Matthew Rethaber

Feature Contributor
Matthew Rethaber

Roger Hanson, a self-taught engineer and software developer, has been putting his knowledge to use building a magnificent ice sculpture for the city of Superior; but warm weather brought it tumbling down.

Now Hanson is rebuilding his creation.  

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The watercolor artist Bjorn Bernstrom is well-known in his native Sweden for his landscape paintings.  Yet his style is somewhat different from traditional watercolor methods.   

It’s October when the trees outside are bursting with color, and Bjorn Bernstrom is painting an early autumn scene of a road curving into bright trees. A circle of students watches with rapt attention as he creates the trees with short stabbing motions of his brush. 

“What’s the difference between the way you paint and traditional watercolor technique?" I ask him.

Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

The emerald ash borer is having a big impact on forest landscapes and some commercial interests, as it continues to wipe out ash trees in Wisconsin and other parts of the U.S.  It also threatens a traditional Native American style of basket weaving. 

It can be easy to forget that a wooden basket comes from a tree.    

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

During the holiday season, you might be receiving more cards in the mail than you normally do.  But how many of those cards are printed by hand?  One Rhinelander arts organization is an expert in doing just that.  The technique is a combination of old and new techniques.   

Daniel Goscha’s tiny printing studio has a cabin-like feel and smells of wood smoke.

He’s standing over an antique letterpress.  It’s kind of like a hundred year old copy machine…except it’s made out of metal and…well, there are some other differences too.

Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

Say you’re a scientist who studies lakes.  How do you choose which one to to study?  Chances are you’ll pick one that’s a pretty good size…like Trout Lake, or Crystal Lake.  You might pick one with a lot of species of fish, or one the public uses for recreation.  But what about the tiny lakes…the backyard ones so small they may not even have names, or the ones that dry up completely when it doesn’t rain for a while?