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December 1, 2022

11/12/2015 2:57:00 PM
Time to get that feeling back
Brooke Bechen
Reporter/News and Features

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and I got in the car to drive to meet Terri Van Orman at Folklore Village just outside of Dodgeville. We had set up a time for me to learn more about the Aslak Olsen Lie restoration project that is being completed there (read more about the project on the front page this week).
There were many people at Folklore Village last weekend as a Swedish Festival was being held. People of all ages were in attendance and were scattered across Folklore Village, each learning more about something that had piqued their interest.
We walked over to a clearing where two gentlemen, Nels Diller and Steve Sprain, were working on the restoration project. Nels was anxious to show me all the tools he has been using for the project, many of them in which he brought from Norway.
I too was excited to look at the tools, reaching out to touch some of the more oddly shaped ones. I ran my fingers over the rough surfaces of many of the oak logs that could not be used in the restoration, but could be used as a template to recreate similar logs.
After we finished with Nels and Steve, Terri walked me around the rest of the Folklore Village, where we listened to people playing music in both the school house and the church. In the church, we were treated to a group of musicians willing to play a song for us on the nyckelharpa, a unique looking instrument that I had never seen before.
I feel lucky to have come out to Folklore Village that day because it really sparked some interesting thoughts in my mind. We live in such a technological world where our cell phones are within hands reach at all times, where a computer is a common machine we may use every day and items are fabricated without much if any thought...
What about the grip of a lead pencil in your hand? Or the delicate hold of a paintbrush? The light touch of your fingers on the buttons of an instrument? Or maybe the soft comfort of yarn while completing a sewing project?
Nels told us he'd rather see photographs of people working on a project than photographs of the completed project itself because the thought of all the effort and manpower that went into that project is almost a religious feeling to him.
I've thought about this for a few days now. It has lead me to ask myself the following question: when did we stop craving that unique and wonderful feeling of creating something incredible with your own hands?

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