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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards

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Sandra Scheel, Mia Lamminen, and Hilkka Ketola
2015 master artist and apprentice
West Branch (Ogemaw County), Howell (Livingston County), and Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County)
Finnish weaving

Sandra Scheel is a first-generation Finnish-American on her father’s side, and a second-generation on her mother’s side. Her heritage has always played a large role in her interests and activities. She learned Finnish rug weaving in detail from her mother (who learned from her own mother), including making a warp, dressing the loom, cutting fabric, and tying the fringe. She often teaches classes at the Finnish Cultural Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Apprentice Mia Lamminen was born in Finland in 1947. She moved to the U.S. in 1972. While she first started weaving as a girl, professional responsibilities prevented her from fully learning the tradition. Many of her family members are master weavers, so rag weaving holds special importance for her. She would like to teach this skill to her daughter and granddaughter.

Apprentice Hilkka Ketola was born in Windsor, Ontario. Her father became homesick for Finland and moved the family back there for six years. Her mother was a rag rug weaver as well. She has taken workshops from Sandra before, but has decided that a more structured apprenticeship would be beneficial to fully learn this traditional art form and to be able to share it with her children.

-Micah Ling

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