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Two Harbors student handmakes canoe

Shown here Krysten Linville's handmade, 17 foot, cedar strip canoe. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Horne)1 / 2
Krysten Linville poses by her handmade canoe she started building for her woodworking class. (Photo courtesy of Krysten Linville) 2 / 2

Krysten Linville of Brimson, Minn. is making waves with her handmade, 17 foot, cedar strip canoe. Linville started the canoe back in Oct. 2014 and is just finishing it up now. The canoe was part of a woodworking class at Two Harbors High School. Each student got to choose a project to complete on their own. Linville at first did not know what she was going to make, but finally decided on making a canoe.

"I made a canoe before, but it was with five other girls. I thought I would give it a shot; only this time by myself," Linville said in an interview on Tuesday.

For the majority of the project, Linville was working on the canoe by herself. She said she would have a couple people periodically help hold a board or something easy like that for her. Kyle Chalupsky, the Two Harbors High School shop teacher, was Linville's main support. He would show her what to do, but he would never take over the project. According to Linville, even when she was afraid to do something, Chalupsky still made her do it by herself.

Linville said she has learned so much from this experience. She has learned to be patient even when things get really tough and to look at things differently. This experience of being in woodworking and shop classes has helped Linville choose a career. Linville will attend Central Lakes College in Staples, Minn., for diesel mechanics and welding this coming fall. Linville's mother, Dawn Horne said she could not be more proud of her daughter.

"I believe she is a role model for other girls, in that girls can do things that aren't typically for their gender," Horne said .

Linville has taken her passion and put it to good use. She has done presentations multiple times in order to raise money to increase the number of woodworking classes offered to girls. She was a part of the first "girls only" woodworking class at Two Harbors High School and wanted it to continue for the next generation of girls. Linville shared some advice she would give to the next generation of girls.

"Just put yourself out there and don't be afraid to try things that are different," Linville said. "Even if it is a male dominant field, stand up and stand your ground."

Horne said her daughter has always had a free spirit and that she has tried to raise her in a way that would not dampen that spirit. She said that Linville never cared if something was gender specific. If she wanted to do it, she was going to do it. Horne recalled Linville was on an all-boys baseball team for three years because she simply didn't want to play softball.

"She is her own person, and I hope whatever she does, she is happy," Horne said .

Linville doesn't know what she will do or where she will go after college. She wants a good job doing what she loves to do, and she is excited for the many opportunities that are open to her with her training in diesel mechanics and welding.