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Wisconsin Folks
Becky Lusk

Norwegian Woodcarving
Coon Valley, WI

Becky Lusk carving.  Photo courtesy of Becky Lusk.Do you have a favorite hobby? Maybe you write poetry, or play the violin. Do you love doing this hobby so much that you would want to do it every day?

That’s how it was for Becky Lusk. Growing up, she loved woodcarving, and today, that’s how she makes her living.

Learning from Grandpa Hans

Becky made her first carving when she was fourteen. She’d always liked watching her grandfather Hans carve, and one day when she was in his workshop with a few of her cousins, he gave each of them a piece of wood to carve. She carved a snail, which she still has today. 

She continued carving, and her grandfather and parents realized she had a talent.  “I think she’ll be good,” her grandfather said. This meant a lot to Becky because her grandfather was a man of few words. Her parents encouraged her as well, and during high school she took a carving class from Phillip Odden, another Norwegian-American wood carver in western Wisconsin.

Becky’s grandfather was from south-eastern Norway. He was a self-taught woodcarver, which was common for Norwegian carvers, Becky says.

“I think woodcarving has always been in the Norwegian tradition, starting with the Vikings. Their longships had beautiful carvings on them, and during the winters—they had long winters—they made the other things they needed. They could take a stick and make a spoon, or a stirrer. They used what they had and made very beautiful objects.”

When Wood Comes Alive

Ale Bowl by Becky Lusk.  Photo courtesy of Becky Lusk.Carving is important to Becky for many reasons. For one, she says, “I’m the type of person who has to make things. And I’ve found an outlet in wood because I can make it come alive.”

Let’s see what kind of carvings Becky does! 

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Vernon County, Wisconsin

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