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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." 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

2.25 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…
Fri, Oct 12th, 2018  –  Sun, Oct 14th, 2018
Instructor: Harley Refsal
3 Days
Teaser image for Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Carving: Continuation

Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Carving: Continuation

Another appropriate name for this course could simply be: “Let’s Keep Carving!”  It is an inspiring immersion for students with prior carving experience, including seasoned figure carvers, as well as new-to-carving folks who have just completed the three-day Scandinavian Style Figure Carving course. Need some inspiration or a few new…
Mon, Jun 24th, 2019  –  Wed, Jun 26th, 2019
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 carve 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 5th, 2019  –  Thu, Mar 7th, 2019
Instructor: Harley Refsal
Wed, Jun 19th, 2019  –  Fri, Jun 21st, 2019
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: The Dala Horse