Teacups in Marine on St. Croix potter Connie Helke’s distinctive style. Helke will teach a ceramics class to benefit Marine Mills Folk School in June.

Learning that you have a secret admirer can cause your heart to skip a beat and put a bounce in your step. For a new organization trying to make a go of it with not enough time in the day and limited financial resources, finding out a secret admirer wanted to help could make its leaders jump for joy. 

That is what happened when Connie Helke, renowned local potter, reached out to the Marine Mills Folk School, a traditional arts and crafts learning center in Marine on St. Croix.  

“Connie called to say she wanted to offer a beginning class, for those interested in working with clay,” noted Robin Brooksbank, a member of the folk school programming committee and board. “Knowing how valued her work is, there was no question that people would welcome the chance to spend time with her. When she then said she loved the idea of a folk school in the area and wanted to support Marine Mills Folk School by donating all the proceeds, we were blown away.”  

Helke’s class was promoted on the school’s web site and almost instantly was sold out.  

“We worked up our nerve and asked Connie if she’d consider repeating the class, due to the overwhelming interest. She generously agreed to a second class June 22,” said Brooksbank.  

All of the proceeds from the sold out class will be used to further raise awareness of the new folk school and its classes.

Founded in 2018, Marine Mills Folk School’s mission is to support and strengthen connections by inviting all people to discover the joy of learning and creating together. Located in Marine on St Croix, MN, the school offers adult and intergenerational classes in traditional arts and craft skills. For additional information or to see a complete listing of classes, visit https://marinemillsfolkschool.org.

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