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Needle Felt a Hummingbird: Live Online

with Laura Berlage

March 24th, 2022

$76 More Info

Thursday, March 24, 2022
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $36  Materials: $25  Shipping: $15

Register before March 11th in order to receive supplies prior to the class. Some basic experience needle felting is recommended - this class is at a continuing beginner level. 

Needle felting is fun! Learn to transform hand-dyed wool from the instructor’s flock of sheep into your very own adorable little hummingbird. 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 hummingbirds, 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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Happy Hour in Rio: Coxinhas & Caipirinhas: Live Online

with Lacey Squier

March 10th to 11th, 2022

$36 More Info

Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM &
Friday, March 11, 2022 - 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Sliding Scale Course Fee: 
Supporting: $47  Standard: $36  Sustained: $25  
Please call to register.

Coxinhas are Brazilian chicken croquettes that Instructor Lacey first fell in love while traveling in Brazil for her honeymoon. Join us from the comfort of your own kitchens to make these tasty croquettes. 

About the Instructor: Lacey Squier loves cooking food of all kinds. She is an amateur cook who spends much of her free time learning how to recreate dishes from her favorite restaurant and travel experiences. It is liberating to realize you can have anything you want for dinner ... as long as you're willing to make it yourself!

When not experimenting with food at home (and making a huge mess of her kitchen), Lacey likes to take walks or go on a hike with her spouse, Eric, and their dog Wendell. Lacey serves as Chair of the Ely Folk School Board.

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The Maasepän Puukko

with Paige May

March 26th to 27th, 2022

$300 More Info

Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 27, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Tuition: $150  Materials: $150

Registration will close on March 11th in order to ensure time to forge the puukko blades.

The Maasepän puukko is the oldest style of puukko, a basic villager's blacksmith knife, that dates back to the early Middle age. It is elegant in its simplicity and examples can be found using a variety of types of wood for the handles, and leather (tuppi) or birchbark (tuohituppi) sheaths.

In this class, students will learn about some of the process that goes into harvesting and preparing the handle materials for puukko making. They will shape their own maasepän puukko handles with a wood rasp and strips of sandpaper, sew the leather sheath, and learn how to take care of a carbon steel blade. This includes maintaining a good cutting edge. Students will then take home their very own puukko, with a handle and sheath they made themselves. 

The materials fee includes the blade, handle wood block, birch lesta sheath liner, epoxy, sandpaper, sheath leather, thread, needles, and sheath finishing wax. Students will need to bring their own cutting board, ruler, pencil, pliers, wood rasp, utility knife or razor blade, and thimble. If you are able, bring a set of clamps. Each day will include a lunch break - feel free to bring your own lunch or visit our neighboring restaurants. 

About the Instructor, Paige May: I grew up on a hobby farm in Northeast Nebraska, and starting at a very early age my parents got me out in the woods. I learned to fish as a toddler, and then started hunting and trapping. I’ve always liked to keep busy building things and crafting, so it’s no surprise that once I moved to Northeast Minnesota, I fell in love with wilderness here.

Over the past 13 years, I’ve focused my creative energy on using the wild fur that I trap and the raw materials from the boreal forest to create beautiful and useful things, like furry winter garments and knives. I have really resonated with the strong Scandinavian heritage in Minnesota and have gravitated towards becoming a puukko knife maker, or puukkoseppä.

While I have learned to forge puukko blades, my best friend Jamiah Mahoney at Subtle Forge, already has his smithy set up. Jamiah’s fine-tuned skills produce gorgeous high-quality carbon steel puukko, leuku and chef’s blades. For this reason, I currently source my blades from him and in so doing support not only one of my best friends, but another local business.

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Stained Glass Studio

with Betty Firth

March 21st, 2022

$148 More Info

Mondays, March 21, 28, and April 4, 2022
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $108  Materials: $40

The age-old craft of stained glass continues to fascinate and delight us with the interactions of color, light, and design. This class is open to beginners as well as those with some experience. Beginners are encouraged to choose a simple design or pattern with a focus on learning well the techniques of cutting patterns, scoring glass, copper foiling, soldering, finishing, and framing with zinc came. 

Experienced students may choose a pattern, work with their own design, or bring a project that has been sidelined and is yearning to be completed. Basic techniques of using lead came with appropriate designs will be introduced. Instruction will be individualized based on students’ experience and skills. Everyone will have the opportunity to complete a project during a 3-week session or choose to work on a larger project over the course of ongoing studio sessions. Students are also welcome to work independently on their projects during Maker Mornings on Thursdays from 9:30 to 12:30. 

All the tools, supplies, and safety glasses will be provided. If you regularly wear glasses, please bring them. The materials fee will cover one piece approximately 12” x 12” or two smaller pieces. Additional glass and materials are available for purchase for larger or additional pieces.

This class has scholarship seats available for youth and members of the Northern Lights Clubhouse. Please call to inquire about eligibility and availablity! 

Please do not wear scented personal products to class due to chemical sensitivities. 

About the instructor: Betty Firth loves an abundance of colors and light and surrounds herself with as much of each whenever she can. Stained glass combines the beauty of both with unending, delightful possibilities. Betty has also indulged her love of color and craft working with pottery, fabric collages, weaving, beading, and watercolor painting.

Betty has taught many subjects to students from six years old to 90 and always enjoys the opportunity to open up new worlds to students.

This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature's general and arts and cultural heritage funds.

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Irish Tatted Lace

with Nora Rickey

March 17th, 2022

$51 More Info

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuition: $36   Materials: $15

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish-themed needle tatting class. During the potato famine, women would tat lace to sell and provide for their families. Either using a needle or shuttle, they were able to make their lace anywhere.  If you’ve ever tried and had difficulty with shuttle tatting, this is an easier alternative that produces the same results. Join us in this beginner-level class, where students will learn how to make tatted knots and picots to create a simple lace flower and clover. Class will cover tatted lace history, discuss the differences between tatted lace and other forms of lace, and help students learn to read a tatted lace pattern. This is a perfect jumping off point for those who want to add tatting to their fiber technique tool kit! Some experience working with a needle and thread–sewing or stitching–is helpful to those interested in learning this technique.

About the instructor: Nora Rickey is a self taught visual artist and educator. Raised in an artistic household and trained in NYC, she came into her visual arts practice when she moved back to the sweet Midwest. Here, she began exploring and teaching herself different fiber arts skills and incorporating them into her work. Whether a hidden secret or on full display, she loves to create pieces that transform the wearer into art.



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Writing With Your Child, For Your Child

with John Kopp

March 10th, 2022

$80 More Info

Thursdays, March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, & 14, 2022
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuition: $60  Materials: $20

This class takes place over the course of 6 Thursdays. By the end of class, you and your elementary schooler will have written and illustrated your own book! 

This 6-week class (one session per week) was designed for parent & child pairs. The intention is for each pair to write their own personalized children’s book. There are no prerequisites or level of skill necessary. In recognition that attending all 6 consecutive sessions can be challenging, the class is designed to accommodate the occasional missing of a session.  

The story line for your book will reflect values you identify as those your family hold dear. This allows your child to learn more about what is important in your family. The main characters will be identified/selected by your child because they are looked up to, superheroes or other popular characters. The writing and illustrating will occur during class sessions and at home between classes.

A tangible outcome is intended to be a 16 to 32 page illustrated children’s book. The instructor will use one he has written, “Asking Willow”, as a model for teaching, but individual creativity will be encouraged. The original version of you and your child’s book (manuscript) will make a great family keep sake. A photocopy of the manuscript can be easily bound and made into a wonderfully personalized gift for someone important in your child’s life, such as a grandparent.  

The class was developed for children 8 years of age, but it is applicable for a couple years either younger or older. It was also developed from the idea that by working in a group setting, learning can occur that is well beyond what any of us can anticipate. It leads us on a journey in the experience and development of community, a sense we are there for each other.

A small group allows from participation and support from the instructor. The ideal class size is eight parent-child pairs. So, while still a small group, it is large enough to generate a wealth of creative energy.

The class presentations and activities are designed to be individualized for each parent child pair. While specific techniques are demonstrated, and specific activities are set up, you are the expert on your child’s preferred modes of learning.  

During the first session, parents receive a handout that serves as a reference to important points covered during the class and why various activities are selected. Materials for writing and illustrating will also be handed out. They are presented as a gift addressed to your child and you. It is a way to help your child understand just how much their involvement in the class is appreciated.  

The class philosophy comes from an understanding that if it is made enjoyable, your creativity will flourish. The criteria for determining if the class was worthwhile are intangible. Did you and your child enjoy the class? Does your child know more about values your family hold dear? Do you feel you and your child learned to create at a higher level? Do your feel your child has had some seeds planted that will help in making good choices? Did you and your child feel inspired and supported by the group?  

Contact information is listed below. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions you would like to discuss before deciding whether or not to sign up.  

Questions on the class can be directed to:
John Kopp, class instructor

Only one registration per parent-child pair is necessary. 

About the Instructor: John Kopp has had a career of experiences working withparents and children of all abilities. After graduating from NDSU with a master’s degree in psychology, he spent the next 37 years working with families and caregivers in the development and implementation of positive ways to work with challenging behavior. He knows firsthand the importance of families connecting around important values and having fun in the process.

While living in Eastern North Dakota he and his wife regularly brought their children to Minnesota to camp, hike, and canoe. Some of his favorite memories with his family were visits to Ely, and now he has moved here to enjoy it every day. He likes to boast that his kids are jealous that he gets to live up here in the Northwoods. John is a member of the local Writers Group and you can see his and other group members writings in a collection entitled Just Breathe in the Ely Summer Times 2021.