Meet The Instructors
ARNE & CARLOS
Playful or fun may not be the way most people would describe knitting, but that’s the way students often describe their experience in classes taught by ARNE & CARLOS. Norway’s knitting sensations ARNE & CARLOS, who are at Norsk Hostfest for the first time, are the authors of several books, including the international, best-selling 55 Christmas Balls to Knit. Their work is highly influenced by their Scandinavian background and their everyday life in rural Norway. You can find them and their work on Amazon, eBay, U Tube and other international sites. These talented designer duo say they see the world “through a child’s eyes” and they find their greatest inspiration in humor, quirkiness and whimsy. And they are fantastic knitters as well as teachers! If you look at their various books, you will see patterns for things you likely would never have even thought of as possible knitting projects. They are highly regarded internationally as designers, textile artists and authors. They modestly admit their classes in Norway “always sell out” and they are excited to bring their talents to Høstfest. Their classes are appropriate for knitters of all ability levels.
For more than 30 years, Pedro Bedard has enjoyed blacksmithing with his primary focus being the historical re-creation of iron and steel projects. More recently, he added copper work creations to his artistic endeavors which he says, "gives me something to do when my forge gets too cold to work on." A lover of history, Bedard is particularly interested in the Early Middle Ages. He has also been involved in Viking re-enactments for the last 10 years, a pastime he enjoys because it gives him deeper glimpses into the lives of our ancestors
Scandinavian heritage needlework is Debi Feyh’s passion. Co-owner of Nordic Needle in Fargo, ND, Debi initially became inspired by the needlework talents of her great-grandmother, who immigrated to the Little Sweden area of Kansas from Hälsingland, Sweden. Debi has traveled to Norway and Sweden to study textiles. Her most recent trip was a study of Sami handwork last year in association with the Vesterheim Museum. An excellent teacher, she is also an avid learner and is currently researching a little known technique, näversöm (birch bark embroidery). She has a wide following of more than 40,000 needlework enthusiasts who receive her weekly newsletters. Debi designs, teaches, and lectures on many styles of needlework. Nordic Needle is a world-renowned needlework supply company with more than 150 books published related to Hardanger and Swedish Weaving embroidery.
Øistein Hanssen has researched old folk musical instruments for many years, and says the roots date back to prehistoric music traditions. His music and narratives show signs of his Northern Norwegian heritage: Sami, Norse, and Finnish descent (Kven minority folk group of Norway). Hearing Øistein perform is a unique and moving experience, and more so because he has made his own instruments. His research is based on his engineering background, historical knowledge and untiring enthusiasm. In addition to his native Norway, he has performed as a solo artist and group musician throughout Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, Japan and the United States. He performs in concerts and gives cultural and educational presentations for scholars, universities and the public. He is a composer of unique music, and has also composed music for films. He works at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.
Katherine Kretchmar has been a Viking Age re-enactor for more than 25 years, teaching classes in Viking coin making, weaving and textiles, costume making and cooking Viking food specialties. She has a bachelor’s degree in Folklore with a minor in Anthropology from Indiana University. The married mother of two teenagers enjoys stepping back in time to days when life was, oh, so much different!
After returning from Iraq in 2007, Phil Lacher immersed himself in Nordic-style carving and in genealogy, particularly the Norwegian side of his family. The two interests merged and he found himself drawn to Nordic-style carving and the art of the Viking-era Norse. Using traditional tools such as knives, gouges, Swedish carving axe, etc., in his work, he carves spoons in traditional Scandinavian methods that can be traced to the 10th – 12th centuries ( by examining the types of spoons discovered at various archaeological sites and tools that have been found (e.g. Mastermyr tool chest and the Björkö hook knife blade). He also enjoys doing relief-style carving, particularly the knot work found on Stave Churches and other decorative wooden items. He does a variety of Norse carvings ranging from kitchen items to jewelry to game pieces. He is accomplished in the technique of Kolrosing, used to decorate spoons he makes. Kolrosing involves incising lines in a particular pattern on the spoon and then rubbing a staining compound into the cuts. He uses coffee grounds, but traditionally coal dust (hence, kol-rosing) was used. Phil has participated in Midwest Viking Village festivals, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and several Sons of Norway shows where he displays and demonstrates Norse wood carving. Initially his grandmother taught him to carve and his first major project was at age 12 when he completed a Boy Scout merit badge on wood carving.
Teresa McCue Thompson
Teresa McCue Thompson is a Vesterheim Gold Medal Rosemaling award winner, the highest award given in the United States for rosemaling expertise. Inspired by the love of her Scandinavian heritage, her education and growth over the years has come from a blend of instruction at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, private study in Norway and professional practice. Her dedication as a rosemaling artist has enabled her to help preserve the integrity of this highly stylized art. Teresa is well known at Norsk Høstfest as one of the Copenhagen Hall master artists..
Kelsey Patton operates her own business - Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle - where she sells yarn, wool, weaving supplies and historical costumes. She grew up on a small farm near the Swedish town of Stromsburg, NE, and began sewing for her dolls at age 6, learned to knit (incorrectly) at 8, began quilting at 9, crocheting at 10, sewing clothing at 12, and knitting (correctly, in the Scandinavian style) at 13. When Kelsey was 15, she and her mother bought their first Icelandic sheep and spinning wheel and a loom shortly after that. Since then, Kelsey has been spinning and weaving, sometimes in the traditional Scandinavian way and sometimes in fun, new, and modern ways. Her favorite method of spinning is with a traditional Viking Age spindle. She also enjoys weaving Scandinavian tablet-woven bands, used in many different folk costumes. She lives in Stromsburg, NE, with her husband Philip.
If you are familiar with Tromsø Cultural Village at Norsk Høstfest, you may have encountered Catrine Pedersen who comes to Minot from Tromsø way up north in Norway’s Arctic lands. Catrine teaches the ancient craft of Viking felting. A teacher by profession in Norway, she specialized in teaching traditional arts and crafts. She has been felting since she was a child, has demonstrated felting for many years, and has taught children’s and adult felting workshops in Norway. Catrine is also a cultural presenter and vocalist. She is a member of the Sami, a minority folk group in Norway.
Norma Refsal teaches classes in several locations with strong Scandinavian influences. She became familiar with Scandinavian folk arts and jewelry while living in Telemark, Norway, where her husband, Harley, was pursuing an advanced degree. In Sweden, they spent time north of the Arctic Circle where Norma became an admirer of the Sami people's traditional arts. She studied Art Metals at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, and has also studied with American and Norwegian artists at a variety of locations. Working in multiple mediums including metal, wood, leather, horn and bone, she incorporates color into her designs, using a variety of enameling techniques. She and her husband, Harley, work from a studio in their home at Decorah, IA.
For more than 30 years, Harley Refsal has taught various Scandinavian-inspired wood related classes lasting anywhere from a few hours to ongoing courses for several months. The King of Norway awarded Harley the St. Olav's Medal in recognition of Harley's role in reinvigorating and popularizing Scandinavian figure carving in both North America and Norway. A Professor Emeritus in Scandinavian Folk Art at Luther College in Decorah, IA, Harley has exhibited and taught throughout North America as well in Sweden, Norway and Iceland. He lived in Norway on two different occasions, speaks fluent Norwegian and has traveled extensively throughout the Scandinavian countries. He is the author of several Scandinavian woodcarving books, is an Emeritus Member of the Caricature Carvers of America and was named Woodcarver of the Year in 2012 by Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine.