Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

A few favorite Etsy artists are featured in our holiday catalogs, including the geometric mobiles crafted from straw + string + brass by Melissa of the HRUSKAA shop. Read our chat, and see more of this Michigan-based artist’s work…

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

What’s the story behind these geometric mobiles?

These sculptures are based on European himmelis. Initially, I was attracted to these sculptures for their geometric form. What changed my attraction to an outright love is when I learned about their symbolism.

Himmelis are named from the Swedish word himmel meaning sky or heaven. They were made at the start of Winter Solstice from rye straw harvested from the prior year’s crop. The himmeli would be hung in the largest room of the cottage, or over the dining table, and served as a means of good luck for the future. It was also thought the larger the mobile, the larger the next season’s harvest would be.

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

Many regions throughout North and Central Europe have their own version of the himmeli. Traditionally they range from simple straw forms to an elaborate array of geometric shapes sometimes adorned with feathers, paper flowers and even candles.

The himmelis‘ constant movement is a sign of luck and it is thought they are capturing bad spirits within its cage-like design. It is said they would be burned the at the end of Winter Solstice so the family rid themselves of those captured bad spirits.

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

What is your studio space like?

My home studio is kept as much of a blank palette as possible. I love organization; so all my straw, string and other inventory have an assigned place to call home. Although, my business has grown to the point of needing to find a larger space to create. Maybe it will be a nice change for me in the upcoming new year.

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

What has been inspiring you, recently?

Minimalist styling and neutral tones are calming to my spirit and an inspiration. I allow nature to be the color in my eye as I think it was meant to be.

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

Do you have a personal motto?

“Think of it as an adventure.” I never stop dreaming and know the place I am at now is certainly not the last place I will be. I love to think big and hope for the best.

Geometric Mobiles by HRUSKAA | west elm

Melissa’s geometric brass mobiles are featured in our holiday catalog, and on You can see more of her work on Etsy.

Read about all of our catalog-featured Etsy artists here!

Images: HRUSKAA and west elm

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