Grete from Norway

Grete from Norway

My name is Grete Julie Lerdalen.  I live in Nesna, a beautiful small town at the cost in northern Norway.

I started to felt wool almost 30 years ago. I found a new friend, she turned out to be a really good felter, and as twin souls there was no magic in the fact that I loved to felt wool too.

She let me blossom under her gentle care and guidance. So, we felted, and had lots and lots of fun. All by hand. Fun became profession and work.

Felting is hard work. 

Googling around for good ideas on how to help a tired back and sore arms I stumbled upon The Gentle Roller. I needed to get the fun back in my projects. They were so far away, but a few emails back and forth, and it arrived safely at my doorstep.

I was so happy!

And now, many years later it is still my best friend. The fun came back sevenfold!

I love wool, and all its options.  Yarn, pre yarn, carded fibres, tops, and all the fun stuff you can mix it with.  I often use wool from different sheep breeds to create life and texture.

I find my inspiration in the nature around me. The ocean, midnight sun and the aurora borealis is always with me.

Most of my commissioned work is textiles used in and around church.  My latest work is a blanket used to cover the stretcher in a mortuary or the coffin. 

It is HUGE.  A patchwork made of pieces 100cm x 180cm.  Thin nuno felt with a backing of woven wool cloth.  Wool from different sheep breeds, silk, yarn and embroidery work together to make contrasts. I dare not fold it while felting as it is made as thin as possible, felted down 40% to be strong and durable.  The large pieces are sewn together with the layered landscape, and the final size is 250 cm long and 150 cm wide. 

Without the Gentle Roller this would be an almost impossible task.

It is called ‘Crossover' or 'Pathway', with the best wishes of a safe travel wherever people go on past this life.  

In its making there was a long list of considerations.  It needs to fit all. Everyone on this earth. I was so occupied with all my limitations I lost my path. Until my friend said; You are asking the wrong question.

Don`t look at the limitations, look at the similarities. What do we all have in common?  The answer was easy.  Memories, hope and nature.

I have laid the Pathway across nature inspired by the nature surrounding the mortuary it will be used in.  Big old forests, vast fields of oat and rye.  Lakes, rivers and a landscape with low ridges so you get a wide skyline.  Summer fields covered with yellow and pink flowers.  Deep snow in the winter.  The square step stones go across the landscape.

The seasons woven together as the years roll by.

The landscape where it is used is filled with step stones that safely guide people. So, I wanted to use that.

I think it is good for the living and when going beyond.

I wanted to cover death with the memories from life.

Some details, but no more than it gives room for the imagination.

Do you see the sky? Or the lake?  A memory of laying in the grass staring up at the clouds or ice fishing on a cold winter's day.

Skinny dipping in the moonlight or your first swimming lesson on a warm summers' day?

I hope all will find memories and hope, and I hope that they will leave a little golden spark in your heart.  Filling the space that sorrow leaves behind.

I love the diversity wool gives.  From a smooth silky surface to bumps, cracks and curls.

With the Gentle Roller on the team, you are only limited by your own imagination. 


My studio occupies half the first floor of our house and I have set up the Gentle Roller in the kitchen. We have three floors so there is still enough room for the other activities of daily living.

The photo is a quick snap I took when a friend asked what I was doing? In between all the mess behold - the Gentle Roller and it also shows the early planning stage of the 'Pathway'.




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1 comment

How wonderful to hear your story and the inspiration for your beautiful work.

Ann Plotkin

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