When did you last make a road trip? Last week, I joined a fantastic group of Swedish creatives, in a paper and bookbinding workshop in Djura and on an inspiring creative road trip in Dalarna.
Whether you already knew this or not, Dalarna is the epicenter of images many think to be typically Swedish with its scattering of little red houses, the Dalahasts (wooden horses), folk costumes, farms, lakes, mountains and handicraft. While these images were a part of our trip, I felt little bit more like Harry Potter stepping onto Platform 9 3/4 and discovered a thriving design world. There’s so much that you just have to see with your own eyes, just click below to come along with me, too.
Before I hit the road with you, I have to introduce the planners: Karin of Pyssellbolaget andLina från Lina by the Bay. Sofia från Hildas Hem, Helena från Craft and Creativity and I were lucky enough to just come along for the fun. Whether you’re living in Sweden, traveling here, or are an arm chair traveler, I recommend the region and that you also check out their blogs. They’re all creatives, entrepreneurs and all have blogs that reflect each of them uniquely
Dalarna in 2 Days:
Day 1: Linda Gimle | Djurapaper for Paper Workshop
After a 3 hour drive between Stockholm and Leksand with a little stop in Satter at a creative hamlet of a cafe called, Bollie Cafe.
Once we arrived to the outskirts of Leksand, we found the small town of Djura where Linda, of Djura Bok, welcomed us to her store that was bathed in sunlight and had a schedule that required discipline and nimble fingers. (Djura Bok- och Pappersverkstad), After a tour and a perfect “fika” (coffee break), she put us to work making tiny paper garlands, stars, a beautiful dinner and then, closing up with book binding. The creative atmosphere, Linda’s passion and knowledge, along with our group made for an incredibly memorable night.
Linda and her husband Odd are both trained bookbinders who, in addition to raising a young family in this same house, do exquisite bindings, repairs, book renovations, gilding, embossing along with courses. We could hardly leave when it was time and felt with our arms filled with the items we made and purchases from her perfectly curated book binding collection. I had the opportunity to interview Linda. Click here for full interview.
Ylva Skarp | Mia Svalänge at Lyckoform | Jobbs
After a wonderful, farm-fresh breakfast, we began the day with a visit to calligrapher and designer Ylva Skarp in Leksand. Since we realized that we had all studied graphic design and held of love for typography this deepened the visit. After studying Calligraphy, in a 4 year program in London, Ylva returned to Stockholm where she worked both with her art form, as well as interior design, later moving to Dalarna to raise her family where she’s continued to do more and more; expanding constantly and selling around the world. She’s a master and her simple brushstrokes are not only found on the prints and art work she’s commissioned but was noticeable in everything around us: the walls, the chairs, ceramics , textiles, wallpaper and the back splash behind her kitchen sink!
Many have tried to copy her style but without the passion that Ylva conveys fall flat. Ylva authentically captures something undefinable with her pen.
Next, Lyckoform or “All roads lead to Mia.” When Karin and Lina were planning the trip, they were told repeatedly that if they were in Leksand, they had to find Mia. Once in the region, we heard this again and again, too. We asked around and were told that Mia Svalänge‘s studio Lyckoform was near Ylva’s studio. They are literally wall to wall.
Mia, who describes herself as a creative, wanted to find a away around these traditions and open these national treasures up for everyone. She’s designed a beautiful line, all made in Sweden, or impeccably modern, exceptionally crafted, interior pieces that began with a line of felt blankets; then rugs which are based on the color ways and patterns from folk costumes. I have my eye on the blankets and see that they come in sizes.
Perfect, I have an excuse to return.
5 Family Hikes in Vemdalen (Swedish Mountains)