Granna's painting method

I’m continuing our guided tour as part of the Craftalong today. We are at Nusns, where the Dala Horse is created. I love the craftsmanship of the woodwork behind these horses, but today’s post will be a bit more colorful. The Dala Horse is traditionally orange, but it comes in a variety of colours these days. I hope you’ll be inspired!

Skinny dipped horses Photo by Hanba Andersson copyright

The painting process starts after the wood have been carved and sanded. The entire horse is then dipped into a coloured lacquer. On that smooth surface professional kurbits-painters use oil paints.

Painting horses

Painting a horse
When we visited the shop in Nusns this lady was set up inside painting horses. She said that she has been painting horses for over 50 years, and you could tell by the speed of her hands. Wow!

Paint brush set up
Paint brush set up with different colours. The pretty swirls on the Dala Horse is created by using two colours on the same paint brush. Perfect movement of the hand every time renders almost identical looking horses. If I hadn’t seen it I would think it was a printed pattern, but it isn’t. It’s a handicraft and a very cool one I think.

Kurbits painting

Kurbits painting is a decorative style of painting that was very popular in Sweden between 1780 and 1870, particularly in Dalarna and southern Norrland. Today it is still used and a popular style that honour our Swedish, farmer herritage.

Kurbits painting

This style is well-known as the style for painting Dalecarlian horses (from Dalarna). Kurbits are often big fantasy flowers with leaf bouquets, and garlands of flowers.

Kurbits painting

I think kurbits can be fun when it is used in a modern context, then is becomes kitschy and playful. But it is definitely trending. Earlier this year a whole issue of a popular fashion magazine in Sweden had kurbits as a theme! One of my favorite interiour design blogs is a Swedish blog called!

I took quite a few photos because I love looking at moving, working hands…

Doing the detail work
Always hand paintedOil colours and paint brushesHorse being painted

Craftalong with us

Dala Horse Craftalong 2011I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of the Dala Horse Making in Sweden! Please consider making your own Dala Horse and visit the other hosts of the Dala Horse Craftalong (me, Pam, Kathryn and Carina), they’ve got plenty of DIY craft inspiration for your Dala Horse Projects.

Photos from the flickr pool:

Dala Horse Craftalong
Add yours and let me know if you blog about this topic, I’d love to read it.

It would be awesome to see if you make anything inspired by all of this. Thanks!