Tag Archives: Paper

Jens Funder-Nielsen: The H.C. Andersen Artist

Jens Funder-Nielsen has through a life-time been an author and artist of many media. Having grown up in Egernsund he moved to Copenhagen and Esbjerg to study and work, before returning to Sonderborg. We found out about him via a tip off from a friend who has bought some of his works of art to decorate her house. We wanted to learn more, so a quick phone call resulted in an appointment made to visit him in his house a couple of days later.


On arriving at his house you can immediately see that the fairytales of H.C. Andersen are some of the things that inspire him the most. The items that had originally caught my eyes were the gold-plated HC Andersen fairytale ornaments. But that is not the only H.C. Andersen-inspired items he makes. There are also paper mobiles and paper cuttings, some of which you can buy and others which you can buy books with patterns to make your own.

Besides books about paper clippings inspired by H.C. Andersen, the 14 books he has published also include decorations for Christmas, table decorations for parties, and mobiles on other themes. Looking through the books the patterns are really detailed and intricate. A work of art in themselves!

His paintings are very colourful, covering many whimsical subjects in a childlike manner. You can see a few of his paintings here and as is to be expected, the local events and landscape are also an inspiration. If you have ideas he might also be open for making some on commission.

If you are interested in his work, do think about going to visit him. Jens and his wife are very friendly people. For many years they have been producing and selling art and books out of their house in Dybbøl. At an age of 81 years Jens is getting on in years so there are no regular opening times. But make a call like we did and you can sort a visit out very easily.

Jens also mentioned that every Christmas they have an open week, so you can also keep your eyes peeled on the local newspapers for more information about that when we get closer to December. His smaller items are perfect for giving as gifts, especially if you have foreign family and friends.

Oh! And just so you don’t say we didn’t warn you! If you visit I can promise you that you won’t allow yourself to leave empty-handed! We left with a small collection of items: some for us, and some to give as gifts.

See Jens Funder-Nielsen’s website for more information.

Easter in Denmark

The schools are closed for a week and for the working people there is an extra long weekend with Thursday, Friday and Monday off – it’s Easter! The real reason for Easter is lost on most Danes – DR Syd just did a survey and found that 27% of the people between 18-29 of age did not know why we celebrate Easter.

Instead Easter means coloured eggs, a visit from Easter bunny, chocolate shock and “gækkebreve”.

Gækkebreve is a tradition that goes back to the 17th century. “Gækkebrev” is a sort of Valentine’s letter. According to this tradition you send this letter made from fine paper and cut into patterns. On the letter you write a little poem and sign it with dots …… – as many dots as there are letters in your name. The receiver now has to guess who sent the letter and if you can’t guess that, you owe the sender an easter egg. Here’s a brief video showing how to cut a letter.

The tradition really gained popularity in the 19th century when publishers started to publish books with poems to add to the cards. Hans Christian Andersen is known for making some elaborate cuttings.

In the old days Easter was the time of the year when the chicken started laying eggs again. The reward for guessing right is an Easter egg. Either hand painted real eggs or the chocolate kind.
Colored Eggs

With the eggs came the chickens and bunnies.

On Easter Sunday many Danish family have lunch together. In my family, and I think a lot of others, we afterwards go out to look for Easter eggs. Like Santa, Easter Bunny has snuck in to the garden (or the living room if its raining) and hid a number of chocolate eggs for the kids to find. The bigger the kids the more competitive the hunt usually becomes.

Photo by Jacob Tomaw of The Fletiron Life. Video by Denmark.dk

Paper boxes

Papirmuseets By in Grasten #13/99

Papirmuseets By, or Paper Museum Town, is the retail outlet for Karen Marie Klip. In spite of its name, it is not a museum in the traditional sense. Although it is essentially a shop, there is much more than shopping to be had.

The shop is set up to showcase various ideas for things to make out of paper. In this way it does function as a museum, justifying the name. Besides showcasing the ideas, you can also buy the resources needed to make similar items. The items vary from table settings, to gift wrappings, and whole displays such as a Christmas town, Advent calendar or Christmas train.

My favourite were undoubtedly the gift boxes. I always struggle with what to place gifts in (the few times I actually buy gifts)! This is especially so when giving someone a cash gift or a voucher, or even something small. The varied paper on offer as well as the different shapes surely satisfy most of such problems.

Paper boxes

Besides the shop and display there is also an area with tables and resources for courses or for people to assemble what they buy. I think this is a very useful feature, considering that I would probably not have too good an idea of where to start. There is also a small cafe if you want something to eat or drink. And if you’re bored of paper? There is always the  12,000 m2 of garden to enjoy.