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.
Robin Dale Ford
Robin has always made music the center of her life. She started her training on piano, but at an outdoor festival she stumbled upon musical icon Taj Mahal playing “Colored Aristocracy” in the Clawhammer banjo style and it changed her direction. She found a fine, old Tubaphone banjo and headed to Alaska where she joined an Old-Time string band called The Sidewinders. That started a five-decade career performing live on banjo and in numerous dance bands on electric bass, writing and recording original songs, teaching private lessons and co-owning 10th Planet Recording Studio with partner Pat Fitzgerald for thirty years. She has recently made a joyous return to the piano as a limitless songwriting tool. Stay tuned.
I have worked with my hands my whole life. My curiosity and ADHD has led me to learn to work in multiple media: paper, wood, glass and metal, to name a few. I spent about 20 years taking metalsmithing classes at UAF from Jack Finch. In my former work life, I gained experience teaching classes in web design and HTML at UAF. I’ve taught classes at the Folk School in Pysanky Egg Decorating. I’ve also taught Suminagashi Paper Marbling at the Folk School and through UAF’s OLLI program. I discovered Straw Marquetry on Pinterest and taught myself how to make jewelry and cover wood boxes through trial and error during Covid. I’m currently playing a lot with paper weaving and cutting. And I’m always making some new jewelry in paper.
Liz and Sarah Furman
Sarah and Liz Furman are Fairbanks herbalists who wildharvest and cultivate herbs for food and healing the mind and body. They are owners of the local business, Twinflower (http://www.twinfloweralaska.com), which makes herbal salves, extracts, teas, and syrups.
My name is Raelyn Geron (Rae) and I am a born and raised Fairbanks lady. My husband and I started a small farm in 2017 with the idea of using plants and fungi to create a diverse farm that focused on sustainability and simplicity. I started growing microgreens in January 2021 as an addition to our small farm. They have completely engulfed me and I can’t wait to try more varieties and share them with my community. In the beginning I was seeding about 4-6 trays a week, now I am doing around 50-60 trays a week. Microgreens are forgiving in the area where if you make a mistake you can just try again in 10 days or so. After seeding and harvesting hundreds of trays I’ve developed some methods that work well for me and am excited to share them with my community.
Hi, I’m Dorian! As a lifelong Alaskan who grew up biking and skiing around Fairbanks, I have always wished we had more access to friendly, prompt, reliable bike and ski services in our community. I enjoy the ongoing learning journey, and love providing expert service to our community. I’m the owner and operator of Bankstown Bike and Ski and my goal is to bring expertise and friendly service to more of our community, and make it easier for everyone to have their gear worked on by a professional.
Somer Hahm is a visual artist living and making work in Fairbanks, Alaska. With robust involvement in the Fairbanks art community, Somer has spent time teaching painting and drawing workshops for the Folk School of Fairbanks and Well Street Art Company, has created performance art with the Fairbanks Ladies of Wrestling, and enjoys her employment as Fairbanks Arts Associations Exhibition Technician, installing the rotating art exhibits at the Bear Gallery.
Somer’s recent body of work has been inspired by the wealth of the American Patchwork, and directly investigates the timeless beauty of quilt block designs. Motivated to create community involvement and interest in public art, Somer founded the Far North Quilt Trail Project in July of 2019. In 2020, Hahm was selected as a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award recipient and received grant funding from the Alaska Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for her artist led endeavor of creative place-making initiating Alaska’s first barn quilt trail in Fairbanks.
Kerri has a background in recreation management and elementary education, and has been involved in fundraising and event planning for various local organizations. She is a mom to three children, and thoroughly enjoys camping, hiking, traveling and other outdoor pursuits, along with knitting and embroidery.
Kerri has been camping and hiking with her kids for 19 years (and for many years prior to having children), and has spent hundreds of nights camping in Alaska and in the lower 48. She feels that sharing a love of the outdoors is one of the best gifts you can give your kids.
Kerri Hamos has been homeschooling her kids for 13 years, often without the monotony of published curriculum, and she is looking forward to sharing the love of library books with parents who are jumping into homeschooling.
Cole Harmon is a musher, trapper, skin sewer, parka maker, and traditional tanner who lives in the Goldstream Valley with his eight sled dogs. He has honed his skills creating items for long distance mushers, trappers, and freighters of the Interior and Southeast Alaska. Striving for quality in each item, Cole uses only the most simple hand tools without the aid of a fur sewing machine, preferring instead to hand stitch each item from start to finish.
Chase has made handles (knife, ulu, adze), jewelry (earrings, hairpins) and other objects (spoons, rice paddles, salad servers, pressure point tools, dog chew toys) out of antler, bone and teeth intermittently for 40 years. The materials are tough, durable, beautiful, and relatively easy to work.
Jesse Hensel was born and raised in Alaska. In sixth grade Cathleen Carlo had an artist residency in his classroom and he was instantly hooked on mask making. Jesse studied art in Alaska, Italy, New York and San Francisco, before returning to Alaska to be an artist and educator. He currently teaches Kindergarten and First Grade at Arctic Light Elementary.
elective studies were welding, drafting, woodworking and metals. He
developed skills in carpentry during a career in construction. The
need for specialized construction equipment led him to design and
build trailers, crane booms, man baskets and other steel fabrication.
In the early 1990s, Scott’s focus turned to woodworking, and he
developed his skills and style while continuing to work construction.
In the mid-90s Scott started Alaskan Woodworker, a business creating
varied wooden items, furniture, and canoes. His attention to detail
and refinement of design gained him recognition in the woodworking
community.Having a working knowledge in many creative directions, Scott was
often asked to help with design and construction. Often his solutions
combined wood, copper and steel. Artistic work in mixed media led him
to help other artists with framing, bases, and new ways to display
Scott had taken art classes over the years and in 2013 he decided to
focus toward a degree. He returned to UAF to study sculpture,
printmaking, drawing and painting. This study allowed him to
incorporate fine art into his woodworking, leading to new ideas and
Sandy built his first log cabin in 1966, and starting building full scribe cabins in 1970. Sandy is an expert in log building preservation and restoration and he worked on the oldest surviving log structure in Alaska – the Russian blockhouse that sits just outside The Museum of the North at UAF: https://news.uaf.edu/museum-completes-russian-blockhouse-preservation/.
Other recent projects he has been involved in are the Black Rapids Roadhouse in the Alaska Range, the Dunkle Street cabin in downtown Fairbanks, and the Russian Log Fort near UA Museum of the North.
A cross country skier for over 30 years, Scott Jerome began skijoring in 2014. He’s now an avid racer with five-year old litter-mates Bjorn & Odin. Scott and his wife, Kriya Dunlap, also own five yearlings — Simi, Grover, Kikkan, Diggins, and Rosie — who will begin racing this winter. Scott has won two-dog events at the Gold Run and the North Pole Championships.
David has been pursuing local living skills since he was a child. Though largely self-taught, he has also benefited from numerous apprenticeships both formal and informal, resulting in a diverse skill set tailored to life in the northern forests. In addition to his subsistence lifestyle, he has been a summercamp counselor, log-builder, fur trapper and hidetanner.
Jenna grew up in a family that built kayaks in the living room outside of Detroit, Michigan. She fell in love with Alaska in 2009 when she came here as an intern for the Northern Center. Ever since then, she has been hard at work exploring the arctic and interior by boat, ski, dogsled, bike, and foot. Jenna currently splits her time between working for the Tanana Valley Watershed Association in Fairbanks and building a primitive homestead on the Tanana River. She entertains five dogs, dabbles in herbalism, and strives to sleep outside more than inside. She is excited to share her connection to the bountiful Tanana River as the co-director of the Folk School’s “A Week on the River” program.
Willow Q. Jones
Willow Q. Jones was born and raised in Northwestern Alaska in a traditional Inupiaq community and later on a cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Willow was constantly surrounded by creative people who could easily pick up any tool and make something useful to living life. This skill has made it natural for her to delve deeply into broom making and carving wooden utensils for everyday use. Willow’s brooms and spoons stem from a deep commitment to beautiful and practical tools for the basic necessities of life. She holds a bachelors in art from University of Alaska Fairbanks. Willow first studied spoon carving with Tony Perelli over five years ago and also has been deeply informed and influenced by Emmet Van Driesche these past five years. Currently she cooks, builds, and produces food for her family of four, weaving brooms and carving in her spare moments when not occupied with her young family.
Len Kamerling is Curator of Film at the UA Museum of the North and Professor of English at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is an award winning documentary filmmaker, a specialist in film preservation, and a prior member of the Board of Directors of The Folk School.
Toni’s love of making pots spans many years and a variety of different disciplines. She has taught pottery in Fairbanks (at the University of Alaska and her studio) and has shown her work throughout the community. The process of working with clay has been a journey of discovery, frustration and delight which she loves sharing with others.