The Story, So Far
I am a weaver and I make cloth, the same way artisans did 300 years ago. Every textile begins with boxes full of yarn spools, lustrous linen, cotton as thin as sewing thread, natural wool yarn still smelling faintly of sheep. I make the warp and then I dress the loom. After threading the heddels and the reed, I tie down and tie on and then I start to make cloth: throwing and catching the shuttle and treadling with my feet. The cloth grows slowly on my loom, five days a week, eight hours a day. Folk costume aprons in red and green, stripy dress fabric, waistcoat fabric patterned with small trees, simple wool or linen twills for lining, warm blankets, light and soft shawls, sturdy pillow fabrics. At the end of the warp, I cut through the warp threads, roll up the big bale of cloth, which is packed and sent to the tailor or cut into lengths of scarves, shawls or blankets in my studio.
July 2018: Grant from Crafts Foundation in Troms
March 2016: Folk art grant from the Norwegian Cultural Council
January 2016: Funding from Innovation Norway for Norwegian wool project
Februrary 2016: Master weaver diploma
May 2014: Leonardo da Vinci grant, EU
December 2013: Crafts grant form Midt-Troms museum
June 2011: Journeyman of handweaving
2010: Starting grant from Innovation Norway
May 2009: Graduation in Weaving from Forsa Folkhögskola, Sweden
1998 – 2007: Attending workshops of the Norwegian Crafts Society
1989 – 2013 Biology studies and working in biochemical research.
The Story of the Name
My daughter clambered out of the roadside ditch, strands of blonde hair were escaping her pigtails and hanging in her face. She wore rubber boots, there were grass stains on the trouser knees and the arms of her sweater were a bit too short. It was summer in subarctic Norway.
“Look what I found! Look at the beautiful flower!”
I looked down at her outstretched, little, brown hand and saw a small, white flower.
“How is it called, Mummy”?
The nerd in my awakened, the girl who had loved studying botany at the university and always carried the complete flora of Norway, Sweden and Finland around in her backpack.
“It is called grass star flower or Stellaria graminea, that’s the posh name. There are many kinds of star flowers and they grow everywhere, in the ditches, in the forest, on the mountains and in the vegetable patch.
Her face lightened up.
“Do you know what I think, Mummy? I think that when a wishing star falls down to earth in the winter, there will grow a star flower in the summer in the spot where it fell down.”
I could see she was thinking.
“And sometimes a wishing star falls on the clothes you make and then stars grow on them.”
Back then I used to knit clothes with holes and crochet stars into the holes. I sold them from my workshop and through retailers. Now I almost exclusively weave, but I chose to keep the name of my little brand – Stellaria.