Skinnfeller: Norwegian Printed Sheepskins
Skinnfeller is a traditional Norwegian textile craft that until recently was little known in the United States. Though many textiles made the journey across the Atlantic with thousands of Norwegian immigrant families, for reasons lost to history these sewn and decorated sheepskins are rarely seen in collections in the US. Made of soft brain-tanned sheepskins and decorated with carved wooden block prints, skinfeller are gorgeous pieces of folk art that tell personal and cultural stories. In this course, students will have a choice of sewing either a chair covering/lap blanket or a babypose/bunting using imported Norwegian sheep skins that they will decorate by printing with pre-carved birch blocks. Instructor Karin Aakre has studied this craft in Norway and is working to breathe new life into the practice in the United States, using a few modern techniques to create beautiful family heirloom pieces. The skills learned in this course can be applied to other items such as mittens, boots, wristlets and blankets. The materials fee covers 2 imported Pelasua sheepskins, thread, paint and use of the woodblocks. No experience is necessary, but this class will involve extensive hand-sewing, so some basic needlework will be helpful.