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Ely Folk School

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Outdoor Skills and Knowledge

Make a Bent Willow Chair


with John Bajda

Calendar Sep 25, 2021 at 8 am

Saturday, September 25, 2021
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuition: $90  Materials $25 
One registration is good for two students and one chair.

If you have been looking for a statement chair or a way to dip your hands into furniture building for the first time, you've come to the right place! John will demonstrate making a chair from start to finish, laying the groundwork for everyone to make their own chairs. You will be amazed that you can make your one-of-a-kind, beautiful, functional, and comfortable chair in such a short time.

This furniture has long been made by country people, using the beautiful variety of materials collected in the forest. The bending quality and flexible strength of willow makes for easy construction of a comfortable, strong chair, with minimal tools. You'll be able to use your chair for years if you keep it under a roof, or keep it in your yard and make a new one every few years. Because the willow is very flexible and springy, it is best to have a partner working with you to hold the willow as you nail the sticks in place. The partner does not need to pay unless they also make their own chair.

Please bring gloves, pruning shears, and safety glasses if you have them. The folk school will provide safety glasses and earplugs if you don't have any. If you have an 18g air nailer that you can bring, please call the office to let us know. 218-235-0138.

About the instructor: John Badja is a retired high school teacher and has been teaching rustic furniture building though his local community ed program for the past 15 years.

Will run

Homemade Beeswax Wraps


with Sarah Elkins

Calendar Dec 16, 2021 at 6 pm

Thursday, December 16, 2021
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuition: $24  Materials: $10

What could spread more joy than a note written on a piece of colorful unique paper? Papermaking has been essential to society for thousands of years but in modern times mass production has led to an emphasis on low cost and uniformity in paper products. Learn how to make beautiful and unique handmade paper from junk mail and paper scraps.

Students will learn the basics of the paper making process as well as how to choose and embed additions such as glitter, metallic foil, and botanicals. Students will go home with 15-20 sheets of homemade paper.

About the Instructor, Sarah Elkins: I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I have always had a fascination in handmade goods and enjoy learning and experimenting with different techniques and media. I am primarily self taught and through my creative journey I have learned that the aspect of crafting and creating I love the most is seeing the unique individuality different people bring to a project. Because of this I emphasize individuality and creativity in my classes.

Although I dabble in many areas, I focus my time on crochet, embroidery, and papermaking. I am the owner and primary creator of Corduroy Cat Studios, a home goods and stationery business.

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