Meet The Instructors







Darlene Fossum-Martin

There is not a blank piece of wood in my house. From a 90 year old pair of skis to spoons, kuksas, bowls and plates etc. I decorate them all with kolrosing. Newly retired from my position running the folk art school at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, which has been holding classes in the traditional Norwegian and Scandinavian folk arts for over 50 years, I have gained so much knowledge in many Scandinavian folk arts but my absolute favorite is kolrosing or insizing on wood. Give me a wooden object and I will kolrose it.
Darlene is an avid kolroser and has carved with several recognized Scandinavian carvers such as Kare Herfindal, Voss Norway and Leif Ottar Flaten, Dragedal, Norway along with Americans Judy Ritger and Hostfest University Instructor Harley Refsal. She has taught several kolrosing classes at Vesterheim Museum throughout the years and this is her second year of teaching Kolrosing at Høstfest University. Planning and leading five Vesterheim folk art study tours throughout Norway and Sweden gives her the opportunity to share many time honored photo examples of artifacts decorated with kolrosing. She is also an instructor in traditional Norwegian immigrant foods. Maybe you will be able to use your newly decorated spoon before you leave class! She looks forward to sharing and passing on this centuries old craft.


Alysa Harron

As a self-described glass addict, Alysa Harron has over 15 years experience sharing the wonders of molten glass with all ages across Canada, the United States, and Nepal. Alysa's passion in glass is inspired by ancient technologies and cultures from around the world. As an instructor, she believes that everyone has something to contribute, and even the most experienced have something to learn from the perspective of a beginner. Ultimately, life is simply a collection of stories; experiences and adventures. Come visit Alysa in the Viking Village for live demonstrations or attend a Hostfest University class and add to your story!


Ashlyn Noble

New to Høstfest University this year, Ashlyn Noble is an experienced glass and jewelry artist who has the firm belief that, with enough practice, anyone can make beautiful and functional pieces! Under her guidance in this glass, you will make your first beautiful, functional bracelet as you learn the ancient Viking technique known as trichonopoly or wireweaving. Ashlyn has been making jewelry for more than 15 years, and parlayed her talents into her thriving business, Noble & Whimsical in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she creates and sells lampwork glass and metal items. Her love of history influences her work - from Viking age wireweaving and medieval-style beads to modern glassware for display or function. Ashlyn has taught classes in Canada and the United States. Outside of class time, you will find Ashlyn demonstrating in the Viking Village at Norsk Høstfest.


Kelsey Patton

At home in rural Nebraska, Kelsey Patton raises Icelandic sheep for the quality wool they produce. She sells yarns, wool, weaving supplies, patterns, designs and historical costumes at Spindle, Shuttle and Needle, the shop she owns and operates. She shears her sheep, dyes her own yarn, and uses her Viking Age spindle for spinning. On the road, she teaches Viking era classes. She has taught every year at Høstfest University and students rate her an A+ instructor! Kelsey grew up on a small farm near the Swedish town of Stromsburg, Nebraska, 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. When Kelsey is not teaching at Høstfest University, look for her and her husband, Philip, in the Viking Village.