Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Glass Museum in Ebeltoft, East Jutland

On the Ebeltoft Glasmuseum you can experience an acknowledged collection of modern international glass art. Besides are 6-9 special exhibitions each year , and most of the year the glassblowers are working in the workshop.

Peter Bremer, inspired by the icebergs at Antarctis and Greenland

The Glass Museum in Ebeltoft is Denmark's only museum of glass art. It is situated in the city Ebeltoft. It was established in 1986 by the artist-couple Finn Lynggård and Tchai Munch in Ebeltofts earlier custom house, which was built in 1921 by architect Hack Kampmann and Christian Kampmann. An extension was inaugurated in 2006, designed by 3XN and finansed by various fonds and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Municipality of Ebeltoft. The collection has above 1500 works from all over the world, which are either gifts or loans to the museum.

Glasmuseet Ebeltoft's large collection of modern glass art was founded by the help of more than 600 known glass artists from all over the world. These artists have all generously either given or loaned works to the collection, which today includes more than 1500 works. The collection of works by glass artists are from these countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lituania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Belarus, Rumænia, Russia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Schwitzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela, Jugoslavia.

The purpose of the glass museum is to show the latest development in modern glass art, which means that if a glass artist creates a work, which is better or more different from the already loaned works in the collection of the museum, then he/she is welcome to exchange it or supplement the new work. This means that the museum will always be able to show up-to-date works and new flows inside glass art. The admission to the collection is decided with an invitation from the glass museum. The criterium is that the participants are professionals, (their main occupation must be class art).

The collection is represented in alternative thematized exhibitions with selected works. After a period individual works are exchanged with others, which still fits the chosen theme. In this way it is possible to show a larger number of works from the collection. On some occassions the whole exhibition-area will be used for special exhibitions, but the museum has in view that works from the colletion can be experienced all year.

In the workshop.

In the Giftshop

See list : The Artists

photo Ebeltoft Glass Museum 2005/2009: grethe bachmann

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Landscape in Rain

A lonely cyclist in the rain.

Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear.

After a long period with snow and ice came a day with rain. Maybe it would have been better to see the sun but it will come back for good next week. King Winter has finally withdrawn. He's tired now. The mild rain is very welcome.

The mild temperature made steam rise from the thin ice on a small lake.

Colours grow soft in the rain.

Large flocks of mute swans and whooper swans were in the countryside. They have survived the tough winter season and now love to graze in the fields.

A farm in the mists

The island Alrø. is 7 km long and 5 km broad and has been inhabited since Stone Age. The legend says that the island got its name in the Viking Period, where the Viking chief Hjarne lived at Hjarnø. He married the girl Alrune and gave her Alrø ("Alrune's ø"). Their son Lave was given the island Endelave. These islands are situated in Horsens fjord. Acces to the island Alrø is via an embankment, to Hjarnø and Endelave via ferry.

At a farm Møllegården is now established a restaurant, and in the farthest part of the island, close to a ferry for cyclists, is the cosy Café Alrø. Near the church is an antique shop, named Marens Hus. The island has 161 inhabitants.

One of the smallest churches in the district is Alrø church with a beautiful view across Horsens fjord. It looks like a church from the Romanesque period, although it was built in the late Middle Ages, probably ab. 1400.

He was not happy to see us. He was the protector of three wives of course!

He did not like the camera. He hissed and puffed his feathers, he looked really dangerous!

He went back to his wives, and they had a long talk about the danger they had avoided because of his courage.

The goose is an old domestic animal. From Egyptian frescoes appears that the Egyptians ab. 4000 years ago knew about force-feeding geese to develop foie gras. In archaeological excavations in Egypt are found bones from very large domestic geese. Those geese - dated to the period from 600 years B.C. till 200 years A.C., were larger than the largest present race, the Toulouse-geese.


Åkær is a manor, which was known from the beginning of the 1300s. It was conveyed to the bishop in Århus ab. 1400. After the reformation it was transferred to the Crown. From 1548 it was the main estate in a vasalry of Hads herred, and in 1660 it was changed into Åkær amt. (district) The farm was in the 1600s marked by decay and was replaced by the present pretty half-timbered building, which until a few years ago was also in decay. In a compulsory sale it was sold to the present owner Johan Koed-Jørgensen. He carried through a thorough renovation of the buildings, and he cleared forests and meadows, which caused critics from nature protection people. The manor is closed to the public.

The hedgerows which are so beautiful all over the country - especially in spring when they are in bloom - are at Åkær being clean-cut in the top like villa-hedges. All the hedges along the fields look very odd and not pretty. That's a shame.

Photo Odder-Alrø area 20 March 2010:grethe bachmann

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Bride's Lake/Brudesø

Brudesø , Mid Jutland

Small lakes and ponds were sacred places in the rituals of ancient people. All legends and songs are gone forever - but some findings from the Late Stone Age are considerable sources to the life and religion of ancient tribes. It was important to communicate with the spirits of the water, and in this communication sacrifices played a necessary role.

Besides animal bones and ceramics from Stone Age there are also more macabre findings in moors, which were once a lake. In Sigersdal in Nordsjælland was found the skeleton of a young girl with a rope around her neck. A geologist estimated that she had been brought out into the water, where she was just about able to touch bottom. She had been lead to her death with a rope around her neck and was killed on the same spot , in which she was found. Nearby was found another skeleton of a young girl, she was probably also sacrificed to the gods.

In a legend a bride and groom were killed by driving their horse carriage out into a lake, which after this was called 'Brudesø' (Bride's Lake) , a story known from other places and countries. Why this lake in the lake district in the middle of Jutland has achieved the name 'Brudesø' is not known - whether young girls were sacrificed here as brides of the water spirit - or if a young couple commited suicide in a Romeo and Juliet tragedy - only imagination can tell.

photo Brudesø, Addit 2008: grethe bachmann

Winter Aconite /Eranthis

Eranthis hyemalis

Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) is one of the earliest bulbs to bloom in spring. This plant in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), native to Asia Minor and Europe, has small flowers that resemble tiny buttercups. The solitary, yellow cup-shaped flowers are surrounded by bright green bracts that look like a collar around the blossom. Eranthis is growing on forest floors and using the sunshine available below the canopy of trees before the leaves come out; the leaves die off when the shade from tree canopies becomes dense, or, in dry areas, when summer drought reduces water availability. They are popular ornamental plants grown for their winter or early spring flowering.

All parts of the plants are poisonous, though the very acrid taste makes poisoning a low risk.If you have small children or pets that are likely to dig in the garden you may not want winter aconite in your yard as the entire plant, but especially the tuber, is quite poisonous and may cause nausea, vomiting, colic attacks and visual disturbances.

This ground-hugging plant works well in rock gardens, flower beds and woodland gardens. The flowers first appear in the sunniest spots, just before the first snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) begin to bloom. They can look charming together planted in the border or naturalized in the lawn. Winter aconite is good for naturalizing under trees and large shrubs. They combine nicely with hellebores and echo the flower color of Forsythia and witch hazel (Hamamelis). Because of their small size, they are best planted in groups.

When growing in conditions it likes, winter aconite reproduces easily and spreads readily to form large colonies – almost to the point of being invasive. Lift clumps while still green to keep under control, if desired, or when overcrowded. To propagate, divide the clumps after flowering or collect seeds to sow in the fall.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Medea tried to kill Theseus by poisoning him by putting aconite in his wine, in that culture thought to be the saliva of Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the Underworld. Hercules dragged Cerberus up from the Underworld, while the dog turned his face away from the light, barking and depositing saliva along the path. The saliva hardened in the soil and produced its lethal poison in the plants that grew from the soil. Because it was formed and grew on hard stones, farmers called it 'aconite' (from the Greek akone, meaning 'whetstone').

Photo Forsthaven 2009/2010: grethe bachmann

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kalø Castle Ruin and Mols Bjerge , 13. March 2010

Kalø Castle ruin in winter. A fortificated castle lay here about 700 years ago. King Erik Menved built three fortificated castles in 1314 as a protection against the rebellious Jutland peasants. This first Kalø was broken down not long after the building. Christoffer II had to sign a coronation charter in 1320 in Viborg, before he became king, which meant that he had to break down king Erik Menved's castles. The rest of the large castle plan, known from the excavations of the National Museum, are ascribed to Valdemar Atterdag. In 1518 Gustav Eriksson Vasa was imprisoned here, but he escaped back home to Sweden in 1519. Kalø fell into decay, and in 1672 the castle was broken down and almost every usable stone was sailed to Copenhagen, where Frederik III's son, Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve built a palace , the present Charlottenborg.
Kalø ruin at the castle island and a large area of the neighbourhood is listed.

The medieval pavement leading to the island and Kalø is a good footpath , also when the surrounding area is in a bad state caused by snow and ice.

From Kalø was that day a view across a sheet of ice. No birds.

Mols is a lovely place to take a drive. So many places at Mols have a great view over a hilly landscape with farms and houses. Here is a view across the bay to the city Århus (in the middle Studstrupværket).

Stabelhøje” a little north of the village Agri in Mols Bjerge are some of the prettiest hills from Bronze Age in Denmark. The place is worth a visit each season. Here the hills seen from the "shadow-side" with a pretty little timber framed farm at the foot of the hills.

A drive down among the hills and a view to the bay (Knebelvig) - in the middle of the photo to the left is the Poskær Stenhus.

Poskær Stenhus looks a little gloomy on a grey afternoon. It is Denmark's largest round dolmen, and it is from ab. 3.300 B.C.

Opposite the dolmen Poskær Stenhus is a small tree upon a hill. It has been the same size for many years, but it has survived in spite of wind and weather. Survival of the fittest.

There was still much ice by the village Knebel and the fishing harbour. Some swans stayed there. It has been a tough winter for the swans and many other birds this year.

Kalø and Mols 13. March 2010: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bank Vole/ Rødmus

Myodes glareolus (formerly Clethrionomys glareolus)

There was a rattle in the dry leaves and a little mouse came up. It was so busy that it noticed nothing unusual in its surroundings. Down under the leaves, up again, down and up, maybe it was looking for its store from last autumn . It was the first days of March so maybe there were already little mouse pups under the leaves.

The bank vole is found in western Europe and northern Asia. It is native to Great Britain but not to Ireland, where it has been accidentally introduced.

The bank vole is common in most parts of Denmark, except at some islands, i.e. Bornholm. Bank voles are characterized by short legs, short tail and ears. From nose tip to root of tail it measures 8-14 cm, and it weighs 15-40 gram. It is red upon the top side while the fur underneath is white grey.

The bank vole mainly eats shoots, buds, leaves, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, moss and fungis and sometimes insects and snails. It lives in woodland areas, hedgerows and thicket with grass and herb-vegetation. It is a good climber and is able to seek food often high up in trees and bushes, but it is also a good digger, and in autumn it gathers food in holes in the ground.

Both males and females defend a territory against same species, but a single male's territory can overlap the habitat of one or more females. The breeding season lasts usually from March till October, and in that period the bank vole can have up to five litters with each 3-5 young ones. The female is pregnant for ab. 3 weeks and while she nurses the young ones she can become pregnant again. The youngs are born in a nest of grass, moss and other plant-material which either are digged down in the upper soils or placed upon the ground.

Its natural enemies are stoat, weasel, fox, tawny owl, buzzard and viper.

photo Forsthaven, Århus March 2007: grethe bachmann

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Skagen, Vendsyssel, North Jutland

The top of Denmark, Grenen, where two seas meet, Skagerak coming from the North Sea and Kattegat from the Baltic Sea.

Brøndum's Hotel

Skagen is one of the sunniest places in Denmark, a favorite place for a summer holiday, the town is pretty with the yellow houses, red roofs and cosy gardens with white-painted fences. It is a lovely mix of a fishing and tourist-town, and it is marked by the group of painters, who lived here around 1900. Skagen was "discovered" in the 1870s by poets and painters like Holger Drachmann, Michael Ancher and P.S.Krøyer, who appreciated the good light and climate. The town has developed into one of the most popular holiday places in Denmark, especially for rich people in the late 1800s and in the beginning of the 1900s, but the life of a fishing-town has continued as always, and Skagen is still an important fishing harbour. A great attraction for the tourists is the life in the harbour with the picturesque old fishing -houses. Skagen Festival: Music/Jazz/Folksong in summer. Many exciting boutiques and gift-shops in the city street.

Skagen town has narrow streets and pretty houses. Skagen Museum has an excuisite collection of the Skagen painters and close to the museum is the famous Brøndums hotel and the romantic and red-painted Michael & Anna Ancher's house with memorial rooms and Ancher-paintings and drawings. Holger Drachmann's house is in the other part of Skagen town with memorial rooms. Close to his house is a small open air museum with old fishing houses, a windmill and a memorial hall . Another pretty building is the town hall and on the same road Krøyer's House, which is a halftimbered building , a fine example of the old building customs in Skagen. (private owner)

Fishing shops and restaurants.

The northernmost restaurant in Denmark, named "De 2 Have" (The two Seas)

Skagen is the northernmost city in Denmark - and when to go 5 km northeast is Grenen, Denmark's northernmost point. Along the road, which runs on the east side to Grenen you can see a reconstruction of an old vippefyr from 1561 and Skagen Fyr ("Lange Maren"), which is the highest lighthouse in Denmark. It takes 210 steps to get up in the top and look across the beautiful landscape towards Skagens Odde (Grenen), where two seas meet, Skagerak from the west and Kattegat from the east. Grenen grows with about 8 m each year, caused by the addition of material from the stream, but the point itself changes form all the time. The tour out to Grenen is a lovely ride with the blue and red tractor-train "Sandormen".

The German bunker from WWII is still there

The most wonderful blue sea, do you recognize Krøyer's blue sea?

P.S.Krøyer: Sommeraften ved Skagens Strand. Krøyer and his wife Marie
Peter Severin Krøyer, born 23 July 1851 in Stavanger , died 20 November 1909 in Skagen, was a Danish painter and one of the Danish Skagen-painters He was born in Norway but grew up by his aunt in Copenhagen. He early showed his talent as a drawer, and in the year 1864-70 he studied at Det kongelige Danske Kunstakademi and achieved in 1873 a gold medal and a scholarship. He went to Germany and France, where he worked and studied for several years. In 1878 he went to Spain and Italy where he visited Firenze, Siena and Rome. He met Michael and Anna Ancher in Paris. They lived in Skagen and this caused Krøyer to go to Skagen for the first time in 1882. He went there each summer and the concept of the Skagen-painters was created with P.S. Krøyer as the centre. As one of few Danish painters he had a selfportrait taken in at the Uffizi-museum in Firenze.
In 1889 he was married to the love of his life, the beautiful Marie, in Germany. In 1894 the married couple took over a house in Skagen plantage, named Krøyer's house. Some of his most exciting paintings were painted here, like various motives of summer evenings at the beach of Skagen. He also painted a flood of portraits, which made him a wealthy artist. Marie Krøyer left her husband and daughter in the beginning of the 1900s , and Krøyer was hospitalized several times as mentally disordered. Anyway he finished a magnificent painting "Skt.Hansblus på Skagens strand" in 1906. (Midsommernight fire). His illness grew worse and he died in 1909 at Skagen and was buried in Skagen cemetery.

The two seas which surround the land creates golden and blue shades in the dunes. The special light and a magnificent nature on all sides. The surroundings can be tough or gentle, but they are always fantastic and impressive. A high sky, lots of light, water and fresh air.

Gammel Skagen, holiday houses in the dunes

Jeckel's Hotel

Skagen is actually two towns , the little Gammel Skagen (Old Skagen) to the west by the Skagerak-coast and Skagen itself to the east by Kattegat - and from Skagen north along the coast to the northernmost point of Denmark, named Grenen, and from Grenen down south to Gammel Skagen on the western side is an about 50 km fine bathing beach. Gammel Skagen is also characteristic with the yellow houses and red roofs, but most of the old bathing hotels have been changed into time-share apartments, like the famous Jeckels Hotel .

South of Skagen is the listed migrating dune, Råbjerg Mile, a desert landscape - eternal changing and large enough to lose one's way in there, "Jutland's Sahara". During ab. 300 years it has been moving about 5 km - and deep under the giant duvet of sand are forests and villages buried; they will emerge gradually when the sand masses have moved enough eastwards. This happens with a speed of 20-30 meter a year.

Skagen, Flagbakken, bird-watchers in May 2008

A beautiful red kite.

Skagen is also a paradise for ornitologists/bird-watchers. there is a great bird-migrating in , especially in the month of May. Here are some birdwatcher upon the hill "Flagbakken" , south of Skagen. Various birds of prey arrived all day, hovering in the wind-current above the hill.

And at last we saw a small viper down the hill. I thought it was so cute, but was told that it bites just as bad as a grown-up viper. Can you see it? The little triangular head is raised at the left! (evt. click to enlarge)

photo Skagen 2003/2005/2008: grethe bachmann