Utställning om näver på Nordens institut på Åland

It’s Now or Näver - canceled

Please note! As a result of the recommendations to reduce the spread of the Corona virus, we have decided to cancel the exhibition "It´s Now or Näver" and the two related workshops. We hope that we will have the opportunity to present Emma Dahlqvist sometime in the future instead!


Birch bark is an exciting material that can be used in many different ways. We now have the pleasure of inviting you to an exhibition and two different workshops that are about birch bark with the fantastic textile designer Emma Dahlqvist (SE).

Emma Dahlqvist's explores the possibilities of birch bark. Through experimental and unconventional methods, she explores new expressions and qualities of the material. She works at the intersection of traditional craftsmanship and digital technology. She is interested in mixing the conventional methods of working the fists, which are often deeply rooted in a craft tradition, with new techniques in order to broaden the experience and functions of the material.

Using techniques such as laser cutting, origami and pleating, she works process-based and experimentally with the material. The meeting between the raw natural material and the exact laser technology challenges our way of looking at the raw material and we are fascinated about what one can create by considering Emma's wonderful work.

Exhibition "It´s Now or Näver"! - canceled
Gallery NIPÅ, Storagatan 9, Mariehamn
Vernissage Thursday, April 2nd, at 17-19
Open 3.4 - 8.5

To harvest fists

When? Friday, June 12th, at 15-19
Where? In the forest (exact location will be announced later)
Number of places: 15

In this workshop we go through the technology of harvesting fists. We start with an introduction about what is important to think about before you start - what types of birches should you look for and how, by studying the tree, you can determine the quality of the fist. Then we go step by step through the steps in picking the fists and how to go about not damaging the tree. Participants may then try to pick and harvest fists themselves under supervision.

Registration: canceled

Experimental and traditional fists

When? Saturday June 13th, at. 9 - 17 (bring your own lunch)
Where? Folkhögskolan
Number of places: 15

In this workshop, we mix the traditional way of handling the material birch bark, with more experimental and unconventional techniques. We start from the material and its possibilities. Emma Dahlqvist gives a brief introduction to the features of the material and shows some of the manipulations she has made in the material. The workshop consists of two main parts - in one we focus on the braiding and in the other we work with different techniques which resemble origami. During the day you will be able to create your own object , eg. a small braided wallet or an origami fold necklace.

Registration: canceled

Emma Dahlqvist

Emma Dahlqvist started working with birch bark during her master's degree in textile design, at the Textile University in Borås, where she examined the textile properties of the material. In her dissertation, she used laser cutting to manipulate the hard and stable nature of the fists to form and create drapery, stretchy and tactile qualities, conventionally associated with textiles. The work has been exhibited both in Sweden and internationally and in the spring of 2019 she published the book Näver - braid, tampa, folding at Nature & Culture.

Check out pictures of Emma's work on instagram.

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