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10 October 2021

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Introduction to Tapestry Weaving: Live Online
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Introduction to Tapestry Weaving: Live Online


with Laura Berlage

Calendar Sep 12, 2021 at 2 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, September 12 - October 17,  2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $144   Materials: $95  Shipping: $20

This course takes places over six consecutive Sunday afternoons. 

Registration closes on September 3 to ensure time to ship materials. 

Curious about how tapestries are made and ready to try your hand at pictorial weaving? This most ancient form of textile creation is rich with history and invitation for creative expression.

Master weaver Laura Berlage will take you on a multi-week journey into the magical world of tapestry, where you will learn to transform warp and weft into a peaceful sunset landscape, measuring approximately 10x10 inches. Starting with a simple frame loom, focus will be given to establishing good tapestry technique and learning the process for horizontal and angled forms—beginning with foundational geometrics and building into more naturalistic forms. Fundamentals of cartoon creation and shading will also be covered. Unlock the mystery of how tapestry is made and add these skills to your expressions in fiber.

Join us for this welcoming online class! This class is beginner friendly, though please note that repetitive beating on the textile with the hand comb may cause aggravation of arthritis. 

The materials kit includes a frame loom plus stick shed dowel, ready to assemble; 2 large eye tatting needles; wool yarn for the project; wand comb/beater; spool of cotton warp; copy of the cartoon; and a handout with links to pre-recorded auxiliary tutorials. The student will need to provide for themselves good light; 2-3 tapestry needles; 2 binder clips; and a pair of sharp scissors. 

About the Instructor: Laura Berlage is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming idea into form and overlapping narrative and visual. Laura also loves working with the many and beautiful natural materials from her farm—especially the wool from her sheep. Laura began her devotion to tapestry at age 13, studying 5 ½ years with master tapestry weaver Fran Potter before completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011.  She continues her lifelong passion for learning with engaged, hands-on teaching for small groups to encourage creativity, imagination, and expression.

Intro to Chip Carving


with Bart Dunning

Calendar Oct 2, 2021 at 12 pm

Saturday, October 2, 2021
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM 

Tuition: $55  Materials: $25

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, chip carving at Marine Mills Folk School, and demonstrates chip carving at the Dakota City Heritage Village at the Dakota County fairgrounds.

Biscuits and Gravy: Live Online


with Lacey Squier

Calendar Oct 3, 2021 at 8 am

Sunday, October 3, 2021
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

Tuition: $25 per household

Biscuits and gravy are a brunch staple at instructor Lacey’s house, especially any time guests are visiting for a weekend visit. Participants will learn how to make fluffy biscuits full of buttery layers, as well as a creamy sausage gravy from scratch. 

Each participant will make 6-8 servings of biscuits and gravy. As this is an online class, participants are asked to gather their own ingredients, which will be sent to you upon registration. 

About the Instructor: Lacey Squier loves cooking food of all kinds. She is an amateur cook who spends much of her free time learning how to recreate dishes from her favorite restaurant and travel experiences. It is liberating to realize you can have anything you want for dinner ... as long as you're willing to make it yourself!

When not experimenting with food at home (and making a huge mess of her kitchen), Lacey likes to take walks or go on a hike with her spouse, Eric, and their dog Wendell. Lacey serves as Chair of the Ely Folk School Board.  

Intro to Stained Glass


with Betty Firth

Calendar Oct 4, 2021 at 3 pm, runs for 2 weeks

Mondays, October 4 and 11, 2021
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Tuition: $72  Materials: $20

Thanks to a generous grant from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, half the seats in this class will be offered at no charge to area youth (16-22). If this describes you, please call the Ely Folk School to inquire about a potential seat. 

The beautiful translucent colors of stained glass catch the sunlight and the attention of anyone passing by. Have you ever wondered if you could make something beautiful like that? In this class you’ll learn about stained glass techniques: how to cut glass pattern pieces easily and well; how to use the copper foiling to wrap each piece; how to solder your pieces together; and how to add a patina and clean up the finished piece. All that’s left for you to do is to show off your handiwork.

This is a two-day class, which, depending on your speed of working, will give you time to complete one or more pieces in colors of your choice. Your first project will be simpler than the piece pictured above to give you time to complete it. You can choose a pattern or create your own. You can use the week in between to practice these new skills if you wish.

All the tools, supplies, and safety glasses will be provided.

About the Instructor: Betty Firth has often felt like a magpie, attracted to shiny, beautiful things. She loves an abundance of colors and surrounds herself with as much color as possible whenever she can. She has particularly enjoyed working with color in pottery, fabric collages, weaving, beading, and watercolor, as well as stained glass.

Betty has taught in many venues from first grade in public schools to all ages in a variety of topics, including writing, acupressure, and many arts and crafts. She loves when students "get it," mastering skills with practice, and realizing they have the ability to be creative and make beautiful and interesting things with their own hands.

Full Course

Starting Your Novel Workshop and "After Francesco" Reading with Brian Malloy


with Brian Malloy

Calendar Oct 6, 2021 at 6 pm

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Do you have a great idea for a novel? Not sure what to do next? In this user-friendly session for the first-time novelist you’ll create a basic plot outline, and get to know your main characters. Absolute beginners and those in need of a refresher and/or inspiration are more than welcome. 

Following the writing session, Brian will read an excerpt from his new book, After Francesco, which Apple Books named "Best of June, 2021." It is a stunning novel of love, friendship, and surviving the deepest loss, set in New York City and Minneapolis in 1988, at the peak of the AIDS crisis.

Visit Brian's website to learn more:

Masks are required for this event.

About the Author: Brian Malloy was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (again). Minneapolis has been - more or less - his home since 1978 (with a few years here and there in D.C., Amsterdam, and Boston). He was an early employee of the Minnesota AIDS Project (now Rainbow Health) in the 1980s, a volunteer with the 1987 Minnesota March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights, and the volunteer coordinator for Minnesota's first AIDS walk in 1988.

Brian is self-employed and a proud member of the Service Employees International Union, Local 284. He has taught creative writing at a variety of settings, including Emerson College, Hamline University, JustUs Health, Metropolitan Library Service Agency, Minnesota Correctional Facility - Lino Lakes, Our Saviour's Transitional Housing, Quatrefoil Library, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and Witness Writers. Brian has been married (illegally and legally) to his husband for over 30 years, and they are the proud parents of rescue dogs. 

Sustainable Living


with Andy Hill

Calendar Oct 6, 2021 at 6 pm

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM 

Free! These sessions will be held the first Wednesday of each month October through February. 

Ever wonder how you might make a positive difference to sustainable living but haven't known where to start? Well, you're in luck! Join a community of green-minded folk in discussing creative ways to live a cleaner lifestyle. Come think with us each month as we ponder and peruse the state of the world and our own impacts. Although individual actions alone cannot solve the climate crisis, we can join together and share both our cost-effective and even cost-free ways to lessen our footprint and discuss our questions and frustrations. Fostering contagious ideas is a wonderful way to create positive progress. The longest journey starts with a single step. 

Topics each month will be based largely on current events, attendee questions, and seasonal opportunities. We ask you all to come with both a question about sustainability and an idea or a choice you have made toward a more sustainable future, be it about installing solar or saving your garden seeds! 

About the facilitator: Andy Hill, of Northland Builders and EcoEly, has been implementing creative sustainable living practices in his off-the-grid homestead and loves to share ideas and knowledge with others. He has been called an Evangelist of Sustainability and he promises there will be no secrets! Andy has taught Sustainable Living classes and Northwoods Gardening at the Folk School since its inception, and students appreciate his deep knowledge as a gardener and his positive and helpful teaching style.

So, come engage with Andy and meet some new friends!

Think globally, act locally. 

Create a Herringbone Bracelet


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Oct 7, 2021 at 1 pm

Thursday, October 7, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $24  Materials: $15

This bracelet utilizes magatama beads and jump rings to create a unique herringbone design. Each bracelet will utilize a center focal bead for accent. A variety of colors will be available to choose from. This is a fun project and makes gorgeous bracelets. You may soon be making bracelets for all your holiday gifts! 

Additional bracelet kits will be available for purchase at a discounted rate. Sources for additional materials will be reviewed and options for cord and closures to use will be discussed.

About the Instructor: Kay Vandervort retired to Ely in 2014 and has become very involved in the community. She participates in AAUW (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.

Kay 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.

Hammer & Tongs & More: Making Basic Tools


with Paul Webster

Calendar Oct 8, 2021 at 5 pm

Friday, October 8, 2021 - 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM 
Saturday, October 9, 2021 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $115  Materials: $20

You will experience the transformative process of heating rigid metal to a bright glow and shaping it into a useful tool, like a hammer, tongs, or cooking utensil! You will learn or review the basics of forge management and safety. Students will learn to use more advanced tools and techniques like drifting, riveting, basic grinding and tempering. You will work with steels of various sizes and carbon content to make useful hardware that will last for generations. Be prepared to have fun! 

This class is accessible to any level of skill. Whether you are ready to make your own pair of tongs or you are a beginner and eager to start learning with a brat fork, our instructors will cater to you! You will get to go home with your new, homemade tools! 

Students need to wear rugged, non-synthetic clothing, tough boots, and protective, fire-resistant gloves, available at local hardware stores for under $10. The Folk School does provide aprons, gloves, safety glasses and earplugs, but do bring your own safety equipment if you have it. You can bring your own bag lunch including something to cook over our charcoal fires or order in from nearby restaurants.

About the instructors from Forging Community: Paul Webster holds a Masters in experiential education and a Bachelor’s in English. He has taught 18 years in high school classrooms and was a light industrial trainer for 15 years. He is a founder of Forging Community, a blacksmithing school in Duluth, MN, started in 2012. Paul has been forging since 1988 and worked as the blacksmith for Duluth Pack Store and the Frost River Trading Company doing classes and demonstrations. He has taught many community education classes and runs a limited apprenticeship program from his home forge, Greenfire.

Warren Bettencourt is a professional welder with an associate degree from Lake Superior College. He has been teaching Blacksmithing classes at Forging Community for 8 years and selling his work for 12 years at various events and demonstrations. Besides the classes he teaches, he does a great deal of production work at his home forge.

Charley Brown has been forging since 1978. He has done many demonstrations and taught numerous classes, selling work ever since picking up a hammer. Much of his career has been in plumbing and metal working. He loves the craft!

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