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Ely Folk School

Our Classes

Learn to Quilt


with Susan Covey

Calendar Jan 24, 2020 at 10:30 am

Friday, January 24, 2019
10:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Tuition: $40  

Have you always thought you’d love to learn to quilt but weren’t sure how to begin? This is your chance to learn the basics of quilting from an expert, Susan Covey, who owns Cabin Quilting, quilt shop in Cook, MN, that people rave about. Susan will begin with a demonstration of the essential first steps and an introduction into terminology that will help you get started in the quilting world. During the class you will make a table runner and, if time permits, a microwave cozy. This is also an excellent opportunity to expand your skills if you've dabbled a little but haven't had much experience.

There are sewing machines available, but it is preferable if you bring your own machine, since you are familiar with it and will be using it for future projects. You will need to bring ⅓ yard of a focus fabric and ½ yard of a coordinating fabric with matching thread. You’re welcome to bring any favorite scissors, pines, and other tools to class, but these are also available at the school.

There will be a 45-minute lunch break, so please bring a lunch or be prepared to order takeout from a local restaurant.

About the instructor: Susan Covey has owned and operated Cabin Quilting in Cook, MN for eight years. She was originally from southern Minnesota, where she had a long arm quilting business. She has been been quilting for 27 years and long arm quilting professionally for as long. She currently teaches at Northwoods Friends of the Arts (NWFA) in Cook, MN. Her classes include purses, bags, wallets, rugs, table runners, quilts, applique, and more.



Creating Polymer Clay Jewelry


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Jan 25, 2020 at 9 am

Saturday, January 25, 2020
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Tuition: $35  Materials: $20

Polymer clay can be used to create decorative pottery, wall decor, jewelry, and figurines. It is easy to work with and does not require any equipment other than what you would find in your kitchen. In this class basic processes to work with clay will be demonstrated. Then students will complete a polymer clay necklace, choosing materials that Kay has organized by color theme. Time will be available for students to then work with the clay and create jewelry components of their own, such as pendants, matching beads, and shapes limited only by the imagination. Additional polymer clay necklace kits will be available for purchase at a special student rate.

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.


Create an Aqua Jasper Necklace


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Feb 6, 2020 at 1 pm

Thursday, Feb 6, 2020
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials: $15

Students will make a necklace featuring a free form jasper pendent that has been dyed with a deep aqua. The pendant combines the brown and beige of jasper, but also brings in a beautiful combination of blue and green.

Students will learn about what cords and closures work well, and have a variety of complementary beads to work with in order to design a necklace that features their own personal style. No previous beading experience is required.

About the instructor: Kay Vandervort 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 a book club, writing group, and a number of local discussion groups. She 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.


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Learn to Weave a Scarf


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Feb 7, 2020 at 9 am

Friday, February 7, 2020
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $80  Materials: $30

Begin learning to weave on a rigid heddle loom by starting with a scarf. We will discuss looms, materials and the language of weaving. You will create your scarf by direct warping it to the loom and then begin to weave. Once you have completed your scarf, you learn how to finish the ends and the fabric.

All the weaving materials will be part of the materials fee and will be provided by the instructor. Each student should bring with them scissors, pen/pencil, ruler and tape measure and bag lunch. You will be able to use the school's looms or bring your own, as long as it is in good working condition. Looms are available to rent for a modest fee if you were not able to finish your weaving during the class time.

About the instructor: Diane Thomson has taught previously at several yarn shops in the Twin Cities and at the Ely Folk School. She also currently offers knitting classes at Sisu DesignsYarn Shop in Ely.

Diane enjoys many of the fiber arts and learned to weave in high school. She rediscovered weaving in 1985 when she  purchased her first first loom. She spent most of her weaving time on rag rugs until the 90’s when she focused on spinning and knitting and has taught classes in both at the folk school.  Diane says, “Since retiring to to Ely I am hoping to spend more time getting back into weaving.”


Herringbone Macrame Bracelet


with Elizabeth Engelke

Calendar Feb 7, 2020 at 11 am

Friday, February 7, 2020
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $5

Come design and make your own adjustable macrame bracelet! I have a variety of cord and bead colors to choose from so you can create your own unique style.You will use 1mm waxed polyester macrame cord and repurposed vintage dyed bone beads.I will be teaching the herringbone design for this bracelet.

About the Instructor: Elizabeth Engelke I began learning wirework and macrame jewelry making in 2015 and have been at it ever since!
I began teaching wirework jewelry classes at the Folk School in 2018, and I'm excited to offer some macrame classes this year also!

Elizabeth says, "I continually work to improve my skills and come up with new ideas to try.My work is sold at Ubetcha in Tower, and I have sold at various craft shows and outdoor markets in Ely, Tower, Biwabik, Virginia, and Hibbing."

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Pine Needle Basketry-Whole Needle


with Carolyn Quick

Calendar Feb 7, 2020 at 1 pm

Friday, February 7, 2020
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $30 Materials: $35

In this easy-going, entry-level class, you’ll learn the simple skills to create your own pine needle basket and spark a passion that will last a lifetime.  

You will be shown one way of doing things. You can then continue with that or let your imagination run wild. There are no rules, no right or wrong ways of doing things, no patterns to follow, and no straight lines!     “The perfection of Nature is its imperfection.”

Using long leaf pine needles from the southern United States , waxed sinew and your choice of wooden basket centers, you’ll create your own 4-6” basket. Enhancements, such as beads and charms, will be available for purchase to add that special touch that personalizes it just for you. 

Come along and join in a fun-filled class and learn a new skill!

About the instructor:  Carolyn Quick has a background including law enforcement, business analysis, data security and teaching. Now retired, she enjoys living in the woods and watching her wildlife neighbors. 


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Wirework Gemstone Ring


with Elizabeth Engelke

Calendar Feb 7, 2020 at 2 pm

Friday, February 7, 2020
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $10

Create your own beautiful gemstone ring with wire and faceted gemstone beads.This project is a little tricky at first, but once you learn this design you will easily be able to make these little rings for family and friends!

You will learn some wire wrapping basics, how to use the appropriate tools, and how to add a patina to your finished jewelry to give an antique look. We will be using copper wire with a variety of stone beads to choose from.  

About the Instructor: Elizabeth Engelke discovered the art of wirewrapping in 2015 when she stumbled upon pictures of beautiful wirework jewelry online while looking for a crochet necklace design. She  has been learning and practicing wirewrapping and micro macrame jewelry making ever since.

Elizabeth says, "I continually work to improve my skills and come up with new ideas to try.My work is sold at Ubetcha in Tower, and I have sold at various craft shows and outdoor markets in Ely, Tower, Biwabik, Virginia, and Hibbing."

Elderberry Natural Remedies


with Jaime Brennan

Calendar Feb 7, 2020 at 3 pm

Friday, February 7, 2020
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $15  Materials: $15

Elderberry has become a very popular remedy for helping with the cold and flu and can be found in most stores. Come learn why this is, what this berry can do for you, and how you can use it to stay healthy or recover more quickly.

We'll cover three different methods for making elderberry remedies, and you'll be able to take your very own elderberry tincture/extract home, ready to use in four weeks. You'll appreciate the joy and 'power' that comes from making it yourself.Please note whether you’d like vinegar or vodka for your 1/2 pint of elderberry extract to take home. 

About the Instructor: Jaime Brennan has practiced herbalism for over 10 years, studied under master herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and is a Certified Health Coach. Her knowledge of using herbs keeps her family healthy, and she is passionate about sharing that wisdom through her business, Tranquility Wellness.

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