Wow I realise I haven’t posted anything since Easter…which is a good sign I think!
This summer has been awesome, kept the gallery open every weekend and was totally taken by all the visitors I had. Both tourists and islanders found their way to the gallery and I sold out of jams, homemade cordial, fika(Swedish word for cakes and coffee) every weekend. My husband tried out making pizza and it was such a success we carried out the rest of summer and the last day sold out in one hour!
Not only work though, we had time for swimming, buying kayaks and enjoying summer.
I was invited to the local Island heritage centre to join in an arts/crafts market. Luckily only down the road so it was enough to pack my bicycle trolley with pictures. I decided this time to not get stressed before hand and only show what pictures I already had(partly because it’s summer and also it was my birthday) but of course couldn’t help myself to make some new wet plates and cyanotypes. There were about ten other art&crafts people selling everything from paintings to woven carpets, but I actually didn’t have time to take pictures or have a better look at their things because of a steady stream of visitors.
Everyone hade a table to put their things on, me selling photographs it gave me something to think about. I ended up cutting some wood into pieces, getting inspiration from a menu on a wooden stand at a restaurant a few days before, to stand my plates on. It worked really well! I especially liked the one for the Ambrotype where I made two scores in the wood and put a black plate behind the glass plate. A very nice day, looking forward to next year!
So last weekend I had a Christmas market in my gallery/barn. Day before any event I always think nobodie’s gonna come but Saturday visitors flooded in from opening time! Like last year I invited local people to sell their craft. Sheep fur from happy free grazing sheep, honey from bees buzzing around at Rörö one of the neighbour islands. They also sell locally produced meat. In autumn A lady I know had a cement workshop and I invited her for the market, she sold lovely lamps shaped like stars moulded with cement and old time looking lightbulbs plus loads of other great looking ornaments. Then we had Xmas decorations made of cans, christmas trees, chillies, pine cones, lace etc. As always we offered homemade cakes, coffee and warm glögg(Swedish mulled wine). The gluten free chocolate cake we made this summer sticks with us, it it sooo good and now we added crushed polka canes to it, perfection! The hot Indian daahl lentil soup and rosted tomato soup also sold out. All in all a fantastic weekend and 10 minutes before closing it started snowing like crazy! Perfect finish to a great weekend(although it took me a couple of days to thaw…)!
Last year I arranged a xmas market in the barn two weekends in a row. This year I felt one weekend(next weekend) is enough which gave me more time to explore the yearly event down the harbour. Last year I ran down after my closing hour but today I even went twice, once in the morning and now after dark. There are art exhibitions, lottery, crafts and the usual xmassy stuff but of course since we’re on an island a lot of it has a seafood theme to it. In the fishing museum they kept up with tradition and served fried herring on crisp bread with sliced red onion, next year I promise I’ll try some. I think I counted five prawn lotteries! For some reason I expected the prawn price to go up during the weekend but it was the opposite. The big fishing boats were “parked” by the market and a couple of school kids were selling prawns straight off the boat, I still regret not buying any. Although I did treat myself to a pair of socks for xmas and got some for my family, now I just need decide which ones to keep!
People are in general very crafty on the islands, you know xmas is coming up when all the yeast is sold out and the shopping trolleys are full with pork for sausages. I bought some home made pickled salt gherkins and had my first glögg(Swedish mulled wine) for this year. A few weeks ago we had the privilege to test bake with 3D printed ginger cookie shapes and today you could buy them on the market. Palle who does the 3D printing also takes fantastic photos at sea, my favourite was the canvas lit up from behind, genius.
Vinga lighthouse lit up Photo:Paul Hultsbo
Photos: Paul Hultsbo
Copyright Paul Hultsbo
3D printer in action
Photo by Sibylla Törnkvist
Palladium print by Christer Törnkvist
Exhibition at the library, part of The art wave
Home smoked salmon and hubby bread
Glass by Rosita Ståhl
Preserves, postcards and photos by me
So the summer ended in an art bonanza. First The Artwave, when all artists on Hönö and surrounding islands open up their studios or homes. I shared my gallery for the weekend with a very talented glass artist but we hardly had time to see each other, on the Saturday we had a few hundred visitors! The weather on Friday when we set up was abysmal with torrential rain storms but the rest of the weekend was lovely. We sold lots of cakes and home made preserves and photographs on top of that. Then a couple of weeks later an exhibition with two photographers from another part of Sweden. They both do analog photography and a lot of the same techniques that I use. Great photographs and a lovely weekend! My husband smoked salmon and baked sourdough bread, I think I’m addicted to smoked salmon now, and we sold out most of the cakes on the second day. We were very generous with the opening times and I thought we would have to take turns or read books but the weekend past very quickly. On the last day it was more quiet and I took the opportunity to photograph my fellow photographers. Always nerve wrecking to photograph photographers but I hope I passed the test.
Christer and Sibylla Törnkvist
more common carpet(in every house on the island for sure)
Being someone who appreciates old things and love learning new things, living on Hönö is like living in a sweetshop. There is so much to learn from the older generation and someone’s got to do it to pass the knowledge on. Last year I joined the weaving club but to be honest haven’t had much time to do any weaving. The members are very productive though and they invite other weavers to come in and tell about their techniques. The last guest was a woman from one of the neighbouring islands, in her nineties, who told us about what she remembers from her mum’s weaving. They used to do a technique called Snilje, where you weave, twist and cut the textiles which you don’t see anymore. Now I beat myself up about throwing away the carpet I found in the barn when I started emptying it. I now realise it was a huge Snilje-carpet, it was so dirty that I gave up hope about ever getting it clean but if I had known how rare it was I wouldn’t have given up. Even if I might not start making Snilje carpets it is so interesting hearing and documenting the stories. Apparently the carpets where so thick and of course heavy when wet so it was almost impossible to get them clean instead they were given to the fishermen to put in the oil room in their fishing boats. The fishermen had their own way of cleaning carpets- tying them with ropes, chucking them in the sea and dragging them behind the boat!
Time to snuggle up in blankets, winter finally seem to be coming (I know I named a post in September Winter’s coming turns out it was just a couple of frosty nights and it would be two more months until I had to turn the heating up). Living in an old house slippers is a must have! I started knitting this kind of slippers last year, it was so easy and fun, perfect to do while watching telly or shutting the brain off. Everyone in the family wanted a pair so that was the x-mas presents sorted. This year so far the production has been slower (lots of distraction see Phah! How long did that last?)but now it’s picking up again.
You knit one piece, sow it together and put in the washing machine, since it’s 100% wool it shrinks and goes fuzzy, thick and very cosy.
a friend(?), my gran and her sister
One from my grandmothers photo album. In her days it was frowned upon sitting down doing nothing. She always had something in her lap, knitting jumpers or crocheting bedspreads or curtains. The smile on her face when I came to see her with a pair of socks or blanket that I had knitted!
In keeping with traditions I am now knitting slippers. Not because I have to but I find it relaxing. Plus in this house a pair of slippers are always needed in winter.
don’t ask how long it is
Wohoo! My first carpet! I have memories from when I was a kid of my grandmother weaving in the basement. It was many years ago, she hurt her arm and couldn’t do it anymore. Luckily I still have many of the beautiful carpets she made and even some that her mother made. There’s a letter in my cupboard addressed to my great grandmother written in 1961, from relatives who emigrated to the States. In the letter it mentions “every winter we lay on dear Bertas woven carpet, it covers the whole kitchen floor. The beautiful carpets you made for us are of course long gone”.
The big loom is still in the basement but needs putting together. So in spring I joined Vävstugan (Weaving hut) and a helpful woman there showed me(well gave me stern advice) how to do the weaving. Turns out most of them really enjoys the hard and not very easy work of putting the loom together and adding new yarn, hmm, yes I think you know what I’m thinking.