Woodworking

Whittling Klubb for Kids

Rebecca Hanna

$25 per session

Wanted: Kids (ages 10 and up, adults welcome) who want to unplug their electronic devices for awhile and use their nimble finger skills for carving! Create stuff out of wood, while learning the safe and proper use of a carving knife, gouge, and V tools. We’ll also learn how to keep our tools sharp.
In Session I, we’ll practice with a knife by making a hook out of a Christmas tree and progress to using gouges and v-tools while carving on a small wooden container.
In Session II we’ll carve a Dala horse, and in Session III we’ll make a pumpkin and Santa. Take one or all three sessions. Moms, Dads, Grandmas, and Grandpas are welcome to take this class with you. Tools and safety supplies will be provided.

Level of Instruction: All levels. Youth ages 10-17 and adults age 18 and older.

Rebecca Hanna is Scandinavian American, but only began pursuing her heritage as a student at Luther College. She is a retired elementary-school teacher at South Winneshiek School. Rebecca is a Vesterheim Gold Medalist and was instrumental in the creation of Vesterheim magazine, Vol. 3, No. 2, dedicated to woodworking.

Scandinavian Style Flat Plane Figure Carving

Harley Refsal

$192 members / $242 non-members

Learn to tell a story in wood! Figure carving in Scandinavia stretches back throughout history when people sat around warm fires in winter sharing their imaginations with stories and carving. In the Scandinavian flat plane style figures are carved in large, flat planes, created primarily using a simple carving knife. Beginning with tool sharpening, Harley will provide hands-on carving experiences, as you complete a figure in step-by-step fashion. Finish the project by painting the figure and applying a final oil finish. Then carve additional pieces, while Harley offers assistance on an individual basis. Sharpening equipment and finishing supplies are also covered. There will be a materials fee.

Level of Instruction: All levels. Youth ages 12-17 signed up with a participating adult receive a 25% discount.

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.

Band Loom Carving and Bandweaving, Classes for Couples

Roger Abrahamson & Reggie Delarm

$128 per person for members / $178 non-members

Visit Decorah with a partner or friend, to learn about traditional European band loom carving and weaving! These two classes, one in weaving and one in woodcarving, make for a fun weekend together. Weavers will learn how to weave elaborate patterns on a band loom (also called tape loom or rigid heddle), while carvers will learn how to carve a one-piece band loom and shuttle. Band looms were traditionally carved and used as sweetheart gifts, so at the end of the weekend, the loom will be presented to the weaver for Valentine’s Day. This is a class two people can share, at Vesterheim and in your future creations together! (See the fiber arts section for information about the weaving class.)
Carvers will learn how to carve a traditional Scandinavian band loom. A flat piece of wood is carved using gouges, chip knives, and hand drills to create a unique and personalized loom and traditional flat shuttle. Samples will be available to follow, but each loom will be an individual creation. Carvers will leave the class with a beautiful, individual band loom and shuttle to present to your partner or friend. There will be a materials fee.

Level of Instruction: All levels. People signed up as a couple receive a 10% discount.

Roger Abrahamson is a traditional bowl turner. Using spring pole lathes, hand forged tools, and freshly harvested native woods, he specializes in the creation of Norwegian ale vessels. His fascination for these objects has its roots in his immigrant grandmother’s ale bowl, which is still in the family. Roger has demonstrated his art at Vesterheim’s Nordic Fest, Norsk Høstfest, the Minnesota State Fair, the Smithsonian Institute’s Viking Exhibition, and several other events and historic sites. He has been a turner and demonstrator for 18 years, working almost exclusively with a pole lathe the past 15 years.

Reggie Delarm grew up and still lives in an old family homestead in Connecticut. After attending college for fine arts, she worked as a graphic designer and started a pottery company in 1986. Always interested in history, she also designs period clothing, knits, quilts, spins, and weaves. For the past 15 years she has been weaving on the band loom and has written an instructional book, Tape Loom Weaving
. . . Simplified
. She teaches weaving and pottery at museums and shows across the country.

Turning Wooden Bowls and Ale Bowls with a Human-Powered Spring Pole Lathe

Roger Abrahamson

$192 members / $242 non-members

Turned wooden bowls are an excellent example of functional Norwegian folk art. These common ceremonial drinking vessels are used both for serving on special occasions and in the brewing process. Many were brought to America by immigrants because they were portable and were a “little piece of the old country.” Most old bowls were turned on reciprocating motion spring pole lathes. In this class, students will begin by splitting a fresh, green birch log. Using axes, hand-forged hook tools, knives, and a foot-powered spring pole lathe, each student will create a turned ale bowl to take home and use. Design, layout, axe work, proper cutting techniques, finishing, and tool sharpening will be covered. During the class there will also be lively discussions on the design, function, and culture surrounding these objects, as well as the history of woodturning. There will be a materials fee.

Level of Instruction: All levels. Students taking this class should be prepared for a physically strenuous experience.

Roger Abrahamson is a traditional bowl turner. Using spring pole lathes, hand forged tools, and freshly harvested native woods, he specializes in the creation of Norwegian ale vessels. His fascination for these objects has its roots in his immigrant grandmother’s ale bowl, which is still in the family. Roger has demonstrated his art at Vesterheim’s Nordic Fest, Norsk Høstfest, the Minnesota State Fair, the Smithsonian Institute’s Viking Exhibition, and several other events and historic sites. He has been a turner and demonstrator for 18 years, working almost exclusively with a pole lathe the past 15 years.