Tuesday, January 26, 2010

dalecarlian tassles and embroidery

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I had no idea that such a thing as the National Swedish Handicraft Council (Länshemslöjdkonsulenterna) existed until last year. In every county there are county handicraft consultants (länshemslöjdskonsulenter) at work promoting handicraft activities in different ways. Information and communication combined with handicraft, surely that sounds like a mindblowingly fantastic job!

My first attempt at 'luffarslöjd' (vagabond wire work) last year was held by the Stockholm consultants. And there are usually lots of nice classes (from a few hours one evening or more in the city to weekends and weeks in the country) in different arts and crafts. Most often old classical and nearly forgotten Swedish crafts from different provinces in Sweden.

The cost for the different classes vary. A lot. From ridiculously affordable to very expensive. The classes are apparently very sought after and most of them are quickly filled with eager to learn participants. Even if some seem to be more interested in talking loudly and a lot about their grand craft skills and very interesting (not) connections with this and that artsy person.

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Before Christmas I took an evening class in so called 'kavelfransar' (roller tassles) and yarn balls (above patch is the not quite finished result of the first hours work) traditionally made in the Dalecarlia province. It was great and unpretentious fun. There and then I signed up for an embroidery Sunday class a few months later learning the Dalecarlian embroidery called 'påsöm' (on sewing).

It did sound like a brilliant idea at the time. Not so much when the day came and I was still recovering from a cold knowing I had to get up very early on Monday... But I went. And I'm so glad I did - I even managed to sign up for a really droolworthy crochet technique class in a few months... - because it was great fun (but for the annoying people mentioned above).

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Not only learning the technique - which of course will take years to master. I managed to finish about 1/5 of the above little piece we worked on during those 5-6 hours of embroidery... - but also hearing about the history, the whys and the whats, the materials, insider tips and hints.

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Not to mention drooling over, being mesmerized by and in awe of the fantastic, not afraid of colours, gorgeous, amazing and very inspirational work created by women in the 19th century Sweden. Feast your eyes. And dream of being able to make this by your own self on skirts, dresses, coats, jackets, cardigans, waist coats, hats, mittens, trousers, stockings, shawls, belts, cuffs, wristwarmers...

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Yes, sometimes the Swedish heritage
can be quite lovely.

6 comments:

Lola Nova said...

I can't stop looking, my mouth has dropped open in wonder, so very, very beautiful!

Titania said...

This is wonderful folks art embroidery. I know any hand embroidery takes ages to finish a project. I can appreciate all the work that went into these articles. I used to do a lot and try also different techniques. I embroidered once a tree of life all in red in tiny cross stitch, it was very elaborate with peacocks and other birds... the whole thing was about 50 x 5o cm it took me ...Years! As it happened it was not a happy ending. When we moved I wrapped it up in a roll, it was burned with a lot more packing paper, the only thing was it was not unwrapped. I cried, there was nothing left just the memory of all the hours embroidering... I hope you are much more careful with your handy work, it looks nice.

Chelsea said...

so beautiful!!

P.K said...

The embroidery is exquisite. It is important to maintain this heritage, especially in times of globalized banality. I am enjoying this visual feast of colour and craftsmanship. Thank you.

pärlbesatt said...

Vad vackert! Ska skicka hit svägerskan att dregla lite också. :)

Pia K said...

thank you thank you kindly all for comments, i did write personal answers to each and everyone of you when blogger saw it fit to erase them all... so thank you for stopping by and leaving sweet comments!

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