Vallersund, Norway

Dark rainbows on the rugged shore of the Norwegian Sea

Vallersund Gård was founded in 1981 on the coast near Brekstad, north of Trondheim, and the weavery workshop started up around the year 2000. A couple of years later the workshop expanded into a disused old stone workshop in the same building and this new space was a lot bigger, and with a lot of light. In the weavery there are nine looms and most of them are in daily use, creating a variety of products.  

For the World Wide Weave project, we chose the colours of the rainbow as our inspiration. Here on the rugged shores of the Norwegian Sea the sky is very wide and the whole span of rainbows can often be seen. The colours of the rainbow are also found in the sky and sea at sunset, where the sea has all the shades of purple and blue and green, and the sun and the sky have all the shades of yellow, orange and red. It is very beautiful, and the colours are very strong.  

For the weft we chose the colour blue - the main colour in both sky and sea. Here at the coast of Norway we also have a lot of rain, and when we see the rainbow we feel it as a promise that we will never be overwhelmed by the watery element.  

The workshop leader has to do all the work of setting up the warps, as the people working here are not able to do such an intricate task, except for one person who can  do some of the work to set up her own loom.  

When we ordered the cotton yarn for the warp, we got two yarns from two different producers, and the tension in the yarn was a little different, and the warp was a little harder to get even.   To make it a little easier with all the colours, we made half of the warp but with double length, and then took the two "ends" of the warp side by side in the griddle. It made full width, but with less work. We always try to make the loom 100% perfect before we start to weave - then the finished product will be much better quality.  

Kristin, the lady who wove the rainbow panels, has very high skills in weaving this type of product. This is really her specialty and her products have a very high quality. She weaves with thin linen yarn, or a thicker cotton yarn, which gives two completely different products, even if the warp and colours are the same.   Since she only can weave with one colour in the weft, we have found a way to tread the heddles so it gives a pattern when she weaves - the over-lapping between the colour-stripes shows as little squares. She takes great pleasure in this pattern, and is very proud of her work.  

Although the two rainbow panels appear almost identical, in their materials, texture and process of creation they are very different.