Seeing this image on Pinterest a while ago got me all inspired again about Dala Horses. Have I mentioned lately that I lived in Denmark for a while, barely still speak the language and have spent times in Norway, Sweden and Finland too? That information may be helpful to explain a bit of my passion for this post.
Dala Horses are ubiquitous in Scandinavia and pretty much every tourist shop has shelves of them in many sizes, right there next to the shelves of gnomes, lace curtains, pewter serving trays and wood handled cheese knives. (If you are at all familiar with Scandinavian tourist shops I hope you're laughing or at least smiling a little right now. )
Dala Horses have a beautiful history and you can learn all about it here. Traditionally they are painted red or blue with ornate tole painted details. I have owned a few over time, but right now don't have any. But this image inspired me to want a small stable of them. I love the simple black and I love how symbolically strong they look all together - standing strong against any foe that might come their way.
Here is a fun, more modern take - the bright apple green version. Love these but I think I want to go without the tole painting, as beautiful, symbolic and traditional as it is.
So now I'm on a bit of a hunt. Of course on Pinterest there are never-ending pages of images and a few possible sources. I wish IKEA would bring the giant ones back to their stores again. I need to keep an eye out.
I would never paint over an authentic Dala Horse. However, if I found the all white ones in IKEA again, I'd be tempted to strip them and paint them all black...or maybe some metallic slate color.
Rustoleum's spray paint Hammered in black would be the perfect color. It's got that perfect "a Viking just forged this metal over a fire in the woods of Norway" look to it.
Dala Horses are a great decoration for Christmas but you can find them in many Scandinavian homes year round. They are just one of the many, many things to love about Scandinavia. I'm going to stick with a Scandinavia theme again tomorrow. I have some beautiful wood art to share with you. I was a little speechless when I saw it because I liked it so much.
Image 1 via thatnordicfeeling
If you are the least bit into Scandinavian Design right now, this tumblr might make you pass out with excitement. I'm just warning you now. Tons of gorgeous home furnishings, architecture, clothing, nature, etc. Simply stunning.
Image 2 via Geocaching