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Harley Refsal

Decorah, IA
North House Folk School photo of instructor, Harley Refsal

Harley specializes in Scandinavian-style flat plane figure carving, a minimalist style that leaves the tool marks exposed. He has won numerous carving awards and has taught carving classes throughout the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia. In 1996, he was decorated by the government and King of Norway for his contributions to Norwegian folk art studies. Harley is the author of Art and Technique of Scandinavian-Style Woodcarving as well as seven other carving-related books and numerous articles for woodcarving magazines. In addition to his carving and teaching, Harley is a professor of Norwegian language and Scandinavian folk art at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.

Current Courses Offered by Harley Refsal

2 Days
Teaser image for Carving Christmas Figures: a Tomte or Sankta Lucia

Carving Christmas Figures: a Tomte or Sankta Lucia

How about carving a wooden figure for the upcoming holiday season—either as a gift for someone special, or for yourself (since you are special, too, right?). Harley, who says, "If you can peel a potato, you can carve a figure," will lead new as well as experienced carvers through the…
Sat, Nov 16th, 2019  –  Sun, Nov 17th, 2019
9am-5pm
Instructor: Harley Refsal
5 Days
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Five Days: Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Figure Carving

This course provides beginning as well as experienced carvers with the opportunity to carve several figures in the Scandinavian flat-plane style.  Beginning with an overview of tool sharpening and safety, the course provides hands-on carving experience as you complete each figure in step-by-step fashion. You will then paint the figures…
Wed, Apr 29th, 2020  –  Sun, May 3rd, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Harley Refsal
3 Days
Teaser image for Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Figure Carving

Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Figure Carving

This course provides beginning carvers with the opportunity to create several figures in the Scandinavian flat-plane style. Beginning with tool sharpening, the course provides hands-on carving experience as you complete a figure in step-by-step fashion. You will then paint the figures and apply a final oil finish. After this initial…
Tue, Mar 3rd, 2020  –  Thu, Mar 5th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Harley Refsal

Past Courses Offered by Harley Refsal

Birch, Bark & Antler: Decorative Handles for the Nordic Kitchen

Saving Face: Carving Facial Details

Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Carving: Continuation

Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Carving: The Dala Horse