This weekend I had a chance of pursuing my interest for Norwegian folk art on location. I visited the Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History) at Bygdø near Oslo. The primary task was to look at medieval decorations from the old wooden stave churches. The Gol stave church at Bygdø is presently undergoing restoration offering a unique opportunity to take a closer look at the roof from the outside.
Going inside was not possible and I settled for the museum store where I came upon a unique book. The book is part of a grand Scandinavian folk art project initiated by the Danish artist Asger Jorn. The series comprises 7 volumes. The books are available in English too. The book ‘Stavkirkene’ includes some 300 black and white photos taken by the French photographer Gérard Franceschi back in the 1960′s. He uses the natural lighting on location and obtains the most intriguing pictures. In particular I am fascinated by the complex swirling wood carvings. They do resemble the strips for sphere making!
Sphere #010 is like Sphere #001, however each piece has 10 strips only and the two pieces are not alike. Anna designed the strips so that in one piece the strips are very long and cross the equator in a flat angle, in the other the strips are short and the angle is steep. This makes the woven pattern formed rectangular.
Also the strips are not symmetrical, i.e. the north and the south poles are not the same. When you start by gluing the strips to a small circle you must look for the tiny cross at the point and only use that end.
The first row of strips is very annoying to make. The long strips constantly become entangled but soon it gets manageable. Be patient when you weave the last rows. Flatten the shape and push and pull gently using a pair of tweezers. Close the sphere using a circle in the size and colour you find makes the best fit.