In-Person – Carving the Portal Dragon from Heritage Park

Folk Art School

Vesterheim Folk Art School

In-Person – Carving the Portal Dragon from Heritage Park

Friday, September 10th - Tuesday, September 14th (9am - 5pm) with Jock Holmen

Level of Instruction
All levels. Some experience recommended.
$285.00 Members
$335.00 Non-members
Materials Fee
Additional materials fee payable to the instructor. Fee variable ($50 per 2" thick blank, $75 per 4" thick blank). See details below.

Join master woodcarver, Jock Holmen, in making replica dragons of the newly installed portal in Vesterheim's Heritage Park. In this class, you will work in Jock's interpretation of dragon-style carving techniques, a Scandinavian tradition and a fun and expressive form of relief carving. These dragons could be used for door casings, door headers, ends of eaves, or wall hangings. Let your imagination be your guide! The project for this course can vary and should be chosen on the carver's experience. Newer carvers are encouraged to choose the one-side 2" carving blank ($50 materials fee each) and more experienced carvers can opt to do either the 2" one-sided blank or a more involved double-sided 4" blank ($75 materials fee each). Please also indicate if you would like to purchase an extra carving blank to make a pair. Class time will likely only allow for one finished carving, but the other can be finished at home should you choose. 

There is an additional, optional class session on Thursday, September 9th from 2-5pm where Jock will be discussing sharpening gouges for class and students may have worktime to sharpen their tools if they choose. This additional session is $15 payable directly to the instructor. 


***This class is an in-person class at the Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa***

Please read our COVID-19 Policies here.


The Folk Art greatly values the health and safety of its learners, teachers, and staff and is continuously monitoring local and national COVID-19 statistics, government recommendations, and peer institution guidelines. As with any activity in a public place, there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 infection, please stay home. By registering for a class, attending a program, or visiting the Folk Art School, you voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure and assume them willingly and you agree to follow Vesterheim's COVID-19 policies. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and respect for the safety of our community as we navigate these difficult times. If you have additional questions, please contact Josh Torkelson, On-Site Program Coordinator, at or call 563-382-9681.



Registration for this class has closed.

About the Instructor

Jock Holmen
Jock Holmen
Jock Holmen

Jock Holmen has been a professional woodcarver for over 40 years. He began his career at Baker Furniture in Michigan, and started his company, Norwegian Termite, in 1979 in Chicago. He won his first woodcarving award at Vesterheim’s National Norwegian-American Folk Art Exhibition, to be followed by several other awards, including achieving his Vesterheim Gold Medal status in 2010. He has received training and tutoring from various American and Norwegian master carvers, including Hans Sandom, Phillip Odden, and Bjarte Aarseth. Specializing in design and hand carving in the Scandinavian traditions, Jock teaches classes in flat-plane figure carving, Norwegian acanthus, timber carving, lettering, and other woodcarving techniques at North House Folk School, Milan Village Arts School, Colonial Williamsburg’s Cabinet Shop, and in his home studio. Jock demonstrates woodcarving, drawing, and tool sharpening at various festivals, events, and retail outlets in the area. Some of his recent significant projects include: design and carve exterior post, Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts, Minneapolis; Corbel restoration, Coffey Hall, University of Minnesota; and restoration of Gavioli and other music machines and carousel, Sanfilippo Collection, Barrington, IL. Jock is the past president of the Viking Woodcarvers Club, Bloomington, Minnesota; a lifetime member of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum; a charter member of Norway House; and co-leader of the Burnsville Senior Center Woodcarvers group.