Robin first discovered crankies as a K-12 itinerant art teacher in the Bering Strait region of Western Alaska. A musician and artist, she loved that crankies combine visual arts with music to tell stories, and that they can be made from simple recycled materials- from matchboxes, to shoeboxes, to refrigerator boxes! She used scrap wood to build big crankie boxes for each of the 15 schools she taught in, and proceeded to make crankie stories large and small with hundreds of students from Kindergardeners to adults. She has been hooked ever since!
Robin serves on the board of the Alaska Arts Education Consortium, which works to advance teaching and learning through the arts across Alaska, and is a Fairbanks Folk Fest volunteer. She loves to play music (old-time banjo, mandolin, and classical piano). She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is passionate about connecting learning with place and culture, and helping inspire new educators with creative ideas to enhance their own teaching practices.
Putt grew up in Fairbanks, and for years the only bread available in the house was typical, sliced, American-style bread. Out of self-defense, she started baking bread in the 8th grade. Later, in her late teens, she backpacked through Europe, sampling the hearty European breads in different countries. Inspired by this, and over the years through experimentation, she developed a recipe that requires little time, little kneading, satisfies the European-style itch, while also pleasing the American palate.
Sandy Clark has been teaching music in Fairbanks schools for almost 40 years. She is a founding member of Fairbanks Flutists and played in the Fairbanks Symphony for 30 years, until hand issues made it too difficult to play at that level. While singing in the Aurora Women’s Choir she joined some other members in starting a Ukulele group. Several years later, the group continues to meet weekly. Sandy says, “Almost anyone can play ukulele and enjoy the pleasure of making music with others!”
David Costello was born and raised in Fairbanks, where he learned carpentry basics from his father. After attempting a career in journalism, he rediscovered woodworking and the enjoyment of using his hands. He’s worked as a general contractor remodeling homes in Fairbanks since 2000.
Homyna Curiel is the owner / operator of Tundra Tonics . Homyna originally found a passion for health and the power of natural foods in studying mycology. Homyna believes that what we eat is fundamental to acquiring a critical agency in shaping our health both physically and mentally and that what we choose to eat is inextricably entwined with the degree of our literacy and our political / philosophical affiliations.
My name is Darcel, I have been eco printing for felting for over 6 years. After much self study and practice eco printing on my own, two years ago I attended a week long intensive eco printing with natural dyes class by Irit Dulman, world renowned eco printing Master Teacher, and continued to build my skills. I also studied with my local Waldorf School Handwork teacher for years, learning wet felting, needle felting, nuno felting, natural dyes, knitting, crochet, spinning my own yarn, and working with raw fleeces. I love to work with nature in my art, and I love the gentle soothing effect of working with wool and natural fibers. Eco printing is very environmentally friendly compared to processes with synthetic dyes. Playing with leaves and fluff is such an enjoyable and fun experience and I would would love to share it with you! Please check out my facebook page for more photos and information: https://www.facebook.com/pg/earthmamafiberstudio
Gail Davidson has been doing fiber work since dinosaurs walked the earth. She has taught knitting classes in several venues, including many years with Osher Lifelong Learning. At Folk School Fairbanks, she has taught rug braiding, rug hooking, chair seat caning, and knitting. This year she will complete her fourth stint as Artist-in-Residence for Alaska State Parks. Pieces of her fiber work have hung in several Fairbanks shows.
Fred DeCicco is a retired fisheries biologist and flyfishing guide with Twin Peaks Adventures. He is a Certified Casting Instructor through the International Federation of Fly Fishers and an avid fly fisher who has fished throughout Alaska and other parts of the world.
I’m Alaska Native, Han Athabascan from the Yukon River. I learned about plant medicine from my mother and the knowledge has been passed down through generations. It is now my turn to share the knowledge with my daughter and others who want to learn.
Mina Doerner recently moved to Fairbanks. She has been spinning and playing with fiber for over 30 years. Mina has hooked so many people on spinning that she has lost count. Her most rewarding moments are hearing people say “I get it”.
Craig Dorman moved to Alaska in 2001 after several careers in the Navy and research to take an administrative job at the University of Alaska. His wife Cynthia bought him a mold for a Nantucket Lightship basket for his birthday in 2004, and now the house is full of them. He’s now retired and has plenty of time for weaving and travel.
I’m Kristi Downing and I’ve lived in Fairbanks for . . . a long time. I love camping, hiking, reading, skiing, teaching, being with family and friends, and being surrounded by the forest. In artistic pursuits, I enjoy knitting and felting, watercolors, carving, sewing and a myriad of other random creative interests.
I’ve worked with kids as a 2nd grade teacher, as a parent, and as a tutor and mentor for high schools students here in Fairbanks. In my felting world, I have taught needle felting as an after-school enrichment activity for elementary students, as well as during an Artist-in-Residence for BEST homeschool students in 2019. I have also done a lot of needle felting with my own children, as well as with friends.
I have a love of connecting children with nature as a place to learn and grow, as well as a perfect place-based classroom. I am completing my Masters of Elementary Education with a focus on embracing the Forest School ethos in our work with raising and teaching/mentoring our children. In addition, I am a certified elementary teacher in Alaska, currently homeschooling my own children.
My 24 year residence in Alaska (Bethel to Fairbanks) has been occupied by my loving partner Nancy, nursing, farming, and being a b&b host; as well as a life long DIYer. Growing up in rural Colorado I learned it was important to learn a broad range of skills to maintain daily needs. Also, I value learning common techniques and skills used in past daily life.
It was my good fortune to meet Randy Brown many years ago and learn from his passion for bowl carving. I’ve been carving since 2015 and still learn something new in every bowl. My 2 favorite quotes are “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” by William Morris and “If you need it, make it” found on an unauthored sign in a shearing shed in South Australia.
I am a retired middle school teacher who got involved in fiber arts through my daughters 4H project. Now we have eight Tunis X sheep and two goats who live in our back yard. I learned the drop spindle to have something to do with all the fiber they were producing and to keep my hands busy. Now I am involved in all kinds of fiber arts including weaving, dying, felting, and naalbinding. Being a social studies teacher for 25 years, teaching living history is a passion of mine. I love learning the history behind skills that have been done in in the past then teaching them to others.
Ryan is always excited to teach music, whether in groups or private tutoring sessions. He began teaching guitar lessons for beginners in 2005 at Grassroots Guitar where he also worked as an instrument technician. He now teaches lessons at various levels on multiple instruments. He currently teaches group guitar classes for the Young Native Fiddlers.
Elizabeth Eero Irving
Elizabeth Eero Irving is a lifelong Fairbanks gardener, having first learned food production from her (amazing) gardener Mom. Elizabeth went on to work for 10 years in production and retail sales greenhouses in all genres of gardening and landscape planting. She believes growing our own healthy, organic food is the utmost form of self-sufficiency (plus, it’s fun!) and it’s a skill she loves teaching anyone who will listen.
Suzienne Fiera has 15 years in practice as a clinical western herbalist. She is a 2003 graduate of the Northeast School for Botanical Medicine and a 2012 graduate of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She spends summers in Fairbanks, Alaska and winters in Mexico.
I have been a runner for 15 years. Progressing and learning over time, I have come to enjoy the barefoot and minimalist style most. I have made these hurraches for a few seasons and I thought teaching this class would be a fun way to meet more minimalist runners in Fairbanks!
Co-owner and engineer at 10th Planet Recording for over 25 years recording everything from string quartets to singer-songwriters, vocal groups, hip hop artists, & rock bands. Born in Fairbanks and musician in a variety of groups as songwriter, guitarist, drummer, vocalist, & fiddle player.
I have been in Alaska for 51 years and since getting out of the army in 1964, I have been a carpenter/contractor. I enjoy building things as well as remodeling and repairing things already built. I became a canoeing enthusiast about 30 years ago at which time I bought two wood and canvas canoes. One was a fairly decent 15’ footer, the other a 20 foot wreck. About 27 years later the wreck made it into my shop and was rebuilt – a learning experience for sure. I had help and advice from several friends and the project was successful and fun. Over the years I have acquired several more canoes in various stages of disrepair and have learned quite a lot about canoe repair and re-canvassing.