July 27, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 175

Museum hosts open house, artist demonstrations

HURLEY — The Iron County Historical Society Museum held an open house on Friday, featuring rug weaving, a blacksmithing demonstration, antique musical instrument demonstrations and broom tying, along with self-guided tours of the museum.

Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe
SAGA ERICKSON ties a broom while her husband Don Roesinger displays his blacksmithing skills in front of the Iron County Historical Society Museum in Hurley on Friday, as part of the Iron County Heritage Festival.

Eric Sorenson, of Marengo, provided the music with part of his collection of antique instruments. A mandolin he played was made at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Mich. Sorenson said that about 100 years ago, Americans began to have more leisure time, and this is when music became popular for people to play at home.

Jeff Musselman, of Ironwood, was weaving placemats on Friday. He bought a loom 35 years ago but didn’t start weaving until after his retirement three years ago.

Musselman said he was told that in the old days, traveling male weavers went from farm to farm and attended to the weaving needs of the families before heading to the next farm.

Husband and wife Dan Roesinger and Saga Erickson, of Stark Raven Studios, Hurley, were giving demonstrations on blacksmithing and broom tying, respectively.

Erickson has been an artist for 25 years, primarily doing portraits and folklore illustrations, and tying brooms for 15 years.

Roesinger has been a blacksmith artist for more than 12 years, making tools as well as “functional fine art heirlooms for the home,” according to their website.

Roesinger and Erickson have been operating their studio for five years. “If we see something interesting, we want to learn how to make it,” said Roesinger. Their goal is to work and live as sustainably as possible, even making their own charcoal for the forge.

Friday’s open house was part of the opening activities for the Iron County Heritage Festival.