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Ely Folk School

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Accessorizing Your Pottery


with Sandy Brandley

Calendar Jul 29, 2021 at 2 pm, runs for 2 weeks

Thursdays, July 29 and August 5, 2021
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $60  Materials: $10

After you have created a beautiful shape out of clay, the next most important task is to decide how to decorate the surface. Your choices make your work uniquely yours. In this class we will talk about a multitude of methods and materials that can be used to accessorize your work. Topics that will be covered include:clay additions, incised decorations, carved decorations, slip trailing, adding found items, making unique knobs and stamping.

Your homework will be to make one or more pots and bring them in a leather hard state to the second session. Then you’ll be try out techniques and materials that appeal to you on your own pieces. Feel free to bring materials you might like to include. You will also be shown styles that you can use on glazed and fired pieces.

About the Instructor, Sandy Brandley: I began throwing pots in earnest 1974 with my first wheel and kiln. I was initially self-taught but continued my education with classes at the University of Minnesota and multiple seminars through the years. A summer session at Lake Superior College with Dorian Beaulieu was the most transformative for me. His attitude was that there are no limits on your creativity, which helped me branch out and create my most widely-praised pottery, using unusual items on pots such as a drill bit from the Pioneer Mine which closed in 1967, an antler found in the woods, or a chunk of greenstone. 

Sandy is a member artist of Art & Soul gallery, and her pottery has also been available at Burntside Lodge, North Country Goods, and local art shows. She has taught several classes in beginning pottery for elementary students as well as classes for adults.

Traditional Swedish Folk Painting
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Traditional Swedish Folk Painting


with Kim Garrett

Friday, July 30, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, July 31, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 
Sunday, August 1, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Please note this is a three day workshop with varying start and end times each day. 

Tuition: $200   Materials: $30

Are you interested in learning about Swedish Folk Art? In this class we will explore the folk painting styles of northern & southern Sweden commonly called dalmalning & bonadsmaling. There are many regional styles, of which we will discuss their similarities and differences based on origins, cultural significance and materials used back in the 17th & 18th centuries. We will then mix our own paints to complete an individual project, based on the styles we have just learned.

All materials for this class will be provided. The student should wear clothing suitable to paint in and bring a notepad for taking notes and for planning their project.

 About the Instructor: Kim Garrett has been painting Scandinavian folk art for about 15 years. She has traveled to Norway and Sweden several times to study with folk artists there. Kim has won many blue ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair, including twice winning Best in Show. She has been teaching around the midwest for several years and started teaching via Zoom in 2020.


Painting Watercolors Outdoors


with Holly Meeker Rom

Calendar Aug 13, 2021 at 10 am

Friday, August 13, 2021
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $60

Learn to paint watercolors outdoors with instructor Holly Rom. We will spend the day at Semer's Beach Park. Shagawa Lake and the islands at the Park offer a beautiful subject for painting landscape. Learn the basics from drawing the subject, to painting it on watercolor paper with tube paints and brushes and a palette.

It is a day to find a new interest or perfect your skills! 

Semer's Beach is close to downtown and popular with the locals. We will have plenty of outdoor tables and shade under a new wooden overhang. Students should bring thier own watercolor paper and paints, water, brushes, and a bag lunch. Contact EFS if you would like assistance procuring supplies. 

About the Instructor: Holly Meeker Rom has 30 years of experience teaching watercolor technique and drawing to adults at continuing education venues and in college. She taught for 3 years at Miner’s Dry, a watercolor and collage workshop. She also was a docent at the Met Museum for 17 years guiding youth as a volunteer in the education department.

Holly has a MFA in painting from American University in 1986. Her paintings and sketches appear in many travel journals. Published illustrator. Winner of awards nationally. Artist member of Salmagundi Club in NYC since 2013. Signature member of Northwest Watercolor Society,  

Create a One-of-a-Kind Garnet and Dragon Blood Necklace


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Aug 13, 2021 at 1 pm

Friday, August 13, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 

Tuition: $24  Materials: $15

Legend states that Hades gifted a pomegranate to Persephone before she left his domain in order to ensure a speedy and safe return. When she did return, the fruit transformed into a handful of garnet gemstones. Although garnets are the primary bead used in these necklaces, a dragon blood jasper will be used for the focal stone. Dragon Blood Jasper is a variety of the quartz family, mined only in Western Australia. Lore has it that these stones are formed from the remains of ancient dragons - the green being the skin, and the red the blood. Dragon Blood Jasper is a stone of personal power and regeneration. Garnets are a deep glossy red color and were taken into battle by both Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to improve their fighting prowess and ensure a safe return.

The combination of the two stones provides a rich, elegant palate to combine complementary beads with to create the finished necklace. This necklace can be completed by both first time and experienced beaders in the time allowed.

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.

Intro to Stained Glass


with Betty Firth

Calendar Aug 16, 2021 at 2 pm, runs for 2 weeks

Mondays, August 16 and 23, 2021
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $92  Materials: $20

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

Embroidered Wildflowers


with Nora Rickey

Calendar Aug 20, 2021 at 3 pm

Friday, August 20, 2021
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Tuition: $36  Materials: $10

Learn five different stitches to embroider Minnesotan wildflowers, capturing the summer beauty with thread! We will be learning five new stitches that come in handy when creating different floral textures and flowers of all sizes. The stitches you learn in this class can be used in other embroidery projects.  

Materials include a 6" embroidery hoop, a size 5 needle, embroidery floss, and fabric. This class is appropriate for beginners. 

About the Instructor, Nora Rickey: I am a self taught visual artist and educator living in Minnesota. Raised in an artistic household and trained in NYC, I came into my visual arts practice when I moved back to the sweet Midwest.  Here, I began exploring and teaching myself different fiber arts skills and incorporating them into my work. Whether a hidden secret or on full display, I love to create pieces that transform the wearer into art.

Coiled Basket Workshop: Live Online


with Teresa Audet

Calendar Aug 21, 2021 at 9 am

Saturday, August 21, 2021
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Tuition: $50   Materials: $20   Shipping: $7

Registration closes on August 11, to ensure timely shipment of material kits. 

In this class, students will learn the technique of coiled basketry and will create a small basket of their own. The baskets we will create in this class are made with sisal rope, although in Indigenous traditions, coiled baskets are usually made with pine needles, sweetgrass, oatstraw, or other natural materials. After class, use the instructional booklet to create more baskets using materials of your choice!

This class uses a provided basket making kit which includes a handmade wooden basket bottom, an instructional booklet, rope, linen thread, and a large sewing needle.

Students should have a pair of scissors handy during class.

About the Instructor: Teresa Audet is an artist and educator from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work lives at the intersection of sculpture, craft, and social practice. She uses handcraft as a way to calm the mind, evoke conversation, and connect with community. Audet holds a BFA in Furniture Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has studied at the Mount Fuji School of Fine Woodworking in Yamanashi, Japan. Audet teaches furniture making and art nationwide, including the Women’s Woodshop of Minneapolis, the North House Folk School, and Arrowmont School of Crafts. Audet is currently an MFA candidate in Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Weaving on an Inkle Loom


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Aug 21, 2021 at 9 am

Saturday, August 21, 2021
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $85  Materials: $30

An inkle loom is a simple loom that has been around a long time. It is fast to set up and easy to learn to weave on. With this type of loom, you can create beautiful bands, ribbons, and trims. In this class you will learn about the different types of inkle looms, how to set one up and the materials used for weaving. During the morning portion of the class, you will learn the basics and weave a short length of band. After a lunch break, we will spend the afternoon learning to design your own band and weave a longer length. Leave class with a key fob made from your band and ideas of what to do with your bands!

Handouts on building a loom and list of references for more about inkle looms is included. Inkle looms are also available for rent from the Ely Folk School on a weekly basis.

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 Designs Yarn 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 loom. She spent most of her weaving time on rag rugs until the 90’s when she focused on spinning and knitting. She has taught classes in spinning and intricate Latvian and Norwegian knitting at the Folk School. Diane says, “Since retiring to Ely, I am hoping to spend more time weaving.”


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