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Summer is officially here in the Northwoods!
While looking out my window from my perch in the Ely Folk School, it often seems that every third car is carrying a canoe. ‘Tis the season for new adventures. This only makes me more excited for the Birchbark Canoe Project to commence next week. By the end of August we will have a 20-foot birchbark canoe, ready for lake travel. Like the BBCP, all our classes invite you to challenge yourself, to collaborate and share ideas with new friends, and to embark on a new creative experience. Our classes offer you a supportive environment to come away with a new creation, be it a basket, a block of cheese, a garden bench, or a new canoe. In all cases, you’ll leave with new knowledge and the enjoyment of being part of our community. I invite you to find something that fascinates you and be willing to take the chance and put in some energy to create. Browse our class offerings below. 

Lucy Soderstrom


View full class list online.

June Class List
All Things Chaga with Allie Austin
  June 16 at 4:00 pm

 Intermediate Needle Felting a Fawn: live online with Laura Berlage
  June 18 & 25 at 2:00 pm

Photographing Orchids with Ken Hupila
  June 19 at 1:00 pm

Photographing Orchids Field Trip with Ken Hupila
  June 20 at 8:00 am

Photographing Orchids Field Trip with Ken Hupila
  June 22 at 8:00 am

Design a Fabulous Fabric Wall Hanging with Cecilia Rolando 
  June 24 at 1:00 pm

Morning Reflection Paddle with Alexia Springer
  June 25 at 7:00 am

July Class List
Learn to Make Asiago Cheese: live online with Gary Colles
  July 8 at 2:00 pm
 
Painting Watercolor Notecards with Holly Meeker Rom
  July 15 at 1:00 pm

Create Your Own Nature-Inspired Switch Plate Cover with Kay Vandervort
  July 16 at 1:00 pm

Peck Basket with Wooden Base with Martha Buche
  July 20 at 9:00 am

Shibori Dyeing with Indigo with Martha Buche
  July 22 at 9:00 am

Blueberry Hand Pies: live online with Lacey Squier
  July 22 at 6:00 pm

Blueberry Hand Pies: with Lacey Squier
  July 24 at 9:00 am

Create a Memory Wire Bracelet with Kay Vandervort
  July 24 at 1:00 pm

Traditional Swedish Folk Painting with Kim Garrett
  July 30 at 12:00pm (3-day class, view details in registration)

August Class List
Elevate Your At-Home Cooking with Hudson Ledeen
  August 11 at 5:30 pm

Learn to Make Monterey Jack: Live Online with Gary Colles
  August 12 at 2:00 pm

Bent Willow Rustic Furniture with John Bajda
  August 13 at 6:00pm AND August 28 at 8:00 am

Pupusas with Slaw and Salsa with Lacey Squier
  August 20 at 4:00 pm

Pupusas with Slaw and SalsaLive Online with Lacey Squier
  August 20 at 4:00 pm

Coiled Basket Workshop: Live Online with Teresa Audet
  August 21 at 9:00 am

Weaving on an Inkle Loom with Diane Thomson
  August 21 at 9:00 am




Instructor Spotlight: Les Conrad

What is currently your favorite class to teach and why? Photographing the Night Sky is my favorite class to teach.  I love to see the excitement in the eyes of my students when they begin to understand the techniques needed to successfully photograph the night sky.  Whether it is the Aurora, the Milky Way, star trails or simply the Big Dipper or Orion, to be able to capture in a photograph the beauty that you experience with your eyes is magical.  Learn how to photograph the night sky and you’ll be hooked!

How long have you been teaching at EFS? I’ve been teaching at the Ely Folk School for 3 years.  When I retired I moved north, first living in Babbitt and now living about 10 miles north of Ely. 

Favorite subject to photograph?
The natural world we live in surrounds us with beauty.  I love to capture that beauty.  I love to capture the small details as well as the sweeping landscapes in all seasons and of course lions and tigers and bears and all the other animals out there.  A favorite would be hard to pick, but if I had to choose just one, it would be the Aurora.  Every Aurora display is different, but every Aurora display is beautiful.  There are times I just stop taking pictures and just watch and experience the Aurora.  That being said, the most amazing outdoor/photography experience of my life was being inside the zone of totality of the 2017 total solar eclipse.  Can’t wait for 2024.  


Class Spotlight

Create A Nature Inspired Switch Plate

Friday, July 16th at 1:00 pm
Students will stack, roll, cut and restack layers of polymer clay to create a variegated color palate to use for creating the switch plate cover. The block of clay is then stamped or drawn on to further enhance the design. Charms or small trinkets can be added if desired. Once completed, the switch plates can also be distressed with paint to give them an antiqued look. 

This class is a great way to experiment with polymer clay before investing in supplies of your own. Decorative switch plate covers also make great gifts!


Join the 2021 BBCP

Paddle a Birch Bark Canoe
The first class will start on Sunday, June 20th at 1:00pm.Master Birch Bark Canoe Builder Erik Simula is continuing the Birch Bark Canoe Project (BBCP). This summer, he is teaching a 10-week course designed with the goals of finishing and paddling the canoe. Because of Covid-19 the canoe has been stored in the EFS garage for over a year and is waiting for its day to greet the water! Continue reading…


The Ely Folk School is made possible by: Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Lake Country Power, Minnesota State Arts Board, Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, and Rotary International. We invite you to become a Friend of Ely Folk School through your donation. Thank you so much for helping us accomplish our mission of building community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota.
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