Chip carving is an ancient art found in many cultures and Vesterheim has many examples from Norway. In this carving, geometric and stylized floral designs are incised on flat surfaces. Boards are usually held on the knee, so the work is portable. Christmas ornaments may be carved on a board and later sawed out. You will be expected to have a basic chip carving knife sharpened and ready to use.
Ellen Macdonald is a graduate of the University of Michigan who has lived in Decorah for more than 30 years. During her careers in social work and IT support, she dabbled in many kinds of woodcarving. After retiring, she studied chip carving with Wayne Barton, the man responsible for the renaissance of chip carving in the United States and abroad. Ellen recently rewrote the Sons of Norway Cultural Skills Program Unit on Chip Carving. She especially enjoys carving commemorative plates and Christmas ornaments.