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Eidsvoll 1814 Floorcloth Project

Norway’s constitution was penned in May of 1814 at Eidsvollsgyningen, a home owned by Carsten Anker. Eidsvollsbygningen is a house full of history. For Norwegians it is one of the most important national symbols, inextricably tied to the constitution, independence and the dramatic events of 1814, which are celebrated on the 17th of May every year. This is why Eidsvollsbygningen became Norway’s first national monument in 1837.

Eidsvoll 1814 is gearing up for their Bicentennial in May of 2014. A number of restoration projects are underway, and we were contacted in by the curator of Eidsvoll 1814 in March of 2012 regarding a floorcloth for their dining room. We produced a small floorcloth sample to show the quality and construction of our floorcloths. In early 2013 we received a bid request and were awarded the bid in March. The design is based on this image of an early 19th century floorcloth: Pattern Image

Pattern Image
Usually, we interpret source material to stencils, but our work was made easier by a firm in Norway that translated the pattern into a drawing of the intended floorcloth with precise sizing information for each element. They also created a border design that complemented the body: Pattern Drawing

Pattern Drawing
We then had the task of determining how to design the stencils to best replicate the pattern. Eight stencils were designed, several of which needed to be used in two orientations to render the pattern. We had the stencils cut by a laser cutting company to ensure that sizing was exact. We tested the stencils by creating a small version of the design: Sample

Now we were ready to get started. The size of the floorcloth is 13’ 3” x 17’ .5”. The widest heavy canvas we can source is 10’. Normally, a floorcloth that is wider than 9.5’ requires a seam. We have developed a method of joining canvas that does not use a seam and creates a virtually invisible, very rugged join. This is done during the initial phase of canvas preparation when the canvas is gessoed. We then went about our normal process of painting the background color and we were ready to start stenciling. Stenciling 1

and more stenciling: Stenciling 2

Last, but not least, the border: Stenciling 3

…and more Stenciling.
Ken was pretty tired by the time we were done: and then he rested

Here is a close up shot of the canvas join: Seam Close Up

Nearly Invisible Join
We shipped the floorcloth in July and it was installed in October of 2013. Here is a photo of the floorcloth in place. We look forward to receiving photos of the completed room.