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Harley Refsal, Professor of Scandinavian Folk Art at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, is an internationally recognized figure carver, specializing in Scandinavian-style flat plane carving.
Refsal was born and raised on a farm near Hoffman, Minnesota, homesteaded by his Norwegian-immigrant grandparents. He began working in wood as a young boy. His father, a carpenter and farmer, and a woodworker uncle who lived nearby kept him well supplied with wood, tools, and encouragement.
Since the 1980s, Refsal, who speaks fluent Norwegian, has shared his knowledge of, and skills in, Scandinavian flat plane carving with thousands of carvers through classes and presentations in North America, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. In Scandinavia his name is so integrally linked with the revival of this carving style that it has become known as the ‘Refsal style’. In 1996 he was decorated by the King of Norway for his contributions to Norwegian folk art and folk culture.
Harley is available to teach woodcarving seminars, and his carvings are available for sale.
619 North Street
Decorah, IA 52101