About Audhild Viken
Audhild Viken was a pioneer in arts and crafts, not only in the Sogn og Fjordane county, also in the rest of Norway. Her achievement at the loom is well known, but her lifework is also connected to the marketing and sale of the handicraft products. The biggest difficulty for arts and crafts in Norway has not been the production itself, but making the goods available to the buyers, a field where Audhild Viken did pathbreaking work. Through this achievement she contributed to the foundation of an important trade in rural Norway.
In a time when people started turning their backs on the old fashioned, Audhild helped preserve and disperse traditions of arts and crafts. In the beginning she swapped weave works with other goods in Bergen, first for herself, later also for friends and neighbours who also weaved at home. This aroused a faith that people still cared for arts and crafts. Audhild Viken started travelling with a suitcase doubling as both shop and storehouse. In the beginning she rode her bike and then a moped. Later she bought a car, and her sales tours expanded to the better part of south Norway. The demand got so big; she had 200 part time employed weavers from a large part of the Sunnfjord area. Audhild had no longer time to sit at the loom herself, she now had to concentrate on finding patterns and colours for the weave works, disperse the knowledge and sell the goods.
This is the reason why Audhild Viken was such an important figure in the work to carry on the trade and tradition that was about to be forgotten. At the same time she managed to organize production and sale in a way that made arts and crafts a career for many people in rural Norway. Audhild Viken has in many ways been a woman pioneer for what today is considered an important slogan for arts and crafts; from tradition to business. She placed emphasis on quality in the work to rebuild old craft traditions, at the same time she had an open mind in regard to the development of new products based on the good Old Norwegian traditions.
Today we call shops in Bergen, Stavanger, Dombås and Skei part of our family business.