The history of trolls is a rich one, dating back hundreds of years in Scandinavia. The folklore told of secretive gnome-like creatures who inhabited the nearby caves and forests, as well as the very walls and rafters of their homes.
"Our mom and dad where from Denmark, and trolls are part of the Scandinavian folklore", says Marianna Arensbak-Shaffer. "So we grew up hearing troll stories, and a lot of them had little morals woven in. We would ask our dad occasionally, what does a troll look like? So what he had us do, he sent us out after Christmas, when people threw out all of their Christmas trees to the garbage, and we dragged home all of the Christmas trees which he cut up. And they were decorated with things we found when we were out in the park, acorns and pine cones and that sort of thing. And that's how the first troll came to be."
The trolls were originally made to give to friends and neighbors in their little Ohio town. But word quickly traveled down to Sevierville about the magical creatures, and a business was born.
So for 50 years, the Arensbak family have been imagining and creating these natural gifts at 5 Arts Studio. Many of the trolls are sold in nearby Gatling burg. But thanks to their website, www.trolls.com, the artists have shipped their product as far away as Japan.