Class & Event Calendar

The Ely Folk School has many interesting classes upcoming and more being added to the calendar all the time!  Find the month of your interest and then click the title for more information and to register.

List of Classes & Events

Here you can see a list of all our classes that you can filter by category (including the months in which they occur).  Click the plus sign for some details or click View Details to see all the specifics and to register.

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Event Venue Description
Northwoods Gardening
  • May 1, 2017 4:00 pm
Andy & Paula Hill's Home

Learn how to make the most out of our short Northern gardening season while implementing sustainable practices. The classes will be held at Andy Hill’s property where he will demonstrate organic procedures, drip irrigation, weed suppression, protection from critters, and methods of fertilizing without using pesticides or herbicides. You’ll learn how to construct and set (more…)

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Introduction to Spinning
  • May 5, 2017 6:00 pm

Here’s a chance to try spinning on a wheel before buying your own. You will learn how to turn wool fiber into yarn with the use of a spinning wheel. We will even play with hand spindles, wool prep and yarn finishing. There will be several wheels available for spinning and if you have a (more…)

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Nature Writing - Spring in the North
  • May 20, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Of all the seasons, spring is the one that honors life’s power of regeneration. Set aside a day at the Ely Folk School on the edge of the Boundary Waters wilderness to stir your imagination and awaken dormant creativity. You will generate written pieces in a supportive group through reading, discussion, contemplation, hiking, and free-flowing (more…)

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Beginning Pine Needle Basketry
  • May 20, 2017 2:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Pine needle art is among the oldest crafts known and pre-dates pottery. For over 9,000 years, Native Americans have made such baskets for storing food & supplies. Although baskets can be made from a variety of materials, including sweet grass & raffia, among the most beautiful are from pine needles. You’ll learn how to weave a (more…)

pine needle basketry
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Apple Strudel
  • May 26, 2017 6:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Apple strudel is a classic dessert of Eastern Europe that’s savored by many Ely area residents. The word strudel refers to the effect of rolling up of a generous fruit filling in a paper-thin unleavened crust. Learn how to mix, knead, and pull genuine strudel dough the old fashioned way! Sure, store-bought phyllo dough offers (more…)

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Create Your Own Hardbound Book
  • May 27, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

An elegant and sturdy hand-bound book is a joy to make and a pleasure to use, whether for writing, sketching or as a guestbook. In this class, we will create a hardbound, cloth-covered book with blank pages of high quality, acid-free paper. You will learn about tearing paper, punching sewing holes, folding and sewing signatures, (more…)

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Introduction to Writing Haiku Poetry
  • May 27, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

You will learn how to write haiku, the three-line form of Japanese poetry. A brief description and history of the form will include an explanation of what one needs to be sensitive to in nature to be successful with this poetic form. Paper, pencils and small journals will be provided. About the Instructor: Cecilia Rolando (more…)

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Walnut Potica
  • May 27, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Learn how to make the renowned pastry associated with Ely’s Slovenian heritage. You’ll make the dough, learn how to roll it just right, then create and add the walnut filling, and bake to take home your own delicious potica. Enjoy learning from Mary Louise Icenhour in our brand new teaching kitchen from her mother’s recipe (Rose (more…)

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Learn to Make Your Own Pasties
  • May 28, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Perhaps no traditional food is more closely associated with the Iron Range than pasties (pronounced “past-tees”). Brought here by Cornish miners, these hearty and healthy lunch pies are created from chopped fresh veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions, rutabagas), and meat (beef and pork), sealed and baked in delectable pastry shells. Ely’s mining families appreciated how well they (more…)

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Spring Edibles
  • May 28, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Spring is a great time for wild salads – nutritious and delicious greens and flower parts abound. There are also fiddlehead ferns and marsh marigolds for cooked vegetables. In this class we’ll go hunting for these wild foods, learn about some others that aren’t yet ready for harvesting, and return to the school to cook (more…)

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Introduction to Log Building
  • June 1, 2017 9:30 am
Great Lakes School of Log Building

During this one-day session, log building expert Ron Brodigan will give you an overview of the log building process by touring the log structures of the Great Lakes School of Log Building (site of the class), which demonstrate the use of various woods and techniques. Ron will introduce the many hand and power tools used (more…)

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Basic Drawing 101
  • June 6, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Have you ever said, “I just can’t draw, but I wish I could.” In this four-class series, Cecilia will lead you through the basics of drawing, learning step-by-step how to use lines and shading to create designs. With specific exercises, you will learn a variety of techniques using pencils, markers and pens and how different (more…)

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Basic Canoeing
  • June 10, 2017 10:00 am
Semer's Park

If you are brand new to canoeing or have paddled some but want to improve your efficiency, refine your steering, or feel confident in wind and waves, this class is for you. You’ll start learning the basics: putting the canoe in the water and getting in and out – not just on a sandy beach, (more…)

Boundary Waters canoeing
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Kids in the BWCA
  • June 10, 2017 2:00 pm
Semer's Park

A great class for kids seven and up to learn useful skills for camping in the BWCA and anywhere else, such as setting up a tarp, using a map and compass, starting a fire, staying safe in bad weather, and respecting the plants and wildlife. This class will run rain or shine so dress appropriately. Bring (more…)

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Canoe Rescue
  • June 10, 2017 4:00 pm
Semer's Park

You will be getting wet in this class as you get full immersion practice in what to do if you’re surprised by an unexpected swim while canoeing. You’ll also learn how to help others who have swamped their canoes. Wear clothes you can get wet in and bring a towel and a change of dry, (more…)

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Night & Day: June Planets and the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse
  • June 10, 2017 8:30 pm
Ely Folk School

Find your way through the early summer sky! You’ll learn to identify more visible constellations and bright planets of early summer. Then we’ll look ahead to the August 21 solar eclipse and how best to see it. If weather permits, we’ll set up a telescope for an up-close look at Jupiter, Saturn and and moon (more…)

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BWCA Emergencies - Prevention and Management
  • June 11, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Travelers sometimes forget that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is wilderness and that they need to be prepared for injuries and illnesses that occur on trips in canoe country. With an emphasis on prevention, topics include: hypothermia, near-drowning, heart attacks, lightning injury, burns, cuts and scrapes, fractures, strains and sprains, and the non-lethal – but (more…)

Storm in the BWCA
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Packing & Portaging Your Canoe
  • June 11, 2017 2:00 pm
Semer's Park

Have you ever wondered why everyone else seems to pack better and lighter than you do? Now you can learn the tricks and tips of packing and portaging your gear and canoes. Safety, efficiency, and etiquette will be covered. Help make your BWCA trip more enjoyable with advice from people who have been doing it (more…)

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Learn to Knit a Norwegian Style Sweater
  • June 16, 2017 6:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Do you admire the beautiful sweaters from Scandinavia? Now you can learn to make your own! You’ll knit a doll size sweater to learn the techniques of two-color knitting using steeks (small bridges of knitted stitches added to the main pattern), allowing you to knit continuously in the round, which is easier than switching to purling (more…)

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Make Electricity from the Sun
  • June 17, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Learn the basics of Photovoltaic Solar Panels (PVSP) and how easy it is to make electricity from the sun. Photoelectric panels absorb photons of light and release electrons, which are directed into wiring to produce a useful electric current. You will get hands-on experience assembling the components of this simple, practical PVSP system. Its use (more…)

solar panels on a house
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Lichens, Mosses, and Ferns of the North Woods
  • June 17, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Often overlooked and clearly under-appreciated, our lichens, mosses, and ferns are wonderfully diverse and surprisingly beautiful. We will explore habitats in the Ely area including wetlands, forests, and rocky outcrops, practice with tools and techniques that will catapult you from nerdy novice to locally respected authority (you’ll amaze friends and family). Bring a camera, notebook, (more…)

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Making Unique Greeting Cards
  • June 22, 2017 2:00 pm
Ely Folk School

You will create several greeting cards after designing and creating your own stamp from Safety Kut material. You will learn the various steps involved in cutting the Safety Kut block, inking the image, and printing it. From there, you will be able to make your own unique cards. About the Instructor: Cecilia Rolando is a (more…)

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Wet Felted Basket
  • June 23, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Create a one-of-a-kind wet felted basket! Whatever your age, you can learn the wonderfully tactile skill of felting and then use it to create an infinite variety of projects limited only by your imagination.  You will learn the techniques and shortcuts of wet felting, an ancient, environmentally friendly, craft.  Susan will have an assortment of (more…)

Antler Felted Wool Basket
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Diane Jarvi Concert
  • June 23, 2017 7:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Celebrate Juhannus (Midsummer) during Ely Folk School’s Finnish Midsummer Weekend with an evening of arts inspired by Finland! Finnish-American kantele player, singer, poet and songwriter Diane Jarvi will perform an intimate concert of Finnish folk and original music, as well as read from her forthcoming poetry book about the experiences of Finnish immigrant women, and (more…)

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​Saami Friendship Bracelet - Beginner
  • June 24, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Craft your own beautiful Saami Friendship Bracelet using traditional techniques of the native reindeer people of northern Scandinavia and Russia. Their traditional jewelry incorporates elements of their northern landscape, softened reindeer leather and sculpted antler. First you’ll learn how to triple braid using three double strands of wire made of coiled pewter and silver. Then (more…)

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Photographing Wild Orchids
  • June 24, 2017 1:00 pm

Northeast Minnesota is a world hotspot for the number of orchid species growing in a limited area. Within just a few miles of Ely approximately 31 species can be found. Join us on a two-day journey exploring how to photograph these beauties.  You can take class both days or either day. Day one will start (more…)

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Kantele Workshop
  • June 24, 2017 2:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Summer Solstice Kantele Workshop Come and celebrate Juhannus – Finnish Midsummer! And learn to play the five-string kantele, Finland’s uniquely beautiful Baltic harp. Diane Jarvi will demonstrate and do a short workshop on the kantele, the Finnish version of an instrument known throughout the world as either a zither or lap harp. The original kantele had (more…)

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​Saami Friendship Bracelet - Intermediate
  • June 25, 2017 11:00 am
Ely Folk School

If you have taken the beginner class with Cindy, enjoy taking your Saami Friendship Bracelet skills to the next level. Using the same traditional techniques, softened reindeer leather and sculpted antler, you will learn to weave a more complex braid using four double strands of wire made of coiled pewter and silver. Then you’ll sew (more…)

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Intro to Stained Glass
  • June 28, 2017 12:00 pm
Kekekabic Studios

Have you ever admired the beautiful stained glass designs in churches and historic buildings and wondered if you could ever create one yourself? In this introductory class you will have the opportunity to learn about stained glass techniques; copper foil method, soldering and finishing in addition to glass cutting. You can choose one of the (more…)

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Beaded Necklace and Earring Set
  • June 29, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

You will learn how to take the simple elements of the shapes and colors of beads you choose to design unique and interesting designs in a beaded necklace and earring set. Cecilia is well-known for her imaginative jewelry, so she will help you break loose into your imagination to create your own special pieces. You (more…)

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Make a Classic Chicken Pot Pie
  • June 29, 2017 2:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Did you love those frozen pot pies as a kid? Would you like to learn how to make a much better one from scratch, including mixing and rolling out a pastry crust? Students will prepare ingredients for the filling, and and learn the fine art of making a pie crust. You’ll leave with a small (more…)

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Apple Strudel
  • June 29, 2017 6:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Apple strudel is a classic dessert of Eastern Europe that’s savored by many Ely area residents. The word strudel refers to the effect of rolling up of a generous fruit filling in a paper-thin unleavened crust. Learn how to mix, knead, and pull genuine strudel dough the old fashioned way! Sure, store-bought phyllo dough offers (more…)

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Sustainable Living - Open Forum
  • June 29, 2017 7:00 pm
Ely Folk School

with Andy Hill of Northland Builders The Sustainable Living Forum will include presentations and discussion to extend your awareness and thinking about how to live more sustainably without costing you a fortune. There are many choices you can put in motion at little cost and little or no effort. Bring your ideas to share with (more…)

We can living sustainably
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Learn to Make Your Own Pasties
  • June 30, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Perhaps no traditional food is more closely associated with the Iron Range than pasties (pronounced “past-tees”). Brought here by Cornish miners, these hearty and healthy lunch pies are created from chopped fresh veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions, rutabagas), and meat (beef and pork), sealed and baked in delectable pastry shells. Ely’s mining families appreciated how well they (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • July 6, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Mosaic Techniques for Beginners
  • July 7, 2017 9:30 am
Ely Folk School

Mosaic designs offer you the opportunity to play with colors and shapes to create your very own design. You will learn how to choose the colors and shapes for your design, then will create a mosaic on glass, which will be framed for display. Learning how to apply and grout the colored glass, you can (more…)

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Intro to Stained Glass
  • July 9, 2017 12:00 pm
Kekekabic Studios

Have you ever admired the beautiful stained glass designs in churches and historic buildings and wondered if you could ever create one yourself? In this introductory class you will have the opportunity to learn about stained glass techniques; copper foil method, soldering and finishing in addition to glass cutting. You can choose one of the (more…)

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Apple Strudel
  • July 12, 2017 6:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Apple strudel is a classic dessert of Eastern Europe that’s savored by many Ely area residents. The word strudel refers to the effect of rolling up of a generous fruit filling in a paper-thin unleavened crust. Learn how to mix, knead, and pull genuine strudel dough the old fashioned way! Sure, store-bought phyllo dough offers (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • July 13, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Learn to Make Your Own Pasties
  • July 15, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Perhaps no traditional food is more closely associated with the Iron Range than pasties (pronounced “past-tees”). Brought here by Cornish miners, these hearty and healthy lunch pies are created from chopped fresh veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions, rutabagas), and meat (beef and pork), sealed and baked in delectable pastry shells. Ely’s mining families appreciated how well they (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • July 20, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • July 27, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Make Your Own Blueberry Jam
  • July 28, 2017 9:00 am

Are you interested in preserving those wonderful blueberries you’ve been picking? Learn how to make your own blueberry jam from start to finish. You can bring in your own hand-picked berries or take the easy route and bring in purchased berries from the store (about one pint per jar). We will learn the fundamentals of (more…)

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Blueberry Strudel
  • July 29, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

As a culinary addition to the Blueberry Arts Weekend, join us at Ely Folk School and learn how to mix, knead, and pull genuine strudel dough the old fashioned way! Blueberry strudel is an adaption to the classic dessert of Eastern Europe that’s savored by many Ely area residents. Sure, store-bought phyllo dough offers a (more…)

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Craft a Cobweb Broom
  • July 29, 2017 1:00 pm
Ely Folk School

Learn the traditional Appalachian methods for constructing brooms from the same material that has been used since the 18th century. We will also discuss the history of brooms and the wide range of products that can be made out of broomcorn. You will leave this class with the fundamental knowledge of how brooms are constructed, (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • August 3, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • August 10, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • August 17, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • August 24, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Easy Tomato Canning
  • August 30, 2017 9:00 am

Home-canned tomatoes can be used about any way your culinary imagination takes you! They are delicious in sauces, blended for juice, eaten plain or as an important ingredient in soup. You’ll learn how to preserve this powerhouse of nutrients: how to remove the skins, pack the jars, and use a boiling water bath to cook (more…)

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Fairy Funshop
  • August 31, 2017 10:00 am
Ely Folk School

Fairies and are found where nature abounds, so the Ely Folk School is a perfect place to learn about them. Each Thursday in July and August there will be a Fairy Funshop with a different theme, such as Fairies of the Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Flowers, Trees, Fairy Basics and Magical Beasts. Join us for (more…)

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Making Slovenian Canned Peppers
  • September 4, 2017 9:00 am

Slovenes have always eaten home-canned peppers that were canned using oil and vinegar. These peppers were used as condiments, appetizers, or a salad substitute. Learn how to home can these delicious vegetables using a recipe right from Slovenia! We will discuss safety measures when canning, prepare the peppers (Gypsy or Hungarian which are mild, not (more…)

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Designing Norwegian Style Mittens
  • September 15, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Come learn how to make beautiful Scandinavian mittens. You’ll learn to design and chart your very own pattern for a unique pair of mittens using either graph paper or a computer program. You will choose motifs to create your pattern and then begin to knit that mitten. If you have some experience knitting mittens or (more…)

Norwegian mittens
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Capturing Fall Colors
  • September 30, 2017 9:00 am

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. (more…)

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Crabapple Jelly: Harvest, Preparation & Canning
  • September 30, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Join us for a day of picking, boiling and juicing crab apples to make jars of homemade crab apple jelly the way your grandmother did.  We will pick the apples and return to the Folk School to boil the apples into juice which we’ll boil to the jelly point the “old fashioned” way without commercial pectin products. We’ll preserve the jelly using the boiling water (more…)

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Blocked Felt Hat Making
  • September 30, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Beginning Millinery & Haberdashery You will use millinery fur-felt hat blanks to create hats using the same methods used by milliners since the 1300’s (minus the infamous mercury), but our creations will reflect the character and personality of each students: perhaps a 19th-century top hat, a ’20s cloche, Belle Époque feather salad, a ’40s fedora (good (more…)

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Rag Rug Making
  • October 7, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Scandinavian loop weaving is a simple and durable technique that uses no thread or looms, and turns trash into treasure! First you’ll learn the knot on a practice rug, then begin your own. While you won’t finish a rug during the class, you will get through the hardest parts and have a chance to practice (more…)

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Custom Moccasins
  • November 4, 2017 9:00 am
Ely Folk School

Create your own pair of deerskin moccasins to wear in your home or when visiting friends. You will learn to create a pattern for custom-made moccasins using a two-piece style, all hand sewn, and will come out of class with a completed pair or with some work to finish up at home. Feel free to (more…)

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Fly-Tying Christmas Ornament for Kids
  • December 2, 2017 4:00 pm
Ely Folk School

You will learn basic fly tying techniques using larger, easy-to-handle materials to create a replica of a fishing fly. The class is intended to give kids a fun way to learn and experience some of the common skills used in tying flies, but is open to all ages. All materials needed are included in the (more…)

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