in between all the times people pick it up and add some of their preferred colour or texture to the piece by crocheting their own little free spirited pattern onto what has already been scrumbled there. A note accompanies the basket and it's content explaining our hopes and wishes for the growth and progress of the piece.

And finally another view of the exhibition grounds. This is truly a beautiful spot, with good energy and gentle people around. I do hope our exhibit will be well visited and that our out-reach will be well received.

Greetings from the last member of SEVEN still in Denmark for a while.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Opsta vaev and a weaving sword

On this sunny beautiful morning, where I am once again back in Copenhagen I enjoy my morning tea with thoughts of the wonderful day I spent last week at Sagnlandet in Lejre once again.
Once upon a time 10 years ago when I turned forty my husband made me a loom, a copy of an upright loom like the ones used a thousand years ago or more in many parts of Scandinavia and Europe for weaving cloth for their clothing, blankets and even sails for their boats.
At Lejre they have several such looms and .... Some of them are in use on a regular basis which means that I could actually ask a ton of questions of the women working in this weaving workshop related to the whole process of how to effectively use this warp weighted loom and the tools for it.

I learned that .... Viking textiles often have more of a warp faced weave, that the method of setting up the loom incorporating into the warp a tabletwoven ribbon at the top of the loom really was not so prevalent in viking weaving as I had thought. Only one piece has been found from this era using this technique. Possibly it went out of style as the looms were changed, made more effective and weaving turned into production instead of one of a kind or one at a time pieces.

A very loose finger crocheted stay-stitch (sewing expression I know) to keep the warp ends organized at the bottom separating beam, which forms part of the shed and keeps the two layers apart.

A weaving sword, some have been found made of whalebone, this one is metal and weighs about 400gr. Had it been any heavier it would have been too heavy. I believe it was made by the blacksmith at the research station here in Lejre. I will have to go home and look at some of the different woods in my drop spindle workshop and figure out which tools I need to use to create a beautiful wooden weavingsword for myself when I return.
Hm, perhaps I can ask my son the wooden sword creator (for other uses mind you when he was a kid) for some advice.

And I got to weave, I got to weave. How much something can be missed without knowing it until one gets to do it again. I used this little tapestry bobbin to gently make little arches along the pick in order to make sure that there wouldn't be too much draw-in and......
I was fortunate enough that someone else came into speak to Anne while I was weaving and so I got to weave and weave, well, and in this case I probably had the opportunity to put in ten or twelve picks, nice and slow, steadily moving along.

Between each pick getting to use the weaving sword, feeling a bit odd, being a peaceful person, never having enjoyed much the use or thoughts of swords suddenly there I was having to yield this sword repeatedly again and again.
Well, I didn't suffer too much, I will learn how to yield it properly and how to enjoy it tremendously all at the same time.
Funny thing, now I am all eager to return to Canada to get this loom working again. It is all in pieces packed up right now, but I do know how to use a screwdriver for this modern version and so it shouldn't take too long before I am ready to ..... Use this magnificent loom of mine so long left unattended.
Purchased a book on the subject written by Karen-Hanne Staermose Nielsen, The Loom of Circe, the history of the warp-weighted loom and its present use. Historisk-Arkaeologisk Forsoegscenter Lejre 1999.
The actual book with photos and drawings etc is in Danish but fortunately I also did get my little eager beaver weaving hands on a copy of the English pages. Am excited to read it all, and learn.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sagnlandet Lejre, plant dyeing, lighting fires, peaceful fun.

Last week I had the most wonderful day.
A big wish for an in debth and long day with other weavers and fibre persons came true. I went to Sagnlandet Lejre, close to Roskilde and although it wasn't planned to be a full day excursion, that is exactly what happened. I left home at 9am and was back at my sister's in the borrowed car close to 8pm.

I spent the day in the weaving house with Anne and Ida, the two women who show people many of the different processes involved in making yarn, dyeing yarn, weaving, growing dye plants, safety issues etc.
Oh, i forgot to mention that Ida last year was involved in reproducing an indigo dyed woven outfit of a perticular kind to a small museum somewhere in Spain, she brought it down there earlier this summer.

I lit this fire under one of the big 'cauldrons', the one on the left of the top photo. This dyeing facility was built about five years ago, lots of volunteer hands and a few public funds made this building possible.

Yarn and fabric indigo dyed - blue over yellow makes the most magnificent greens.

One of the dye gardens. Both Danish Goldenrod and Canadian Goldenrod was planted in this bed. Unfortunately the native Danish Goldenrod wasn't doing so well, but the Canadian variety was thriving. This is sad if one is concerned with preserving the original plants, for the woman working with the dyeplants however it was a wonderful thing since the Canadian Goldenrod yields much more dye than its Danish counterpart.

The indigo dyepot, with skeins of white and yellow yarn.

A large piece of fabric which prior to the bath in the indigo pot was rather mottled and yellowish, now after a thorough blue dip it turned most wonderfully green.

The cochenille pot being exhausted, it had yielded rather nice reds the previous day and on this day when we got the fire lit under the smaller pot the yarns slowly took the colour of old dusty rose as the water temp went up.

Wool from the previous day's cochenille pot being wrung out.

Yarns hung with lables to view and enjoy for anyone willing to stop and take a moment to ask questions and explore.

Leftover dye in madder pot.

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Sheep and their brilliance

On the walk over the heather covered hills and into the beech woods many sheep were resting peacefully.

The fall was beginning to show its colours - in places the ferns had turned colours, there hadn't really been a proper frost yet but I suppose a very cool night is enough to remove all green from these delicate plants' 'cheeks'.

The sheep went on rounds, knowing exactly where the apple trees were. As a matter of fact we went over to pick an apple from a wild apple tree and when we turned away from the tree two ewes came up to us to see if we would care to share. I had not noticed the ewes anywhere near the tree when we walked over to it, but I imagine they had been hiding with spy-glasses in front of their eyes, making sure they wouldn't miss out on an applelicious opportunity.

Resting with pals in the shade.

All by her lonesome but perfectly happy!

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Spring water, fresh and delicious year round

Sometimes going for a walk with an old friend is the best way to catch up and feel the good connections.

Visiting on the organic farm also meant going for walks through ancient places, close to Rebild Bakker.

This is a spring with water cool and clean running year round. Always at around 8 degrees celcius, leaving green plants in the snow and gentle mists over the landscape on especially cold winters days.
We brought cups to quench our thirst, it was lovely and fresh, and we both filled the cup again, to carry a little along with us when we started up the hill into the beech wood beside the spring.

We climbed up for a while, and all was green and yet the ground was covered with browned up whithered leaves crunching under our feet.

The colours and the shapes of the trees brought peace to my heart and head, all I had to do was breathe in the beauty.

May I add that breathing in the beauty was not exactly difficult either since our path went up quite steeply and I had to take breaks, both in walking and talking in order to focus on my breathing :-) We did sit on a log for a while enjoying the fungus growing and the rustling of leaves, and eventually we moved on again.

Heather with shiny cobwebs in morning light.

And winged creatures resting in the heather soaking up the warmth coming from the sun, no longer as intensely hot as earlier on in the year.

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