This guy makes elaborate “acorn elves” and photographs them in the most hilarious poses. After moving to a small house in the woods, a Czech man and his kids started gathering chestnuts and acorns on their fall walks in the forest. To entertain themselves they’d glue them together in the shapes of various animals and people. Over time, they got super creative with the hobby.
Who hasn’t walked through the woods on an autumn day and wanted to collect the interesting nuts, seeds, leaves, or twigs that are found there? Perhaps as a child, you even took these home and played with them. This is just what Petr Václavek’s children did several years ago.
After moving near a forest outside of Prague in the Czech Republic, Petr and his children would take walks through the woods gathering nature’s little treasures. Their collection of found objects began to grow. Petr, a graphic designer, was drawn to these objects and began to create little figures for the amusement of his kids.
At first, these whimsical characters were made by skewering chestnuts and acorns together with little wooden sticks. They soon dried out and fell apart. Then he tried using the dried twigs they had found and this worked much better especially after discovering the hot glue gun. The glue was easy to use and dried fast, which allowed Petr to place the little figures in numerous positions and settings as to almost look real. Camping, skiing, reading on a mushroom, and hundreds more.
Working one or two evenings a week and some weekends, the result of Petr’s talent and enjoyment in this creative activity started to take over his house! The little people, which he now called acorn elves or “Dubanci” could be found on every window sill, bookshelf, and any other available space. His children were delighted so he started to photograph the elves to share with other children. He created a website then a Facebook page.
He now uses mainly acorns, oak leaves and twigs, and occasionally other natural substances like birch bark, cones, nutshells, and berries. “I try to make them look credible, so before I start gluing, I look for photographs on the Internet, or at myself in the mirror making the right pose.”
With the internet, people outside of the Czech Republic began to notice these acorn people. The photograph of a little elf sitting on a toilet reading a book went viral. People, including many adults, wanted more. Petr saw how, no matter what the age, these little acorn people spoke to the child in everyone.
A couple of years ago he created calendars with the photos he had taken over the years. Next came postcards because his fans wanted to be able to send his work to others. The ideas kept coming. T-shirts, cups, greeting cards, puzzles for kids. He now has collections on his eCommerce site including holidays like Halloween and Christmas; special occasions like weddings and birthdays; and others like animals and seasons.
Petr’s special talent in working with miniatures is reflected in all his collections. Even the accessories he makes to accompany his elves, like carved pumpkins, baby carriages, baskets, or tents, are all scaled correctly and detailed from only natural materials. He doesn’t know how far this hobby will go, but Petr and his children are happy and so are the thousands of fans who continue to enjoy his work.
How to Make Seasonal Acorn People? You can watch video below: