Gold Medal In: Woodworking, 2022

  • Life Dates Born 1968, Marshall, Minnesota
  • Occupation Art Teacher
  • Residence at Time of Award Litchfield, Minnesota


  • 2018 Red ribbon for “Ode to Axel” carved figure
  • 2019 Red ribbon for “Henger Ut. Pa Vesterheim” carved figure
  • 2019 White ribbon for “Historiefortelle” carved figure
  • 2022 Red ribbon for “Fair Isle Fjordsman” carved figure
  • 2022 White ribbon for “Harley and Norma” carved figure

Artist Statement

I started my “love affair” with these little characters in the early 1990s when I was given a Harley Refsal carving book as a Christmas present. I’m pretty sure Scandinavians have wood chips in their veins . . . myself included.  My first class experience with Harley Refsal opened the flood gates to the Scandi-arts, and I’ve been on the Scandi-train ever since.

I grew up in a Scandinavian household. My mother wanted my siblings and I to have a strong understanding of and connection to our heritage. I remember playing with little hand-carved characters when I was a kid, characters my mother had brought back from a trip to Norway visiting her relatives. I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to touch them but . . . sorry mom! Since the experiences with carving, I have been enjoying many other areas of the nordic arts, which I will continue to do the rest of my life. Please take classes and surround yourself with others who are just as passionate as you . . . invest in yourself.

Harley Refsal has been the most prominent influence on myself and my carving. There are many “Harley” stories to share, but for me it was always his kind words and encouragement that I take forward in my journey. Find what you like, find what speaks to you, work in a series, and watch yourself grow!