Meet Your Makers: Flora Norwegica

Flora Norwegica

This weeks maker is Ceramist Tovelise Røkke-Olsen who, with her friend Mona Sprenger, is bringing back a centuries-old pottery tradition.

The Flora Norwegica is a vase that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It is handmade with a unique glaze and a distinctly Scandinavian style. Each one is one of a kind!

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Did you study ceramics at school?

I did, at Statens Kunst og Arbeidskole, which is now called something else, and I finished with that back in 1983.

What did you do after studying?

I was down in Oslo for 20 years, until 2003, working with ceramics and sculpture the whole time – with a few extra jobs on the side to make money. Then moved back to Trondheim.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Tell us about Flora Norwegica.

It is an extremely old tradition to use. There used to be a number of factories in Trondheim that worked in the same style, but now there is none – only me.

Mona:

It all started with a green ceramic plate and a green, perforated lump. It was all that was left at a flea market at Bøler in Oslo. I brought it home.

The plate’s label said Graveren. After a bit of research, I discovered that it probably was designed by Ragnar Grimsrud. He was the artist manager for Graveren Tegleverk in Sandnes, Norway in the thirties.

One day a friend who works as a curator at the National Museum in Oslo paid me a visit. She told me that the whole story began at the Dutch court during the famous tulip mania of the 1630s. During this period the vase “Tulipere” was created. The vase had multiple holes where the stems could be inserted. It made a splash among the privileged few of the upper class who could afford the precious flower. At its peak, the price for a single tulip onion could be ten times that of what a skilled craftsman would earn in a year.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Did you have any guide to get started?

No, just started trying. I started trying it one way, but quickly found a more practical way to do it that is probably more like the traditional method.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

How do you think the Trondheim art scene is? 

It is a very small environment here, but there is a good amount of fantastic artists. With ceramics, it’s a little difficult as there isn’t much education for it here. You find a little bit more down in Bergen and Oslo, but some people are coming back to Trondheim.

What is the best part about creating it?

Its very fun to work with, since its two parts, there is a lot of form and composition that you can work with. It supposed to be fun to make, so I’m always experimenting with different ways to form and glaze and everything.

It’s also fun to play with what you put in the vases, whether its flowers or random things you pick up out of the grass on your way home. You can keep things around as long as you want and change it when you want, it’s very fun.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Find out more:

Keep an eye out at Scandic hotels for some of Tovelise’s work!

Check out Flora Norwegica’s Facebook, right here, and Instagram for fantastic photos of the work, and to find out when you can take your own vase home!

The List’s List x Spætt Film

Tuesday saw our brief interview with Magnus Skatvold and Håvard Gosse from Spætt Film. During that interview, they gave us a few film suggestions.

Here they are, suggestions from the top of the film food chain!

Håvard:

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash, and two antique shotguns.

Snatch

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Norske Byggeklosser (1972)

This film is well known for its lead actor, Rolv Wesenlund, playing nine different roles. The story follows a married couple Ingrid and Olav Femte meets unforeseen troubles and bureaucracy when they build a new house. A hopeless and hilarious run-in with the system.

Magnus:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

The classic band of heroes discovers the origins of the Ooze, the substance which made them mutate from regular turtles to teenage mutant ones, came from. Unfortunately their arch nemesis and supreme baddie, Shredder learns about it too and uses it to enhance himself. So the turtles have to prove again who’s the better ninja fighter.

Fargo

Fargo follows the journey of Jerry, who works in his father-in-law’s car dealership and has gotten himself into a spot of financial problems. He tries various schemes to come up with some money. When all that fails, he sets in motion a plan for two men to kidnap his wife for ransom to be paid by her wealthy father. From the moment of the kidnapping, things go very, very wrong and what was supposed to be a non-violent affair turns bloody. This violence turns loose a pregnant sheriff from Brainerd, MN who is tenacious in her attempts to solve the three murders in her jurisdiction

Apocolypse Now

 

One of the most iconic films ever produced, Apocolypse Now is set during the Vietnam War. Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Nord

After having a nervous breakdown, skier Jomar has isolated himself in a lonely existence as the guard of a ski park. Later on, he learns that he might be the father of a child, he sets out on a strange and poetic journey through Norway on a snowmobile, with 5 liters of alcohol as his only means of sustenance. His journey takes him through jaw-dropping arctic landscapes, but on the way, Jomar seems to do everything possible to avoid reaching his destination. He meets other tender and confused souls, who will all contribute to pushing Jomar further along his reluctant journey towards the brighter side of life.

Oslo 31 August

One day in the life of a young, recovering drug addict who takes a brief leave from his rehabilitation treatment center to interview for a job and catch up with old friends in Oslo.

Reprise

Two competitive friends, fueled by literary aspirations and youthful exuberance, endure the pangs of love, depression and burgeoning careers.