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JCCFS Represents at the 75th National Folk Festival

by Cory Marie Podielski on September 17, 2015

in Clay, Out & About, Special Events, Wood

Our Folk School booth at the 76th National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC.

Our Folk School booth at the 75th National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC

ncff-2015-logoWe had a great time this past weekend representing the Folk School at the 75th National Folk Festival. This was the 1st year (of a 3-year residency) that the Folk Fest was hosted in the city of Greensboro, NC. The event featured performances and demonstrations by over 300 of the nation’s finest musicians, dancers, and craftspeople.

We hope to see you next year. Save the dates for this awesome festival in an awesome town. The 76th National Folk Festival dates are September 9-11, 2016!

Kisha joined the JCCFS team this weekend / Rob sold his gigantic jug to a face jug collector.

Kisha joined the JCCFS team this weekend / Rob sold his gigantic jug to a face jug collector.

[click to continue…]


Firing It Up! Raku-Style

by Cory Marie Podielski on September 15, 2015

in Around Campus, Clay, Featured Classes, Featured Teacher

Raku Firing

Harry opens the kiln & Cara uses tongs to transfer the glowing pot to the metal trash can lined with newspaper.


Final class vessels, cooling after Raku firing

If you stroll by Studio Row when a class is doing a Raku firing at the outdoor kiln, you are in for an exciting, fiery surprise. I was lucky to catch Harry & Julie Hearne’s recent class, The Art of Throwing and Raku Firing, as they were firing their last pieces of the week.

Western-style Raku derives from a rich tradition of Japanese pottery that was made specifically for tea ceremonies. In the 1960s, it was popularized in the US by potters who were inspired by the Japanese tradition. To learn more about the differences between the two traditions, check the article American-Style Raku by Paul Soldner.

With Raku firing, the potter removes the vessel from the kiln while it is still very hot, red, and glowing. He or she uses tongs to move the piece from the kiln to a prepped trash can. Once the piece is inside, the fiery show begins! I had a great time watch the class during this process. [click to continue…]


Beyond the Sock with Master Knitter Charles Gandy

by Cory Marie Podielski on September 2, 2015

in Featured Teacher, Fiber Arts


Tulip detail on knitted sock by Charles Gandy


Charles holding his tulip-themed sock outside the Wet Room

You can envision Charles Gandy’s sculptural socks warming cold winter feet, or you could imagine seeing his socks in a fine art gallery. He has a show coming up at The Bascom Art Center in Highlands (see below for details) that explores this very topic. He is a TKGA Master Knitter and is a renowned designer with a published book focusing on his creative sock designs: The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot.

We are lucky to have Charles teach regularly at the Folk School. I sat down with him in the Wet Room Studio during his last class where students were working on fantastic knitted pieces like vegetable gardens, jonquils, and Pop Art-esque Campbell’s soup cans. Let’s find out a little bit more about Charles Gandy. [click to continue…]


Remembering JD Robinson

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 20, 2015

in Folk School Folks


JD_Robinson_Bio_IMG_5177We are mourning the loss of our dear friend, JD Robinson. JD played an integral part in the music and dance community at the Folk School for decades. He taught music classes in a wide variety of instruments, engaged students at morningsong with songs and tales of fire safety, played for contra dances, led jams, and was involved in Winter Dance Week. JD also kept the community of Brasstown safe as the Fire Chief of the Brasstown Volunteer Fire Department. Always a phone call away, he always came to help whenever there was an emergency at the Folk School. He will be greatly missed.

Folks gathered at the Festival Barn on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 1 p.m. for a celebration of the life of JD. There was a  procession, an official Firefighter’s Last Call, potluck meal & music. The Brasstown Fire Department and many others brought JD’s ashes to the Barn. [click to continue…]


Hammered Dulcimer

Hammered Dulcimer

Wow, just finished our 17th Dulcimer Celebration and it was wonderful. Every year I say it can’t get any better, but it seems to always be adding a special touch. The instructors that joined me this year (Bonnie Carol, Rob Brereton and Nina Zanetti) were such fun and all “in sync” with the Folk School atmosphere and philosophy of concentrated, non-competitive learning, creating and sharing. What a joy! 

Enjoy these comments about the week from instructors and students alike:

“Teaching at the Dulcimer Celebration was one of the happiest times I’ve ever had at a dulcimer gig. I loved the Folk School and am most grateful to you for such a wonderful experience. I could go on and on to enumerate all the things that made it so enjoyable: the small classes, the receptive students, the beautiful surroundings, the fun of mingling with folks who do other crafts, the history, the schedule that allowed for downtime and time to socialize…. It was all great, and I had a wonderful time. In fact, I was just getting ready to make myself dinner and thinking of how lovely it was to sit down with a bunch of friendly, interesting, and engaged folks and share those great family style meals!”

-Nina Zanetti [click to continue…]