Events Archive

Junk to Gems

Friday, December 6, 20191:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Tuition: $25 Materials: $15

This class will encourage students to think outside the box and combine recycled and broken jewelry, random beads, and do-dads in a pleasing way for a one-of-a-kind creation. Participants are encouraged to bring jewelry that is broken or needs a fresh look.

Cords, chain and findings will be available as well as a variety of items that can be incorporated into the designs. Necklaces can be simple or elaborate, your choice!

About the instructor: Kay Vandervort has no fear experimenting with all kinds of craft media. She has taught a variety of very fun jewelry and polymer clay classes at the Ely Folk School, and the students walk away smiling with their new creations.

Kay 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.

Kay retired to Ely five years ago and has become very 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.

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Barn Quilts for Beginners

Saturday, November 16, 201912:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials Fee: $30

Barn quilts have a relatively recent history in American agricultural communities. A nod to the contributions of women in agriculture, they are also a way to bring what is traditionally an “inside” folk art (traditional quilting) and giving it a more permanent and public display for people to enjoy.

This class will cover the history of barn quilts and will focus on techniques needed to paint your own barn quilt. In class you will choose a quilt square from a variety of templates provided by the instructor, graph it out on a 12″X12″ or 24″X24″ wooden quilt square, and then paint it. You will leave class with a quilt square that will be ready to hang.

There will be very little lecture after the initial introduction to barn quilts, and most of the class will be hands on with support from the instructor.*Because the holidays are approaching, the will be some holiday and winter themed quilt designs to choose from in this class as well as the traditional quilt squares.

About the Instructor: Jill Dalbacka recently retired from a career teaching elementary school and adult education with a prior career as an occupational therapist. In retirement she is pursuing her passions, which includes spending time with grandchildren, working on social justice and racial equality issues, and creating and sharing her craft with others. She has been interested in barn quilts for several years but only recently started to create her own on her farm where she and her family are the third generation. They are in the process of renovating their barn (also built in 1921) to become a community event space. Jill’s dream is to work with her local communities to create a barn quilt trail along the local highway that will be able to support an annual barn quilt event.

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A Taste of Blacksmithing – Part 1

Saturday, October 26, 201911:30 AM-3:30 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $5

This class is the most basic 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 six students. Students must bring protective, fire-resistant gloves, available at local hardware stores, under $10. Safety glasses and aprons will be provided but students should bring their own if they have them. Wear clothing appropriate to wear working with coals and intense heat.

About the instructors: Chris Mueller and Phil Leino are both intrigued by the process of taking a static material like iron and dynamically transforming it into something beautiful and useful. They have both been instrumental in getting the Folk School blacksmith shop up and running.

Chris was a professional Blacksmith for 25 years in East Tennessee where he completed major projects on 24 Houses and several furniture projects. He ‘tinkered’ with the art for 17 years before that and attended several advanced courses at John C Campbell Folkschool in Brasstown, North Carolina in the late 1990’s.and early 2000’s.

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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Needle Felting 101

Monday, October 14, 20191:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $15

Learn the easy fundamentals of needle felting, which is a simple and inexpensive craft. The only thing required to make fantastic creations are felting needles, wool roving, a foam pad and a little imagination. Students will walk away with a gnome or two of their own creation and the skills to make anything they can dream of completely out of wool.

About the instructor: Susanna Pershern is an artist and underwater photographer for the Submerged Resources Center of the United States National Park Service. Pershern trained in the traditional photographic processes and several alternative photographic processes at Rockport College, Rockport, ME, (now, Maine Media College.)

Susanna has experience as a young artist counselor and has taught previously at the Ely Folk School. She’s looking forward to returning to Ely and we’re very happy to welcome her back!

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Beautiful Tone-on-Tone Embroidery

Thursday, November 7, 201912:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $2

Embroidery is an ancient art form; from elaborate to very subtle. In this class we create a tone on tone embroidered item. You will learn many creative stitches and how to design a one of a kind pattern just for your item, from primitive to very elegant in design.

You may choose to embroider a blouse, a robe, an apron, a tote bag or a table cloth. . Your imagination is the design and the cloth is your pallet.

About the instructor: Candace Bischoff began knitting with her mom at the age of five, and her grandmother introducted her to the sewing machine when she was seven. She has since explored a wide range of fiber arts, including knitting, crocheting, sewing, cross stitch, quilting, and embroidery. Candace taught a class on beginning embroidery at the Follk School and has coached many friends with their projects over the years.

Candace says: “I sew much of my own wardrobe and have made dresses, gowns, sweaters, scarves and mittens for friends and family. This past year I have rediscovered embroidery and the beauty it adds to clothing and accessories. This has become my new pallet of choice to embellish. I would love to share this passion with a class.”

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Voyageur Choir

This class is a 4-week series:

Tuesdays: October 29, November 5, 12, and 195:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $3

Calling all history buffs, French speakers, and joyful noisemakers! Dip your paddle into the world of historic fur trade era French Voyageur paddling songs. Previous group singing experience would be helpful. Show up willing to learn a few new words in French. No performance or costume required.

About the instructors:

LynnAnne Vesper is a long-time fur trade history buff. She worked at the French Voyageur program at Concordia Language Villages and majored in French in college.

Bill Heldt is a former member of “Les Voyageur” singing ensemble from Northland College.

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All Things Chaga

Thursday, November 7, 20195:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials $30

Did you know, growing on our birch trees is one of the most powerfully medicinal mushrooms in the world? Chaga has been highly studied and has been known to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and increase the body’s ability to respond and adapt to stress, among it’s multitude of other benefits. In this class, we will learn how to identify, harvest, and utilize this medicinal powerhouse for both internal and external use. We will make some chaga preparations in class, and students will each go home with their own informational chaga handbook, including a recipe booklet with numerous chaga remedies and creative ways to use Minnesota’s most treasured fungi.

About the Instructor: Allison Austin has been practicing herbalism for over 13 years. Her passion for plants and herbal medicine began in middle school, and has continued to play a central role in her life ever since. She has studied under herbalists in Minnesota, California, Texas, and with Mayan elders in Guatemala.

Allison is passionate about bringing the traditional practices of herbalism to people in a practical and accessible way, and encouraging people to utilize herbs in their local area to become more self-sustainable and take charge of their own health.

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Create a Stone & Leather Bracelet

Thursday, November 7, 20191:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials: $20

This stone and leather bracelet is the perfect Christmas gift for someone special. Or make it for yourself. Students will select from a variety of stone, glass and clay beads to create a one of a kind bracelet. Leather cord creates the structure for the bracelet and a button closure is used. Students will have a choice of color combination and bracelet width. Some beading experience is helpful for this class but not required.

About the instructor, Kay Vandervort: Kay 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 three years ago after a career as a freelance writer followed by thirty years as a nonprofit executive director. She has taught several jewelry and polymer clay classes in the past at the Ely Folk School, sharing her beautiful creations, her skills, and her playfulness exploring color and creativity.

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Upscale Dream Necklace

Saturday, November 23, 20191:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials: $15

Students will create a one-of-a-kind necklace loosely based on the style of a Native American dream catcher. Recycled jewelry and natural materials will be used to create these necklaces. Students should bring any broken earrings or necklaces they’d like to incorporate into their pieces. Students can also consider picking up materials they find outdoors such as bark, feathers, or pieces of rusted metal to bring to add to the finished pieces.

About the instructor, Kay Vandervort: Kay 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 three years ago after a career as a freelance writer followed by thirty years as a nonprofit executive director. She has taught several jewelry and polymer clay classes in the past at the Ely Folk School, sharing her beautiful creations, her skills, and her playfulness exploring color and creativity.

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Feathers or Flowers – Take your pick

Friday, November 15, 20191:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Tuition: $25 Materials: $15

Create a one-of-a-kind necklace featuring either a feather or flower focal point. Once the technique is mastered, this simple-to-make bead embroidered technique can be modified in many ways using clay, button, bead, or collage accents. This process allows the individual to use a variety of texture and color to create depth in the completed piece. The completed pendant will be approximately 2″ by 2″.

About the instructor: Kay Vandervort says, “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.”

Kay 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.

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