Since 1910 The Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association have been keeping folk art and crafts vital and continuously developing. As a non-governmental organization with more than 24 000 members, we are the main organization in Norway working to promote crafts locally and nationally, and to improve the awareness and the quality of folk art and crafts.
The Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association (NH) were founded in 1910, in the prime of the husflid-movement in Norway. The foundation of the organization was result of the need to be organized and to bring the already existing regional craft associations closer together, to keep up with the pressure traditional craftsmanship faced with the coming of industrialized products and methods.
In 2014 NH became the third UNESCO-accredited Non-governmental organization (NGO) in Norway of in the field of intangible cultural heritage.
Member groups and activity
Since the beginning the closeness to local activities and local cultural identity has been the organizations greatest strength. Today we have three member groups; local member divisions, our handcraft masters and our traditional folk handicraft stores «Husfliden». The solid foundation underlying the work of our association is based on the voluntary contributions within the local and regional membership divisions. Each one of our 377 local divisions contribute to the strengthening of social networks, enabling the exchange, maintenance and development of handicraft skills and traditions within a large specter of areas.
Our core and greatest effort are the classes that takes place in our 377 local branches, all over Norway. We are Norway’s largest organizer of adult training courses of folk handicraft skills. We offer approx. 2500 courses per year, and about 15 000 people yearly attend our local and regional classes. These classes cover a variety of handicraft traditions within the following main categories: textile, woodcraft and color and design. A focal point on the agenda for both local branches and the central administration in the years to follow will be safeguarding the most endangered hand craft techniques and ensure recruitment of instructors. But neither the teachers nor the students of these techniques are of the younger generation, and this makes the knowledge vulnerable.
Husfliden craft shops
Husflid is associated with quality and tradition, and in the 35 Husfliden-stores around the country quality craft products are being sold. The stores are specially known as providers of bunads, national folk costumes. About half of the Norwegian population owns a bunad, which are worn at formal occasions, and the manufacturing and selling of these costumes is an important part of keeping cultural heritage alive and important in peoples’ lives.
Among our members are 130 professional handicraftsmen, who fully or partially make a living out of handicrafts. These include bunad manufacturers, silver smiths, weavers, wood carvers and more. These handicraftsmen make sure we have a vital and continually developing field of handicrafts and folk art.
Enhancement of trade
A living tradition requires the possibility to make a living out of craft products and skills. We seek to stimulate and generate the best possible conditions for our folk handicraft stores and professional craftsmen. Included in this work are workshops, enhancement of handicraft skills, handicraft markets and scholarship awards.
In the future, we believe that hand craft will have a bigger importance than ever, because the products both are made to last and made of materials from the nature.
Central administration and The Body of Consultans
Among the tasks of the central administration is the management of the organization, lobbying and political counseling, educational activities, publishing the Norsk Husflid magazine, national and regional projects, children’s craft courses and more. This is done by the central office in Oslo and the body of consultants.
The organization is regionally represented through the Body of Consultants counting 19 skilled professional folk art and craft practitioners. In addition to being a link between their respective county and the central administration in Oslo, our consultants works with local schools, museums, county administrations and, of course, the local members.
Norsk Husflid magazine
Our organization publishes the professional magazine Norsk Husflid (Norwegian Folk Art and Craft); circulation approx. 27.000, five issues per year.
By having a clear point of view on political questions within educating, craft production, tax system, culture heritage challenges and more, we aim to influence on the Norwegian authorities. Our political goals are to strengthen living craft traditions in Norway in a cultural, social and economical way.
Domains: Traditional craftsmanship, practical and artistic skills, natural materials
Main safeguarding measures: Classes and work circles in handicraft, cooperations with schools, museums and other organizations. Political work on the importance of non-formal education and practical education.
Main country where the NGO works: Norway