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Hej Hej from Sätergläntan

Hej Hej from Sätergläntan! Resident Artisan Liz O'Brien gives us a look inside the doors of our Swedish sister school, with unique and thoughtful details around every corner. 

Posted on March 21, 2024
by Liz O'Brien

One of the first things you notice about Sätergläntan is its idyllic setting. Covered in a fresh blanket of snow upon our arrival, it reminded me of the scenery in one of the many Little Golden fairytale books I read endlessly while growing up. Even as an adult, that magic is still there and I find it difficult to imagine a more dreamy place to spend a few days.

Each building is painted the same deep red color, known as Falu Red. The name and the particular shade of red come from the residual tailings of nearby copper mines that were in operation for nearly 1,000 years! This color is commonly seen throughout Scandinavia and so many villages we drove through and by were no exception.

Once you fully take in the sea of red and step past the thresholds of the buildings, you are greeted with bright, cheery interiors in contrast to the richness of the outer facades. Beyond that, so many more little details begin to pop.

Much like walking into any of the buildings at North House, there are elements of simplicity, beauty and functionality sprinkled everywhere. The blending of these is nearly seamless and it’s easy to see how enriching and inspiring this environment is. From simple kitchen drawer knobs to painted stars on a ceiling, slöjd is very much a living entity felt throughout Sätergläntan.

Throughout these last few days at Sätergläntan, I’ve been thinking a lot of this quote from Van Gogh: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” I can’t help but think of how each and every piece of handcraft in and around Sätergläntan is a testament of an intimate community made up of those who appreciate the significance and value the skills involved in the process of making something by hand. For institutions like Sätergläntan and North House, these timeless objects of beauty and function are catalysts, bringing us together, inviting curiosity and inspiring the carrying on tradition.