Monday in Umea

  

 

The sun seemed to shine more strongly at midnight than it did this morning, but nevertheless, my plan was to walk through this "city of birches" to Gammlia, where the Open Source Embroidery exhibition is currently showing.

  

I walked along birch tree lined streets, in the rain.

 

 

I walked through a birch forest, still in the rain.

  

...only to find the exhibition closed on Mondays.

All was not lost, however, for next door in the Vasterbottens Museum was something equally interesting.

 

This is the centenary exhibition of the local craft co-op and what a great show too...many exquisite exhibits. all beautifully staged.  Items were densely arranged on tables at almost eye-level, or in small groups of similar objects on an otherwise empty wall.

 

 

Such a huge variety of media - wire, wood, weave - all so stylish with not a hint of twee or cute.

 

 

Such confidence comes from a rich heritage - most exhibits reflected a traditional background in the clean lines, choice of colour, design motif or simple function.  To me, almost every single item said "Sweden" - or at least, Scandinavia.  I loved every piece.

 

 

 

Across one end of the gallery was an equally stylish and inviting corner, set aside for hands on stitching, weaving, spinning...perhaps where one of the craftspeople of the future will take their first, tentative stitches.

 

And there, amidst the yarn, fabric and thread, was another essential component

 

 

a pile of birch twigs.

 

The night time challenge

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