Your browser is not optimized for viewing this website.

More information »

Ely Folk School

Filter by Subcategory

Arts & Crafts

Advanced Carving with Diamond Willow


with Ken Baasi

Calendar Jun 8, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Saturday, June 8, 2019
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $20 
(There is no charge for materials if you bring your own.)

This is an opportunity for students in the introductory carving class to deepen their skills and their carving! Students are also welcome who have been carving on their own and would like to improve their skills. Instructor Ken Baasi will show you how to create three-dimensional carvings highlighting the diamonds in the willow like fine sculptures. 

Bring cut-resistant gloves and any tools you may have such as knives, gouges, riffler rasps and sandpaper.

About the instructor: Ken Baasi has been studying and practicing carving for years and loves revealing diamond willow's beauty. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills and wishes to inspire people who are genuinely interested.

Barn Quilts for Beginners


with Jill Dalbacka

Calendar Sep 6, 2019 at 1 pm

Friday, September 6, 2019
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40  Materials Fee: $30

Barn quilts have a relatively recent history in American agricultural communities. A nod to the contributions of women in agriculture, they are also a way to give what is traditionally an "inside" folk art (traditional quilting) a more permanent and public display for people to enjoy.

This class will cover the history of barn quilts and all techniques needed to paint your own barn quilt. In class you will be designing a quilt, graphing it out on a 24" x 24" "quilt square", and then painting it. You will leave class with a quilt square that will be ready to hang. After the initial introduction to barn quilts, students will work on their projects with lots of individual attention and support from Jill.

About the Instructor: Jill Dalbacka recently retired from a career teaching elementary school and adult education with a prior career as an occupational therapist. In retirement she is pursuing her passions, which includes spending time with grandchildren, working on social justice and racial equality issues, and creating and sharing her craft with others.  She has been interested in barn quilts for several years but only recently started to create her own on her farm where she and her family are the third generation. They are in the process of renovating their barn (also built in 1921) to become a community event space. Jill’s dream is to work with her local communities to create a barn quilt trail along the local highway that will be able to support an annual barn quilt event.


Beautiful Beaded Serving Spoon


with Autumn Cole

Calendar Jul 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Friday, July 26, 2019
1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $25  Materials: $9

Students will learn how to use beaded wire to wrap serving spoons to make a unique server for yourself or to give as a gift. They are fun to make and perfect to pop into a bowl of fruit salad or a casserole, adding a bit of color and whimsey. It’s the perfect spoon to take to a potluck since no one will confuse it with their own, and you’re not likely to leave it behind. What could be a better gift for a wedding shower, holiday gift, or to show appreciation to a wonderful hostess?

About the instructor: Autumn Cole has taught various classes at the Ely Folk School and elsewhere in creating jewelry and other items with beads and wire, as well as sewing and quilting. Autumn is retired from a career in psychology, part-time college instructor, and business owner of a consignment boutique. She says she has always enjoyed teaching, and her students give her rave reviews as an enthusiastic, patient, and encouraging instructor.

Her hobbies have included sewing, quilting, creating jewelry, and participating in outdoor sports. She finds creative activities to be a way to relax the mind and bring joy to the heart.She is currently a certified Happiness Coach and likes to focus on being a grateful and uplifting person while also helping other people do so.


Capturing Fall Colors


with Ken Hupila

Calendar Sep 29, 2019 at 9 am

Sunday, September 29, 2019
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $70

Be a part of an autumn tradition in the North Country – observing and photographing fall color! This class will provide a one hour orientation on techniques and equipment utilization while in the field. We’ll then take our gear into the Superior National Forest and look for numerous vistas, unique perspectives, cozy vignettes and macro work. With luck we may come across some forest critters as a bonus!   

Bring lunch, camera and gear; manual, all lenses, tripod, remote release, circular polarizer (if you have it), and rubber boots. Dress for the weather.

About the Instructor: Ken Hupila has been chasing wildlife around and enjoying the outdoors in northern Minnesota for over 60 years. He took his first wildlife image in 1964 and has been working on his craft ever since.

Carving a Diamond Willow Walking Stick: Intro


with Ken Baasi

Calendar Jun 8, 2019 at 9 am

Saturday, June 8, 2019
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $30  Materials: $20

Learn how to carve correctly and bring out the elusive beauty of diamond willow while making a beautiful walking stick. Instruction will including information about the best tools to use, tool maintenance, safety techniques and finishing methods.

You will not be charged a materials fee if you provide your own diamond willow.

Ken is also offering an advanced class from 1:30 to 3:30 on Saturday for students to deepen their skills and their carving. Students are also welcome who have been carving on their own and would like to improve their skills.

About the instructor: Ken Baasi has been studying and practicing carving for years and loves revealing diamond willow's beauty. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills and wishes to inspire people who are genuinely interested.

Will run

Craft a Custom Fit Moccasin


with Donna Mienk

Calendar Aug 24, 2019 at 9 am

Saturday, August 24, 2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuition: $80 Materials: $35

Moccasins are the best natural footwear ever devised. Warm, light & lithe, they're said to give you "magic feet" that can be rolled up and taken with you to parties, and worn inside your own home. 

You will learn to create a pattern for deerskin moccasins, customized to fit your feet. This style of moccasins is a two-piece style, all hand-sewn. YAt the end of the class, you will either have a pair of completed moccasins or possibly have some work left to do at home. 

Students should bring pliers and scissors. Feel free to bring any beads you may have to decorate the top with one special bead or a simple design. 

About the Instructor: Donna Mienk has her own moccasin-making business and has taught the process for many years. View her craft at her Mienko's Moccasins facebook site.

Create a Free Form Bracelet


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar May 31, 2019 at 1 pm

Friday, May 31, 2019
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuition: $35  Materials: $16

Free form bracelets use multiple cords and a variety of beads to create a casual bracelet. These bracelets are simple to make and the perfect gift for any age. Students will learn about appropriate cord and beads for this type project as well as the process involved in completing bracelets. Each student will create two bracelets that can be worn together or separately. Additional bracelet kits will be available to purchase at a reduced rate.

Bracelets of this type are a good way to recycle broken jewelry, or to use up random beads left from other projects.

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 a One-of-a-Kind Embroidered Bracelet


with Kay Vandervort

Calendar Jun 29, 2019 at 12 pm

Saturday, June 29, 2019
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $50 Materials: $20

Learn the technique of bead embroidery while creating a one-of-a-kind bracelet. It is a fun and easy way to create interesting texture and color combinations for unique pieces of jewelry. It does not require following a specific pattern or counting beads or stitches, allowing for total creativity, combining color and texture in unique patterns. This technique is adaptable to other applications such as an embellishing clothing and making necklaces, book covers, or wall hangings. Participants will end up with one completed bracelet and ideas for other projects.

 About the instructor, Kay Vandervort: "Although I've never really thought of myself as an artist, I've had both visual art and one-of-a-kind jewelry items accepted in galleries in both Wisconsin and Michigan. My love of art began in my youth with a mother who did not believe idle hands were a good thing. Our choices were to create something, read, study, garden, or clean. I threw myself into everything except the cleaning part and found I love to experiment with color, texture, and random lines. I make jewelry because I like to wear it and would prefer to wear something of my own design."

Kay retired to Ely three years ago after a career as a freelance writer followed by thirty years as a nonprofit executive director. She is experienced in teaching both high school and adult education courses in communication. She has taught several jewelry and polymer clay classes in the past at the Ely Folk School.

Forgot password?