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Ely Folk School

Our Classes

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying


with Bob Wagner

Calendar Jul 13, 2019 at 10 am

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM AND
12:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $45  Materials: $10

Fly fishing is a great sport and a wonderful way to enjoy getting outdoors in nature. You may think you have to be standing in a rushing river, but you can fly fish all water for any fish!

This class is open to youth, 10 years and older, from beginners to advanced. You will learn to tie flies that you can use to catch the fish we have in the Northland such as pike, bass, and walleye.

In the afternoon, we’ll head to a park, so you will learn how to cast. You’ll see it is not as hard as you think. All fly tying equipment and materials are provided plus fly rods for casting. Bring a bag lunch or plan on a quick stop somewhere to pick something up.

About the Instructor: Bob Wagner is a career teacher who has taught fly fishing in community ed for years and previous classes at the Ely Folk School. Bob has also been a park naturalist and is chair of Headwaters Trout Unlimited. 

About the Instructor: Bob Wagner is a career teacher who has taught fly fishing in community ed for years and previous classes here. Bob has also been a park naturalist and is chair of Headwaters Trout Unlimited. 

Forest Bathing


with Jaime Brennan

Calendar Jul 18, 2019 at 9 am

Thursday, July 18, 2019
9:00 AM- 11:00 PM

Tuition: $20

When we bathe with water, we wash away the dirt. With Forest Bathing we are washing away the stress while keeping our clothes on. Nature has so much to offer us, and most of us would benefit by utilizing it more often. Enjoy this time to come back to your center, feel connected to yourself and the beautiful world around you.

Forest Bathing is a popular practice in Japan and is known for improving mental and physical health. By immersing oneself in a forest or other natural environment, healing and wellness are supported. 

Dress appropriately. You may want bug netting or some other form of bug protection. We will meet at the Ely Folk School and carpool to a nearby location.

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

Herbal Facials


with Jaime Brennan

Calendar Jun 27, 2019 at 3 pm

Thursday, June 27, 2019
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $15  Materials: $20

Help combat the effects that exposure, weather, and so many other factors have on your skin with this relaxing and nourishing treatment. Your facial will begin with a handmade scrub, so natural you could eat it, followed by cleansing and opening your pores with an infused herbal tea, then a relaxing honey mask with chamomile tea bags for your eyes. A refreshing toner will close those pores, and you'll finish with the best facial cream made right here in Ely. You'll leave feeling like a new person, and you will know how to give yourself this treat anytime you want.

About the instructor: Jaime Brennan can always remember having a special relationship with the plants that grew around her. She began learning how to use them to improve her own health in 2006. Feeling the benefits of herbs, she wanted to share this knowledge with others and began offering classes and products. Her personal passion is to use her knowledge, experience, and different tools to help others create tranquility: a body in balance, a mind at ease, and a satisfied soul. To learn more about Jaime and what she offers, visit

Huichol Beading


with Anna Shallman

Calendar Aug 8, 2019 at 9 am

Thursday, August 8, 2019
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $30  Materials: $5

Learn the tips and tricks to this Mexican art form. We will start with a small piece, exploring the basics then move on to a little bit bigger piece to master more skills. We will also go over how to prepare a piece to be beaded.This craft requires patience, precision, good eyesight, and the ability to work with small beads. Each participant will leave with complete written instructions and at least one completed piece.

About the instructor:  Anna Shallman has taught this beautiful beading technique successfully, creating her own designs. She has years of experience knitting and weaving beautiful articles with speed and precision, many of them her own design. She says, “I've been teaching beginners for about 20 years and it is one of my very favorite things to do."


Intricate Springerle Cookies


with Jessica Kellogg

Calendar Jun 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Friday, June 28, 2019
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Tuition: $20  Materials: $5

Students will learn how to make intricate German Springerle cookies and take home a delicious batch. These 14th century cookies, traditionally flavored with anise, were baked for religious and secular holidays.

The cookies must dry for 24 hours before baking, so if you don't live locally or don't have access to an oven, other arrangements can be made. Students will need to bring two baking sheets or a large food storage container

About the instruction: Jessica was originally from Ely, but grew up in Arizona before joining the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. She currently lives in Ely with her family while completing dual Master's degrees.

"Springerle cookies are one of my favorites, but they can be hard to find, so I purchased the molds necessary to make them myself. I also teach the chainmaille jewelry classes at the Ely Folk School."


Intro to Chip Carving


with Bart Dunning

Calendar Sep 14, 2019 at 12 pm

Saturday, September 14, 2019
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $45  Materials: $25
(Please note: Registration will close on September 7 to allow time to order materials.)

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 layed-out in regular, geometric patterns, but can be more free form, as in lettering and pictures. 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.

Intro to Digital Photography


with Ken Hupila

Calendar Nov 15, 2019 at 9 am

Friday, November 15, 2019
9:00 AM- 2:00 PM

Tuition: $60 Materials: $5

This class is intended for beginner to intermediate photographers, and it's just in time for you to get ready for the winter season!

  • Equipment selection: camera, lens, tripods, shutter releases, flash and a few other odd and ends
  • Camera and lens use: menu, knobs, buttons, care and manuals
  • Theory: shutter/ aperture / ISO relationships and how to use them to the best advantage of your settings
  • Composition techniques and special situation camera setting to create good photographs

This course will begin in the classroom and then will head outside to try out techniques presented. Bring a digital camera and manual to class, DSLR preferred but not mandatory. Also, bring a tripod and shutter release if you have them, as well as a bagged lunch.

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 have been very popular. He also offers Advanced Photography, Photographing Wild Orchids, Capturing Fall Colors, and Introduction to Photoshop.

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC


with Les Conrad

Calendar Jul 13, 2019 at 9 am

Saturday, July 13, 2019  9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday, July 14, 2019  9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Tuition: $70  Materials: $10

This class is for any photographer who wants to improve their photos. Whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer, this class will help you to better understand Adobe’s popular photography editing program Lightroom Classic CC. 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 CC needed.

Learning will be enhanced if you are able to bring your computer with Lightroom Classic installed. There will be plenty of time for your questions. I’ll provide sample images to work on.

About the instructor: Les 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.


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