All posts tagged: knowledge

dehydrated vegetables and herbal salt

An interesting day at Hellviktangen’s farmers market this weekend. A lot less people came, likely due to the rain, but the ones who were there were very keen on hearing details about the products that I had available. One  item that brought about great interest was my seasoned salt. Such a simple ingredient to have on hand and it can be used on so many ways. Throughout the growing season, while everything is fresh and abundant, I do my best to preserve what I can. One of the methods I use is dehydration. My pantry is full of mason jars with a huge variety of dried goodness in them. My trusty mandoline which has been well used for over a decade makes quick work of the task, and once thinly sliced, I place everything in the dehydrator and let it go to work over night. I dehydrate at no more than 40C (104F) in order to maintain the optimum nutritional value. While I do not adhere to the Raw Diet, I choose to use this process for dehydration …

New tool in the studio

Over the holidays, the studio welcomed its newest tool, a plotter (cutter). There are many on the market, each having their own pros and cons, but after having done some research, I found the one for me. I have always had a love for words.. quotes and sayings… and being a font addict with a reasonable handle on graphic design and a love for Adobe Illustrator, the possibilities with this machine are endless! It cuts so much more than vinyl… cardstock, fabric, stencils for glass etching and fabric stenciling, heat transfer for clothing.. and I have even sourced reflective heat transfer for clothing. That may sound crazy to most of the world, but living in Norway, the dark season makes wearing reflects mandatory. My son has decided he wants to start a business selling his own reflects designs.. and he is only 8! Time to make space in the studio. Yesterday I made my first wall piece from vinyl. Well beyond the standard size of the plotter (the wording is just over a meter high), …

leather handles on felt bags

A while back, I blogged about the raw wool felted laptop bag (see post) that I created for myself, and I thought I would show how the handles were made. Store bought handles of all shapes, sizes and colours are available in most craft stores (or online), but in my opinion, nothing beats a good quality, handmade, adjustable thick leather strap with solid brass fittings. I have not used a pattern for doing this.. I simply gauge the size based on the bag and what feels comfortable. The only factor to consider is the width of your buckle. I cut five pieces of leather, one for the strap, and two shorter pieces that are doubled over and secured to the felt itself using chicago screws (leather bond optional), and two narrower pieces that are looped to keep the strap from flailing about. The side pieces are very simple.. an oval hole in the middle for the buckle to pivot, and in this case two holes matched up on each side.  Punch matched holes in your …

Kiln fired enamel

Enamel – a fantastic way to bring some colour into what can often become a world of black and white when working with silver. This week, I have been testing a set of colours from Thompson Enamels – transparent/lead free for use on silver/copper/gold. Enamel is powdered glass which, when heated melts, flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal. Enameling can also be done on glass or porcelain, but requires enamels with a different COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) – expansion rates must be suited to the base surface material. Prior to using enamels, they need to be washed to remove the “fines” – (extra fine particles which can cause your enamel to be cloudy). This can either be done: wet: by rinsing in water multiple times until the water runs clear or dry: by using a series of sifting pans to separate the particle sizes (60, 80, 100 mesh etc.) Regardless of which technique you plan on using to apply the enamel, the silver must be properly prepared, polished and cleaned to …

the big picture

As most artists know all too well, November and December is the busy season, holiday sales carry many of us through the rest of our year. Months ago, as the end of summer approached, the deadline for deciding in which holiday shows to participate came up, and I had to make a decision. In past years I have had open studios, inviting the public in to my atelier to see how and where my products are made. Last year, I took part in the Designers Fair (juried entry) at DogA, the Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture on Hausmannsgate in Oslo, 10,000 people in 2 days – exhausting but worthwhile! This year, the invites for various shows came in and I realized that regardless of what options I chose, the workload would be pretty much the same, long hard days in the studio working on new series and collections, evenings back in the studio polishing silver or ironing textiles, display work, pricing, labeling, packaging supplies, being away from my children on the holiday weekends, and stressing …

bomaki shibori – tutorial

Lately I have had been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding shibori, the japanese art of creating texture and colour on cloth. There are an incredible variety of styles and techniques that are encompassed in the Shibori classification. Here are some photos (and a quick tutorial) of a piece I made using the bomaki shibori technique.

Art?.. Craft? – a rose by any other name…

The concept of Art vs Craft has been an ongoing debate across a broad array of media. It is a debate that will likely never be resolved. I have always been uncomfortable with labeling myself as anything – designer, craftsman, artist etc.. does one preclude the other? For years now, I have been honing my Craft – learning and experimenting, improving my skills. Art per se – was never on the agenda yet somehow, it seems to be pushing itself to the forefront of my thoughts. To create works that are not purely functional, yet have a story, a meaning – give pause. Can one create Art without Craft?.. yes.. but would one really want to? I cannot imagine why – yet we see it everywhere. Can one create Craft without Art?.. absolutely.. yet – there is an ‘art’ to creating well crafted work. Art AND Craft – I cannot imagine a better combination. I have been reading up on the debate – here are a few links: Art v. Craft – Bruce DeBoer – …

Tutorial – handmade felt covered buttons

Felters who make handmade felt all have felt lying around that was either a sample test, a project that just was not right or simply bits left over from larger projects. There is nothing like handmade wool felt, and event the smallest pieces never get thrown away, after all.. each piece was lovingly made by hand! For those of you who are not felters, follow these directions using just about any fabric.

Etsy – Shop Local

If you are not familiar with all of the features that Etsy has to offer – take a look at ‘Shop Local’. You can search for artists in your country, your state or even your own town. Who knows, you may find that a great talent lives right nearby and you might get the chance to visit (and shop!) in person.

in the studio today…

A few moments from the studio today. Made using a mix of Norwegian C1 and pelsull with a touch of silk throwers waste for accent. Here is a glimpse of the process: UPDATE: This photo will give you an idea as to how much it shrunk in the felting process. Norwegian C1 is fantastic wool! ohhh.. and a link from Siki in Canada.. I absolutely  love this, turn your music on and enjoy.

sharing ones knowledge

The creative process is often a solitary one. Meeting other artists – sharing your experiences and techniques… being free with your knowledge – it is important! Mark my words. I have met many an artist and craftperson over the years, some of whom keep their knowledge locked away, never divulging their secrets. Potentially afraid that once told, that the knowledge would lose its value, becoming part of the “common knowledge” per se. Others have been open, freely telling the how’s and why’s of what they do. I have come to learn that what goes around comes around. I remember once asking a fellow artist how she accomplished a certain task. She said it was her secret, and that sharing it was not an option. She said she had spent many years learning her craft, and could not tell. I left feeling quite perplexed… yet all the more determined to find a way to do the deed regardless. After many an hour researching online (something I spend way too much time doing), I found a device that …