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Ely Folk School

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11 November 2018

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A Taste of Blacksmithing - Part 1


with Chris Mueller & Phil Leino

Calendar Nov 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Friday, November 16, 2018
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $5

This class is the most basic with the objective of creating a classic 'S' hook using basic blacksmithing techniques. Students will learn the proper color (temperature) to start forging, basic hammering techniques for elongating, bending and twisting metal and go home with a functional 'S' hook. Basic forge safety will be discussed.

The classes will be limited to six students. Students must bring protective, fire-resistant gloves, available at local hardware stores, under $10. Other safety equipment will be provided.

About the instructors: Chris Mueller and Phil Leino are both intrigued by the process of taking a static material like iron and dynamically transforming it into something beautiful and useful. They have both been instrumental in getting the Folk School blacksmith shop up and running.

Chris worked as a professional blacksmith for 17 years in Tennessee, creating unique, custom-made decorative ironwork. 

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.



Full Course

Creating Polymer Clay Jewelry


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Nov 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Friday, November 30, 2018
12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $40  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 from a prepared kit. Time will be available for students to then work with the clay and create jewelry components of their own. Additional polymer clay necklace kits will be available for purchase at a reduced 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.


Intro to Inkle Loom Weaving


with Betty Firth

Calendar Dec 13, 2018 at 1 pm

Thursday, December 13, 2018
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40  Materials: $10

No weaving experience necessary! The inkle loom is a fun and easy way to learn weaving. This ancient craft makes beautiful belts, bands and straps with many uses. Participants will learn to follow a design, warp the loom and weave a tight, even band with good selvedges. You will be able to finish a small project by the end of the class and have the confidence to strike out on your own. The inkle looms and all materials are provided.

About the instructor: Betty Firth has long been fascinated with the ancient craft of weaving in its many forms, from fabric to baskets, ropes to wire. She has woven on rigid heddle and 4-harness looms as well as small looms for weaving beads into intricate patterns. She enjoys teaching how to weave on the inkle loom, which enables people to learn the principles of weaving, including how to warp and weave, all on the same loom.


Introduction to Photoshop


with Ken Hupila

Calendar Nov 14, 2018 at 6 pm

Introduction to Editing in Photoshop
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
6:00 PM- 9:00 PM

Tuition: $40

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, and Intro to Digital Photography.

Will run

Latvian Knitting Techniques - Making Wristers


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Nov 14, 2018 at 9 am

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuition: $80, Materials: $20

Latvia is known for it’s colorful and intricate mitten patterns. Some of the techniques involved are scalloped edges, Latvian braid, two-color knitting and fringe. This class involves intermediate to advanced knitting skills, and students should be comfortable knitting in the round. The materials fee includes the yarns needed to complete a pair of wristers or mittens. Students should bring a basic set of knitting tools and an assortment of knitting needles suitable for working in the round in a fine gauge
(size 0-2). 

About the instructor: Diane Thomson has been knitting since 1985 and has taught previously at the Ely Folk School and several yarn shops in the Twin Cities. She currently offers knitting classes at Sisu Designs Yarn Shop in Ely.  She likes sharing her knowledge of and enthusiasm for knitting and also enjoys other fiber arts.


Will run

Make Your Own Wreath


with Jennifer Janeksela

Calendar Nov 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Make Your Own Wreath
Friday, November 30, 2018
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials: $10

This beloved holiday tradition becomes even more meaningful when you make your own wreaths. Jennifer will teach you how to trim and bind balsam sprigs around a wire hoop and then add bows, pine cones and other garnishments as you choose. Make one or more wreaths at class and purchase additional supplies as you choose for more wreath making at home with friends and family. Save the hoops and garnishments to replenish with fresh bows for next year! 

Jennifer and spouse Bret run Winton's Fat Chicken Feed Store where they make and sell wreaths. 

Full Course

Pine Needle Basketry


with Carolyn Quick

Calendar Nov 14, 2018 at 12 pm

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $45 Materials: $20

Pine needle art is among the oldest crafts known and pre-dates pottery. For over 9,000 years, Native Americans have made such baskets for storing food and supplies. Although baskets can be made from a variety of materials, including sweet grass and raffia, among the most beautiful are from pine needles. We will discuss how to gather and prepare your own red pine needles from the lakes and woods around Ely. You'll take home your own woven pine needle basket.

About the Instructor:  Carolyn Quick has taught a variety of topics including high school English, music, several courses for the DNR, and has also been a field training officer for police officers. She is now retired with a background in law enforcement, finance and project management, and is most happy when in the woods.

Will run

Playing with Color and Light: Iridescent Stars


with Barb Jones

Calendar Nov 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Saturday, November 17, 2018
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $10

You will learn to create these beautiful 5-pointed stars that are 15 inches across, a new pattern for the winter season. They have battery powered LED lights inside that have an optional timer.

The stars are created using pre-cut patterns of cardboard and plastic films that you will will bend and glue into beautiful shapes with fascinating symmetry and shimmering rainbows.

They are best used indoors but would be OK in a dry sheltered outdoor space. Your star can be white, cream, silver, or dark red, but contact Barb by November 13th if you want a color other than silver.

Kits for additional ornaments that would make wonderful presents are available in the Folk School gift shop.

About the instructor: Barb Jones started making drawings, designs and models in high school. Since retiring to Ely in 2008 she has also made log furniture, wooden clocks and kinetic sculptures. She has 40+ years of experience  teaching physics in London, Minnesota and California, grade school to grad school. Her beautiful designs have filled the Foik School and students' homes with color and light.

Will run

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