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Photo Simon Eliasson

Welcome to Gunnel Tjäder, artisan in Kiruna

I have been running my own arts and crafts business in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland, since 1996. Wool prints inspired by the Arctic, the design of handcrafted items in reindeer leather and the traditional painting in the Torne Valley style form the basis of my work.   
You are also welcome to visit our craftshop Ateljénord  in Kiruna.

Folk art painting

I have my roots in the village of Kitkiöjoki in the north of the Torne Valley (Tornedalen), so I have a soft spot for the Torne Valley style of folk art painting. I gained my knowledge of folk art painting, ancient painting techniques and materials when I was a student of the late Paulus Aili, the conservator. In 2003 I was awarded the Gold Diploma of the Colour Academy in Stockholm for decorative painting, having completed the Academy's advanced training course in decorative painting.

Photo Simon Eliasson

Wool prints and 
reindeer leather

I work with textile prints, screen print, on wool. The wool prints become both large-scale artworks and décor on my reindeer leather crafts. I often use several colours in a wool print, which gives exciting – sometimes unexpected – colour transitions and effects. The Northern Lights are a recurring theme in my wool prints, both large and small-scale

Photo Örjan Matti

Traditional painting with linseed oil 

The colourful traditional painting of the Torne Valley is one source that inspires my folk art paintings. Another technique I use is glaze-graining, which imitates different types of hardwood. Then as now, the furniture is painted with hand-mixed linseed oil paints. The décor is painted freehand. 

Handicraft in wool and reindeer leather

I combine the naturally tanned reindeer leather with wool in different forms – as hand-printed motifs using screen technique, and/or embroidery sewn by hand or machine. I often use several colours in a wool print, which gives exciting – sometimes unexpected – colour transitions and effects.  Key pouches, mobile phone bags, handbags, and shoulder bags – these are examples of my products.

Arctic inspiration

Since I live in Kiruna and was born in northern Torne Valley, it is natural for me to find inspiration in the landscape above the Arctic Circle.

Ateljénord handicraft shop 

Next time you are in Kiruna, why not visit our shop, Ateljénord.   We are a group of artisans in Kiruna who together run our craftshop Ateljénord .  Here you will find collections inspired by the Arctic - from everyday utensils to unique artworks. We work with art and art handicraft using different materials such as wood, gold, silver,ceramics, wool, reindeer leather, wrought iron, watercolours, glass and enamel. In the shop you will always meet  one of us artisans.


Lars Janssonsgatan 23
98131 Kiruna, Sweden
+46(0) 980 17908

Opening hours
Monday to Friday
12 noon – 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00

My home in Kiruna with my painting- and textile studios

Painting studio

My home with my textile studio

Gunnel Tjäder Form och hantverk

Post address:
Föreningsgatan 41
981 32 Kiruna
+46 (0)70 671 8064

[email protected]