Last month, writer Michael Nordskog and photographer Aaron Hautala visited the Press for an interview and somewhat informal video shoot to discuss their very-soon-forthcoming new book The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition.
As many folks in the north country can attest, sauna represents one of life’s great pleasures—sitting in 180-plus-degree heat and throwing cool water over hot stones to create a blast of steam (löyly), followed by a jump in the cool lake or just relaxing on a cooling porch. To the uninitiated, there is a strange, alluring mystique to the art of Finnish sauna. But to an ever-increasing number of people, Finnish sauna is as much a part of northwoods life as campfires and canoe trips.
In this video, which is the first of three videos we will be releasing within the week, Michael and Aaron chat about their adventures capturing the book’s beautiful photographs and words, from rural areas in southern Finland to lakeside regions on Minnesota’s north shore. The two discuss the history and romance of sauna, why being able to publish this book is so significant, and why you’ve probably been saying it wrong all these years. (Attention newcomers: It’s “sow-nuh,” not “sah-nuh.” We swear.)
Next week, you can catch Mike and Aaron on Kare 11’s Showcase Minnesota, where they will be making an appearance on Thursday (9/30). The book release party, which is open to the public, will be that same evening at the American Swedish Institute. A reception (with appetizers and a cash bar) begins at 6 p.m., followed by a slideshow presentation of the book’s gorgeous photos at 7 p.m. and a signing afterward. We hope to see you there!