Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Dala Horse

The Dala horse has long been a symbolic gesture of frugality and simple gift giving for the people of Scandinavia, in particular Sweden. The horses were carved from blocks of wood and given as gifts to the young and were used as toys.

There popularity has grown and the horses are collected and treasured by many.
The art of carving and painting the small horses quickly flourished in the 19th century, as economic hardship in the region inspired greater production of the small horses, and they became an important item of barter. Horse-making may have started as something to do during the long dark winter months, but soon the Dala horses were traded in exchange for household goods and their carving and painting blossomed into a full-fledged cottage industry. The rural families depended on horse production to help keep food on the table, as the skills of horse carving and painting were passed on from generation to generation.

The stout shaped horses are the more common shapes, but there are other
types of shapes, some with slender necks and longer legs.

The most popular painted designs are these folk style patterns with bright reds,
blues and yellow being popular colours featured on them.
Other Dala horse colours are softer and simply painted with an overall base colour.

Inspired by their endearing colours and designs, I decided to make some ceramic ones a few years ago
to hang on Christmas trees as part of my Scandinavian styled decorations.
Each year they have been well received by my customers so I increased and changed my range this year (due to seeing a few of my designs copied by other ceramicists!).
Next year I won't make the above style design as these are the ones that have been copied, I will be changing the design in the hope that they stay individual and personal to me and my way of working.
You can pick up the last few colours here and here.
These designs are currently available (in short supply) from my
 Not on the High Street Shop.

This is how they arrive, I charge no extra for gift wrapped packaging.

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