Jim is a retired general contractor. Most of the work he did was residential.
Phil Schad moved to Fairbanks in August of 1974 and worked on the Trans Alaska Pipeline as a Laborer. His 6 years of carpentry experience in Texas prior to moving to Fairbanks allowed for more employment opportunities during the growth of Fairbanks. Phil continued to work at Prudhoe Bay in the winters and built houses during the summer, building a log cabin at Harding Lake and 4 houses in the Goldstream Valley for himself. In 1988 he got a job in the Maintenance Division of the Fairbanks North Star Borough where he was employed for almost 19 years. During that time he was cross trained in all aspects of building maintenance. Phil designed and built all of his houses with the latest energy efficient methods and currently has a solar hot water system at his home. His entire career has been in the construction and maintenance fields and his passion has always been to do it right and to keep it simple.
Natalie was born in Fairbanks and raised on her parents’ homestead in Salcha between the Piledriver Slough and the Tanana River. Childhood winters meant mushing and reading by gas lights, summers meant being outside more than in, and autumn meant berry picking until snow forced her inside. She has lived all over the country, including Dallas, New Orleans, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Because the boreal forest is imprinted on her soul, she made her way back to Fairbanks and plans on staying forever. Since moving back to Alaska, she has recovered her childhood love of cross-country skiing, berry picking, and generally getting lost in the woods. She loves all things folksy and is passionate about learning how to make things by hand in the old ways. Natalie has an art degree from UAF and is a work-at-home printmaking artist and mother. She lives in Goldstream Valley with her husband Gabe and her two sons, Charlie and Ole.
Sönna is a knitting instructor, tech editor and knitwear designer. She has worked and taught at yarn shops in Fairbanks and Seattle and her classes are now offered virtually. You can learn more about Sönna by following her on Instagram, Ravelry and subscribing to her website at http://www.sundaughterknits.com.
Christie is an avid knitter, fiber enthusiast and one of the farmers at Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. She has been teaching knitting and other fiber arts at Calypso for several years.
Mary Shields has delighted in waking up out in the wild country, having traveled there with the help of her small but faithful team of huskies. Now at age 74 , Mary’s body has given up, but her Spirit stills yearns to be on the long, Spring trails. She shares some of the joys of those trails, nearly 50 years worth, in her six books and one PBS featured program, and in over 40 years sharing her “Tails of the Trail,” with visitors to Fairbanks. Perhaps a better title for this class would be Robert Service’s line from The Spell of the Yukon; “The Freshness, the Freedom, the Farness, oh God how I’m stuck on it all”.
Charles is a lifelong Fairbanksan. He has lived on Ester Dome since 1969, and has been working wood since the early 70’s. He says he is still actively learning because there is so much to know, and he feels he has barely scratched the surface of woodworking.
I have been working with clay since my early college years and continue to be fascinated by the limitless possibilities it presents to the artist, craftsperson or hobbyist. I continually seek to push my own limits with clay and enjoy sharing basic wheel throwing skills with curious students.
Frank Soos is the 2015 Alaska State Laureate Writer and instructed creative writing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for nearly two decades. Frank is author of several books, including several Bamboo Fly Rod Suite (essays) and a forthcoming book of essays from the University of Washington Press.
Brian Sprague is a lifelong woodworker and hand tool enthusiast. Brought up in rural Michigan, his occupations have ranged from white collar engineer to aircraft mechanic to fuels crew sawyer, and counting. He is particularly fond of tree work and began running a saw at the age of 12 (It was a Stihl.).
Marly Stasi has been working in early childhood education for over ten years. She received her Montessori Assistants to Infancy (birth-3 years) diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO and her masters in early childhood education from Loyola University in Maryland. She is an advocate for positive parent-child communication, a toddler whisperer, and an avid crafter, making homemade learning material from her cabin in Goldstream Valley. A recent Alaska transplant, she grew up in New Jersey and has slowly moved west living in Colorado and Wyoming.
Marianne was born and raised in Germany where she completed a wood carving apprenticeship. Her passion for mountains and ice climbing brought her to Alaska in 1985. She now works as a professional wood carver, ice carver and artist.
I have always loved airplanes and I also like making them. I spent some time with a friend who helped me with my first glider and since then I have made quite a number of airplanes, some of them with R/C controls in them. I also like teaching people skills that I learn.
I have lived in Fairbanks since 1972, have been engaged in various forms of book binding since 2011, and have loved every minute of it!
Sara has been making prints for quite some time! She has a MFA in printmaking from the University of Nebraska and has taught printmaking to ages kindergarten through college. She’s excited about The Folk School’s new location and hopes to help grow a print shop around the press that Bill Brody donated. Look for more printmaking classes ahead. We can talk about what you are interested in to plan for future classes.
Corlis Taylor recently retired after a 40 year career in healthcare. Corlis is a wife, mother, quilter, water colorist, and book artist. She began her first books in 2007 while taking at UAF from Margo Klass. Corlis has been making, learning and teaching book arts ever since. Corlis is a founding member of the Northwoods Book Arts Guild.
Harvey Van Patten
Harvey holds a BS in Science Education and has 9 years of experience as a classroom teacher in public schools systems in Michigan and Oregon. He has 20 years of experience teaching “Twigology”. Harvey is also a dog musher and enjoys taking long distance trips annually in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Coming from the Czech Republic where amazing and affordable bread is readily available in any little corner shop, delivered daily from local bakeries, living in the US and UK was sometimes a bit of a nightmare for me. From the bread point of view that is. Well, what better solution than to start making my own?
I first started experimenting with sourdough sometime in 2013 and a year after that during the last year of my undergraduate studies in Stirling, Scotland, two of my flatmates and I ended up opening a community supported sourdough bakery (http://www.riversidebakerycic.org/). While I am not looking to be a full time baker, it is hard to stop baking and experimenting once you get into it so I am selling bread on Saturdays at the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market and continuing to share my skills and knowledge through the Folk School.
I have been removing problem trees professionally since 1996. I have also been an educator since 1996.
I am interested in nearly everything, especially the old crafts where you get to make something. Thus, it was probably only natural that I took up birch bark basket weaving some years back (along with a gazillion others – blacksmithing, book binding, sewing winter gear, carving, rosemaling, woodworking, wheelwrighting, coopering, knitting socks, and now starting to learn shoemaking – the list could go on, but you get the idea). From there it was a short step to sharing the joy of creating things by teaching others how to do the same. I’ve been teaching much of my life, recently “retired” as a professor in the rather more modern craft of aircraft maintenance. As I put it, I failed the retirement class and spend time both at the University and sharing the fun of learning new skills. To stay well rounded and to keep from getting too bored, I also enjoy flying my airplane that I built from scratch, cross country skiing, bicycling, farming, crossing the ocean on an old square rigged sailing vessel and once in a while I even sit down and read a book.