Nov 09 , 2022


Guest Writer

Woodworking is a part of my life. Whoa, who would’ve guessed that when I run a woodworking business, right? Seriously, though, getting past my facetiousness, I love carpentry. I have been doing it ever since I was a child, entering my carpentry projects into 4H - yes, I was a nerdy 4H kid, and  proud of it! Grateful for those  days as they were the start to where I am today.  In my high school years I started remodeling houses for different contractors. But I came to a point where I wanted to create the more fine “details” to a home; like the furniture and the art that hung from its walls. And that is a dream I happily started following in 2018. 
Often I am asked, though, what is my inspiration for creating my work? And I’ll be honest, it’s a hard question for me to answer, because I have so many things that drives me creatively. But if I had to, I would narrow it down to 4 main components: (1) music, (2) nature, (3) history, and (4) my Scandinavian heritage. 
" Grace "
- Music -
Now, how does music inspire my woodworking? Well, I will gladly answer that. Like carpentry, music has also been a big part of my life since a young age - both in listening, playing, and creating. When I am in the shop I am always immersed in music - usually folk artists, classic rock, classical, and old-school singers like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole traverse my sound waves - it is something that calms my mind and opens it to creativity. Whenever I am stumped on a complex design, I’ll just step back and let the music fill the room and my mind, it’s the gift that keeps on giving when solving my design problems. And to convey my appreciation for what music brings me creativity-wise, I will often name my pieces after a specific song that is prominent in my life at that moment.
" Tamarack "
- Nature -
When I am not in the shop, though, I am in nature. Soaking in the colors, the smells, and the beautiful views of the Northland and North Shore. Being out in nature calms me and helps me creatively just like music does, but in different amazing ways. Just one example of how nature inspires me can be seen in one of my newest pieces called the “Tamarack” (pictured above). The Tamarack is one of my favorite trees, and it is because that is one of the only deciduous conifer trees in Minnesota to turns its needles yellow right before it sheds them for the cold winter. The colors of this specific piece are heavily influenced by its gorgeous color and the brownish bark and foliage that surrounds it. Nature is neat! 
- History -
A big enjoyment in my life is the study of history - whether it be the study of Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon, to the scandals of the Tudors, to more current events - I love history. In fact, it was one of my majors in college. So, needless to say, history is a big inspiration in my life which then bleeds into my craft. And when I use reclaimed wood, I see the history of it - I see a story of what came before, the memories of that material which might've been used to make a home that warmly embraced the people inside of it; I see this wood given a second chance at telling a new story and creating new memories in one of my creations. 
- Heritage -
Finally, I would say the biggest inspiration to my art is my Scandinavian (specifically, Swedish) heritage. Lineage and family plays a huge part in my life - they inspire me every day. And if you follow my family line back, carpentry has been integral part of this ancestry. From my great-grandfathers, their brothers, to my father, to my brother and I - woodworking has been ingrained in our lives. In fact, you can find many of their works in the home I grew up in - from tables and cabinets to the famous carved Dala horses. 
My family came from several areas of Sweden, but the one that stands out to me is the province of Dalarna - hence, where my business’s name originates. The province of Dalarna is known for its cozy red cabins, carved dala horses, and at one point, copper mining. In my art I try to incorporate hammered copper into my Scandinavian designs as often as I can because of that fact. For me, it adds an ancestral and classy element. 
So, there it is - there is a little about me and what inspires me and my craft. All-in-all, though, the reason I create is because it makes me happy, and I do it because I would like it to make others happy as well. We live in a fast-paced and crazy world. Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot of good in it to be sure, but nonetheless, a crazy world. And if my art can help people slow down and forget about their troubles and craziness even for a moment, well, then I succeeded in why I create. 
      Aaron Hafvenstein 

About The Artist: 


Cloquet, MN based, Aaron Hafvenstein is a humble woodworker who enjoys the simplistic things  in life. Most of his days you can find him happily creating in his tiny wood shop on his family's farm.  You’ll find that the heart of Dälanria  Designs is full of stories. Aaron has a special gift for capturing the stories of others and building a piece of not only stunning design, but a piece with those stories ingrained. 

Instagram + Facebook - @dalarniadesigns

Custom Orders Email - dalarniawoodworks@gmail.com

(LAGOM---  a Swedish word meaning " the perfect amount, not to little, not to much.”)



 Photos By: Dälarnia Designs 


  • Cindy Hafvenstein


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