“Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” at Norway House, This Summer

Corwyn Knutson’s “Hardanger Cherry Blossoms”

This between-issue post is to alert anyone who can visit Minneapolis between July 20 and September 10: there is a great exhibit opening at Norway House. “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” is  a collaboration between the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and Norway House.  

Inspired by historical textiles, American weavers have used Norwegian weaving techniques to create a new body of work, contemporary in design or materials. Enjoy traditional pieces from the collection of the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum and outstanding weavings from recent decades that honor the past and break through with modern expression.  

Susan Gangsei’s “Seal Skin Soul Skin”

The exhibit of invited pieces (40 in all) is based around several techniques, including rya; tapestry; krokbragd and other boundweave variants; band weaving; and overshot weaves such as monks belt and skilbragd.  Other pieces are chosen to illustrate where American weavers learned their skills in Norwegian techniques, and where weaving in the Norwegian tradition has been exhibited over the years.

Related events include lectures and classes and weaving demonstrations.  A loom will be set up in the gallery where members of the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group will weave a rutevev (square weave) runner.

  • Opening celebration: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 5-8 pm.
  • Gallery talks: Sundays, July 23 and August 13, 2 pm.
  • Weaving demonstrations: Wednesdays and Sundays from July 23-September 10, 12 pm-3 pm
  • Afternoon with an Expert, featuring Laurann Gilbertson, Curator, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum: Saturday, September 9, 1-3:30 pm.  Following the lecture, “Warmth and Color: Traditional Norwegian Coverlets,” Gilbertson will conduct an Antique ID clinic.  Members of the public are encouraged to bring Nordic textiles to learn more about their age, origin, and function (but no appraisals).   
  • Classes: Sami-style Band Weaving, Mondays, August 14 and 21, 12-4 pm; Make a Viking Knit Bracelet, Monday, July 24, 10 am-2 pm; Cardboard Loom Weaving for Kids, Monday, August 7, 10 am – noon. Taking a class is a special opportunity to see the weaving exhibit in depth, as the Weavers Guild classes will be held at Norway House, right in the main gallery.

A traditional krokbragd coverlet from the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

Also, follow the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group blog in the coming weeks to read about the weavers and their inspiration for many of the individual pieces. Several posts are up; you can see which pieces by Lila Nelson will be included, 

Come to the opening!  Thursday, July 20, 5-8 pm (Welcome at 6 pm).  Many of the artists will be in attendance, wearing special “Ask me about the weavings” badges.  There will be a cash bar and refreshments provided by Envision Catering.  

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