Sunday, October 22, 2006

A visit to Nääs... While educational sloyd was first created by Uno Cygnaeus in Finland, Otto Salomon in Sweden was largely responsible for developing it as a more systematic means of education, and was responsible through his teacher training seminary at Nääs for its world-wide distribution. For the next few days, I will take you on a visit to Nääs.

When I first learned of Educational Sloyd, I became interested in the Sloyd Seminarium at Nääs and learned that while it no longer functions as a school for sloyd, it is preserved very much like it was and is still a center for the Home Sloyd movement in Sweden. I planned for several years to visit and then in May 2006, I was able to spend 3 days in Nääs on my way to the First International Conference on Sloyd at Umeå.

Sweden is incredibly beautiful in May, with fresh green fields and blue skies. The red color of the homes and barns is a deeper red than is used in the US. But for that small difference, a drive through the Swedish countryside is very much like a drive through Wisconsin or Minnesota. We landed in Arlanda airport outside Stockholm, spent the night in a hotel and then drove nearly across Sweden to Nääs in one day. The first photo above is of one of the original sloyd rooms in the Sloyd building at Nääs.The last photo is the Slott or castle home of August Abrahamson, the uncle of Otto Salomon and the Swedish merchant who provided the financial resources for the school to operate from 1870 to 1960.

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