Join woodcarver Harley Refsal in Hancock, Michigan, for a course that celebrates one of the most cherished traditions in the Nordic countries—working in wood. Using primarily a whittling knife, you will learn to carve and decorate traditional wooden kitchen utensils, as well as a 3-D figure or two, such as a horse or ice-fishing decoy. Tools and cut-resistant protective carving gloves will be available for purchase from or borrowed from the instructor. This is a collaboration with the Finnish American Heritage Center.
Harley Refsal is a Vesterheim Gold Medalist who has taught Scandinavian figure carving throughout the United States and Norway. He was honored by H. M. Harald V, King of Norway, with the St. Olav Medal of Honor for his efforts in reinvigorating Scandinavian figure carving in both the United States and Norway. A retired professor of Scandinavian folk art at Luther College in Decorah, he also regularly demonstrates and gives many presentations about Norwegian folk art and traditions. He is the author of several books. Harley was named the 2012 Woodcarver of the Year by the magazine Wood Carving Illustrated.