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 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 Vesterheim, 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 designing and carving an 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, Illinois.
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.