03-08-2019 9.30 pm
Today my family and I travelled to Bærums Verk which is approximately an hour to drive from Drammen. There is a lot to see and do at Bærums Verk but tucked away in a corner of the main hub of Bærums Verk you will find Swedish-born Sculptor and artist, Tobbe Malm.
Tobbe together with Tone Mørk Karlsrud initiated the Iron Rose project in Norway after the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya on 22nd July 2011. Deeply moved by the sea of roses outside of the Oslo Cathedral, Tobbe and Tone were inspired by the spontaneously solidarity by strangers which was the foundation and motivation for starting the Iron Rose project in Norway.
Blacksmiths from all over the world were invited to contribute to the project. What is especially unique with this project is that 22nd July bereaved families were also invited to forge their own rose in memory of their loved one, as well as survivors. All the materials that the families used to forge their roses was funded primarily by Tobbe Malm - his genuine kindness is the main reason why many families like ours accepted his kindness to forge our own Iron Rose.
Below is a selection of photos that my family and I have taken, which I am allowed to share on my blog-website. Visiting Tobbe and forging our own Iron Rose in memory of my sister, Sharidyn is deeply personal. For our parents, it was a very emotional day - made easier because of Tobbe.
When we first arrived, Tobbe offered us coffee, juice and biscuits in his workshop. The first thing I thought when we met Tobbe was he is so kind. Tobbe chatted for what seemed like a long time, with my parents before we started - and he took his time to just talk. Sydney and I had a nosey around his workshop, looking at all the different Iron Roses that other families had already made, as well as the monument construction that stood outside of his workshop.
Forging an Iron Rose looks easy, but it was a lot more intricate than we first thought. All the metal petals were pre-cut - just waiting for us to hammer away at them. Each petal was placed inside an oven to heat up the metal - and once the metal was hot enough, we then hammered the perfections out of each petal. This process took about an hour or so.
Once we were done with the petals, we then hammered in each letter of Sharidyns name - Dad mainly did this part. Seeing each letter of Sharidyns name appear on the petal as dad hammered away, was both really cool and really sad. To be honest, I would rather have my sister. Making Sharidyn's rose was our contribution to what would eventually be part of the Iron Rose monument. Our rose to Sharidyn was our tribute to Sharidyn, just like for each bereaved family.
The idea, motivation and process of making the Iron Rose I believe, had one common theme - kindness. Tobbe wasn't a politician in a suit making decisions for us - instead Tobbe exemplifies everything the terrorist hated about Norway's multi-cultural society. Tobbe in his unique way, brought communities of people from all over Norway and other parts of the world, in particular bereaved families - to celebrate and memorialise peoples geniune inherent kindness. Imagine being a part of a project that represents kindness, that is purely motivated by kindness?
Unfortunately there isn't one 22nd July monument in Norway that doesn't have some scandal relating to it's design, construction, lack of process or involvement by the bereaved families. Unfortunately sad but true. That is why Tobbe Malms Iron Project is unique - he has managed to do something no one else in Norway has done - invite the bereaved families and communities around the world to contribute - motivated by kindness. Not politics, recognition or money - just kindness!
Thank you Tobbe Malm for helping us make our own Iron Rose in memory of Sharidyn!