On Tuesday, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway visited the Aurora workshop – a working community of artists with and without disabilities in Bærum. Ceramics, textiles, clothing and paper have been produced at the workshop, despite a pandemic and strict infection control measures.
The Crown Princess said: “I am happy that the workplace has been able to stay open during the pandemic, and there is hard work behind it. Having a meaningful job and regular routines is important for health. For some, and for many at Aurora, it is extra important.”
During the visit, the Crown Princess was briefed on the workshop’s 34-year history by entrepreneur Trine Dreyer. Today, Aurora Verksted has around 100 employees and has built an ordinary company around the adapted workplace. This includes the aurora store in Oslo and the design work produced with partners outside the workshop.
Magnus Olav Sand also showed the Crown Princess a rug he made. The production of unique design is large and extensive, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit was given a tour of the spacious workshop rooms for elastic, textile, colour and ceramics where employees were in full activity. Aurora Verksted is run by professionals and maintains essential knowledge of the craft subjects. With her interest in handicrafts, the Crown Princess was also able to pick up several tips from the employees.
At the knitting machine, Inger Anne Nyberg gave the Crown Princess a short guide on how it worked. Aurora Workshop is a cooperative where earnings go to developing the company. The company offers adapted jobs for people who need them from the municipalities of Oslo, Bærum and Asker. At the end of the visit, Her Royal Highness said: “They do so many things that I am interested in. They have managed to stay open during almost the entire pandemic and offered a good and safe everyday life. It was incredibly nice to visit and hear about how they have done in this phase.”