Welcome Winter Festival

February is quite the month for both the Ely Folk School and for local folks in town. From the snow blocks for sculpting to the artwork being hung in store windows, it is exciting to see all the activity. This is my second year working for the Ely Art Walk and we have some truly talented folks in our community, this month highlights that. I hope you are able to walk around town to view all of the art and read about the artists who took time to create something beautiful for your viewing pleasures, in addition to being business owners, nonprofit organizers, and professional artists.

Stained glass pieces from recent classes are hung at Northern Grounds, pottery from ceramics studio members is at Treehouse, and many instructors have artwork displayed in various locations. Pick up a map at Northern Grounds. Some of those same artists and instructors, like Cecilia Rolando and Steve Engel, are offering classes and events during the month, in addition to presenting their own work. This month the Ely Folk School is offering many opportunities for folks to take classes and participate in free events. I look forward to taking my family to the Anishinaabe Storytelling series with Char Lewis, Bois Forte Elder. 

“Char, who is a traditional Anishinaabe woman, celebrates her culture in the sweat lodge, pipe ceremonies, and spirituality. She has been a Pipe Carrier and Storyteller for many years, and served in the past as a board member for the Bois Forte Heritage Center. In Ojibwe culture, winter is storytelling season. We look forward to welcoming you into our space to share in this tradition!” 

I hope to see you around town this month.

Alexia Springer, Media


View full list of classes online.


Instructor Spotlight: Lacey Squier

What is currently your favorite class to teach and why?
My favorite classes to teach are the pie classes – whether hand-held pasties, pasteis, patties, empanadas, or double crusted fruit pies – or everything in between. Through the instruction of community elders and others who loved the craft before me, I’ve learned to appreciate the art of pie making as a meditative practice, and a slow and sensory experience that affords me the time and space to feel gratitude and anticipation for something delicious. All the skills taught at the Ely Folk School implicitly teach this kind of mindfulness. This is especially true for making pastry, as the number one rule is to “chill out.” As an instructor, I find it fulfilling to witness students realize how pleasurable it is to take the slower route of cooking from scratch. 

What do you love most about your craft?
What I love most about pie is that it is inherently a communal food, one with a rich and diverse heritage. It is fun to explore some of that heritage and history with fellow pie enthusiasts, and then it is rewarding to share homemade pies with others. To give someone a pie, or a slice of pie, or a handheld pie, is a small way of saying, “Let me share something special with you as a thank you for the many ways you bring me joy.” 

How long have you been teaching at EFS?
I started teaching Ely Folk School cooking classes in April 2020, from my home kitchen. My homemade buttermilk biscuits & sausage gravy class was our first-ever virtual class. Now I happily offer a variety of in-person, virtual, and hybrid classes. 

What’s a fun fact about you?
A fun fact about me is that I’m (slowly) learning Brazilian Portuguese using resources like YouTube, podcasts, and apps such as Duolingo. I also joined a virtual club of people from around the world who occasionally get together to practice their language skills together. How cool to live in an era in which opportunities like this are at our fingertips – if we’re lucky enough to have access to the internet. 

This is why I support efforts to increase access to broadband internet in rural northeastern Minnesota. Please take a moment to complete this RAMSMN crowd-sourced broadband project. This crowdsourcing speed test will allow local governments, area partners, communities, and providers to better identify underserved and unserved areas, which will in turn help Minnesota communities gain access to affordable, high-speed internet.

Class Spotlight: Personalizing Traditional Cornish Pasties

Sunday, February 6, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
with instructor Lacey Squier

Sliding Scale Course Fee: 
Supporting: $57 
Standard: $46 
Sustained: $35  
Please call to register at 218-235-0138.

Pretty much every culture around the globe has a food tradition featuring savory pastry parcels. Join the Ely Folk School in learning how to make Ely’s most celebrated savory pastry parcel: the Cornish pasty. 
Registrants will learn how to make the traditional recipe featuring pork, beef, potatoes, onions, and rutabaga. We will also discuss factors to consider when developing your own, signature pasty recipe according to your tastes and preferences.

February Class List

Sustainable Living with Andy Hill
  February 2 at 6:00 pm – FREE

Makers Morning
  February 3 at 9:30 am – FREE

Natural Dyes: Avocado Pits with Nora Rickey
  February 3 at 6:00 pm  *Sliding Scale Price Structure

Create Paper Collages with Cecilia Rolando
  February 4 at 1:00 pm – $35

Snow Snakes Demonstration with Rick Anderson
  February 4 at 3:00 pm – FREE

Diamond Willow Carving From Tree to Trekking Stick with Ken Baasi
  February 5 at 9:00 am – $66

Advanced Diamond Willow Carving: Tree to Trekking Stick with Ken Baasi
  February 5 at 1:00 pm – $66

Make a Beaver Hat with Bert Hyde and Mark Olson
  February 6 at 9:00 am – $200

Personalizing Traditional Cornish Pasties with Lacey Squier
  February 6 at 9:00 am  *Sliding Scale Course Fee

Create a Herringbone Bracelet with Kay Vandervort
 February 6 at 1:30 pm – $39

Mystery Tracks Game Night Challenge with Steve Engel
 February 6 at 4:00 pm – FREE

Game Night with Charlie Cecil
  February 7 at 6:00 pm – FREE

Anishinaabe Storytelling with Char Lewis
  February 9 at 7:00 pm – $10/person; $15/family; Free for Band Members

Makers Morning
  February 10 at 9:30 am – FREE

Funky Jewelry with Cecilia Rolando
  February 10 at 10:00 am – $49

Craft a Gemstone Necklace with Kay Vandervort
  February 10 at 1:30 pm – $39

Linoleum Print Patches with Nora Rickey
  February 10 at 5:00 pm  *Sliding Scale Class Fee

Date Night Pottery for Singles with Nina Wray
  February 11 at 6:00 pm – $55

Nature Writing for Women: Our Intimate Bond with Animals: Live Online with DyAnne Korda
  February 12 at 10:00 am – $25

Intro to Chip Carving with Bart Dunning
  February 12 at 12:30 pm – $80

Canoe Trip Tapestry Weaving: Level 1 Skills Builder: Live Online with Laura Berlage  Saturdays
February 12 – March 5 at 2:00 pm – $187

Date Night Pottery for Couples with Nina Wray
  February 12 at 5:00 pm – $110

Stained Glass Studio with Betty Firth
  Mondays February 14, 21, 28 at 2:00 pm – $148

Makers Morning
  February 17 at 9:30 am – FREE

Makers Morning
  February 24 at 9:30 am – FREE