Ron Torkelson is this month's Unison Bank artist. Torkelson, a Fargo resident who formerly lived in Jamestown, began making items from wood after he retired in 2010 and moved to Fargo.
Torkelson purchased some power tools including a turning lathe. He joined the FM Woodturners club and learned how to turn various items from wood. During the winter, he worked to improve his skill level and try new ideas. He makes a variety of bowls and vases. Currently, he makes "one-of-a-kind" Christmas ornaments and snowmen. He has more than 300 ornaments many of which are hand-painted. Many are from exotic hardwood from countries around the world. He also has over 50 snowmen of various sizes and shapes from a variety of woods.
Torkelson, a Kenmare, N.D., native, attended Jamestown College and graduated in 1970. It was at college he met his future wife, Jan Lochow. Following college, he taught school and coached at Crosby Divide County for four years. After four years, he went back to school at the University of North Dakota into physical therapy. After graduating he worked at Trinity Hospital in Minot, then at St. Aloisus Hospital, later managing the physical therapy program at the Anne Carlsen Center. After six years there he began working at Jamestown Hospital and managed the rehab department until he retired.
Following retirement, the Torkelsons moved to Fargo to be closer to their three daughters, sons-in-law and their seven grandchildren.