Syvilla Would Have Enjoyed the Exhibit

A beautiful blue runner in Telemarks teppe technique (a variant of skilbragd) is included in the “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” exhibit at Norway House (July 20 – September 10, 2017). It was woven by Syvilla Tweed Bolson, (1924-2011), who lived in Decorah and taught weaving in her home.

FullSizeRender 5

The blue runner is modest in size, which is not commensurate with her influence on the Scandinavian weaving community.

Several of the weavers who have pieces in the exhibit studied with her.  Jeanine Swenson Ehnert traveled from central Minnesota down to Decorah to learn from Syvilla. And Corwyn Knutson wrote in his bio:

I was introduced to Syvilla Tweed Bolson, artist and weaver from Decorah, Iowa.  Syvilla, a renowned weaver, graciously guided me in the Norwegian textile art.  Syvilla taught me the basics of rya weaving and inspired me to be creative in design and motivated me to produce many beautiful pieces.

jan-fullJan Mostrom considered Syvilla a lifetime friend and mentor, and wove a sweet small tapestry portrait in homage to her.

In addition to teaching in her home, Syvilla was a dealer, feeding the expensive habit of area Scandinavian weavers–buying Norwegian yarn. She was so considerate and helpful.  If you ran out of yarn and needed a skein, you could send an email and it nearly instantly showed up on your doorstep.  One time I ran out of a gold color near the end of  and she took some off a project on her own loom and sent it to me, just to make sure I could finish my weaving before more yarn arrived from Norway. (Read that story here.)

The members of the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group considered it a privilege to have Syvilla’s advice and support and friendship.