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Ely Folk School

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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.

All Things Chaga


with Allie Austin

Calendar Jun 7, 2019 at 2 pm

Friday, June 7, 2019
2:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials $30

Did you know, growing on our birch trees is one of the most powerfully medicinal mushrooms in the world? Chaga has been highly studied and has been known to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and increase the body's ability to respond and adapt to stress, among it's multitude of other benefits. In this class, we will learn how to identify, harvest, and utilize this medicinal powerhouse for both internal and external use. We will make some chaga preparations in class, and students will each go home with their own informational chaga handbook, including a recipe booklet with numerous chaga remedies and creative ways to use Minnesota's most treasured fungi.  

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, and encouraging people to utilize herbs in their local area to become more self-sustainable and take charge of their own health. 

Autumn’s Awesome Go-Anywhere Tote


with Autumn Cole

Calendar Jun 28, 2019 at 8 am

Friday, June 28, 2019
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $80  Materials: $5.00

This attractive and practical tote can be used as a purse or a carryall for work or projects. It has two large pockets in the inside, is lightweight, washable, and stands upright. It is a great introduction to quilting, as one will learn about rotary cutting, piecing, batting, quilting, and finishing touches. You'll have fun making it and will receive so many compliments on your unique Go Anywhere Tote, you'll be glad you did.

You’ll need to buy your choice of fabric ahead of time, which with supplies will cost about $30. This total includes the 10% discount at Mary’s Spinning Wheel (located in Ely) that Ely Folk School class participants receive. She will have the list of supplies on hand and can also help you choose appropriate fabric. The shop hours vary, so check before you go!

Your supply list for this 11" X 14" X 4" tote:

4 fat quarters of different fabric or 36 five-inch squares (charm pack)
1 yard of complementary fabric for lining and handles
1-1/2 yards of Pellon 987F fusible fleece
1 one-inch button
2 spools of 110 yds of Gutermann thread to match the lining fabric.
The Folk School has sewing machines, but bring your own sewing machine with its manual, if possible, so you can work with a familiar machine. Other sewing supplies will be provided.

About the instructor: Autumn Cole enjoys creating unique and colourful quilts, purses and bags, aprons, and more. She has taught sewing classes for many years, including at the Ely Folk School where some of her quilts and other sewn items are offered for sale.

Autumn says, “As a psychologist, I have enjoyed teaching psychology classes at various colleges, and as a certified Happiness Coach, I teach classes on the keys to happiness. I enjoy teaching!”


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.


Basswood Trail Plant Walk


with Jaime Brennan

Calendar Jun 6, 2019 at 9 am

Thursday, June 6, 2019
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuition: $20

Learning about the profusion of plants around us will enrich your life! Join Jaime Brennan, herbalist and health coach, as she brings you into the world of our local plants. During this class, we'll visit Basswood Trail to identify plants and their uses and benefits while enjoying a walk in a beautiful setting. Meet at the Folk School to carpool.

About the instructor: Jaime Brennan About the instructor: Jaime Brennan can always remember having a special relationship with the plants that grew around her. She began learning how to use them to improve her own health in 2006. Feeling the benefits of herbs, she wanted to share this knowledge with others and began offering classes and products. Her personal passion is to use her knowledge, experience, and different tools to help others create tranquility: a body in balance, a mind at ease, and a satisfied soul. To learn more about Jaime and what she offers, visit


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.

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