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On Your Table Blog

April 24, 2024

Ready, set, Rosemaling

Ready, set, Rosemaling

By Kelli Bowen

I remember my grandmother liked doing crafty things. She had a big bucket of beads that we would use for making bracelets. She'd paint anything: spoons, saw blades, etc.

I also remember in my youth, my doodles were always a bit more involved than just doodling. There would be a center, maybe an eye or a letter, and then I’d branch out from the center, circling around and around.

I was reminded of both of these things when I tried Rosemaling! I went down to Fort Ransom with Sister M and we went to a multi-hour class on Rosemaling.

Rosemaling is a Norwegian folk art. I come from Norwegian stock on my father’s side and recall seeing items that were rosemaled growing up, and I’m always down for a crafty good time.

First off, we used an acrylic paint on a wooden disc as a base, which dries relatively quickly. We transferred an image with graphite paper onto our painted “plate” and then got to work painting the scrolls, leaves, and flowers. For the image, we used oil paint. It takes a while to dry and takes a couple of weeks to really cure.

We painted a Telemark Rosemaling design, which is asymmetrical, so it’s “easier” because there’s no need to make sure you match what you painted previously.

Once I had the base and the leaves and flowers done, I was a bit sad at my plate but the instructor told us the magic happens with the line work.

Rosemaling process

After a short tutorial, we got to work with the line work. We painted these little plates for about 6 hours, and when it was all said and done, I was pretty proud of my Rosemaled plate.

The finished product - a Rosemaled plate

I drove home, to show Hubby and the girls. As I got out of the car, Miss E reached for my plate, grasped it, putting her thumb right in the paint, smearing it across the plate. She instantly apologized, but the damage was done.

I suggest trying Rosemaling, but maybe don’t let anyone see your work until you’ve let it sit for two weeks so it’s cured. I’m going to go lie down now.

Kelli BowenKelli makes her home in Billings County with her husband, two daughters (11 and 8) and two dogs. She works for North Dakota's #1 tourist destination by day and tries to be an alright mom, wife, friend, and writer by night.

Other crafty posts from Kelli:

Getting crafty with it

What the felt

Spooky treats (crafty food!)