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Forge Holiday Industry Service


Craft in America: Holiday celebrates some of our most important cultural and religious customs and leads viewers directly to their own creativity.
To watch Holiday episode how-to videos, click here.

Harley Refsal is an internationally recognized wood figure carver specializing in Scandinavian flat‐plane wood carving. Raised in Minnesota, he has lived in Norway in the 1960s and 1980s, and traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia. Refsal, who speaks fluent Norwegian, has shared his knowledge of and skills in Scandinavian carving with thousands of carvers through courses and presentations in North America and Scandinavia. In the episode, Harley Refsal teaches a Scandanavian wood carving class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. “Many holiday traditions, Christian and non-Christian, come from the winter solstice which was a pagan holiday that marked the start of the solar year and celebrated light and the rebirth of the sun. Santa, the Christmas tree, gifts and special meals all had their beginnings in the winter solstice.” Carve a holiday figure with Harley Refsal.

Harley Refsal

L: Harley Refsal, Nisse
R: Harley Refsal

Each year, contestants from across the country bring their unique architectural gingerbread masterpieces to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, where competition is at the highest level and everyone is a winner at the National Gingerbread House Competition. Watch Grove Park Inn chefs build and decorate a gingerbread house.

Teen Third Place winner of the 2012 National Gingerbread House Competition

Teen Third Place winner of the 2012 National Gingerbread House Competition

The Biltmore House, built in 1895, is a magnificent estate with 250 rooms and 8,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the largest privately owned home in the United States. At Christmas, the grand home is adorned with decorations and mementos that hint at timeless holidays of a glorious bygone age to memorialize the first Christmas in 1895 when the newly built house was first opened to the Vanderbilt family and friends.

Biltmore House Banquet Hall and Christmas tree

Biltmore House Banquet Hall and Christmas tree

In Colorado, ceramic artist Susan Garson hand paints fanciful designs on menorahs that she forms from clay. Susan takes us to her congregation for a special Chanukah celebration that includes lighting candles, singing songs, and playing Dreidel, a game of chance. Make your own bird menorah with Susan Garson.

Susan Garson

Ceramic artist Susan Garson builds a bird menorah, Mark Markley photograph

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Watch a 30 second preview of Holiday.

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Craft In America Educational Materials look further at Holiday as a concept in craft. Visit the EDUCATION section HERE > to see what's available and download a Lesson Guide.

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We filmed artist Chloe Darke for the FORGE episode. Learn more about the series HERE >

ArtistsLearn more about the artists in the HOLIDAY episode HERE >


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