New Folk School Classes at Folklore Village

What do Norwegian lefse, Finnish kantele, Danish aebleskiver and Swedish kjolsäcken have in common? They are all traditional Scandinavian folk crafts, and they are among the 17 offerings in Folklore Village’s first year of folk school classes.

Since 1968, Folklore Village has been presenting year-round arts and cultural programming for all ages. This year marks the 25th anniversary of founder Jane Farwell’s death, and one of Jane’s biggest dreams is coming true.

Ranging from one to five days in length, classes are intentionally designed to be small, and may fill up. Early registration is recommended (at least three weeks before the class start date).

Thanks to a Folk Arts and Cultural Traditions Public Programs grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation of New York City, students will not only gain skills in a traditional Scandinavian folk practice, but in addition will go home with a handcrafted item they have created. The grant will also help provide support for Folklore Village’s annual Fall Swedish Weekend in October, where students may come to learn Swedish dancing, fiddling or nyckelharpa playing.

The roster of instructors includes nationally known artists and local practitioners. Jason Hovatter, a professional craft shoe maker from Portland, OR, teaches making a traditional leather shoe based on a 10th-century Scandinavian design. Nels Diller studied log building in Norway and built the Norwegian stabbur on Mt. Horeb’s Main Street; he will teach historical reconstruction techniques working with 1800s-era hand tools including broadaxes, draw knives, chisels and planes.

Learn to make, and then play, a traditional Finnish kantele, from musician and instrument builder John Van Orman. Create a hand-sewn Scandinavian “loose pocket” under the guidance of Tamara Funk, a specialist in reproduction costuming. Lois Mueller received a gold medal for Excellence in Rosemaling from Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa; she will teach Rosemaling in the Rogaland style.

Award-winning jeweler Liz Bucheit has a 30-year background in Scandinavian jewelry arts and will instruct triple braiding coiled pewter wire to create a Saami-inspired bracelet. Becky Rehl shares the Danish tradition of weaving paper into heart baskets, from traditional geometric designs to inset hearts and stars, and jigsaw puzzle piece designs.

Practice the art of Hardanger embroidery with third-generation needleworker Lori Zimmerman. Vesterheim Gold Medalist Becky Lusk will teach beginning figure carving. Foodways classes with Marcia Thompson of Barneveld feature krumkakes, rosettes and rømmegrøt, as well as lefse making.  LindaDee Derrickson will teach delicious Danish Æbleskiver. Greg Winz’s blacksmithing class has a waiting list.

For more information on the folk school classes offered at Folklore Village, 3210 Cty Rd. BB, see https://folklorevillage.org/folk-school or call (608) 924-4000.