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Inger Johanne Rasmussen: Inlaid textile designer

The textile tradition used by Inger Johanne Rasmussen (b. 1958) comes closest to patchwork quilting. These hand-stitched quilts were made out of scraps or used clothing. TLmag visited Inger Johanne Rasmussen...
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The textile tradition used by Inger Johanne Rasmussen (b. 1958) comes closest to patchwork quilting. These hand-stitched quilts were made out of scraps or used clothing. TLmag visited Inger Johanne Rasmussen in her studio on Hovedøya island, a five-minute ferry ride from Vippetangen.

TLmag: What inspires you in your textile creations?
Inger Johanne Rasmussen: In my work, I integrate the ‘Bizarre style’, which was applied in the early 17th century to small textile patterns and sampling. My pieces, however, are larger scale textiles with different colour ranges. I feel that the Bizarre style has influenced the folk art and costumes in Norway, which I studied extensively in the three-volume Norsk Bun adleksikon. I also get inspiration from the Swedish abstract painter Hilma af Klint, who was recently exhibited at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Her art follows cosmology.

TLmag: How do you create your inlaid textiles and carpets?
I.J.R.: All of my carpets are made of felted wool; mostly military-issue, wool foot cloths. The material is dyed and cut to size, then the pieces are placed side-by-side and glued with Vliselin adhesive and stabilising interfacing. All the bits and pieces are subsequently sewn together by hand, as with appliqué. I like the sewing most of all. But when I sew, I look forward to being finished so that I can start designing a new carpet. So I sew very quickly and take my paraphernalia with me wherever I go. I’m an impatient draftsman because I can’t wait to see the colours in the material. Often I start cutting into newly dyed, half-dry material because I just can’t wait till it finishes drying. Cutting the material is great fun but rather daunting, because it’s easy to ruin a lot of material in no time, and it always turns out slightly different than I anticipated. I cut quickly because I’m impatient to glue the pieces together and see how it looks. I can’t get a proper impression of the whole thing before all the pieces for the carpet are cut, so it’s always a rush job. Sometimes I have to re-do this stage several times, and that’s a pain because I’m always looking forward to sewing again. That’s how it is.

From exhibition at Bomuldsfabrikken, inlaid textile
From exhibition at Bomuldsfabrikken, inlaid textile
Two doors, inlaid textile
Two doors, inlaid textile
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