Folk Art & Local Traditions

Folk Art Demo


Iroquois Raised Beadwork Karen Ann Hoffman creates beautiful decorative pieces following the traditions of Iroquois raised beadwork. . This style of Woodland beadwork embodies Iroquois worldviews. Karen Ann is a member of the Oneida nation, one of the six nations of the Iroquois.                               
Birch Bark Basketry Christine Okerlund makes baskets from birch bark and decorates them with the quills of dead porcupines. Christine grew up in Glendale (a town close to Milwaukee), and said she always was interested in her Canadian Ojibwe heritage.  She took Native American Studies at UW-Milwaukee and a summer seminar in Rhinelander to learn quillwork. She is considered a Master at this craft. Christine will show how she makes her baskets and what they mean to her.
Hand Quilting A life long sewer, Janet took up quilting 25 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. She belongs to the Pine Needle Quilters Guild and will demonstrate and discuss the evolution of quilting from scrappy and hand made quilts to todays’ high tech functional and art quilting. Janet will bring quilts and frames. She will also have baskets that she has weaved.
Maple Syrup production then and now The Chrisman family have been making maple syrup for several generations. Today they are in their 5th year as a commercial operation. Logan and Mike Chrisman will discuss how the family tapped the trees and boiled and bottled the syrup the old fashioned way and how they do it today.  Chrisman’s will describe the new technology and more efficient process they use to make delicious bourbon flavored maple syrup.
Primitive Pennywise-Upcycling barb wire, rebar and rusted wires Kathy Hermsen calls her folk art “Primitive Penny-wise”.  By nature a minimalist, coupled with a frugal tendency, her work is a fusion of new and recycled material to create primitive folk art. Having taken inspiration from her Grandmother Keitie’s soapmaking, Kathy’s soap has included a host of non-traditional ingredients such as ginseng, silk, beer, and wine. For the wine and beer drinkers, take a deep breath, calm yourself.  The beer and wine she has used was not palatable for drinking.  Continuing with the primitive theme, other works include: wet and needle felting with locks and roving wool, early American wool penny rugs and canvas floor cloth. Lastly, shaping rusted chicken and barbed wire into yard art. Kathy would like to have an informal interaction with WAM Fest attendees rather than a formal presentation.
Wood carvers Join a group of area woodworkers to learn more about honing your own woodworking skills and why they do it
Crocheted Rag rugs Blanche McNulty is a multi-talented nonagenarian. Blanche learned to crochet rag rugs from her mother when she was a small girl. Now she teaches her own granddaughters. For more than 30 years, Blanche and her husband, Harold, operated a sheep ranch with up to 200 pedigreed Columbia sheep. At age 41, Blanche went to college to get a BA and then a Master’s in elementary education. She taught for 20 years in the Wabeno schools. After retiring from the school system, she worked for the Potawatomi Community teaching remedial science and math during the summers. She continues to work for the Potawatomi tribe at the casino, is a docent at the Wabeno Logging Museum in the summer.
“Folksongs of Another America”; Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest” 1937-1946 “It’s All About the Pinery Boys: Historic Sounds from Northwoods Lumbercamps”  Workers in lumber camps composed and performed an array of songs and dance tunes to entertain one another through long dark winters. In the 1930s and 1940s folklorists working for the Library of Congress made field recordings of old time lumberjacks throughout northern Wisconsin–and this presentation offers vivid images and restored sound from those historic sessions. A former bark-peeler in the pulpwoods, Jim Leary is emeritus professor of Folklore and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he co-founded the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. The talk draws on his most recent publications: the Grammy-nominated Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946 and Pinery Boys: Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era (both published by University of Wisconsin Press).
Carved Walking Sticks Tom Moore is a retired logger, farmer and lifelong resident of Wabeno. He began carving walking sticks sitting around a bonfire with friends. When finished, he would use them for tending the fire and then throw them into the fire.  A friend suggested he should sell them and that began his post retirement career.  Tom’s favorite wood to work with is waterlogged Diamond willow because of the multiple colors and intricate patterns of the wood. He also searches for Bird’s eye maple, white birch and black walnut, though any interesting piece of wood will do. He will describe how he chooses the sticks  and demonstrate how he creates his walking stick designs.
Young Old Timers Polka Band The Williams Family, Mom Tina and daughters, Sadie and  Grace, from Boyd WI will provide traditional polka music in the band shell with dancing encouraged!
Woodland Sky Native Dance Company The Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company was established in 2013 and is comprised of Native American Ojibwe, Sioux, Potawatomi and Apache dancers. The group represents men’s and women’s Native American styles including traditional, fancy, jingle, grass and hoop.  Their focus is the telling of historic tales and stories using traditional native songs and dances.
Loomed rugs Edith Huettl is a local farmer. She has many talents related to local traditions; quilting, braided rugs and weaved rugs. An antiquer at heart, she restores or upcycles estate sale and flea market finds. Her portable rug loom demonstrates a work in progress.
Teaching Drums The Teaching Drum Outdoor School is the only long-term wilderness experience of its kind and it is right here in Three Lakes, WI. Their mission is to help others reconnect with nature and find balance within.  . Teaching Drums staff will teach one of their basic wilderness survival skills– making fire by friction.
cigar box guitar