Norsk Wood Works, LTD
Professional Wood Carvers
  Else Bigton and Phillip Odden
  phone: 715 468 2780
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Gol Stave Church

Researchers believe there may have been as many as 2000 Stave churches in existence at the end of the 13th century. Today less than 30 original stave churches remain. In recent years there have been a few replicas built in North America. Phillip Odden and Else Bigton were fortunate to have worked on the Stave Church which stands in the Norwegian Pavilion at Epcot in Florida and the Gol replica which stands in Minot, North Dakota.

Where as the Disney stave church is an 80% scale model and lacks many details, the Minot church is full scale and fully carved. Construction of the building started in 1999 and was finished in 2001. However the carving of the large door portals was started about twelve years before actual construction began. It took parts of several years for Phillip and Else to carve the two portals which stand over 14 feet tall. Patterns for the carving were taken directly from the original church which stands in Oslo Norway. Not all the carvings for the project were done by Phillip and Else. Steve Peterson contributed several carvings as well. Steve is the son of Myron Peterson of Minot who together with his wife Gail made substantial financial contributions for the stave church project.  

Phillip standing in front of carved portal.


Construction of the church started in 1999 and was finished in 2001. A firm from Park Rapids, MN constructed the church. A few of the interior carvings were done by the owner of the construction company, Don Guida.

Door Portals in place.


Stave church as it stands today in the Scandinavian Heritage Park 1020 South Broadway, Minot, North Dakota USA.

It is quite certain that there is no body that has designed and carved as much of the Norwegian Dragon style as Phillip Odden has in the modern period.

In this picture, Phillip is standing in front of one of the two fully carved portals. Though they are nearly the same as those found at the Norsk Folk Museum in Bygd°y, these were widened to accommodate larger doors. This means the carving had to be redesigned by Phillip for the upper mid section. One set was carved in Sugar Pine. The other set was initially started in Norway by Norwegian carver Knut Jacobson and was intended for the stave church at Disney. The part that was started in Norway was made of Norwegian pine. The remaining two thirds was made from Wisconsin white pine.

Gol Stave Church Construction

Here the door portals are in place. The building measures 60 feet by 60 feet by 60 feet tall.

Stave Church as it stands today.


Interior of Church


Bishops Chair

Phillip was also hired to design construct and carve the interior furniture for the Gol Stave Church Museum. He studied furnishings found in other churches from the period. The carving style is referred to as the Dragon style or Stave Church style. Phillip used his own original designs for the ornamentation. 

In the front of the church stands the altar and cross. On one side stands a Bishops chair. On the other side is a Bench. 

Altar and Cross in front of Church.






















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phone: 715 468 2780
Norsk Wood Works
20337 Cty Rd H
Barronett, WI 54813

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