Previous Classes Archive

Welcome to the classes archive of Rocky Mountain Folk School, brimming with tales and memories from the countless workshops and creative sessions we have hosted.

Most recent classes at the top.

Fly Tying

Date: Weekly, every Tuesday at 7pm
Cost: $20
Level: All experience levels
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Have you ever wanted to delve into the fascinating world of entomology or create lifelike insect replicas? Or perhaps you’re interested in crafting aquatic or terrestrial fly imitations that look beautiful and fool fish? If you’ve had the pleasure of catching a fish with a fly you’ve tied yourself, you know how immensely satisfying it can be. If you have yet to try it, there’s no time like the present!

Luckily, you don’t have to go at it alone. The fishing guide instructors from Kirks Fly Shop in Grand Lake, CO, can teach you how to tie popular fly patterns. Even if you’re a complete beginner, don’t worry! The instructor will guide you through the basics and have you tying flies in no time.

Crafting Native American Style Flutes

Date: October 27 & 28, 2023 (1pm-4pm)
Cost: $260 (includes materials)
Level/Age: All experience levels; 18+
Instructor: Stanley Loftness
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Discover the rich tradition of Native American flute-making with our engaging class at Rocky Mountain Folk School in Grand Lake, CO. Our experienced instructor, Stanley Loftness, a dedicated flute maker with 15 years of expertise, will guide you through this unique journey into the world of music and craftsmanship.

In this class, you’ll delve into the intricacies of flute construction, starting with a preformed blank. Stanley’s passion for Native American culture and music was ignited during a visit to the stunning Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, where the haunting melodies of a flute reverberated off the canyon walls. Inspired by this experience and after acquiring a flute crafted by a Navajo artist, he embarked on a mission to create his own Native American style flute.

As a medical professional, Stanley Loftness recognizes the profound healing potential of music. His holistic approach combines his medical knowledge with the therapeutic power of the Native American flute. Join us for an unforgettable experience where you’ll not only craft a beautiful, correctly tuned, and playable flute but also explore the spiritual and healing aspects of this ancient instrument. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Grand Lake and let the music guide you on a path to inner peace and wellness. Explore our one-of-a-kind hand-crafted Native American Style Flutes and embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing through music.

Sip & Paint: Halloween Edition

Date: Oct 21, 2023 (4pm-7pm)
Cost: $45
Level: All experience levels
Instructor: Edie Dafoe
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Explore the magic of the holiday season with our special acrylic painting class, perfect for celebrating Halloween. Join us at the Rocky Mountain Folk School, nestled in the heart of Grand Lake, CO, for a unique artistic experience. In this class, you’ll delve into the world of acrylics and learn to paint a hauntingly beautiful ghost amidst the eerie charm of a wooded forest.

Our expert instructor, Edie Dafoe will guide you through each step of the painting process, from creating the spooky ambiance to capturing the ethereal essence of your ghostly masterpiece. It’s a fantastic opportunity to unlock your creativity and embrace the spirit of the season in a warm and welcoming mountain lake community.

Woodturning 101 Workshop

Date: Oct 20 & 21, 2023 (8:30am-4pm)
Cost: $200 (lunch & materials are included)
• 1 Day option: $100/day
Level: All experience levels
Instructor: Dennis Fanning
Location: Wood Shop – 300 CR 4052, Granby, CO

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Experience the timeless art of woodturning in 2023 at Rocky Mountain Folk School! Our Wood-turning class is a unique opportunity to explore this ancient craft in the inspiring mountain lake community of Grand Lake, Colorado. Led by our Master Teacher and Woodworker, Dennis Fanning, who brings over 30 years of expertise to the craft, you’ll discover the rich history of woodturning, dating back to 1300 BC in Egypt.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned woodworker, this all-inclusive program is designed for everyone, and no prior experience is necessary. You can choose to attend for just one day at a cost of $100, offering flexibility for those with busy schedules. However, we highly recommend the two-day option for a deeper dive into woodturning. This extended experience allows you to not only grasp the fundamentals but also practice and refine your skills under Dennis’s expert guidance.

Join us in 2023 and immerse yourself in the captivating world of woodturning at Rocky Mountain Folk School. It’s an opportunity to connect with tradition and craftsmanship while creating something truly unique. Don’t miss out on this enriching journey into the art of woodturning.

Gourd Birdhouse Class

Date: Oct 14, 2023 (12:30pm-6:30pm)
Cost: $100 ($80 class + $20 materials)
Level: Beginner
Instructors: Karen Smith & Linda Troute
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Explore the captivating world of gourd art with our Gourd Birdhouse class! Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner, this workshop is your ticket to unleashing your creativity.

In this class, you’ll discover the magic of gourding, using acrylic paints, specialized dyes, wood-burning techniques, and carving to transform ordinary gourds into extraordinary art pieces. Our experienced instructors, Karen and Linda, are passionate about gourd art. Karen brings a whimsical and unconventional approach, highlighting the natural beauty of these unique canvases with seven years of gourd art practice. Linda, inspired by Karen, embraces the traditional style of gourd art, creating delightful and timeless pieces.

Join us at Rocky Mountain Folk School for a fun and educational experience that will leave you with a one-of-a-kind gourd birdhouse. Don’t miss out on this creative adventure!

Acrylic Painting – Season Expressions

• Sept 30, 2023 (1pm-3:30pm) | “Learn to paint Sunlit Aspen Trees in fall colors”
Cost: $45 (includes materials)
Level: All experience levels
Instructor: Edie W. Dafoe
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Join us for an inspiring acrylic painting experience with the talented instructor Edie Dafoe, the creative force behind Upside Images. In this captivating class, you’ll embark on a journey of artistic expression, crafting unique masterpieces that mirror the beauty of each changing season. The canvas, a blank 11″x14″ space, becomes your personal window to the world as you delve into a new design with every session.

Edie Dafoe, the visionary artist behind Upside Images, has transformed her love for art into a fulfilling career and a passion for teaching. Following a life-altering event, Edie turned to art as a source of healing and rejuvenation, gradually evolving her artistic journey from personal solace to a vibrant business venture. Embracing the scenic surroundings of Grand Lake, Edie draws inspiration from her deep connection to nature’s wonders, channeling her experiences into her captivating art pieces. Edie’s self-curated and ongoing artistic education brings a unique blend of techniques and insights to her teaching approach, ensuring that her students not only discover their creative potential but also find joy and fulfillment in the process.

This acrylic painting class is designed for individuals at various skill levels, from beginners eager to explore their artistic capabilities to intermediate painters looking to refine their techniques. With Edie’s expert guidance, you’ll unlock the magic of acrylics, learning to capture the essence of each season through your brushstrokes. So, come dressed in your painting attire and let your imagination flow as you become part of the acrylic artistic community, where creativity knows no bounds, and every stroke tells a story.

Build a Half Hull Model

Date: Sep 22, 2023 (1pm-5pm) & Sep 23, 2023 (9am-5pm)
Cost: $225
Level: All experience levels
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Building a half hull model of a boat is a great way to learn how to read boat plans, get used to basic hand tools, and be introduced to basic boatbuilding skills, all at once! Julius Spradley of Denver Custom Boatworks will lead us through both sessions.

Day 1 will be focused on the plans and assembling the blank for a model, and day 2 will consist of shaping and finishing a beautiful half hull model for you to take home. Both days of this workshop will take place at the Pitkin Annex in downtown Grand Lake, CO.

Gourd Vase Art

• Aug 22-23, 2023 (4pm-8pm)
• Aug 29-30, 2023 (4pm-8pm)
• Sep 5-6, 2023 (4pm-8pm)
Cost: $100 ($80 class + $20 materials)
Level: Beginner
Instructor: Karen Smith & Linda Troute
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Looking to learn the basics of Gourd Art? Rocky Mountain Folk School is offering classes this August and September. Please join us for (2) four-hour sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays per the above dates. During the course, you’ll learn how to create a gourd vase using your design and provided materials. You’ll also learn valuable skills such as painting with acrylic or specialized dyes, wood burning, and carving.

About the instructors: Karen, one of our instructors, has been practicing gourd art for seven years. Her unique style brings out the natural beauty of gourds in whimsical and unusual ways. She introduced Linda to gourd art over a year ago, and Linda has been creating delightful pieces in a traditional style ever since. Join us for a fun and educational experience in Gourd Art!

Tips, Tricks, and Ask a Boatbuilder

Date: Aug 26, 2023 (1pm-4pm)
Cost: $65
Level: All experience levels
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

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Are you interested in wooden boatbuilding but don’t really know how to start? This course/Q+A is a great place to get moving! Join Julius Spradley of Denver Custom Boatworks at the Pitkin Annex in downtown Grand Lake, CO, to learn how to replace planks, mark a waterline, sharpen your tools, and ask all the questions you’ve been wondering about.

Whether you’re hoping to start a project soon or already have a few boats under your belt and want to pick up a few more skills, join us for what is sure to be a fun and connecting afternoon.

This class is offered through the Rocky Mountain Wooden Boat School. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact them directly.

Indigo Shibori Dyeing

Date: Aug 20, 2023 (10am-1pm)
Cost: $85 ($65 class + $20 materials paid to Allison at beginning of the class)
Level: Beginner
Instructor: Allison O’Neall
Location: RMFS Building – 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

Are you familiar with Shibori dyeing techniques? They are unique forms of Japanese dyeing that differ from the traditional tie-dyeing method you might know. Unlike regular tie-dye, the Shibori technique you will learn, called Itajime Shibori, utilizes resists and clamps to create intricate designs on the fabric. If you’re curious about this captivating technique, consider joining our upcoming Shibori Indigo dyeing class!

You will learn about Indigo dye and explore Shibori techniques on cotton and silk fabrics. The best part is you can take home a Shibori scarf you dyed yourself! Not only will you have the opportunity to learn a new skill, but you’ll also have a beautiful accessory to show for it. Take advantage of this fantastic chance to learn a skill passed down since the 8th century!

About the Instructor: Allison O’Neall is a native of Colorado who resides in Boulder, Colorado, and Grand Lake, Colorado. With over 20 years of experience in textile arts and design, Allison finds great joy in making art in the natural world. Her expertise with textile art making includes: working with natural dyes, including indigo, and integrating Shibori techniques into this process; using nature’s offerings for botanical printing on fabrics; garment making using wool and silk felting techniques and sewing for interior design and garment making. Allison believes that making art with natural elements, like indigo dye, renews the spirit and manifests joy and wonderment in the creative process.

Primitive Rug Hooking with Keith Kemmer

“Everything new is Old again”
Date: May 18-21, 2023
Cost: $325
-$100 deposit due with registration (refundable until March 1, 2023)
-$225 remainder due by March 1, 2023 (non-refundable)

Instructor: Keith Kemmer
Location: Grand Lake Center @ 301 Marina Drive, Grand Lake, CO

What does it take to create a primitive rug? Is it the technique, the pattern, the wools, the size of cut, or the colors?

Well, the answer is – YES to all of these options – or any combination. For the past 25 plus years, it’s been my focus to recreate the look of the old rugs. I will share what I’ve learned from the old rugs, discussing how to recreate a folky or formal primitive rug.

Plan to learn and try new techniques in this workshop and see how they can impact the overall primitive look. Everything from “raggedy” Hit’n Miss to “higgley-piggley” to halo/echo and puddled styles. We’ll discuss how a primitive pattern can help you know how to hook it. Is it folky or more formal? We’ll all have fun learning something
new to make your rugs look old.

Adult Pottery

Dates: Mar 29 – Apr 26 (6-8pm), Mar 30 – Apr 27 (2-4pm)
$175 (includes all supplies)
RMFS Building @ 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake, CO

Enjoy the satisfaction of working with clay – whether you’re a beginner, experienced or need a refresher from years ago. In this class you can hand-build using the extruder, slab roller and make pinch pots. You can also learn to use the wheel. It’s an open-ended class where you can make whatever you like – sculpture, functional pottery, jewelry, wall pieces and wherever else your imagination takes you. Clay and tools provided.

Bespoke Holiday Wire Wrapped Crystal Jewelry

Nov 4, 2022 (3 week program; Fridays 6-8pm)
Cost: $175
(includes all supplies)
RMFS Building @ 315 Pitkin Ave, Grand Lake

The art of wire wrapping crystals and stones has been dated all the way back to 3100 BC in Egypt. Join Colorado Native and Metalsmith Alex Merchant for a 3 class workshop on the basics of wire wrapping.

This class will result in a singular bespoke piece for each participant, just in time for the Holidays!

Community Guitar with Jim McComb

Oct 15, 2022 (1-4pm)
Cost: $50
(participants are required to bring their own guitar)
Pitkin Annex at Town Square Park

Join Colorado Guitar Artist Jim McComb of Martin & Taylor, to learn the basics of playing the guitar, including chords and strumming.

This class is for all levels.

Primitive Rug Hooking with Theresa Rapstine

Sept 30 — Oct 4, 2022
Cost: $300
Grand Lake Center

Please join us for this new and exciting class on the ancient art of rug hooking! Our teacher, Theresa Rapstine, is a reputable, creative, fun teacher with a wealth of knowledge, who will help you to make your rugs look ancient using many textures and colors of wool.

Create the look of vintage, worn and well used rugs using specific wools, primitive cuts (9, 10 and hand-torn) and Theresa’s non-traditional hooking style. Students choose from one of her antique inspired, hand drawn patterns on unbleached, primitive linen.

During this class, students will learn:

  • Recycled and vintage wools and how to select them to make a rug look antique
  • Simple use of large cuts, 9 and larger and how to tear strips for hooking
  • Theresa’s 10 tips for making a rug look vintage and old

Bring your own wool to class or purchase from her stash. Remember, to create this vintage style, wool selection is important. Please be open to wools you have never seen or used before. You will need a large variety of wools for each motif and background. Theresa will bring recycled, as-is, and a little bit of everything.

Woodturning Class

July 14 & 15, 2022
Class fee: $250 (includes all supplies!)

Rocky Mountain Folk School is happy to share an exciting opportunity with
Our 2022 Wood-turning class!

Our Master Teacher and Wood-worker, Dennis Fanning, has been turning
wood for over 30 years! Woodturning is an incredible ancient art that dates back
to 1300 BC in Egypt!

Come join Dennis in woodturning for an all inclusive program that is for
every skillset. No previous experience Necessary.

Plein Air Oil Painting Boot Camp

April 29 — May 1, 2022
Workshop fee $375

Do you want to learn to paint plein air but are intimidated or don’t know where to start?

This class is for beginner to intermediate painters and will be held in and around Grand Lake, Colorado. Scott will give you the low down on materials to use and why. He’ll help you build a palette of colors to meet your needs without breaking the bank. Knowing what tools are available and how to use them will give you a significant head start.

Scott will teach the fundamentals of painting outdoors, on location and get you out in the field to do plein air painting. He has great exercises to deal with changing light, composition and creating a work of art. You will leave the class with confidence to create your own interpretations of painting en plein air. Some portions of the workshop may be held indoors due to inclement weather.