The Kid Should See This

Thomas Dambo builds Jakob Two Trees in Issaquah

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“My parents told me about being good stewards and leaving the world a better place than when we enter it,” Danish recycling artist Thomas Dambo shares in this interview with the City of Issaquah in Washington state.

Behind him, his team helps build Jacob Two Trees.

“Jakob is around four meters tall and he has a ponytail holder and bracelet made by the Snoqualmie Tribe. He wears a necklace of birdhouses, and is holding on to the two trees while he enjoys a peaceful moment.”

Drawing inspiration from nature and folklore, Dambo uses scrap wood to build giant trolls in over 20 countries, all findable at

Dambo sees trolls as symbolic protectors of the forest, embodying the idea of guardianship and stewardship of nature. He hopes to reconnect people with the natural world and inspire positive change by building these giant sculptures in wooded areas.

a ponytail holder and bracelet made by the Snoqualmie Tribe
Another aspect of Dambo’s message, as summarized in this CBS Sunday Morning interview:

“Everything that I do is showing people that trash can have a value, so that trash doesn’t need to be a negative thing that is suffocating our world, but it can be a beautiful thing that we can build our common world with.”

troll fur
Dambo has always been interested in what people throw away. His earlier work used discarded plastic, but he returned to wood when building his trolls, a process deeply connected with his childhood experiences.

“I went through a special school in the country that had a house, like a playhouse or a fortress, in the backyard. Next to it, there were some cows, a horse, and some chickens. Everyone had a house, so I could just go and get a saw, a hammer, some nails, and some old boards in between classes, and then go and build on it. I could climb all the way up on it or something like that.”

adding Jakob's eyes

“I think Americans would be like, ‘What? That is crazy,’ you know? But that’s in Denmark. We trust that the kids should learn to hurt themselves and learn to fall because that’s how you learn to keep your balance, basically. So that really taught me about building things and not being afraid of building anything, and that I could just take anything inside my mind and I would make it come to life.”

building Jakob
Find more of Thomas Dambo’s work on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and at and

Plus, enjoy these troll videos on TKSST:
β€’Β Thomas Dambo’s Giant Scrap Wood Forest Trolls
β€’Β Six Forgotten Giants, Copenhagen’s hidden scrap wood sculptures

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