February 26, 2013 by yc
Rocking Sheep Rock on! at Smallable
This post is brought to you by SMALLABLE.
In the coming months RAWR will feature stories related to the cool brands represented by the fashion & design concept store for 0-16 year olds, SMALLABLE. This week we had a little chat with the charming Polv Kjel, the creator of the Rocking Sheep of Danish Crafts. The Danish wood carver and designer Polv Kjel has rediscovered the modern go-go reinterpretation of traditional rocking horses. First originally created in 1981 for his niece Julie, the Rocking Sheep has gone a long way. Here is our chance to take a peek behind the scenes and hear the tales by the creator!
Q: You created the first original Rocking Sheep for your niece Julie in 1981, that was more than 30 years ago. Have you continued the tradition with the new and younger generation in your family?
A: I grew up on a small farm and my parents are both farmers and skilled craftsmen. Making gifts yourself was both natural and an economic necessity. I have continued this, not as a principle, but whenever I feel for it. When Julie got a sheep it was natural to give her daughter a lamb, which is a scale model of the Rocking Sheep in 1:2. Julie’s little brother is going to be father this spring, so I have a feeling that he is expecting something as well…
Q: Where do you find the materials, from the neighboring countries?
A: The Swedish pinewood comes from the certified sawmills, and the sheepskin comes from Iceland, UK and even New Zealand. The very first ones were made from wood I found in containers. I did not remove the paint because I thought this was a part of the story. The sheepskin for the first sheep came from my parents sheep.
Q: How many people make Rocking Sheep besides you?
A: For all this time it has been important to me that people knows and can connect to the story behind the sheep, and that is why I first started by making each sheep myself – just like the first one. The succes of the sheep has in a way violated this principle, because I am not able to make all the rocking sheep myself anymore, especially if I want to make other things. To ensure continuity I have found small, local workshops like my own, just a little more specialized, to make parts for me. I still assemble the sheep and carry through the final quality control.
Q: Do you feel emotionally attached to the sheep?
A: I feel emotionally attached to the story of the sheep. In spite of the other works and designs I have made, I’ve accepted that it is the Rocking Sheep people know me for. I love to brag about the sheep and I promise lifetime guarantee, at least during my lifetime. However the rocking sheep will probably last a lot longer than I.
Q: Do you have other interesting projects currently, what is inspiring you?
A: As an established wood carver I work for museums, making wooden sculptures and mannequins. I have made a full size sculpture and figures based on the fairytale of HC Andersen for the namesake’s museum in Odense. For example it was fun to make the hens from the the tale of “It is quite true”. I have continued making hens in wood for decoration. Like human the hens are vulgar and have bad qualities and if you place them up, having them looking down at you they are a bit scary, which gives an exiting quality to the interieur.
The first Rocking Sheep in 1981
The übercool Rocking Sheep is available at Smallable.com, THE fashion & design online concept-store, including more than 300 brands of fashion, furniture, decoration, books and toys. Despite this diversity each season, Smallable keeps consistency in substance and style by selecting only the finest products well thought and well designed.
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