Instructors

Mary Jo Harris

Mary Jo Harris lives in the knitting mecca of Madison, WI. She has been a teacher all of her adult life and has formally taught knitting for about 15 years at various Sheep and Wool Festivals, Fiber Festivals, Knit-In’s, and teaches locally for Madison College, Olbrich Gardens, and Sunset Yarns. In the last several years,…

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Melanie Harding

Melanie Harding

Melanie Harding is an Environmental Education leader and a self-proclaimed nature nerd, basedin St. Paul, MN. She has 30 years of experience engaging people in the science and beauty ofnature. She is also an avid gardener and loves teaching people about indoor and outdoor composting.

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Molly Sanford

Molly Sanford advocates for reuse and repair by spreading hands-on skills like sewing, welding, woodworking, and general troubleshooting. Molly believes that extending the lifespan of our belongings can be a joyful way to combat consumerism and climate change. She has taught a variety of hands-on classes at Fireweed Community Workshop (formerly Women’s Woodshop), Leonardo’s Basement, and the University…

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Natalie Norman

Natalie has been a part of the cultural needlework community for over 20 years. She has participated as a vendor, demonstrator and teacher at venues such as ASI, Gammelgarden and Marine Mills Folk School. Sponsored by the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC, her embroidered pieces were included in a traveling exhibit which included five major American…

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Pam Heaton

Pam has been teaching as a certified clogging instructor, locally, for 25 years! “It is my passion and I love sharing this traditional American dance with anyone willing to give it a try. I love that it is an activity that all ages can participate in together. It is great fun and great exercise, mentally…

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Patti Isaacs Rescigno

At age four Patti would stand on a stool in the kitchen “helping” her mother to bake cookies and prepare mid century standards like Rice A Roni and tuna noodle hot dish. But even in the Midwest of the 1960s, she knew there were other ways to eat. Through her father, raised in an Orthodox…

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Peta Barrett

In the early ’90s a friend took me on my first true Boundary Waters canoe camping trip – a group of women. The camaraderie, the laughter, the solitude for reflection, the joyful teamwork as we gently paddled and portaged the wilderness…I WAS HOOKED! I’ve now racked up some 25+ years of wilderness trail experience, leading…

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Peter Juhl

Peter Juhl has been balancing stones for twenty-five years. He creates and photographs the work along the North Shore of Lake Superior, where the spectacular beaches provide ideal raw materials as well as a clean and colorful backdrop. In 2013 he published the first widely available guidebook on the art form: Center of Gravity: A…

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Phil Moody

Phil discovered spoon carving about 5 years ago, just in time for a global pandemic. While not forgetting about spoons his focus has shifted after seeing some pictures of Scandanavian knutkorg baskets.  Drawn to crafts that are challenging yet easily accessible (few tools and easily scavenged materials) the knutkorg basket fits these strict requirements.  Like many crafters, Phil has…

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Randy Gildersleeve

Randy Gildersleeve has decades of experience playing, teaching, and recording music in many genres. He currently performs with North Shore Trail (bluegrass/acoustic), Saints of Swing (big band jazz), St. Croix Crossings (classic rock), and the Hosanna Lutheran Forest Lake worship band. As a teacher, Randy gives private lessons in guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and…

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Renee Vaughan

Renee Vaughan

Renee Vaughan plays traditional Scandinavian music on the nyckelharpa, an instrument with a history spanning over 700 years. A versatile collaborator, Renee lends her talent to an array of musical projects throughout the northern heartland area, including solo performances, participation in intercultural and intergenerational bands, as well as informative presentations and storytelling performances.  Additionally, she is…

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Rick Yonker longbow

Rick Yonker

Rick is currently a science and technology specialist for Farmington Schools, in Farmington, MN. He has been tinkering with wood for most of his life and has been building bows since 1996. He is an instructor at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN and has taught traditional bow making there since 2003. Rick…

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Rosie Peters

Rosie Peters

Rosetta “Rosie” Peters is a poet, author, public speaker, storyteller, and activist. She is of Yankton, Crow Creek, and Oglala descent and is excited to be a part of the revitalization of her ancestral language, Dakota. Rosie is the recipient of a 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Creative Support for Individuals grant and a 2021…

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Ross Safford

Ross Safford is a master baker. He has worked largely with at-risk youth and families, getting food to those in need. He currently works with at-risk youth in schools. He is a huge Boston Red Sox fan and loves to sing.  At MMFS, you can often find him teaching with Bryce Johnson, another community-focused baker.

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Sharon Knutson

“I have crafted most of my life. I started embroidering fish on burlap at my grandma’s house when I was little. I’ve dabbled in many things along the way, embroidery, crewel, needlepoint, cross stitch, and quilting among others. Knitting and spinning have been my primary focus for many years now. There is something about spinning fiber into yarn and…

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Somali Museum Artists

Minnesota is the home of many outstanding artists of the Somali diaspora. MMFS is pleased to be welcoming Ardho Ismail, Hawa Aden, Halwa Daud, and Amina Shire to teach Finger Weaving! The Somali Museum’s mission is to celebrate and promote Somali culture and art, and they accomplish this mission in part by supporting the new…

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Stephanie Thurow

Stephanie Thurow is a Certified Master Food Preservationist, with special interest in water bath canning and vegetable fermentation. She is a Minnesota native and the cookbook author of Can It & Ferment It (2017), WECK Small-Batch Preserving (2018) and WECK Home Preserving (fall 2020). Stephanie enjoys being in nature, organic gardening, spending time with family,…

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Steve Van Houten

Steve Van Houten

Steve is a semiretired engineer with a longtime involvement in folk and bluegrass music. He wasa longtime member and volunteer with the Minnesota Bluegrass Association as well asan enthusiastic jammer and sometime performer. He is not a published or recorded songwriterbut says his music has been well-received.

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Surelle Strike

Surelle Strike

Surelle Strike is a painter, printmaker, and art teacher. She loves nature, fairy tales, and making art with new people! She lives in Forest lake with her family, and is constantly looking for ways to get creative with new mediums.

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Susan Tracy

Twin Cities-based glass artist, Susan Tracy, uses the beauty of her natural surroundings and Scandinavian heritage as inspiration for her art. She uses color and design to represent nature and often embeds natural elements like real leaves and silver in her glass art. Her holiday art features a modern twist on traditional ornaments and decorations.

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