Fall Classes


Greetings, everybody,
We are enjoying a long, lovely, very colorful fall here in Ely (as you can see by our photography instructor Ken Hupila’s gorgeous shot above) and I hope that your days are as colorful and enjoyable. More classes will be added as we go along, so watch for those on our Facebook page or website. Please do let us know if you have any requests for new or repeated classes by just hitting Reply to this email. And if you have taken classes, please fill out the  evaluation on our website at elyfolkschool.org.
Be well,
Betty Firth
Program Coordinator
Upcoming Classes

Cooking Veggie Chili & Apple Crisp Online Live

with Erika Barnhill

RegisterWednesday, October 14, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tuition: $20

The days are getting chilly and we are all looking for some comfort food to share these days! This cooking class gives you a classic favorite meal with a healthy twist. This chili is full of flavor and packed with nutritious vegetables. For dessert, Erika has edited a traditional, sugary apple crisp recipe and pared down the extra ingredients to really let the quality and flavor of your apples shine through!

This class not only walks you through making a delicious fall meal; you’ll receive tools to help make all your favorite comfort meals a little healthier as we ease into the winter months.

Once registered, you’ll receive a list of necessary ingredients.

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.

Rustic Chair or Bench

with John Bajda

RegisterFriday, October 16, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 24, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Tuition: $100 (for you and your partner)

Please note there are two sessions of this class, with different time periods each day. 

A rustic garden bench makes a great addition to any yard or patio. This class walks you through making your very own homemade bench or chair using sticks that you can collect from your local forests and yards.  Instructor John Bajda will teach you how to take your foraged sticks and make a strong sturdy chair or bench using mortise and tenon joints.

This class will be conducted in two sessions. The first evening will be an introduction to the project and an overview of the skills and tools necessary to building your chair. Tools include a tenon cutter, drill press, and miter saw. Time will also be spent discussing the collection of materials, options for customizing your design, and planning your project. You can make the bench out of any species of sticks, but some of the longest-lasting would be from cedar, although other species will last for a long time if the bench is protected from extreme weather.

Class participants will then have a week to finish planning their project, create a sketch to scale, and collect materials. You will be able to cut materials to the appropriate length for your project at home or wait until the class. Saturday, October 24 will be the construction day, for which we have allotted six hours. At the end of the day, you’ll head home with a beautiful and unique piece for your home!

It is recommended to have a partner working with you. The partner does not need to pay unless they also make their own chair.

About the instructor: John Bajda is a retired high school teacher and has been teaching how to build rustic furniture through his local community ed program for the past 18 years.

Stop Sugar Cravings Online Live

with Erika Barnhill

RegisterTuesday, October 20, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Tuition: $15

Are you looking to kick sugar cravings to the curb? Maybe you’ve already started to adjust the way you eat, but are still trying to ditch extra sugar. This class will analyze what makes sugar addictive and why we’re vulnerable to it. You’ll learn about the risks of a high-sugar diet, how to curb those pesky cravings, and even where to find healthier but still delicious treats.

Online Live: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic

with Les Conrad

RegisterFriday, October 23, 2020       10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Wednesday, October 28, 2020   10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Tuition: $60

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 24 hours before 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.

Healthy Through the Holidays Online Live

with Erika Barnhill

RegisterThursday, October 29, 2020
6:30 PM- 7:30 PM

Tuition: $15

For many of us, the holidays can bring up feelings of guilt associated with food. With family and friends baking lots of sugary treats, it can be hard to resist overindulging. How can we enjoy the holidays and feel good about what we’re eating? This class will give you tips on how to maintain a balanced intake of food this holiday season. You’ll learn about superfoods that are easily added into your favorite holiday dishes. You’ll also receive some delicious and healthy recipes to try for your festive celebrations.

Blacksmithing – The next step

with Phil Leino

RegisterSaturday, October 31, 2020
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Tuition: $40  Materials: $15

This class will give students who have taken A Taste of Blacksmithing at the Folk School or who have other previous experience an opportunity to make a variety of S hooks requiring different blacksmithing techniques and that are used in different ways. Students will have a choice of making three different styles or three of the same style.

Anyone who can demonstrate that they have mastered the S hook by making an excellent piece in a short period of time will be able make a more complex piece, a long fireplace poker.

Bring a lunch or be prepared to order in from nearby restaurants.

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.

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.

Intro to Chip Carving

with Bart Dunning

Saturday, November 7, 2020

12:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Tuition: $45  Materials: $25
(Registration will close on October 30 to allow time to order materials.)

Register for in-person class


Monday, November 16, 2020  6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Monday, November 30, 2020  6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Friday, December 4, 2020      6:30 PM –  7:30 PM
Monday, December 7, 2020     6:30 PM –  8:30 PM

Tuition: $50 (you are responsible for materials)
Register for online class (list of materials needed are at this link)

Chip carving is a very old craft practiced by many cultures. The patterns we typically see are based on Northern European tradition. This is an art form that almost anyone can practice. It just requires patience and a steady hand. Chip carving generally consists of a set of triangular cuts laid-out in regular, geometric patterns, but can be more free form, as in lettering and pictures.

At the in-person class, you will receive a sharp knife, the key to safety and ease of carving, and you will learn how to handle and care for the knife. You will learn to lay out a pattern for cutting, how to make the various cuts and as you develop a feel for the wood, you will learn how to deal with mistakes. You will leave with some new skills and, hopefully, a carved coaster.

About the instructor: Bart Dunning has done various woodworking activities for decades. He has built some furniture, and done some 3D carving as well as relief carving. About 20 years ago he ran across a book about chip carving and decided to give it a try. He has since chip carved numerous items ranging from little coasters to larger trivets and signs.

Bart taught physiology for a number of years at several medical schools. He currently teaches skiing at Buck Hill in Burnsville and demonstrates chip carving at the Dakota City Heritage Village at the Dakota County fairgrounds.

Introduction to Photoshop

with Ken Hupila

RegisterIntroduction to Editing in Photoshop
Friday, November 13, 2019
12:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Tuition: $30

You bought the camera. You’ve gotten comfortable with taking photos but are intimidated by using editing software. Here’s the class for you: beginning Photoshop editing! Learn how to load your images onto your computer easily, organize your files and do the most important editing to take your images to another level! We’ll concentrate on the six most important areas to Photoshop success for the beginner: Crop/Straighten, Color correction, Adjust lighting, Reduce noise/Increase sharpness, Selective editing, Layers/Masks. And we should have enough time to have some fun as well!

Participants should bring their laptops to class, loaded with your editing software and plenty of images to play with. If you don’t have editing software now, Ken strongly suggest Photoshop Elements, at least version 10 or later.  The cost is very reasonable and it can be downloaded from the internet or picked up at any place that is savvy with computers – like Best Buy.  Elements is a very powerful tool and will do EVERYTHING you will need for successful image editing.

About the instructor: Ken Hupila says, “I live in northern Minnesota and have been interested in photography since I won a box camera at a carnival when I was six. The last couple of years have finally seen an opportunity when finances and free time have allowed me to begin playing with the interest. I have been taking nature shots and sport photos for awhile and am just beginning to play with studio photography.”

Ken’s photography classes at the Ely Folk School are very popular: Photographing Wild Orchids, Capturing Fall Colors, Landscape Photography, and Intro to Digital Photography as well as Photoshop.

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