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© Sven-Åke Risfjell
© Sven-Åke Risfjell
© Sven-Åke Risfjell
© Sven-Åke Risfjell

Sven-Åke Risfjell

Sven-Åke Risfjell Woodworker
Swedish, English, German
By appointment only
+46 706679705
© Sven-Åke Risfjell

Tha art of Sámi crafting

  • • Sven-Åke collects his materials from nature
  • • He turns reindeer antlers into art pieces
  • • He handcrafts Sámi duodji objects

Being in the profession since 1980 the Sámi craftsman Sven-Åke Risfjell is well known for his handcrafted Sámi duodji objects. He works following the Sámi tradition, being part of the indigenous people in northern Sweden. Duodji is an important part of the Sámi culture and it is also an identity marker that the outside world recognises. This is why he and his wife Doris Risfjell, also a craftswoman, welcome visitors from all over the world to their workshop Risfjell Sameslöjd in the city of Vilhelmina. Sven-Åke Risfjell was trained by a master and came into the profession in the late 70s. He has been working with the south Sámi crafts ever since. One of the first objects he made was a well polished, engraved and decorated knife.

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  • © Sven-Åke Risfjell
  • © Sven-Åke Risfjell
  • © Sven-Åke Risfjell
  • © Sven-Åke Risfjell
  • © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Photo: © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Kisan box

The Kisan box was handcrafted from birch wood and features hand carvings on the lid. It is a special travel box called Kisa, traditionally used by the Sámi people to hold their values. Connected to reindeer herding, the Sámi people relocated twice a year, to live in the forests during winter and in the mountains in summer.

Length 20 cm
Height 10 cm
Width 60 cm

Photo: © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Kisan Box

This bottle was handcrafted from birch wood and adorned with hand carved Sámi patterns and horn inserts. It was traditionally used as a salt bottle to preserve salt from humidity as in the old days salt was expensive and difficult to get hold of.

Length 12 cm
Height 14 cm
Width 6 cm

Photo: © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Southern Sámi drum

This traditional drum frame was handcrafted from wood and covered with reindeer skin. It was adorned with hand painted religious signs depicting ancient gods and characters from the reindeer keepers mythology. These drums were used by the social and spiritual leaders, who were called Noid.

Depth 90 cm
Height 40 cm
Width 28 cm

Photo: © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Sámi spoon

This traditional Sámi spoon was handcrafted from reindeer horn and features traditional patterns as engravings. It is adorned with small silver rings.

Photo: © Sven-Åke Risfjell
Sámi knife

The blades of these knives were hand forged from carbon steel. The handles were fashioned entirely from reindeer horn, each designed to suit the length of the blade to provide the best balance possible. The small knife is traditionally used to mark the calves’ ears in a special pattern, while the big one can be used for hunting or fishing.

Length 24 cm

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