The Gjøl Troll
Thomas Dam from Gjøl started life as a baker, but he often burned his bread whenever he found a piece of wood in his hands which he could carve. Luckily for him, the people around him liked his carvings, so he was able to change profession and instead provided his family their daily bread through work as a wood carver. Dam’s favourite subjects were reliefs, especially wooden characterisations of old fishermen and their wives from Gjøl, all with a warm glint in their eyes.
In Dam’s own words: “I choose my characters from the people of Gjøl, but generally my models don’t recognise themselves. But everyone else on the island does."
Thomas Dam was also the creator of the Dam Troll, who started his days as a small carved wood troll, and who later became the characteristic rubber troll with felt clothing and orange spiky hair. From the beginning of the sixties the little troll became so popular that the Dam family had to build a factory and start organised production.
Among other places, some of his wooden figures have been exhibited at Jørgen Haslund in Copenhagen in 1946. He uses lime wood, which is seldom subject to being eaten by worms. On average he took from four to six hours to carve a figure.
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