Åge the nisse started out life as a crappy garden gnome from Hobby Lobby’s “Spring Shop” clearance. Anyone who’s shopped their decor even a few times knows there’s a significant want in the mold and paint quality on their usually-Made-in-China polyresin pieces. While this tiny image makes this gnome look unusually okay (it was the best I could find, as I’d forgotten to take a photo of the original, and they’re no longer listed on Hobby Lobby’s website), there were the usual issues of paint overspray, off-centered paint application, paint drips/runs, and miscellaneous spurs, seams or other unfinished edges left from the molding process. Still, with the large shapes and pointed ears, I decided the little fellow could be remade into something much more meaningful and pleasant to look at.
Nisse are Norwegian ancestral spirits who have an appearance similar to garden gnomes. They’re a holdover from the days of ancestor worship, and they’re often thought to be the spirit of the first farmer to develop the land of a homestead. This spirit would remain with the farm and help keep the grounds, house, and barn, as long as the current family did not do anything to upset or anger the nisse; in that case, misfortune could befall the farm. He wears traditional farm clothes, has four fingers and pointed ears, and his eyes glow in the dark like a cat’s eyes.
I repaired and reshaped the original polyresin figure as necessary with my dremel and various sanding/shaping bits. He was then repainted using acrylic, enamel and powder pigments, and added to with polyclay, silk flowers, and natural and faceted fluorite crystals. He’s sealed with Mod-Podge and matte-finish acrylic varnish.
Åge is now looking forward to a peaceful life in a welcoming home. 🙂