July 21, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.

Birch bark box class very popular at Gammelgarden

Birch bark box class very popular at Gammelgarden
Birch bark box class very popular at Gammelgarden

Students from all over this region learned the traditional art of birch bark box making from Ramon Persson in a three day class held at Gammelgården Musuem. Mr. Persson teaches at the Säterglänten Folk Art School in Dalarna and has brought his talent to Minnesota this summer to teach at Gammelgården Museum and also at the North Home School, in Grand Marais.

These very traditional Swedish oval boxes were constructed of birch bark harvested by Persson before Midsommar Dag right here in Minnesota. His method of bark harvest does not harm the tree if done at this one time of year.

The boxes are completely air-tight and make perfect storage containers for coffee, tea, pasta and dry food items. They will also keep silver from tarnishing so make a fine jewelry container.

The birch bark is cut and cleaned. Decorative markings are pressed into the soft bark: lines are made with a bone knife then shapes are made with a stamp carved into an antler. The bark is then formed into an oval (most traditional shape), another piece of bark is fitted inside for a liner, a bottom and top are carved from wood and finally the box is stained with a linseed oil paint. They are beautifully rich examples of Swedish Wood Working traditions.

Regular happenings at Gammelgården Museum include;

• Children's Story Hour Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

• Hej Hej Sommar Swedish Immersion Day Camp for children July 18-22.

• Bluegrass and Lemonade in the Shade - Sunday, July 24.

To get to Gammelgarden go south on Olinda, out of Lindstrom, cross Hwy. 97 at the lighted 4-way and continue south.


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