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.
Avril has been crafting with fiber since she was a small girl and loves everything to do with wool–spinning, knitting, dyeing, and felting. Her farm, Avril*Cultural, is home to a small herd of pygora goats that she raises for their fiber.
I’ve been a creator all my life. Much of my learning is self-taught, though I have spent the last 17 years taking a variety of classes in the Art Department at UAF. I’ve been in love with paper for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent time making, cutting, folding, painting, rolling, sculpting and marbling paper. The bulk of my time the last five years has been spent experimenting with paper jewelry.
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.
Julie Gonnering Lein
Julie Gonnering Lein earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah, where she’s also worked as a poetry editor of Quarterly West and a postdoctoral research fellow. Her poetry and scholarship have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Best New Poets, Terrain, Phoebe, Modernism/modernity, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Larry Levis Memorial Poetry Prize (Academy of American Poets); her poetry/nonfiction chapbook Glacier: Perfect Tense was released in 2015 from dancing girl press. She has taught literature and creative writing for numerous university and community groups, and looks forward to new classes at The Folk School.
Somer Hahm is a local artist, living and making art in Fairbanks since 2005. She received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2008. During her time at UAF, she instructed a variety of beginning painting and drawing courses, and gained experience teaching young people at the Summer Visual Arts Academy.
Her passion for art led her to working for many years as a gallery assistant at Well Street Art Company, where she is currently represented. Somer has a robust involvement in the arts community in Fairbanks. She has worked directly with the Fine Arts Collections Curator at the Museum of the North, been a docent for the Rose Berry Art Gallery, and spent countless hours at Fairbanks Arts Association helping to install rotating exhibits.
These days, Somer is raising her two little ones, building a house with her husband, picking blueberries and mushrooms, and finding time to draw and paint somewhere in between.
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.
Glenn Helkenn grew up on an Alaskan homestead not far from Wrangel St. Ellias National Park, and has spent many years exploring the natural world, studying primitive wilderness skills, and engaging in traditional subsistence practices. You can read some of his musings and (Mis)adventures at http://www.practicalprimitivist.com if you’d like.
Having grown up in a conservative Christian environment, Wren never would have predicted becoming fluent in tarot, but the delight she found working with the cards outweighed any negativity.
A lover of Story and language, Wren incorporates cards of all kinds – tarot, oracle, and even vocabulary – into brainstorming fictional characters and building new worlds while writing novels for her own entertainment.
You can find her tarot work at UntanglingTarot.com
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.
Sara Hensel graduated with her BFA in ceramics from UAF in 2018 and loves empowering others through clay. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she has found inspiration for her ceramic work in the uniquely Fairbanksan potluck culture that so beautifully celebrates food, friendship, and the abundance of the Alaskan landscape.
I am a fiber artist, educator, and long-time resident of Fairbanks, I retired from teaching art in the public schools this year, and am active in the Northwoods Book Arts Guild. I also enjoy eco-dyeing paper, natural dyeing on yarn and fabric, weaving, felting, paper-making, jewelry making, and surface design. I look forward to working in my studio, as well as teaching classes and workshops.
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.
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.