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24 April 2017

Dala Horses

So we did this art project from ArtAchieve (there's a review coming at the first of May), and it went really well, particularly considering that they were a little reluctant to do it at first! The kids, particularly Dragon, are learning a whole bunch of things with this style of art, and they're making some really nice art. The project has you do a line drawing first:

Top: Dragon, Hero. Bottom: Peanut, Mom

Then you paint it. They give several examples, and tell what's traditional, mention that you don't have to do that if you don't want to, then turn the kids loose to make their own designs.

Top: Dragon, Mom. Bottom: Peanut, Hero.

And they did.

In fact, the next day, they wanted to do more. It was pretty cool. I made them do their regular school work; told them that this time the horses were an "after school activity". Which was fine with them.  They set and did them after their regular work was done.

Peanut did one, then the boys came and joined her and they all started the lesson over, but their impromptu art class got interrupted: Daddy got home and horses weren't very important any more. Right then, at least. So Peanut was the only one with a completed work from that batch.

I was pretty impressed with her. These lessons are intended for kids who are much older than she is, and she had very little help with this one, since I was trying to get some dinner made before we all went to Scouts for the evening. I tried to persuade her to do watercolor, but since we'd used acrylics the first time, she wanted those same paints the second time. A lot of her cute details got obscured when she painted, as a result.

The art lesson has a lot of extras, so we checked some of them out. There's a flyover of Sweden, Norway, and Finland. That was fun; we have ancestors that lived in those places, but especially in Sweden and Norway.

They've got some information about a Smörgåsbord - I had no idea those were Swedish - and while I think that I'm not going to be making anything nearly as fancy as what their article describes, when I searched for Smörgåsbord on Pinterest, I did find this recipe for these cookies. I have no idea how authentic they are, but they were yummy! 

We also looked at a factory, where they make Dala Horses. That was pretty interesting. Hero likes whittling. So far, he's only used his pocket knife on sticks from the yard, and a few bars of soap, but we're in the market for better projects for him, and he was all over the little tips they mentioned, like to pay attention to the grain of the wood. I think it would be pretty awesome if we could arrange for him to make a real wooden one, rather than just a painting, but we haven't made that happen. Yet. It's remarkable to me how much they're doing with such a basic knife. I thought carving required much more specialized tools.

Because we have some Swedish ancestry, I also looked up where our people were, and compared it to where these horses were made, but it looks like it's far enough away that these were probably not a thing that our ancestors were involved in: the 3 hour drive is not a big deal today, but in those days, that was a long distance. Still, it was fun to look it up, and to look at some of the designs. Even if the horses weren't a thing in Uppsala, where our people were, it's probable that they had very similar traditional designs. It's always fun to look up that kind of thing and make even a tenuous personal connection.

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