Watch CBS News

Breckenridge Troll Artist Thomas Dambo Enjoys Heightened Popularity

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) - A popular wooden troll that's made out of recycled material will soon return to the Colorado mountain town of Breckenridge. Last year, artist Thomas Dambo's creation titled "Isak Heartstone" was the center of both love and hate for people in the town.

(credit CBS)

The troll sculpture was very popular among tourists. However, some locals said the troll was decreasing parking and increasing foot traffic in their neighborhoods. Eventually the town agreed to take down the troll.

However, after months away, the town announced plans to rebuild Isak in a new location. One proposal was near the Breckenridge Recreation Center.

Thomas Dambo
Thomas Dambo (credit: CBS)

Dambo said the attention his troll received during the public debate over its location brought his work more popularity.

"Trash can be something really big, and beautiful," Dambo told CBS4's Dillon Thomas. "The people who didn't really appreciate my art have been the best help in the past year for my career. It is not the biggest problem you can have, as an artist, that your art becomes so popular, it's like a catch 22."

Breckenridge residents were encouraged to attend a meeting at the rec center on Monday night to discuss where they would like Isak to be reassembled. Dambo said building the trolls from scratch takes a long time for one person. But, with help, he could get it done much faster, likely before the end of June.

"If I build it alone, it would probably take three months, eight hours a day, five days a week," Dambo said.

Dambo said he simply wanted to have his troll somewhere most trolls would like to be.

"I like to build my sculptures in places (that are) remote, beautiful, natural settings where they can stay as long as possible. And, they are publicly accessible. That is my highest criteria," Dambo said.

Dambo also noted that following the removal of Isak, many other towns reached out to him with interest for a troll of their own.

(credit: Thomas Dambo)

He has created 43. By the end of 2019, Dambo plans to have 65 completed. However, one day, he hoped to build 10 trolls along a trail in the Colorado mountains, which hikers can see as they go out for day hikes.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.