Reading material for those who love the camping life

BY: Kristin Smedsrud
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, December 6

Blaafarvværket: Norwegian glass company with Christmas traditions

Tired of the mall? Get in the pre-Christmas mood in beautiful historical natural surroundings - only an hour away Oslo. Blaafarveværket is idyllically located in a snow-covered winter landscape. True to tradition, it is held open before Christmas from 23 November to 15 December. A break from everyday life for everyone who wants to get in the Christmas spirit and do away with the Christmas presents away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

From 1773 to 1893, the Blaafarvværket and Cobalt mines were the work place of thousands of people working to extract cobalt from the mines at Modum. At that time it was Norway's largest industrial company. The cobalt was used to make cobalt blue color for the world porcelain and glass industry. Today, the work is available to the public as a museum and art gallery. We meet Christian Haugen, Marketing and Information Manager, who welcomes a guided tour to look more closely at what visitors can find here before Christmas. In front of the entrance there is a large car park with free parking. Here it is easy to set aside donations of all sizes.

cobalt Mines

What do you think people think of when they hear the Blaafarvverket? - "Many people probably associate the Blaafarvværket with the old cobalt mines and beautiful blue-colored glass, but the place also has much else to offer. Most of what is sold here still comes from Norwegian companies ”- explains Christian proudly. - "Something many people do not know is probably our food production" - says Christian. - "In previous years, only the shops and pubs were open four summer months a year. The kitchen is open all year, because we use winter to cook and prepare large quantities of raw materials for the summer season. We therefore found that we could just as well serve food in the winter too »-.

Local food

What is it produced therer? - «We are interested in short-distance food and here we make the popular local stew, homemade Christmas cakes, Christmas sausage, liver pate, herring and chops. One of our brands is Lefsekling which has been produced by Rønnaug Andefossen since 1978. It is so popular and we sell over 15 pieces during the season. Rønnaug rolls out the "blade" and roasts it on a large round rack. Then it is divided into chunks with butter and sugar, "says Christian. So all this glory can be enjoyed here in the area? - 'Sure, in Bødkerkroa, traditional Christmas plate, Christmas porridge and much else is served well. You can also buy home-made Christmas food from here.

barrel Workshop

Pardon, what does that mean? - "Hey he, the name Bødker means barrel. This inn has been named from the original barrel workshop that was located here. At that time, blue pigment was carried in large barrels made here. We also have homemade mining cheese produced in collaboration with Eiker Gårdsysteri. It is stored far inside the cobalt mines and is an award-winning mining cheese with a distinct and rich taste. The long storage process and the mine's special climate and humidity make the cheese taste good.

Unique Christmas gifts

We walk further into the museum shop, to look at the sales exhibition "Animals have souls" from the late artist Lillebet Foss (1930–2017). Here are many exciting motifs with and without a frame. The art is sold during the Christmas open right from the wall. - We found that Kittilsen in his earlier art asked the question; "Do the animals have souls?", And we think that's why it was fun with the contrast, Christian smiles. - For Lillebet Foss, the animals have a soul. Her art is carried forward by the love for the animals and their world. Here you can get real art on the wall for a good price from NOK. 400 and up. The exhibition is arranged in collaboration with Blomqvist Online Auction. The exhibition has free admission. Christian says that the children do not have to be bored. Here is a free Christmas workshop where they can make everything from Christmas lanterns, elves and Christmas tree decorations, draw and play.

The largest selection of cobalt blue glass in the Nordic countries

In "The Blue Shop" located in the old mill building we find beautiful objects of all sizes. - The clear and pure color gives the glass a special glow, explains Christian. - Most of this comes from glass blowers and glass manufacturers in Norway. Here are many Christmas gift guides from small cute glass cutters and Christmas figures to large beautiful decoration plates. Christian can tell that the large plates were designed by Vida Glass in Moss. Run by an artist couple have their own glass hut there. Designer Anne Flohr has created these beautiful candlesticks and vase with butterflies. On the floor, the Christmas table is covered for inspiration on how it can be done. Along the walls of the room stands a permanent collection of cobalt blue glass and porcelain from many eras. Here is a lot to rest your eyes on.

Trade for 250 years

Landhandleriet is an exciting shop reminiscent of an old fashioned hangout with old advertising signs on the walls. - "There has been a store here for over 250 years" - says Christian.

The building was a gathering place with a sideboard in the basement. Here, among others, Edvard Munch and Frits Thaulow dined with painters colleagues, during the open-air academy in the 1880s.

For sweet sirloins, there are old-fashioned drops, the King of Denmark, polka dots and roasted almonds, caramels, love of stick, licorice and chocolate with exciting filling. - Goods that tend to come home if you come here.


Further inside the store is the playroom. In the room next door we find lots of fittings for the kitchen drawers and interiors. It smells delicious from bags of freshly ground coffee or tea leaves, which you can take home with you. Next door is the stone and jewelry store with a rich selection of unique jewelry. - "Here you find jewelery that is not mass-produced" - says Christian. Along the walls we find candlesticks, skins, bags and gloves that are great gift ideas - or if you want to treat yourself to something. Thank you for the tour, full of new impressions. It may be worth giving the Blaafarvværket a pre-Christmas visit.

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