A total of 24 students from the University of Erfurt, Germany, have worked on various restoration projects. The rooms that have been worked with are the wardrobe, Blåsalen, the pantry, Madam Bang chambers, Finstusalen and Finstua with the accompanying smoking room with the unique wallpaper in the main house and the office at Kramboden. In addition, all the ovens in the main house and in the bakery have been restored. The work of the unique wallpaper in the living room continues in the spring of 2018, and the stove in the Mastu-kitchen is next.
During the restoration of the special wallpaper in the mainbuilding, the canvas and paper has been patched together according to all the rules of the art, painted layers and wall that were cracked have been gently glued into place. The methods used by the students make it almost impossible to show what they have done, but at the same time the rooms are lifted from beginning decay to new-age splendor. The wallpaper in the main house add up to three rooms; Finstua, the smoking room and Finstusalen. The wallpaper is from around 1845, and has been very well maintained. The colors in the handprinted medallions and patterns are clear and clean, and despite the various challenges with the indoor climate in the main house over the years, the wallpaper is generally in good condition. The tapestries are printed on very high quality paper and the craft that is behind their production is excellent.
It was with great awe that Nordlandsmuseet decided that the wallpaper should be restored and in consultation with Kulturminner in Nordland at Nordland County Municipality, we got one of Europe's most reknown experts with us. Wallpaper expert Lutz Walter was part of the team of conservators who received the high-rise Europa Nostra award, the EU Cultural Memorial Prize 2015, for the restoration of the Eidsvoll Building. Lutz Walter was already in the 1990s at Kjerringøy, and is very excited about our wallpaper. Now he is in charge of the ongoing restoration project, and his daughter Cosima Walter has been responsible for the team working on the wallpaper. It is a conscientious job to restore such an old and unique wallpaper. It's important not to restore too much, because the goal is not that the wallpaper should look "new" when the work is done.
First, the conservator cleans the wallpaper, and carefully removes dust, soot and other debris that have accumulated on the surface over the years. Then they have repaired the canvas on which the wallpaper is mounted. In some corners, the canvas was rotten and has now been given a new similar cancas sewn on to the old canvas. Then, they repair the paper layers, secure loose parts and replace the wallpaper with new paper where it is completely gone. It's a time-consuming job, and along the way, new challenges are still encountering. What is so exciting is that when we loosen moldings and the paper is cleaned and investigated, new knowledge also emerges. Building history of the main house becomes more familiar as the work has progressed.
Summer 2018 we are planning a "new opening" of the main house, where these important work will be presented and visualized.