Long winters in Norway create a fertile environment for the practice of traditional arts. Norwegian crafts often employ materials that are readily available. Wheat and corn are woven into decorations and painting is applied to many surfaces, including ceilings and furniture. Paper crafts abound and often immortalize the stories of Danish author Hans Christian Anderson. It is easy for children to latch onto the simple concepts involved in these stunning crafts. With simple supplies, many Norwegian-inspired creations might flow from the hands of children.
Rosemaling is a style of painting that is closely related to tole painting. Flower motifs are embellished with tendrils and curving accent lines tie designs together. Everyday objects are often decorated with these personal expressions of beauty. Children can practice this painting with paper and tempera paints. Good brushes are important in obtaining fluid results. The forms O, C, and S are common in this craft so begin with these shapes. Add tendrils and flowers as the spirit moves you. With practice children can gain self-confidence and proficiency in this art.
Flettehjerter (Woven Heart Baskets)
Flettehjerter begins as two U-shapes cut of colored folded papers. Slits are cut into these shapes from the straight edge and then the resulting loops are woven into a heart pocket. Filled with candy or other trinkets, these are traditional Christmas tree decorations in Norway. Children can accomplish this craft with first time guidance and create many hearts for gifts or adornments.
Hvetevefting (Wheat Weaving)
Wheat was traditionally fashioned into decorations each fall with the harvest. Some of these became Christmas decorations and gifts. Soaking wheat in water causes it to become pliable. This soften fiber can then be woven into hearts, wreaths, or other ornamentation. Braiding can be of three strands or in the macrame style of using four weavers. As a symbol of life and the bounty of the earth, there is no better craft for children than wheat weaving and allowing the imagination to form expressions of gratitude.
Patti Perry is currently attending West Virginia University and expanding her knowledge base. She has worked as a freelance visual artist for 30 years, with specialties in watercolor and scherenschnitte. Originality of creation is her motivation and she continues to pursue this avenue in her writing. Perry is currently contributing articles to eHow.