Only one left! Luffarsloyd: Pendant with a seahorse.

Have I told you I’m a blacksmith? I’m a blacksmith. This weekend I got inspired. By a guy showing me luffarsloyd. In Sweden it was illegal not to have a job 150 years ago, you could go to jail for being poor. But poor people still existed, so they found a way. They knocked on doors to ask for food and somewhere to sleep, and as pay they made luffarslöjd (“hobos craft” in Swedish) of simply wire. Wire has the trait of being light weight, they could carry it around without much distress. They often carried two sorts, one thicker for structure and one thinner for the in between. Unbelievable what they could do. This was 150 years ago, but the tradition making luffarsloyd still lives. And I got terribly inspired. Today mostly plates and bowls are made of luffarsloyd. Sometimes hangers and stands. But I saw this tradition with blacksmith eyes, and made this:

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(If you wonder about what luffarsloyd looks like, this is a blog with some nice examples: Metallbinderiet.)

I think this it the biggest jewelry I ever made. Apart form my blacksmith exam, but that is an other story. It’s 14 cm long. So. Much. Fun. I am a blacksmith with a businesses, and this one is actually also up for sale on etsy.com: only-one-left-luffarsloyd-pendant.

It can be hard to part with my loved ones, but even if I really like it…it’s not my style. I tend to be angry at it for being in my way. This pendant must go to someone that is staying still at least once in a while. I do not.

 

Work I love to do

A day with iron, and a day with wood. I can not begin to describe how tired I am today.

I am making a cabinet. I forged the hinges yesterday; it was the worst weather to drive in, all the water was frozen INSIDE the workshop and long hours. Today it was time to put everything together and finish the cabinet. I did not of course. Everything takes much more time, especially when I make everything my self. The question is, WHY do I do this…?

Well, the fun of making things out of nothing. Because the pieces of wood and iron I started with can not be used for anything. Their worth is their possibilities. And not just new material, I even made four hinges and tree handles out of car sheet, and the wood from a shelf. This kind of craft is the only thing that can make me work for hours, and even forget to eat…

I have been a bit angry at myself lately because I do not drive to the forge that often as I want. I sat down in my sofa and looked around a bit sad and realized something. My home has forged iron in every direction! The coffee table I was sitting at has legs of iron, legs I made. I the kitchen I found knifes I made, and in the bathroom I found forged hangers.

I guess I do not need to forge all the time. It all round me. And the knowledge of how do not disappear.

Inspiration

Inspiration. We can miss inspiration. We do not find it, or we never had it. It’s easy to forget in everyday life. A good idea that’s floating away from you. Or is it that commitment… What is the difference? Commitment to really do something and inspiration to really create something?

Committed people is a bit stressed out. Inspired people is not. Commitment is on the outside, but inspiration on the inside. Silent, thinking, searching and fleeting inspiration. Loud, active, fast and determinations commitment.

I like inspiration. Makes us think of things from a different point of view. We see small things where others see big. And the other way around. A tree has levees. Levees are small, and the tree big.

The funny thing is that inspiration is to a great extent creativity and new thinking. Just like commitment. Maybe they belong together anyway.

First published February 2016 in Swedish on anneliandresenblog.wordpress.com

What inspires anger.

Sometimes, you probably know about it. It’s VERY hard to bicycle in the snow. In my case; for an hour! There is a special kind of anger when you have to push the bike DOWNHILL! So unnecessary! I should be able to just hop on and roll down. But no. No wonder we get angry about things like that.

Sometimes, you probably know this one too. When you smash your toe into some kind of f… furniture! Hurts so much, SO angry!! There’s obviously a connection between pain and anger.

But anger does not only come from pain. Not that simple. It could be fear too. Fear makes us angry. Like by the border, looking at the “strangers”. Refusing them to come in. That’s probably fear AND pain making anger.

 

First published on anneliandresenblog.wordpress.com 2 february 2016 in norwegian.

Mummers Parade

I just learned about Mummers Parade. It just seemed like a Rio de Janeiro kind of thing. But I got curious. It turned out to be the oldest folk festival in USA! It has mixed traditions from Europe and Africa, but I raised my eyebrows at traditions from Sweden and Finland was represented here! We do not have a New Years parade…

But okay, I red some more. And yes, the tradition was to visit your neighbors on the 26 of December. And this grew into New Year, and grew into a parade. It’s been going on for at least 117 years, change is bound to happen.

The thing is, we still have this December traditions in Norway. In places I do not know of too, but the tradition lives where I grew up. The 25 December, first day, everyone had to be inside. No noise, no running around. Peace and quiet. The 26 December, second day, there was dinner with family and friends. On top of this we go “julbokk”. We dress up and knock on neighbors doors, and get candy. That’s for the kids. Grownups get alcohol, and the walk from house to house gets funnier and funnier. Children and grownups do not mix in the same groups, that been said.

I am not used to this. I can easily see how my childhood experiences relate to the Mummers Parade, but I am not used to the 100 years old dusty heritage of USA happened to me just two weeks ago. I am not used to thinking that I live in an old civilization. I think about Rome as an old civilization. But I guess that’s how it goes. The ancient Romans written words inspired Norse runs. And “julbokk” inspired Mummers Parade. Things change, but we always take something with us. We need change to adapt to new things in or life. We need to take something with us, or we become lost.

The indigenous peoples in the world was forced to change and could not take anything with them. They lost their way. The scars of that experience is what makes them fight so hard to keep what they have left of their traditions today.

Many nations in the world have strong voices that want to preserve the traditions, heritage and skin color of their area. They are just as lost as indigenous peoples was and are.

How would you feel if a complete stranger forced you to stop celebrating Christmas, and even made you afraid of it?

Indigenous peoples experienced to be forced to stop celebrating just as important celebrations as Christmas.

Strong voices of preservation wants to force people to stop celebrating important celebrations as Christmas.

It’s time indigenous peoples started to talk to them that want to preserve.

Ratan, Swedish history

I visited Ratan today. I turns out that this place was very important. Historically all trade in this area had to go by Ratan, taxes and Russian invasion and all that. But the thing is, I did not know. And I am left with the same question as I’m often left with: why does people in this country not know about their own history? I have lived in three cities in Sweden, and they do not know. Repeatedly I end up thinking; Sweden is a long country. Not that wide. But it should be about the same in the south as in the north? No. Big difference. Norway, Sweden and Finland are side by side, but the people are connected east west. Ratan is the knowledge of the north. Mining problems is a collective knowledge in the north of the tree countries. The south of the same countries have no idea. I could be angry about this.

It’s all history really. Alongside Sapmi names, it’s not strange to find Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish names in all the tree countries in the north. Both places and peoples names. Up north we have been mixed all along. Dividing the land with national borders is a bit absurd. The good thing is that we don’t really care. And we don’t really have to care. Because the border is open.

Morning in the forest

66218332-raip5Two things happened on my walk in the woods this morning.

I often end up in the same spot to take photos, it’s such a beautiful place. But today I heard a strange sound that took me farther into the forest. Well, it was not a very strange sound really, I’ve heard it before. A bird pecking on wood. I slowly walked closer, birds are very shy. I did not expect it to wait for me. But I guess birds are like people, to busy to see what’s going on around you. I could look at it as long as I liked. Living in a city, I really missed this. Most wild animals require silence, I hardly see them here. But the bird meeting was very nice.

While walking home, I saw an other photographer. As we passed each other, we said hello. I don’t know this person at all. And people in this city do not say hello to strangers. But we did. Because we felt related, we where both photographers.

The birds ignorance still made me happy, and the strict rule DO NOT LOOK AT STRANGERS was broken. Things do not have to be like always. But you do not have to change.