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Interior Design Requirement: Rosemaling

The Scandinavian interior design requirement: at least one hand painted design on something or maybe on everything! Rosemaling is an age old decorative art that is usually displayed on wood or metal dishes, platters, bowls, and furniture. The most daring rosemalers will paint doors, cabinets, walls and rafters.

The art of rosemaling is part of Norway's culture and history and if you are Norwegian you must know how to do it or at the very least know someone else who can. It's like being an American and making apple pie. Not everyone can make the pie but absolutely everyone knows what it tastes like.

Here's a sample of Elias Halling's Rogaland design. He was a master rosemaler who taught me his techniques. I learned the basics from him and then studied on my own just so I could say, "I am Norwegian and I can rosemal".

Elias made his own wooden platters and table tops and painted with artist oils. His colors and technique were refined and his designs were the most difficult style of Rosemaling. I remember watching him paint so patiently. The brush was loaded with two or three different colors for every stroke. He dabbed the brush in the first color, smoothing the paint into the bristles with swipes across the palette. Then the edge of the brush was lightly swept across another color so just the edges of the bristles touched. And sometimes another color was added to the opposite edge or the tip of the brush. Then the brush was deftly laid down on the artwork and twisted and turned to create a beautiful singular stroke. The colors blended and shaded one another and the results were a completely finished leaf. Now the process began again for the next leaf.

You would be amazed to see this small brush he used, only about 3/8 inch across and 1/2 inch long with a very long handle of course. Each finished leaf measured only about 1 1/2 inches long.

 Here are a couple of samples of what I learned from Elias:

Here is a great link to more pictures and info Now the big question: Are you Norwegian and can you rosemal?

1 comment:

  1. Are a middle-class Lutheran military family using GI Bill to establish a sheltered workshop ministry in Lutheran churches in Alaska.
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