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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.


Harvesting Spruce Roots


with Charlie Cecil

Calendar Jul 31, 2021 at 9 am

Saturday, July 31, 2021
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $10

Deep in the bog lies a precious resource for those who craft with natural materials. Spruce root is critical for birchbark canoe building and basketry. The beautiful white root can be used for lashing, sewing, and weaving. Because of their strength and flexibility, spruce root is ideal for the task. 

Come learn how to respectfully and safely harvest spruce roots and enjoy a hike while you’re at it! Root gathered will be used in the construction of the birch bark canoe currently being built at the Ely Folk School on Sunday afternoons! You will be able to contribute to this community building project and learn the techniques for harvesting your own roots for your own basketry projects. Join the Birch Bark Canoe Project on Sunday afternoon (August 1st) to learn about processing the roots and how it is used in our canoe.

Please dress appropriately for wandering the woods and digging through moss. Consider bringing a bug net! Class will meet at the Ely Folk School and depart in carpools from there. 

About the Instructor: Charlie Cecil has been living and working in the woods of northern Minnesota since 2011 when he began guiding canoe trips for the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base. Over the years, he has guided many canoe trips, worked with sled dogs, hiked and camped all over the state. He has participated in the Ely Folk School's Birch Bark Canoe Project since the summer of 2017 which has enabled Charlie to learn a wide range of skills that he is excited to share with this community.

Minnesota Medicinal Foraging


with Allie Austin

Calendar Aug 10, 2021 at 1 pm

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $25  Materials: $25

Join us as we learn the basics of identifying, harvesting, and utilizing some of the most common medicinal herbs in Northern Minnesota. In this hands-on class, students will learn how to identify, harvest, dry, store, and use some of the most common medicinal herbs native to Northern Minnesota. This will be an in-classroom discussion as well as hands-on class- students will work with some freshly harvested herbs and will also learn to prepare some common remedies with them such as tincturing, teas, and infusions. Each student will take home their own herbal remedy made in class, and a Minnesota Medicinals handbook with photos, step-by-step instructions, and recipes!

About the Instructor: Allison Austin has been practicing herbalism for over 13 years. Her passion for plants and herbal medicine began in middle school, and has continued to play a central role in her life ever since. She has studied under herbalists in Minnesota, California, Texas, and with Mayan elders in Guatemala.

Allison is passionate about bringing the traditional practices of herbalism to people in a practical and accessible way, encouraging people to utilize herbs in their local area in order to become more self-sustainable, taking charge of their own health.

Elevate Your At-Home Cooking


with Hudson Ledeen

Calendar Aug 11, 2021 at 5:30 pm

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Tuition: $35  Materials: $30

The materials fee covers ingredients you will use to learn best practices and take home to craft a master meal!

Calling all at-home cooks! Learn how to maximize your home kitchen possibilities with this entry-level fundamentals and tricks-of-the-trade cooking class. Students will get hands-on experience practicing simple, professional kitchen skills in order to elevate their home-cooked meals.

Topics learned will include knife skills, temperature control, timing, mise en place, proper use of fats and acids, working with a variety of herbs, spices, and seasonings, and how using seasonal ingredients contributes to your best meals! 

Class participants will use these skills to prep for an outstanding dish they will prepare in their home kitchen. Everything learned can be carried forward into all your everyday cooking. 

Students should bring: a sharpened kitchen knife you are comfortable working with; kitchen towel; apron; food-safe containers to bring your prepped ingredients home; questions! Please note that this class will involve handling meat products; however, many of the skills learned are applicable to vegan and vegetarian cooking, as well. 

About the Instructor: Hudson Ledeen left a celebrated career of twelve years in the culinary world, where he excelled in creating menus and recipes using locally sourced products, as well as teaching and mentoring fellow cooks and chefs new to the field. Passionate about conservation, public lands and natural resources, he went back to school and earned his Applied Science Degree in Natural-Resources Technology. Hudson has a vast background when it comes to outdoor experiences. He’s removed beaver dams, trapped and relocated bears, tagged migrating birds, worked as a fishing guide, canoe outfitter, fishery technician in Alaska, and is an avid hunter and angler. 

He is now working as the Community Coordinator for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness based out of Ely. At the heart of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness mission is the belief that the economic health and prosperity of the BWCA gateway communities are deeply connected with the future of clean water and the wilderness. Building partnerships and growing relationships throughout these communities is the focus of Hudson’s work.

Today, Hudson uses his culinary skills to prepare creative and inventive meals for friends, family and community.

Learn to Make Monterey Jack: Live Online


with Gary Colles

Calendar Aug 12, 2021 at 2 pm

Thursday, August 12, 2021
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $40

August's Cheese of the Month is Monterey Jack! 

Join Master Cheesemaker Gary Colles and the Ely Folk School as we make a new cheese from scratch each month. 

Monterey Jack is truly a classic cheese. The finest for melty or creamy dishes, jack is a staple for many cult-favorite American dishes. According to the California Milk Advisory Board, monterey jack is the most popular cheese originating from the United States! 

Join us in the rewarding practice of making cheese from scratch under excellent tutelage with fine company. You will certainly learn something new and although you will not leave the Zoom class with a final product, the end results will wow you! 

You will receive the recipe and the supplies list two - three weeks prior to class. Please be sure to fully read the ingredients list and reach out with questions on where to find any lesser-known ingredients. After class, your cheese will require additional care prior to consumption. 

About the Instructor: Gary Colles has been making artisan cheese for nineteen years. Beginning with teaching in Michigan where he and his wife live, he has added North Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Florida and Minnesota. He has worked and trained with Glengarry Cheese Company in Canada, New England Cheese Making Company, and Farmstead Cheese Making. He is always reading more on cheese making, and his reference library now has fifty books on cheese.  

Please register for each person attending in your household to support both the instructors and the Ely Folk School. Thank you!

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.

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