Superb Scandinavian folk art classes for adults

August 10, 2017

If you enjoy learning and doing new things, Hostfest University should definitely be part of your plans! The only time of the year you will find Scandinavian folk art classes taught by instructors from several different states is in September during Norsk Høstfest! Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, as classes are limited in size.

Høstfest University has a class for you. What interests you? Surveys show strong desire for Norwegian rosemaling classes. Instructors Teresa McCue Thompson and Nancy Schmidt are both Vesterheim Gold Medal Award winners in the art of rosemaling. Viking Age crafts? Kelsey Patton, owner of Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle in Nebraska, teaches the ancient 1,000-year-old craft of nålbinding.

Think you’d like to carve a tomte? (That’s a mythological Scandinavian creature and yes, women can take carving classes. Ask Roxanne Enget of Houston, TX, who took a class last year with her husband and rated it one of her most fun activities at the festival.) Or maybe you would enjoy making an intricately woven bracelet or ring out of imported pewter thread and reindeer horn? Instructors Harley Refsal and his wife, Norma, of Iowa, teach classes year-round throughout the United States and in Norway. Harley is internationally recognized and is the author of four carving books. Norma learned Sami jewelry design from the Sami people in Norway.

Love working with fabrics and fibers? Explore the Nordic art of needle felting and wool appliqué under the tutelage of Willow Wood Market owner Bonnie Lundorff, a Minnesotan who designs needle-felting patterns and teaches folk art and quilting classes throughout the Midwest.

Want to wear a Scandinavian beret? Knit your own - or a simpler headband if you’re a beginner. Tammy Barclay of Wisconsin teaches Nordic knitting, which originated in Selbo, Norway. Love to embroider? Check out the classes in Näversöm (birch bark embroidery) and Kräkesølvbroderi (mica embroidery). Instructor Debi Feyh, who touches the lives of more than 40,000 needlework enthusiasts with her newsletters, will teach you how to pronounce these terms!

Looking for a quick class? In honor of the Norsk Høstfest 40th anniversary, Harley Refsal will teach one-on-one carving classes offered daily on a first-come sign-up basis at the Høstfest University Store in Oslo Hall. Harley promises that anyone who can peel a carrot can carve this “1-carat” necklace. Look for the daily time slots to be posted each morning at the store.

Want to take a class with your kids? Children 12 and over are welcome if accompanied by parents. For more information and to pre-register, go to