Jim is a retired general contractor. Most of the work he did was residential.
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.
Megan Schulze is the business owner and full time farmer behind Frontieress Farm. With sustainablity at heart, she strives to feed both body and soul with the growth of local produce while exploring and delving deep into the beautiful world of specialty cut flowers. She dedicates a portion of her field to being harvested and dried into material used for artistic, handmade crafts that endure well past the short Alaskan growing season. Visit http://www.frontieressfarm.com for more information.
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.
Karen Sherwood began her basket weaving journey creating purposeful containers useful for wilderness survival. The materials she used were efficiently prepared after gathered from forests or field. Over the last 35 years Karen’s understanding of natural materials along with her refinement of weaving techniques has allowed a greater understanding of the enormous skill possessed by early basket makers. She carries a passion for exploring historic basketry techniques and styles and brings this to her work, in part, by harvesting and preparing her own materials.
My commitment for weaving “working” baskets remains strong, however, I realize clearly that basket making is an evolution, a fluid process where we weave a part of ourselves into each piece. We try to understand a basket’s history while creating something unique and personal. With connections to the plants and their remarkable uses, and gratitude for the linage that brought the understanding of weaving forward, each project becomes a unique blend of past and present. It is with this vision we hope to honor the plants and the traditions they have grown from to give insight to, not only the past, but how it can illuminate our future.
Karen teaches ethnobotany programs with the Washington State Department of Ecology. She leads online and in-person classes sharing over 40 years of experience teaching the identification and traditions surrounding of wild edible and medicinal plants. Karen leads basketry classes throughout the country and as well as other earth centered programs through Earthwalk Northwest, a wilderness school she co-founded and directs.
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.
Connie Stricks has lived in Fairbanks since 1972. She has offered book binding workshops through The Folk School, The Northwoods Book Arts Guild in Fairbanks, and the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival in Oregon.
Christin Swearingen is a volunteer mycologist for the Fungal Diversity Survey. She has degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College, and earned a master’s degree from UAF from 2013-2016. There she learned mushroom identification from the esteemed mycologist Dr. Gary Laursen. She works at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and Interior Alaska Land Trust to protect habitat for all types of wildlife, including fungi.
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.
Ashley Thayer began her journey as a bookmaker 5 years ago and quickly developed a passion for historical techniques and structures. When not working in her studio, she enjoys spending time with her family and daydreaming of far away places.
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.