By Katie Breaux
This colorful painting project, that we affectionally call Dala Horse Love, is inspired by traditional Swedish wooden toy horses.
I grew up in a Scandinavian American family, in the woods of Minnesota, and attended an historically Swedish college in Chicago. I regularly saw Dala horses throughout my childhood. They adorned bookshelves at my great-grandmother’s house, hung from Douglas Fir branches as tiny holiday ornaments, and stood 22 feet tall and proud alongside the highway in Mora, Minnesota. Dala horses were originally hand-carved and designed as toys for children in Sweden. They have a very distinct and recognizable painted style and now have become iconic of the Scandinavian culture.
I haven’t seen Dala horses as frequently since moving to the Southern states. But then this winter I noticed the appearance of Dala horses on my Pinterest, Instagram, and Etsy news feeds! Since the Dala horse seems to have experienced a resurgence in main stream pop culture, we decided its unique tradition and style would be one our students in Charlotte may have never heard of, and one that would certainly inspire them!
Take a peek at our pencil + Sharpie + china marker + watercolor renditions from New Year’s Camp!