North House Folk School intern Lucy Kruesel said it always surprises people that she has a science background instead of one in the arts.
"I want to be a teacher," she said, and working at educational non-profit in Grand Marais, Minn., gives her an opportunity to learn things that will improve her performance in the classroom. It's also very interesting, she said.
Kruesel and fellow intern Mike Loeffler were two of four people representing the North House Folk School at this year's Norsk Hstfest.
Some of the items made by craftsmen from the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn.
Kruesel and Loeffler said they are just "minions of the masters" who teach basketry, blacksmithing and tool making, boatbuilding, jewelry making, woodworking and furniture craft, and other hands-on trades, but they have also picked up a few things during their time at the school.
Kruesel was working on a scarf using "nalbinding," a Norwegian craft that resembles knitting. Nalbinding is a way to make looped structure fabric with a single needle.Kruesel said nalbinding is an ancient craft and examples have been found as far back as the Egyptian pyramids and in remains recovered from bogs in Europe.
The North House Folk School offers classes and weekend retreats for people of all ages. Kruesel said they come from all over the United States to participate in activities. A family weekend is coming up Oct. 20-23 and will include eight different courses that child and adult pairs can take for under $150 each in such things as bread baking, knitting and woodworking. Courses are taught throughout the year by expert craftsmen.
Loeffler said he thinks there might be more interest in learning some of these hands-on crafts and skills people can use to provide for themselves because of the current bad economy.
Items on display were things people can use in day to day life, including wooden bowls and spoons, a backpack being woven from birch bark and baskets.
Kruesel said people interested in learning how to do it themselves should consider a trip to the North House Folk School. Grand Marais is also a neat place, she said.