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Ely Folk School

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in Arts & Crafts

Black Ash Berry Basket


with Zac Fittipaldi

Calendar May 19, 2018 at 9 am

Black Ash Berry Basket
May 19, 2018

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuition: $80 Materials: $20

Archaeologists have found portions of fancy ash splint basketry that predate the arrival of Europeans. The Black Ash tree has a ring-porous quality that allows it to be pounded into splints for use in basketry. You will learn the art of weaving this ancient craft. Choose between a pouch or basket base. First form the foundation, then turn up the splints to weave the main body, and finish with the rim. A must- have for any berry pickers.

About the Instructor: Zac Fittipaldi has taught at Wisconsin’s Driftless Folk School and elsewhere (including Mexico) for nearly a decade. His other traditional skill interests include maple sugaring, trapping and ancestral pottery.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $25.00

Lidded Birch Bark Basket


with John Zasada

Calendar Feb 10, 2018 at 9 am

Two Day Class:
February 10, 2018, 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM
February 11, 2018, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Tuition: $140 Materials: $40

This birch bark basket is a relatively simple square or horizontal weave basket.  The weaving is done in the traditional Scandinavian and Russian style.  The material used to make the basket is split inner bark of the birch tree.  The birch bark is harvested from timber sale areas in Itasca County. 

First, you will "double weave" a rectangular basket.  The rim of the basket will be reinforced with small diameter willow, alder, or thin ash splints.  Second, you will weave a flat mat for the lid of the basket.  The final step will be attaching the lid to the basket using birch bark strips and a willow stick. Several options include reenforcing the rim of the lid with small willow sticks and doing some embellishments, for example, pinwheels and woven stars.  It is a neat, simple way of creating an attached lid for the basket.  The basket will be around 8" X 6" X 6" when finished.  

About the Instructor: John Zasada lives in the Grand Rapids area. He worked as a research silviculturist for the U.S. Forest Service for 40+ yrs in Alaska, Oregon/Washington, northern Wisconsin/Michigan and northern Minnesota. Since retiring he has been interested in the biology of tree barks, birch bark in particular, and the harvest and use of inner and outer bark in basket weaving. He mainly weaves in the traditional Scandinavian/Russian style.

Co-teaching with Jack Sneavy

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $65.00

Will run

Pine Needle Basketry


with Mary Louise Icenhour

Calendar Feb 10, 2018 at 1 pm

Pine Needle Basketry
Saturday February 10, 2018
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40 Materials: $10

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: Mary Louis Icenhour is an Ely native and retire teacher who loves to share her passion for traditional skills. She teaches our Walnut Potica, Apple Strudel, Pasty and canning classes. 

Full Course

Pop Up Basket


with Dorothy L. Sand

Calendar Jun 16, 2018 at 9 am

Pop Up Basket
June 16, 2018
9:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Tuition: $50 Materials: $15

Five fun sizes for all your storage needs!  Pop-Ups collapse for easy storage.  This pattern uses 2 coordinating fabrics and a different construction method than the FQ pop-up.  All raw seams are hidden.  Ties are used to hold the pop-up closed. Spring is included in the materials fee. Bring about 1/2 to 1 yard of two fabrics depending on how big a pop up they would like to make. 

About the Instructor: Dorothy L. Sand  is a a retired ordained Lutheran Pastor. She has been quilting for about 30 years and recently became interested in making purses, bags, baskets as an aside, in-between project to the intense paper piecing patterns by Judy Niemeyer. 

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