Master boat builder Alex Comb from Northern Minnesota has been teaching a group of Calumet High School woodworking students the art of building a Finnish-style rowboat for the past four weeks. On Thursday, November 1, the public is invited to see what they’ve learned.
From 4 to 5 p.m. that day, Comb, CHS shop teach Rob Bohlsen, and perhaps some of their students will be on hand at the high school shop to explain how their class – which is being held as part of Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center’s Finnish American Folk School – has delved into this traditional style of boat construction.
While the result of this class will be a seaworthy Finnish-style rowboat, the goal of the class goes far beyond that one product. Ideally, Folk School organizers say, one or more of these students will discover a passion for the folk tradition of boat building and further their skills to the level of one day becoming the next tradition bearer of this craft in the region. The Folk School, which launched in 2017, was created to ensure that the many Finnish folk traditions that came to the Copper Country with the immigrant generation a century ago remain a lively and tangible part of modern-day Finnish-American life.
Visitors for the open house are asked to enter the school through the facility’s main door, which is also the public access to the library. From there, the district will have signs in place directing the public to the wood shop facility.
For further information about this open house, call the CLK schools at (906) 337-0311.Tags: Alex Comb, Finnish American Folk School, Finnish American Heritage Center, Rob Bohlsen