Class Calendar

Apr
24
Sat
2021
Birding by Ear
Apr 24 @ 7:00 am – 8:30 am

Saturdays, April 24, May 1, May 8, and May 15, 20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Tuition: $60

Northern Minnesota hosts a colorful variety of nesting songbirds each summer, from chestnut-sided warblers to goldfinches. Each species has a colorful song and this class focuses on learning to match the song with the singer while in the field. The full class is composed of four weekly meetings lasting 90 minutes take place at key local sites within 15 miles of Ely. The first meeting is Saturday, April 24 and the last meeting is May 15. Please meet at the Ely Visitor Center, junction of Sheridan Street and Highway 1, and be ready to leave by 7 am.

This class will be held outdoors and in-person. Some students may choose to carpool, but that is not necessary. CDC and MN Health guidelines will be observed.

About the Instructor: Steve Engel has been an avid student of birds since 1985. He has conducted birding by ear field research and for six years led weekly birding by ear outings for the public each April and May. This will be his first spring in the Ely area in many years. The best kind of teacher is a highly motivated learner and teacher. That is to say, let’s learn the songs together. All we need is focused time in the field and that’s what this class provides.

Steve has a B.S. in Natural History from Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA. He said, “I have worked as an environmental educator, field biologist, shipboard naturalist, natural history trip leader, education director, artist, and writer. There are millions of things to learn and teach, and my mission is to keep learning and keep teaching. I enjoy helping others explore and discover answers to their natural history questions”.

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A Taste of Blacksmithing
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Saturday, April 24, 202110:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $10

This class will give you a taste of what it’s like to work with metal and heat with the objective of creating a classic ‘S’ hook using basic blacksmithing techniques. Students will learn the proper color (temperature) to start forging, basic hammering techniques for elongating, bending and twisting metal and go home with a functional ‘S’ hook. Basic forge safety and management will be discussed.

The classes will be limited to four students. Students must bring protective, fire-resistant gloves, available at local hardware stores for under $10. Safety glasses and aprons will be provided but students should bring their own if they have them. Wear clothing appropriate for working with coals and intense heat. That means no synthetic clothing.

Social distancing and appropriate COVID restrictions will be in force. Students will be asked to wear masks when appropriate.

About the instructor: Phil Leino is intrigued by the process of taking a static material like iron and dynamically transforming it into something beautiful and useful. He has been instrumental in getting the Folk School blacksmith shop up and running.

Phil grew up in Ely hearing stories about his blacksmith grandfather and working with his Dad fabricating metal tools. After graduating with a Masters in botany and PhD in plant sciences, he picked up more metalworking skills along the way, which he has put to use making equipment needed in his research, creating a functional forge at a high school in Idaho, and demonstrating blacksmithing at Living History Farms in Iowa. He donated the first forge for the Ely Folk School, which was the first step of our blacksmith program.

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Apr
28
Wed
2021
Introduction to Lightroom Classic: Live Online
Apr 28 @ 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

Wednesdays, April 28 and May 5, 202110:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Tuition: $70

This class is for all of you photographers who want to improve your photographs…and who doesn’t? Whether you are just beginning or deeply experienced, this class will help you to better understand Adobe’s popular photography editing program, Lightroom Classic.

All photographers need to organize, edit and share their photography. Lightroom can do it all (well almost all).This is a hands-on class. We will explore many of the most important tools in Lightroom. Key topics include but are not limited to Import, Organize and Rank photos, Basic and Intermediate Editing Tools, Lightroom workflow, Adding Watermarks and Exporting photos and much much more.

No experience with Lightroom Classic needed. Learning will be enhanced if you are able to use your computer with Lightroom Classic installed. There will be plenty of time for your questions. I’ll provide sample images to work on.

This is live Zoom class, so you will able to interact with the instructor, Les Conrad. You will receive the Zoom invitation to join the class after you register and prior to the start of class.

About the instructor: Les Conrad is a local artist/photographer who focuses on the beauty of the natural world. Les says, “The night sky never ceases to amaze me. We are very lucky to live with some of the darkest night skies around!” Les spent his working life photographing portraits of people. Once retired, Les turned his lenses and attention toward nature, wildlife and landscapes, with particular attention to the night sky. Les moved from the Twin Cities to Ely when he retired.

Les has many years of experience teaching beginning adult photographers including a two-day session at the International Wolf Center. He also presented an “Editing Your Aurora Images” session at the Aurora Summit 2017 in Two Harbors, MN. He knows how to simplify explanations using real world examples so that all learners understand the content.

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May
1
Sat
2021
Green-Infused Jasmine Necklace
May 1 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Saturday, May 1, 20211:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Tuition: $24 Materials: $15

Students will make a necklace featuring a free form jasper pendant that has been dyed with various shades of green. The pendant combines the brown and beige of jasper, but also brings in a beautiful combination of green to aqua colors. These natural looking necklaces can be worn for both casual and dressy occasions and are each uniquely individual.

Students will learn about what cords and closures work well, and be provided a variety of complementary beads to work with in order to design a necklace that features their own personal style. This is a simple project to complete for any age. No previous beading experience is required.

This class will be held in person with limited seats available. Masks should be worn and social distancing observed. Beyond adhering to CDC and Minnesota State guidelines, the Ely Folk School is closely monitoring local public health.

About the Instructor: Kay Vandervort has a degree in secondary education and taught both in high school and technical college before moving to a career in not-for-profit management. She has facilitated trainings at both regional and statewide conferences on topics related to non-profit marketing, volunteer management, and volunteer recruitment and screening. She has taught several jewelry and polymer clay classes in the past at the Ely Folk School.

Kay retired to Ely in 2014 and has become involved in the community. She participates in American Association of University Women, works part time at the Dorothy Molter Museum, and is involved in book club, writing group, and a number of local discussion groups. “As children, we could get out of doing dishes if we read. We read a lot. And, we could watch television if we had a project we were working on while we watched. Hence, all my life I have gotten into the habit of having a lap project—jewelry making, embroidery, sewing, or experimenting with a variety of artistic medium.””

Register Here

May
4
Tue
2021
Incorporating Plant Based Eating in Your Diet: Live Online
May 4 @ 6:30 pm – May 4 @ 7:30 pm

Tuesday, May 4, 20216:30 – 7:30 PM

Tuition: $20

Plant-based eating doesn’t mean eating only plants. This class will give ideas on how to incorporate more plants into your daily meal plan, benefits of a plant-based diet, and tips to get you started eating a plant-based diet.

About the Instructor: Erika Barnhill has a passion to share her knowledge about nutrition and good health with others. She recognizes that we live in a world where people are not experiencing the healthy vibrancy they are meant to. In fact, the opposite is true: people are often sick and over-medicated, yet still unaware how much diet and lifestyle are responsible.

Erika says, “I worked in a hospital setting with cardiac and pulmonary patients with many people who needed change and needed answers. A health crisis led me to learn how to take a more holistic approach to healing my own body through research, study, and prayer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and certification as a health and wellness coach. I’m happy to say I am healthy and well today with a busy life as a wife, mother, and health coach while homeschooling four amazing children.. Finding balance in our busy lives is so important, and it is possible to live every day to the fullest, feeling healthy and well.

Register Here

May
6
Thu
2021
Incorporating Plant Based Eating in Your Diet: Live Online
May 6 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Thursday, May 6, 202112:00 – 1:00 PM CST

Tuition: $20

Plant-based eating doesn’t mean eating only plants. This class will give ideas on how to incorporate more plants into your daily meal plan, benefits of a plant-based diet, and tips to get you started eating a plant-based diet.

About the Instructor: Erika Barnhill has a passion to share her knowledge about nutrition and good health with others. She recognizes that we live in a world where people are not experiencing the healthy vibrancy they are meant to. In fact, the opposite is true: people are often sick and over-medicated, yet still unaware how much diet and lifestyle are responsible.

Erika says, “I worked in a hospital setting with cardiac and pulmonary patients with many people who needed change and needed answers. A health crisis led me to learn how to take a more holistic approach to healing my own body through research, study, and prayer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and certification as a health and wellness coach. I’m happy to say I am healthy and well today with a busy life as a wife, mother, and health coach while homeschooling four amazing children.. Finding balance in our busy lives is so important, and it is possible to live every day to the fullest, feeling healthy and well.

Register Here

Needle Felt a Swan: Live Online
May 6 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Thursday, May 6, 20212:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tuition: $30 Materials and Shipping: $45

You may have seen the Trumpeter Swans welcoming spring to the North and here’s your chance to make your own wooly version of the elegant bird. Learn to transform hand-dyed wool from the instructor’s flock of sheep into your very own adorable little swan. We will mail you the materials ahead of time, then Laura will take you step-by-step through the process via Zoom. No previous experience is necessary.

The materials kit comes with enough wool to make two swans, so you can perfect your technique on the second one after class. All you need to complete the project is a work surface like a sturdy table, good light, and a pair of scissors. Everything else is included! Experience the magic of needle felting or learn some new tips to add to your growing skillset.

During these trying times, needle felting can feel especially therapeutic, as we repeatedly stab the wool with our barbed needles while creating a cute, wooly friend in the process. Join us for this welcoming online class!

A full kit will be mailed to each student, complete with the wool, foam work surface, needle, eye beads, and other necessary pieces. Students will also receive in the kit a welcome letter with notes on using Zoom as well as a link and password to a pre-recorded version of the class if they find this resource additionally helpful.

About the Instructor: Laura Berlage is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming ideas into form and overlapping narrative and visual.

Laura also loves working with the many and beautiful natural materials from her farm–especially the wool from her sheep. Completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011, Laura continues her lifelong passion for learning with engaged, hands-on teaching for small groups to encourage creativity, imagination, and expression.

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Introduction to Wheel Throwing
May 6 @ 6:00 pm – May 6 @ 8:00 pm

Thursdays, May 6, 13, and 20.6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Tuition: $90 Materials: $40

If you have been fascinated with how potters magically turn clay into functional pieces, here’s your chance to learn how to do it yourself in our beautiful new ceramics studio. You will learn about wedging, centering, pulling, trimming, glazing, firing, and studio etiquette. You will be introduced to throwing basic forms like mugs, bowls, and cylinders used for glasses, vases, and other pieces.

This class is suitable for beginners as well as for those who have had some experience with clay and would like to get their hands in the mud again and brush up on their skills.

Included in the materials fee are a set of basic tools, 12 pounds of clay, glazes, and firing for up to six pieces. Additional clay may be purchased. Some additional studio time will be available between classes. Wear clothes that get dirty, an apron, if desired, and a towel.

Covid-19 safety precautions will be observed. Bring a mask or one will be provided.

About the instructor: Betty Firth can’t remember when she didn’t love pottery, and she learned how to throw pots herself when she moved to Ely. After twenty years, she still thinks it’s magical to see a lump of clay transformed into a piece of sculpture or dishes you can use every day. She enjoys combining sculptural elements with functional and decorative pieces and experimenting with many kinds of surface decoration.

Register Here

May
8
Sat
2021
Hammer & Tongs – Making Basic Tools
May 8 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Hammer & Tongs – Making Basic ToolsSaturday, May 8, 20219:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Tuition: $72 Materials: $20

You will experience the transformative process of heating rigid metal to a bright glow and shaping it into a useful tool, like a hammer, tongs, or cooking utensil! You will learn or review the basics of forge management and safety. Students will learn to use more advanced tools and techniques like drifting, riveting, basic grinding and tempering. You will work with steels of various sizes and carbon content to make useful hardware that will last for generations. Be prepared to have fun!

Students need to wear rugged, non-synthetic clothing, tough boots, and protective, fire-resistant gloves, available at local hardware stores for under $10. The Folk School does provide aprons, gloves, safety glasses and earplugs, but do bring your own safety equipment if you have it. You can bring your own bag lunch including something to cook over our charcoal fires or order in from nearby restaurants.

About the instructors from Forging Community: Paul Webster holds a Masters in experiential education and a Bachelor’s in English. He has taught 18 years in high school classrooms and was a light industrial trainer for 15 years. He is a founder of Forging Community, a blacksmithing school in Duluth, MN, started in 2012. Paul has been forging since 1988 and worked as the blacksmith for Duluth Pack Store and the Frost River Trading Company doing classes and demonstrations. He has taught many community education classes and run a limited apprenticeship program from his home forge, Greenfire.

Warren Bettencourt is a professional welder with an associate degree from Lake Superior College. He has been teaching Blacksmithing classes at Forging Community for 8 years and selling his work for 12 years at various events and demonstrations. Besides the classes he teaches, he does a great deal of production work at his home forge.

Charley Brown has been forging since 1978. He has done many demonstrations and taught numerous classes, selling work ever since picking up a hammer. Much of his career has been in plumbing and metal working. He loves the craft!

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Create a One-of-a-Kind Garnet and Dragon Blood Necklace
May 8 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Saturday, May 8, 20211:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Tuition: $24 Materials: $15

Legend states that Hades gifted a pomegranate to Persephone before she left his domain in order to ensure a speedy and safe return. When she did return, the fruit transformed into a handful of garnet gemstones. Although garnets are the primary bead used in these necklaces, a dragon blood jasper will be used for the focal stone. Dragon Blood Jasper is a variety of the quartz family, mined only in Western Australia. Lore has it that these stones are formed from the remains of ancient dragons – the green being the skin, and the red the blood. Dragon Blood Jasper is a stone of personal power and regeneration. Garnets are a deep glossy red color and were taken into battle by both Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to improve their fighting prowess and ensure a safe return. The combination of the two stones provides a rich, elegant palate to combine complementary beads with to create the finished necklace. This necklace can be completed by both first time and experienced beaders in the time allowed.

This class will be held in person with limited seats available. Masks should be worn and social distancing observed. In addition to adhering to CDC and Minnesota State guidelines, the Ely Folk School is closely monitoring local public health.

About the instructor: Kay Vandervort retired to Ely in 2014 and has become very involved in the community. She participates in AAUW (American Association of University Women,) works part-time at the Dorothy Molter Museum, and is involved in a book club, writing group, and a number of local discussion groups.

Kay enjoys experimenting with many types of craft media, is a wizard with color and jewelry design, and has taught a variety of creative jewelry classes at the Ely Folk School.

Register Here

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