Home » News » Høstfest University courses open for registration for adults in Scandinavian folk arts

Come learn about woodcarving with Harley Refsal. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)
Come learn about woodcarving with Harley Refsal. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Høstfest University courses open for registration for adults in Scandinavian folk arts


July 27, 2015

Høstfest University kicks off its second year of offering classes for adults in the Scandinavian folk arts. Five accomplished instructors, well recognized in their fields of expertise, will teach the classes, which are being held Wednesday through Saturday, September 30-October 3, 2015 at Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota.

Come learn about Bunad embroidery with Sue Sutherland. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Come learn about Bunad embroidery with Sue Sutherland. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

“We have a wealth of people with extraordinary skills participating in Norsk Høstfest,” said David Reiten, President of Norsk Høstfest. “For several years now, we’ve enjoyed using their expertise through the Høstfest in the Schools program. With such positive continuous feedback on that program, we decided to quietly debut Høstfest University for adults and see how incorporating a classroom environment into the festival’s daily activities would work. There was a great response and we are happy to move forward with the program this year.”

This year’s instructors and courses they will teach include: Woodcarver Harley Refsal, offers a choice in carving a Scandinavian Christmas ornament, a Swedish dala horse or a Scandinavian folk character; Jewelry Maker Norma Refsal focuses on Sami-inspired bracelets and rings; Woodcarver Jay Haavik’s classes are in Viking Age carving; Bunad expert Sue Sutherland teaches bunad embroidery; and Kelsey Patton teaches nålbinding (an ancient Viking fabric art form) and Scandinavian tablet weaving (a fabric craft that dates back to the Bronze Age).

Harley Refsal was named Woodcarver of the Year in 2012 by Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine and received the St. Olav ‘s Medal from the King of Norway for reinvigorating and popularizing Scandinavian figure carving in both North America and Norway. A Professor Emeritus in Scandinavian Folk Art at Luther College in Decorah, Harley has written several woodcarving books. His wife, Norma, studied the Sami culture and crafts while they lived in Norway and traveled extensively in Sweden. Norma studied Art Metals at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, and has been both student and teacher at workshops with American and Norwegian artists at a variety of locations. They live in Decorah, Iowa, home to the Vesterheim Museum, which has strong ties to Norsk Høstfest.

Come learn about Sami-inspired bracelets and rings from Jewelry Maker Norma Refsal. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Come learn about Sami-inspired bracelets and rings from Jewelry Maker Norma Refsal. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

A Seattle resident, Haavik currently spends a lot of time in Tonsberg, Norway, where he is the lead carver working on a replica of the famous Oseberg Viking ship, which is located in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Patton owns Spindle Shuttle Needle in Stromsburg, Nebraska, and has a degree in history and medieval and renaissance studies with a specialization in historical clothing design from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Haavik and Patton are associated with the Viking Village at Høstfest. The owner of Bunad Butikken in Ely, Minn., Sutherland completed studies in apparel and textile design manufacturing in Norway. She has taught bunad making and embroidery in classes throughout the United States.

Harley Refsal's carved Dala Horses before and after. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Harley Refsal’s carved Dala Horses before and after. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Pre-registration is required for Høstfest University classes. General admission to the festival that day is either discounted or included in the registration, depending on the class. Class size is limited so early registration is encouraged. Instructors welcome students of all levels. To register, visit www.hostfest.com/hu and click on “register now”.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL: Norsk Høstfest is a nonprofit Scandinavian festival held annually in the fall in the
North Dakota State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D., USA. Entering its 38th year, the festival has become North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people attending from all over the world. The festival features world-class entertainment, Scandinavian culture on display, handcrafted Norsk merchandise, authentic Scandinavian cuisine plus a fine dining establishment, En To Tre, led by Norwegian chefs. Norsk Høstfest celebrates Scandinavian culture from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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Please sign up now for the Scandinavian folk art classes. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

Please sign up now for the Scandinavian folk art classes. (Photo courtesy of Norsk Hostfest)

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