Tomte, Ceramic Swedish Christmas Gnome



I first heard about the Tomte from my daughter who moved to Sweden in 2010. He is a little creature from Scandinavian folklore that is usually associated around the winter solstice and Christmas. I always thought of the Tomte as similar to a gnome.  He is only 3 feet tall with a white beard and red cap. To Scandinavians he is like Santa Clause and is the bearer of gifts. The Tomte often takes up residence at a family farm. Living in the home and helping with chores and protecting the children and animals. Like the faeries he can have a temper. So treat him fairly  or he will play tricks and cause mischief to the family. A bowl of porridge is commonly left out at Christmas.  This also is a nice gesture to let the Tomte know he is welcome.

During Christmas time you will often see Tomte with red hats and beards hanging around the Swedish homes as decorations. I’ve collected a few over the years and Tomtar are always welcome in my home.

I now regularly make these little characters. I try to vary how each one looks so no two are alike. 


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I’ve pursued many creative routes over the years. It wasn’t until 2013 that my love of clay really took hold. My work is hand-built using a variety of techniques. Slab building to pinching and coil construction. Each piece takes on its own unique form. Having been a wild gardener for over 20 years I’m inspired by nature and the changing seasons. This really influences the body of my ceramics work. I also like to surprise and delight with more humorous pieces. Also  designing bespoke practical items for the home, including small areas of tiling. Physically moulding the clay, firing and glazing is so exciting. It is this excitement that entices me back in to my studio each day. For more information about me, or to ask for a commission please get in touch.

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