Your browser is not optimized for viewing this website.

More information »

Ely Folk School

Browse by Month

"Vanishing Bees" Documentary

Calendar Mar 9, 2018 at 7 pm

Vanishing Bees
March 9, 2018
7:00 pm


This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film examines our current agricultural landscape and celebrates the ancient and sacred connection between man and the honeybee. The story highlights the positive changes that have resulted due to the tragic phenomenon known as "Colony Collapse Disorder." To empower the audience, the documentary provides viewers with tangible solutions they can apply to their everyday lives. Vanishing of the Bees unfolds as a dramatic tale of science and mystery, illuminating this extraordinary crisis and its greater meaning about the relationship between humankind and Mother Earth. The bees have a message - but will we listen?

Advanced Carving with Diamond Willow


with Ken Baasi

Calendar Apr 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Advanced Carving with Diamond Willow
Sunday, April 15, 2018
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $15 (Only if you are not bringing your own materials.)

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.

If you wish to harvest your own willow, join instructor Ken Baasi at the folk school on Saturday, April 14 at 9:00 AM.

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.

Bee Keepers Tasks and Responsibilities


with Dan Donnelly

Calendar Mar 11, 2018 at 1 pm

Bee Keepers Tasks and Responsibitlies
March 11, 2018
1:00 PM- 2:00 PM


Come listen to expert beekeeper Dan Donnelly as he explains the basics of bee biology, identifying honeybees in the hive; Responsible beekeeping monitoring, maintaining hive health and cover bee diseases. Record keeping and season calendar planning will be discussed along with any questions and other important tasks and responsibilites. 

About the Instructor: Dan Donnelly retired from a position with the University of Minnesota Libraries in 2007 after 32 years managing audiovisual collections and services. Upon retirement Dan took up keeping honeybees near Afton, MN. In 2011 Dan took a position with the Entomology Department at the University of Minnesota where he managed 40 colonies of honeybees for an experiment investigating the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on colony health. Since then Dan has continued raising honeybees in the Afton area. Three years ago Dan and his wife Marjorie moved to the Isabella area and began to explore opportunities for raising honeybees in the woods. Dan started the Ely Area Bee Club to help beekeepers share ideas and information.The club plays a vital role in helping those interested in honeybees learn about keeping bees and the diverse roles, bees and other insect pollinators play in all our lives.

Beginning Rug Hooking


with Bonnie Lundorff

Calendar Feb 3, 2018 at 12 pm

Beginning Rug Hooking
Saturday, February 3
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $50  Materials: $35

Dating back to the 19th century rug hooking has been a popular way to create beautiful rugs using wool strips. This updated version uses a punch method with the same results as traditional hooking. Students will make a small project while learning to use the Oxford rug punch tool, which will be supplied for use in class along with a 10" hoop.

About the instructor: Bonnie Lundorff owns the Willow Wood Market, a quiltshop and wool studio and has been sharing her love of fiber arts for 20 years. She teaches wool appliqué, quilting, needle felting, and rug making at fiber arts events, her store and throughout the upper Midwest. She designs simple-to-make projects for her students and customers. One of her designs was recently published in a nationally known fiber arts magazine, Wool Works. Bonnie lives in the woods south of Bemidji with her husband Tim and a cranky little 16-year-old dog.

Will run

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

Brew It Yourself Root Beer


with Jess Edberg

Calendar Feb 6, 2018 at 6 pm

Making Homemade Root Beer
at the Dorothy Molter Museum
Tuesday, Feb. 6
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuition: $20 Materials: $10

Learn how to make your own homemade root beer just like Dorothy Molter, the Root Beer Lady of Knife Lake! Dorothy Molter sold her famous root beer to thousands of visitors each year at her island home in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from the early 1950s through 1986.

Meet at the Dorothy Molter Museum and learn more about Dorothy Molter and the story behind her root beer business with a private, guided tour through her original cabins which have been relocated to the museum grounds in Ely. Then, make 32 oz. of your own root beer in a growler to take home and enjoy!

This class is appropriate for ages 8 and up; youth under 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult.

Classes can be arranged at other times on request for groups of 4 to 10.

About the instructor: Jess Edberg has over 15 years of teaching both formal and informal environmental education and historic interpretation.She enjoys living in Ely with her family and taking advantage of the outdoor recreational opportunities, especially in winter. She is the Visitor Services Manager at the Dorothy Molter Museum and is an adjunct instructor for the Natural Resources Technology Department at Vermilion Community College.


Will run

Carving a Diamond Willow Walking Stick


with Ken Baasi

Calendar Apr 15, 2018 at 9 am

Intro: Carve a Diamond Willow Walking Stick
Sunday, April 15, 2018
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuition: $30  Materials: $15

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.

If you wish to harvest your own willow, join instructor Ken Baasi at the folk school on Saturday, April 14 at 9:00. You will not be charged a materials fee if you provide your own diamond willow.

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.

Coconut Potica


with Mary Louise Icenhour

Calendar Feb 4, 2018 at 1 pm

Sunday February 4,2018
1:00 PM- 5:00 PM 
Tuition: 40 Materials:$5

This is a coconut (no walnuts or honey) version of walnut potica using the same sweet leavened dough, but filled with a rich coconut - sour cream filling.  You will learn how to prepare the dough for rolling, fill with the coconut mixture, and bake the potica.  This is a very tasty potica toasted and buttered before serving.  Each student will take home their own loaf of coconut potica.

About the Instructor: Mary Louise Icenhour is an Ely native and retired teacher who loves to share her passion for traditional skills. She also teaches our Pine Needle Basketry, Apple Strudel, Walnut Potica and Canning classes.

Full Course

Forgot password?