Several weeks ago, I posted pictures of these Dala horses in their raw, just-carved state. I’m excited to finally post the finished set of horses!
After carving and sanding, I painted them in traditional Swedish designs along with a little twist–American flag designs on the saddles. The height of the tallest horse is 6″ and the smallest is a little under 3″. The horses (and American flag designs) were custom ordered by my childhood friend, whose mother is Swedish.
While creating the horses, I learned that the first Dala horses originated about 150 years ago in the Swedish province of Dalarna. Woodcarvers made them as children’s toys, depicting horses because they were a common aspect of daily life. Dala horses eventually became an item of barter, and carving and painting them grew into a widespread cottage industry. The skill was passed down from one generation to the next, and modern day Dala horses are now a historic symbol of Sweden.