Posts Tagged: ken arensbak

Trek for a Tennessee Troll

I woke up one morning and Mom said, “We’re going on a mission to find a Tennessee Troll.”

Her BF, Janell from high school, asked if we’d heard of them and Mom decided to find one for her BFF’s birthday.

Tennessee Trolls are born in a place called Cosby, Tennessee. We found their birthplace by heading up a forest-line, gravel road up a mountainside. Mom thought we were lost, but we turned a corner and there it was.

Five Arts Studio has been creating trolls since 1959. It’s a family business that started with Ken Arensbak telling bedtime stories about Scandinavian trolls to his children.

The family (who immigrated to the U.S. from Denmark in 1949) enjoys exploring the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains and hand-crafting trolls from all-natural materials such as rope fibers, wood, cones, seeds, and nuts.

Nearly 60 years later, they’re still at it, making their trolls the same way and adding to the collection. (You can order Trolls online, of course.)

Pictured here, left-to-right: Troll creators Vivi Arensbak, Ted Shaffer, and Marianna Arensbak.

I was on scent overload. You see, the trolls are made from everything natural; that’s why the entire studio smelled like the forest around us.

I met a very tall troll in the entryway.

Everywhere I looked, trolls were peeking out.

There were so many trolls to choose from. Mom liked a troll dressed as Spock.

Ultimately, I hope Mom’s BFF loves the Viking troll couple we adopted for her.