Norwegian Wood Carving
Ancestors: Earlier generations of a family, like great-grandparents.
Have you ever planned a project in your head before actually starting it?
Would you like a career as a professional artist? Why or why not? What art would you do?
Else and Phil make items that are both beautiful and useful. Look around your house. What do you have there that is both beautiful and useful? Choose one object. Describe the who, where, when and why of how it’s used. Explain why it’s beautiful.
Norsk Wood Works is Phil and Else’s website, with lots of good information. They give details on their co-authored book, Treskjaererkunsten (1996).
This article by Trond Gjerdi on Norwegian Folk Art gives insights to the genre.
Artists of Handcrafted Furniture at Work
The Scandinavian-American Family Album
Odin, the website for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has “Introducing Norway,” a set of pages for kids on Norway.
Up for a fieldtrip? Just 60 miles from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, you can visit the Norwegian-American museum, Vesterheim (“western home”) in Decorah, IA. You can order young-reader books from their gift shop.
Text written by Jamie Yuenger, edited by Anne Pryor.
Sources consulted include tape recorded interviews with Phillip Odden and Else Bigton by Michael Kline (7/4/98) and Ruth Olson (8/01), with the tapes housed at the Wisconsin Arts Board; and the website www.norskwoodworks.com.
Video footage from Wisconsin Folks, 1998, produced by Dave Erickson for Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Public Television.