By Alan Sorensen
Whether it's the warm winter weather or a lack of interest, Tom Marinkovich isn't certain. But he does know that a couple of his more popular courses failed to attract the requisite number of students at this year's Cabin Fever 2000 Institute.
On Tuesday, Marinkovich had only four students for his glass beads/lamp working class at MSU-Northern.
"You missed it yesterday," Marinkovich said as he taught three students stained glass/winter suncatchers on Wednesday. "We had torches."
Marinkovich, who has earned himself a statewide reputation as art teacher at Box Elder Schools, brought along some Box Elder equipment to facilitate the courses on the first floor of Cowan Hall. The lamp class Tuesday ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the stained glass class Wednesday ran from 1 to 4 p.m.
"I'd never done that class with so few people," Marinkovich said. "The four we had had a great day. It was a 6-hour workshop and lunch was included with that and it was a fun one."
On Wednesday, three students from throughout the area showed up to learn about stained glass and winter suncatchers from Marinkovich -- Carl "Swede" Fahlgren of Malta, Leta Campbell of Chinook, and Jack Spinner of Havre. They were all intent on getting their glass cut and didn't stop long enough to talk about the class.
"It's just a crash course in a simple winter suncatcher," Marinkovich said shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday. "They're on the step of actually cutting (the glass), now."
In case anyone had any questions about the procedure of making the suncatchers, Marinkovich listed the steps on the blackboard at the head of the classroom:
n Choose a pattern;
n Cut the pattern;
n Choose glass;
n Cut the glass;
n Grind the glass;
n Foil the glass;
n Tin the glass;
n Hump the glass;
n Patina the glass.
The finished product was a star-shaped stained-glass suncatcher suitable for hanging on a table stand, from the ceiling or in a window.
Cabin Fever courses are offered to area residents, primarily from Phillips, Blaine, Liberty and Hill counties, through the auspices of the MSU Extension Service. Courses are wide ranging and offer a variety of fun and informative classes on subjects ranging from home repairs to computer technology.
Costs for the workshops vary and most classes have yet to reach their maximum enrollment numbers.
For more information, call the Hill County Extension Office at 265-5481, ext. 233.