Meet The Instructors
2019 ARTISAN INSTRUCTORS
Robin B Carlson
Acknowledged Norwegian folk artist and folk lorist by North Dakota Council of the Arts. Artist-in-residence selected as 1 of 20 chosen artists to display tapestries at the new Sanford Hospital / Health Center in Fargo. Award-winning tapestry from the Hjemkomst Center in Fargo-Moorehead. Story tell of Norwegian folklore in many events. Documented as a practitioner by the Smithsonian Museum. Reenactor portraying a weaver and spinner in the Fur Trade Era at the ND State Fair.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Teresa McCue Thompson
Teresa McCue Thompson ~ Telemark Rosemaling ~ Inspired by the love of her Scandinavian heritage, her work over the years has been blend of instruction at Vesterheim, private study in Norway and professional practice. In 2014 Teresa was awarded the Gold Medal in Rosemaling by the Norwegian American Museum (Vesterheim) representing the highest award available for Rosemaling in the United States today. For 20 years, Teresa has shared her expertise at Norsk Hostfest as a master painter in Copenhagen Hall. Now she teaches students at Hostfest University and welcomes beginners to learning the basic steps of this highly stylized art form.
Erik Vevang is an experience carpenter and woodworker based in Minneapolis, MN. With his wife Michele they operate VevangMPLS a wood carving and art studio near their home. Erik has been carving wooden spoons in the Scandinavian “green wood” tradition for the past seven years and teaching classes and workshops on spoon carving for 4 years. He is excited to share his knowledge and love of carving to Høstfest this year.
As an instructor for the International Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sidonka has been displaying, demonstrating and teaching straw weaving, egg decorating, folk painting and cornhusk work for 55 years. Sidonka has been conducting master classes in the United States, Belarus, Poland, Hungary and the Ukraine for the past 25 years in an effort to keep straw plaiting, a “lost” art form, alive and thriving. Sidonka is currently a folk art instructor at the Kenosha Public Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin and teaches Master Classes in Europe and the United States. Sidonka is the General Chairwoman for her Ethnic Group at Holiday Folk Fair International in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an international ethnic festival her family has participated in since 1944, and is a charter member, past president and instructor for The National Association of Wheat Weavers since 1989. Listed in “Who’s Who in American Folk Art” Sidonka Wadina is recognized as a true master of straw weaving. In 1998, she participated in the Smithsonian Folk-life Festival in Washington D.C. displaying her straw weavings as one of our nation’s leading folk artists.
In 1998, by special invitation, Sidonka was invited to exhibit and demonstrate at the Chiba Peoples Festival in Narita, Japan. Her work has been featured on the covers of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Wisconsin Sesquicentennial brochures and numerous other publications. She has decorated the Christmas trees of three of Wisconsin’s past governors and by special request, invited to create ornaments for the White House Christmas tree for Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. In 2015 Sidonka Wadina won the Heritage Award from National Endowment of the Arts and was declared a National Treasure. In 2015 United States Artists granted Sidonka Wadina a fellowship as” Distinguished Artist” in the Traditional Folk Arts category. With funding provided by Wisconsin Arts Board and The National Endowment for the Arts Sidonka has been taught apprentices for the past 20 years through The Folk Art apprentice Program.