tisdag 29 januari 2013

1940s view of Stockholm

Sofia Widén started designing printed fabrics in the 1940s while at Licium. Here is one of her designs called "Söderutsikt" or "Stockholmsutsikt" ("View of Södermalm" or "View of Stockholm"). During the 1940s she made a whole series of fabrics inspired by different cities and places in Sweden. Here is a picture of the fabric from a book about Swedish arts and craft from 1941.
Sofia Widéns "Stockholmsutsikt", Licium 1940
Picture from Åke Huldt "Konsthantverk och hemslöjd i Sverige 1930-1940", S. 499

Here is the fabric displayed at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. 
Sofia Widén "Söderutsikt" på Nationalmuseum
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
The picture below I got sent to me by Jan-Erik Lund, Alice Lund's son, who was kind enough to send me some old pictures relating to the studio, Alice Lund and Sofia Widén. The picture shows the view from Sofia Widén's apartment on Fiskarg. 9 on Södermalm in Stockholm. This is where she lived during her time in Stockholm. Later when she moved to Dalarna, she and Alice used the apartment as a showroom, studio and overnight apartment when they visited Stockholm. Comparing the real view with the printed fabric it is quite clear where the inspiration of the design came from.

Picture from Sofia Widéns apartment on Fiskarg. 9 in Stockholm
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

fredag 25 januari 2013

Melons and plums

Yesterday I went to visit my friend Inger Lundqvist who lives quite near from the studio. She had just finished a tapestry in the Hernmarck-technique. Inger is a part of what was formerly known as Team Hernmarck, a group of Helena Hernmarck's weaving students who have continued on exploring her technique together. They have participated in two exhibitions, "Textil i Rullning" in Borlänge and "In Our Nature" in Minneapolis. Now they are preparing for another exhibition "Textilt på Menyn" which will open in march in the south of Sweden. Their theme for the exhibition is food (the exhibition is incorporated with a restaurant) and Inger has made some tasty looking melons and plums.

Inger Lundqvist with her weave in the Hernmarck-technique, directly from the loom
Photo: Frida Lindberg
Here is a picture from the loom, earlier this winter;

Inger Lundqvist's weave at the loom
Photo: Frida Lindberg
And here is what Dalarna looks like right now, -23 C and beautiful!
Winter in Dalarna, -23C
Photo: Frida Lindberg

torsdag 24 januari 2013

fredag 18 januari 2013

Good bye 2012!

It is always difficult to summarize something as vast as a whole year, especially when it has been one of the most intense years of my life. But here are some of the highlights;

The big loom 2012, at Alice Lund Textilier
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier
Alice Lund Textilier
As of January 1st 2012 I became the sole owner of Alice Lund Textilier which was a very exciting change (and a bit scary). Alice Lund Textilier is one of Sweden's three remaining old textile ateliers (the other two are Handarbetes Vänners ateljé and Märta Måås Fjetterström) and I feel very proud to be the caretaker of such an institution of textile knowledge and history.

Helena Hernmarck's "Folk Costume Details" at ASI, Minneapolis
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
Textile artist Helena Hernmarck's studio in Connecticut
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
Trip to the US - Minneapolis and New York 
This summer I got the amazing opportunity to go to both Minneapolis and New York on a two week textile feast. I had been invited by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis to give a talk about Alice Lund Textilier and Swedish textile art of the 20th century. This because Helena Hernmarck had a large exhibition at ASI called "In Our Nature" with almost 20 large tapestries shown. And amazing event to say the least... After a week in Minneapolis with a lot of events and adventures we spent another week in New York. The definite highlight of that week was a visit to Helena's home and atelier in Connecticut. I think the picture says it all!

The mixing of yarns
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
 Weaving course "Shadow to Light" with Helena Hernmarck
In September we had a weaving course with Helena Hernmarck at the studio which was a lot of fun. Twelve weavers took on the task of trying to understanding "the Hernmarck-technique" with the guide of Helena herself as well as Ebba Bergström, weaver of 20 years at the studio. A memorable two weeks!

Sofia Widén "Exotic Birds"
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
Research project: Sofia Widén Textilier 
I cannot describe my year without mentioning Sofia Widén. This year I have continued my research about this great textile artist and now I am trying to get an overview of her artistry and business during the 1950's by examining a number of articles from that period. The project isn't finished yet so I 'll come back to this later on.

onsdag 16 januari 2013

A glimpse from the studio

Here is a glimpse of what we have been doing today at Alice Lund Textilier...

3m (11ft) wide linnen and wool warp making it's way into the loom
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

torsdag 10 januari 2013

Slow Art

At the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm there is an amazing exhibition right now. The whole museum will be closing for a large renovation February 3 this year. So all of you in Stockholm who haven´t been there in a while should take the chance now, otherwise you have to wait 5 years until next time. Especially worth seeing is the exhibition Slowart, curated by Cilla Robach. The exhibition is described like this; In Slow Art we will celebrate a contemporary movement in fine craft where technique, materials and the work process are considered especially important. See some 30 silver, textile, glass and ceramic objects, all of them unique and crafted with care.
Irene Agbaje Binary, at Nationalmuseum
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
The exhibition in it self is well worth seeing and you can also download an app with information about the exhibition. But what really impressed me was the wonderful catalogue written by Cilla Robach (which is also available for free online in Swedish and in English. Amazing!). In the catalouge she discusses the concept of Slowart in two chapters - Time and Artistic Process and A Design-Historical Perspective. The term Slowart is here introduced by Robach and she states that the term is about "the perspective on time and production processes" and many of the objects on display are made by very time-consuming techniques.

Pasi Välimaa Broderi, at Nationalmuseum
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB
That is something I very much can relate to in our work at the studio as well as in my research. Allowing time to be an asset instead of an obstacle. And understanding that the process can be just as important as the result. Especially for the craftsmen working on the object (read more interesting perspectives on this subject in the catalog) who most often dedicate their time, knowledge and heart into their work.  

Janna Syvänoja HalssmyckePhoto: Alice Lund Textilier AB

I often think about this when looking at something that has been created at Alice Lund Textilier. That somehow the touch of the weaver's hand remains in the weave even after it has left the loom - like a footprint. That is something that a machine can never simulate and in my opinion one of the reasons why handmade objects still have such an appeal.
Eva Stephenson Möller Vävnad Kura, at Nationalmuseum
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

The textile artist Annika Ekdahl shares some interesting insights in the catalouge;
Yes, textile techniques take time. Thank goodness! This is not a problem but a quality, regardless of whether we are talking of textile art or utility textiles. Knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving, spinning, twining, winding, tufting, bobbin lace-making, embroidering, are all about the intentional combination and transformation of fibres. They also say something about ourselves and our approach to art, to life. What would be the point of producing unconsidered, rushed works? That would be disrespectful, to ourselves and to those we regard as the target group of our endeavours. And one more thing: There are so many things on this planet already. If we nevertheless decide to transform yet another material into yet another object, this should be done thoughtfully and scrupulously. I have chosen to weave tapestries. Is this comparable to writing a novel? Letter after letter, sentence after sentence. That takes time, which is perfectly reasonable and understandable. Stitch is added to stitch, weft to weft, piece to piece. Stories unfold, in real time and without keyboard shortcuts. And time is revealed, it is fully visible. Anyone can see it and understand it. And feel respected. 

Annika Ekdahl Road Movie (verdure): Visiting Mom, Nationalmuseum
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

måndag 7 januari 2013

Hello 2013!

At home in wintertime. 2013
Photo: Frida Lindberg
First of all I have to make a small apology for being so absent on the blog lately, sometimes life is just not possible to summarize in writing. But now I am back and I'll hopefully be more active from now on. This last year has been a year of change and testing the boundaries of what's possible. If someone would've asked me a couple of years ago what I thought I'd be doing today, in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined this. It is truly a joy to be able to work with the things you love - and of course textile art and handweaving is my big passion.

Since last year was such an intense year I do not even know where to start in summarizing it (as customary on a blog at this time of year...). Instead today I'll give you a sneak-peek at what's in the calender for this coming year so far. I am glad to say that we are now preparing to put up a weave in the big loom (it's 11ft wide), more pictures of that is coming soon. A small spoiler is that it is something for a church. This is what our most faithful companion can look like in different attires;

Helena Hernmarck's "Spirit Bear" in the making at Alice Lund Textilier 2011
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

A pall (bårtäcke) for a church in Dalarna, 2012
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

An Alice Lund carpet "Hästtäcket" in the big loom at Alice Lund Textilier, 2010
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB

Helena Hernmarck standing on "Tabula Rasa" at Alice Lund Textilier, 2010
Photo: Alice Lund Textilier AB