Handmade items are something special. Often we tend to take extra good care of products like these. It was really a unique and poetic experience, to see how the iconic Dalarne wooden horse was made from the ground up. Nils Olson Dalahästar, is the place to visit if you want to see traditional Scandinavian traditional wood work.
Being the designers we are, we just love templates like these. It gives a great feeling of history.
The factory had a fantastic odor from all the wood, and rough cut horses was stacked all over the place.
The horses without paint also caught our attention and love.
There was a system of coloring them, and the women definitely knew how to use the brushes, and kept a steady hand.
Factory paint room, with splash paint on the walls, look so decorative in all their randomness.
This is so folklore and Scandinavian.
A rainbow of wooden horse figures.
Horses have been depicted since forever it seems. From our ancestors in caves, and since. In the 1700 lumberjacks used to carve horses in their huts at night. Thats when the predecessors of the Dalahorse of today. Around 1800 the horses were decorated with flowers. The horses were sold around the area of Mora, and were picked up by traveling merchants, who brought them to the rest of Sweden.
The Brothers Nils and Jannes Olsson, were born in a poor family in Nusnäs, one of the towns where the horses were made. Early on they had to help carving horses after school. In 1928 when they were only 13 and 15 years old, they borrowed 400 "riksdaler" (the Swedish currency at the time), which was a large loan, and used it to buy a bandsaw, and the first dalahorse factory saw the light.