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Ely Folk School

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Arts & Crafts

Introduction to Wheel Throwing


with Betty Firth

Calendar Nov 28, 2020 at 10 am, runs for 3 weeks

Saturdays, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12.
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM 

Tuition: $90  Materials: $40

If you have been fascinated with how potters magically turn clay into functional pieces, here’s your chance to learn how to do it yourself. You will learn about wedging, centering, pulling, trimming, glazing, and studio etiquette. You will be introduced to throwing basic forms like mugs, bowls, and cylinders used for glasses, vases, and other pieces.

This class is suitable for beginners as well as for those who have had some experience with clay and would like to get their hands in the mud again and brush up on their skills.

Included in the materials fee are a set of basic tools, clay, glazes, and firing for up to 6 pieces. Additional clay may be purchased. Some additional studio time will be available between classes. Wear clothes that get dirty, an apron, if desired, and a towel.

Covid-19 safety precautions will be observed. Bring a mask or one will be provided.

About the instructor: Betty Firth can’t remember when she didn’t love pottery, and she learned how to throw pots herself when she moved to Ely. After twenty years, she still thinks it’s magical to see a lump of clay transformed into a piece of sculpture or dishes you can use every day. She enjoys combining sculptural elements with functional and decorative pieces and experimenting with many kinds of surface decoration.


Needle Felt an Arctic Fox: Live Online


with Laura Berlage

Calendar Dec 13, 2020 at 2 pm

Sunday, December 13, 2020
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $30  Materials: $25  Shipping: $15

Registration will close December 3rd, in order to allow time to mail supply kits to students. 

Needle felting is fun! Learn to transform hand-dyed wool from the instructor’s flock of sheep into your very own adorable arctic fox. We will mail you the materials ahead of time, then Laura will take you step-by-step through the process via Zoom. No previous experience is necessary. The materials kit comes with enough wool to make two foxes, so you can perfect your technique on the second one after class. All you need to complete the project is a work surface like a sturdy table, good light, and a pair of scissors. Everything else is included! Experience the magic of needle felting or learn some new tips to add to your growing skillset. During these trying time, needle felting can feel especially therapeutic, as we repeatedly stab the wool with our barbed needles while creating a cute, wooly friend in the process. Join us for this welcoming online class!

A full kit will be mailed to each students, complete with the wool, foam work surface, needle, eye beads, and other necessary pieces. Students will also receive in the kit a welcome letter with notes on using Zoom as well as a link and password to a pre-recorded version of the class if they find this resource additionally helpful.

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. Completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011, Laura continues her lifelong passion for learning with engaged, hands-on teaching for small groups to encourage creativity, imagination, and expressio

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