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Ely Folk School

Bent Willow Rustic Furniture

with John Bajda


Day One: Friday, August 13, 2021      6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Day Two: Saturday, August 28, 2021 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

Tuition: $120

Do you admire rustic furniture? Do you see handmade garden trellises, chairs made of sticks, rocking chairs, or garden benches and feel a little envy? You can build one yourself! This class gives you the instruction and space to dive into a one-of-a-kind rustic furniture project - your options are endless! 

Throughout history, craftspeople have used the natural looks of sticks and logs to express themselves creatively. This art is productive and highly practical while also allowing the crafter to showcase the beauty and variety offered by Mother Nature. Each and every piece will be unique since no two trees or branches are exactly the same. You will have the chance to design your piece based on the materials you find. 

Find a bend, twist, burl, or root which will make your piece truly your own creation. You’ll be able to build your piece in one day, with several hours of instruction and a willingness to put in a good day of wok. 

This rewarding class sends you home with a project you will use and admire for years to come. It is helpful to register in pairs - a partner can help you wrangle your sticks or logs and assemble your project. The partner attends class for free if they do not make their own project. 

Day One consists of an introduction to rustic furniture, a demonstration with some hands-on tool use, and information on building material. The time between classes will allow you to choose your exact project - Bench? Chair? Trellis? - and collect building material. Day Two will be spent building your project. 

John will give you all the instruction you need to gather workable materials on day one. You will then have two weeks to collect and create a rough sketch of your project. 

If you have questions or would like to begin collecting material prior to August 13, you can contact John at 218-340-0169  or

About the Instructor: John Bajda is a retired high school teacher and has been teaching rustic furniture building though his local community ed program for the past 15+ years. See one of John's bent willow chairs on display in the Ely Folk School window! 

  • Aug 13 - 28th, 2021
    Fri - Sat from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Ely Folk School

209 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731 Get directions

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