We met Phil and Else last year at Nork Hostfest. Our booth was next to theirs and as soon as we saw them setting up, we knew our booth was ....well let's just say we felt a bit out of our league. We became fast friends when they saw we brought our electric tea kettle and French press for fresh coffee at a moment's notice. So our booth sucked, but we had had coffee. Priorities.
Anyhow... They lead a tour in Norway, not your average tour, but a tour of all the cool spots they like to visit and homes and meals with their friends. And folk art!!! The American dollar is still strong, so it's a great time to go visit Norway. Do it. You won't regret it. And you'll be in good hands.
In January we applied to be a part of the self-guided Spring Fresh Art Tour in Pepin County, and we were accepted in! We are so excited to be apart of this great opportunity. Swing by and check out our work at our Wisconsin studio June 7,8 &9 10:00-5:00pm.
If you have been to our website lately or seen us on AirBnB Experiences you know that spoon carving classes have become one of the most important activities around VevangMPLS. Classes were not on our radar when we began to ramp up our carving. But it turns out that sharing what you love with like minded folks is a lot of fun. Not only do we teach out of our studio, but we’ve been holding classes at Ingebretsens Scandinavian Market. At the end of March we will be teaching at a new folk school, Marine Mills, at Marine on the St Croix. This past fall we also did a gig at Target Corp. In recent months we’ve been teaching about two classes a month with an average of eight students in each class. We hope to see you in a class soon or let us know if you’d like us to teach at your space.
Happy New Year!! December was a busy fun month. Maybe too busy. New this year, we attempted having regualr Friday retail hours, which seemed to go over very well. So you can count on us doing that again. Then to celebrate the start of winter, we closed out the month with a Winter Solstice party where we had our friend Liz call out some bingo in our back yard by the bonfires, and our musical friends Noise Quean Ant played a chill mellow sound scape by one of the other bone fires... it was cold out, but we did it and had fun.
2019 will bring more classes with guest instructors and more ways to pass the time in a meaningful way. Soap making, crop art, sewing, kids camps and rug punching to name a few. Thank you for all your support. We appriciate our community and feel lucky to live and work in such a wonderful city. Skol to 2019.
Erik and I have been invited to participate at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota on September 26-29. The festival was founded in 1978 as a way to celebrate Nordic heritage, and has grown in North America's largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people visiting from all over the world. Norst Høstfest features a number fo Nordic exhibits with internationally recognized artisans, craftpersons and chefs participating. During the festival, we will be demonstrating spoon carving and axing, as well as selling our spoons. We are looking forward to being apart of this big event.
In July we had two classes, our Kids Crew Carving Camp and Crop Art Class. The Kids Crew Caving Camp was a four day camp for kids going into the 5th grade and older. They learned about different knife grips and carving techniques. We had a great time teaching the class and look forward to the next one.
The Saturday after the Kids Crew, guest instructor Liz Schrieber taught a Crop Art Class. All of the students who attended aspire to compete in the MN State Fair. So keep an eye out for their work in the Horticulture Building this fall.
We also have an Intro to Spoon Carving Class coming up on Thursday August 9th from 6-9:00pm and a Two Day Spoon Carving Class on Friday September 7&8th. The Two Day Spoon Carving Class is for beginners as well as students who have taken our Intro Class as it is a slower paced, more in depth class that goes over axing out a spoon as well as spoon design.
I spent two and a half days learing how to carve a Brittany style Party Spoon. These spoons were used mostly on special ocassions, most likely when there was a marriage in town as early as 1850’s. Multiple couples would get married at once, so thousands of folks would arrive together for the ocassion, as wedding parties back then lasted three days. Many of the spoons were also foldable, as well as very ornate to celebrate in the party.
Currently this particular kind of spoon now only has about three known makers in France. There are no records on who the original carvers of these spoons were, but based on the many photos Jane shared with us, it is obvious that many of the spoons had a particular style to them, and that one person probably made many spoons at a time. As far as she knows, there were no guilds in France to keep the trade a secret. So it’s kind of a mystry why and how this tradition faded away. FEAR NOT... Jane has not only figured out how to carve these spoons, and how to inlay the wax all on her own by trial and error, but she also figured out how to make a folding spoon. On her own. With no instruction. Not only are Janes spoons amazing, so is her brain.
For our part of Minneapolis the true mark of spring’s end is Art-A-Whirl weekend. One of the largest art crawls in the US, Art-A-Whirl sprawls over the weekend of May 18th, 19th and 20th and 3 square miles of Northeast Minneapolis. Our cozy studio is a bit off the beaten path but we are doing out best to bring the festivities to our block. We’ve invited 16 artists to share our space and show off their work.
Starting Friday May 18th at 5:00 we will open our studio, AirBnB and back yard to the public. You will have a chance to meet the artists, check out the gallery in apartment above the studio and watch demonstrations on axe carving and bowl turning in the back yard area. Kids sewing activities and face painting will also be happening. We are excited to bring visitors to our part of NE Minneapolis and carry on the Art-A-Whirl tradition.
Friday May 18th, 5:00-10:00 pm
Saturday May 19th, noon-8:00 pm
Sunday May 20th, noon-5:00 pm
There will be plenty of free parking in front of our studio on Johnson St NE, 28th & 29th Ave NE.