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Becky Lusk

Norwegian Woodcarving
Coon Valley, WI


Acanthus: Decorative carving of leaves.
Bristly: Covered with short, stiff rough hairs.
Carving: (noun) An object made by shaping and cutting.
Carving: (verb) To shape and cut a material into a form or design.
Figure carving: Carving three dimensional images of people or animals.
Figures: Carved three dimensional images of people or animals.
Heritage: Traditions that are part of a group’s cultural identity that are passed from one generation to another.
Imagination: (sounds like, ih-MA-ji-nay-shun) The ability to think of something that doesn’t already exist or that you haven't experienced.
Longships: Fast and agile sailing ships used by Vikings for war and exploration.
Rosemal: To paint in the rosemaling style.
Rosemaling: Decorative painting from Norway that uses flowing lines, flower designs and subtle colors.
Scandinavia: (sounds like, skan-dih-NAY-vee-ah)The northern European countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland. (Some people also include Denmark and Iceland.)
Vesterheim: (sounds like, VESS-ter-hime) A Norwegian-American museum in Decorah, Iowa.
Vikings: Explorers and warriors from Scandinavia who traveled by ship in the 8th – 10th centuries.
Woodcarving: To shape and cut wood into a form or design.

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Journal Questions


Do you have a hobby? Do you love doing this hobby so much that you would like to do it every day?

QuestionHave you ever seen a thistle? Acanthus plants are very similar.


 What tools does Becky use? What are the steps in her process?

QuestionDoes all art making use imagination?


If you were going to paint or carve a scene to represent your cultural heritage, what would it be?

QuestionWho are the people in your community who like to make beautiful things? Do they work with wood like Becky? What kinds of things do they make?

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Resources For Teachers

Web ResourceYou can find some more information and photos of acanthus style carvings at Saga Artisan.

Web ResourceFind out more about the great regional resource, the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

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Resources For Students

Web ResourceBecky won her gold medal in wordworking at Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa. Learn more about this fun festival!

Web ResourceWant to see other examples of Norwegian-style figure carving? Check out this page from Pinewood Forge of three carvers in the Minneapolis area. 

Web Resource

Becky likes to carve in the acanthus style. Want to see an acanthus plant and some other kinds of carvings it has inspired? You'll find those photos on Things That Inspire or at Acanthus Technology Design.

Web ResourceHave fun and learn some Norwegian vocabulary with this word search game at Transparent Language or this quiz from Digital Dialects.

Web ResourceSkiing is a popular winter sport and tourist attraction in Norway. Give it a try yourself in this game from Visit Norway.

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Text written by Louie Holwerk, edited by Anne Pryor and Asa Olson.

Sources consulted include a tape recorded interview with Becky Lusk by Jeanie Geurink (10/21/02), in cooperation with the UW-Madison Folklore Program. The tapes are housed at the Wisconsin Arts Board.


Wisconsin Folks

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Becky Lusk



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