Maria Campbell

Fine Artist & Designer

What is a Tomte?

Maria CampbellComment

Many of you have been asking me “What on earth is a Tomte?”. This was exactly the question I asked when the one and only, Dave Walters, introduced them to me.  A few years ago I discovered the delights of Dave’s “Gnominations”.  These are awards given to people for, erm..., various degrees of stupidity - much like the Darwin Awards.  That year the prizes were Tomtes and I immediately fell in love with these wee guys.  Those of you who know me well may not believe this, but, I didn’t win a Tomte! I was gutted!  So much so,  that I found out where Dave ordered them from and bought my own (see photo).  I love Tomtes so much that I started making them myself 😍.

Now, I know you are thinking, that’s all very well but you still haven’t actually told me what a Tomte is!  So, A Tomte or Nisse is a mythological creature from Nordic folklore, today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. They are generally described as being no taller than 90 cm (35 in), having a long white beard, and wearing a conical or knit cap in a bright colour. They often have an appearance somewhat similar to that of a garden gnome.

Visit my Etsy shop to see my Tomtes: