Support the Folk School

With Your Help, the Folk School Will Persevere!

Ann Crenshaw has been coming to the Folk School since 2004. “I miss it. The first thing I do when I get to the Folk School is go into the Community Room in Keith House and take a deep breath. It smells like excitement and home and memories.”
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VIRTUAL MORNINGSONG

Tune Into Virtual Morningsong Every Friday

Join us every Friday morning on Facebook Live for Virtual Morningsong. It's a great way to start the day! To watch live, all you have to do is visit our Facebook Page at 7:45–8:15 a.m. on Fridays. If you miss a Morningsong, or want to re-watch, you can view the recordings by following the links in the artists section below.

Appalachian Traditions

In the Garden

News and Updates

An Important Announcement About Our 2021 Schedule

After careful consideration and with the utmost concern for the safety of staff, students, instructors, and community, we are revising our 2021 program schedule. Instead of resuming our regularly scheduled classes on January 3, we have decided to begin on May 2. We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and public health professionals' guidelines. With the current and expected continuation of the national surge of COVID-19 cases and oncoming cooler weather, we believe this is the best decision for everyone's health and safety.

Artist Resources

Coming Together: COVID-19 Artist Resources

We are encouraged by the outpouring of support and concern for the craft community as we learn about resources for artists during these times. We have compiled a list of COVID-19 resources available for artists here. If you have additional information and would like to contribute to this list, please post a comment below.

Folklife Resources

Coming Together: COVID-19 Folklife Resources

While we continue to monitor COVID-19 updates, we have been overwhelmed by the resources we've found providing assistance to folklife organizations, artists, and storytellers. We have compiled this list of COVID-19 folklife resources so that others can continue to share their stories, crafts, and rich cultural heritage during this time.

Community Resources

Coming Together: COVID-19 Community Resources

As we enter a new normal, we are discovering ways to support our neighbors during these trying times. We feel it's essential to stay connected and to share information about ways our community can give and receive support. We have created this community resource list and will continue to update it as we learn new information.

Community Voices

Into the Blue: Indigo Plant Dye Powder Extraction Study by Sally Blankenship

I find joy in the color blue... more specifically, I find joy in dyeing with indigo. Each time I pull a piece out of my dye vat, I am in awe of the magical transformation. Like many avocational dyers, I order my natural, processed powdered indigo for my dye vats from a supplier. Then I learned that indigo can be grown in this region, and that one type, Japanese indigo, grows especially well here. How wonderful to learn that Farmer Teddy, the Folk School gardener, was planning to grow indigo in the school's new dye garden for upcoming classes.
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HEARTS AT WORK PROJECT

Traveling Hearts: A Hearts at Work Recap

The Folk School community has always come together to support one another during challenging times. Inspired by the efforts of essential workers, we created Hearts at Work, a project to acknowledge and show our gratitude for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the course of our two-month submission period, we received 2,500 heart-themed crafts from 190 artists across the country to be presented to our community.

Featured Recipe

Summer Soup Recipe: Gazpacho

Enjoy a recipe from The Folk School Cookbook. Cool soups are an invigorating meal and a great drink of juice. Tomatoes around here are so bountiful that the whole place turns red for weeks. Gazpacho is a cold soup is ideal for warm summer days and nights when the bounty of ripe tomatoes is at its peak.

Order The Folk School Cookbook

The Folk School Cookbook

Author Nanette Davidson meticulously collected, curated, and adapted over 200 delicious recipes for The Folk School Cookbook. These include some of the most memorable recipes served family-style in the school’s Dining Hall and at seasonal celebrations over the decades. Bring the Folk School's culinary traditions into your own kitchen and order your copy today!

RECENT STORIES

Appalachian Broom Making with Marlow Gates

Whatever your abode, castle, or cottage, you most likely have a broom in your home or hanging on your hearth. From besoms and cobweb brooms to more modern flat brooms and whimsical sculptural objects, brooms are important cultural symbols used for decoration and ritual, as well as functional tools.

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Late Summer and Fall Workshops: Virtual Demonstrations

If you can’t be here in person for our summer and fall workshops, we invite you to join us online! These hour-long virtual demonstrations will give you a chance to learn from a live presentation by our talented instructors, followed by a 10–20 minute Q & A.

Please Note: these are not follow-along lessons, although we do encourage you to make while you watch! These programs will cost $10 to attend via Zoom.

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Farmer Teddy Talks About Melons

Hang out with Farmer Teddy in the Folk School melon patch and learn about cantaloupes. Learn about harvesting and how to look for the indications of a ripe melon.

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Embracing Appalachian Home Life with Jason Lonon, Blacksmith & Woodworker

Jason Lonon is a professional woodworker and blacksmith. Since 1997, he has studied, practiced, and taught traditional woodworking, carving, and blacksmithing and is a regular instructor at the Folk School. In his blacksmith shop, Jason specializes in making traditional woodworking tools, and for fun he carves wooden bowls and spoons. On August 17, 2020, Jason will be the panelist for our next Appalachian Traditions Discussion. Enjoy our interview!

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Goodbye to Bea Hogan, friend of the Folk School

Marion Beatrice “Bea” Robinson Hogan (1918–2020) completed her earthly journey Saturday, July 18, 2020. After graduating from Andrews High School, Bea attended John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, where she learned weaving and woodcarving along with traditional Appalachian arts, music and dance. There Bea met her future husband, Frank Hogan, who reportedly declared, “That’s my wife, boys, if I ever get her!” upon first seeing Bea. The couple made a home in Brasstown and worked at the Folk School.

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Traditional Appalachian Scholarships Available for 2021 Classes

The Folk School plays a vital role in developing and supporting the next generation of culture bearers and practitioners of traditional Appalachian craft. To help students understand, recognize, and more widely practice traditional Appalachian skills and techniques, we are offering a limited number of scholarships for designated traditional Appalachian classes.

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Health and Safety Information

As we prepare for 2021 programs, the health and safety of our students, instructors, staff, and community is our top priority. We recognize COVID-19 will likely continue to be a public health concern in 2021, and there is much more to learn about it in the coming months. Our staff is continuing to monitor guidelines from the CDC and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and developing a plan for reopening, and will be sharing the details on our website.

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Sweet Corn Talk

It’s time to harvest sweet corn in the Folk School garden. Come along with Farmer Teddy as he shows the best way to pull corn.

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A Look at Our Dye Garden

Welcome to the new Folk School Dye Garden. Natural dye comes from the leaves, flowers, or roots of plants. In this video, we will take a look at Nankeen cotton, indigo, coreopsis, yarrow, French marigolds, madder, chamomile, and purple gromwell.

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Dance Musicians’ Week Instructors Host Virtual Events

Dance Musicians’ Week is a weeklong summer class devoted to learning and improving techniques of playing and arranging music for traditional contra, square, and couple dancing. Our wonderful instructors have taken the initiative to keep the spirit alive virtually this year. Celebrate and reconnect all this week with online programming hosted by the instructors.

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Martha Owen on Natural Dyeing with Marigolds

Martha Owen stands in front of our new dye garden, one of the many projects Farmer Teddy is currently working on in the Folk School Garden. Come along as Martha describes the process of using marigold flowers from the Folk School garden for dyeing in the video below:

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Late June Tour of the Folk School Garden

Enjoy a full tour of the late June Folk School Garden. The tour includes a look at butternut squash, cantaloupe, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, grain corn, sweetcorn, pumpkins, gourds, basil, strawberries, and our cut flower garden.

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Bread Baking Tutorial Series with Emily Buehler

This past April, when my biannual bread-making class at the Folk School was canceled, I decided to use the time to record some videos to share online. The videos cover some bread-making basics like information about ingredients, a little bit of biology and chemistry for the science folks, and tips to use throughout the process, from kneading to shaping to baking.

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Hand-forged Kitchen Tools by Paul Garrett

Paul Garrett is the Folk School’s Resident Artist in Blacksmithing. Our Craft Shop is currently featuring his collection of hand-forged culinary tools, so I thought I would check-in with Paul to find out more about his work and also how he’s doing during the current pandemic. Enjoy our conversation!

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Working for You: A Video from Our Staff

Enjoy our “Working for You” Video by the Folk School Staff.The Folk School staff brings originality, creativity, and passion to your Folk School experience. Even without classes, we are working harder than ever to guide the evolution of the Folk School. We hope you enjoy the following messages from staff about our current projects. …

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Succession Planting: Squash & Zucchini

Join us for a video about succession planting in the Folk School Garden. Farmer Teddy takes a look at our squash and zucchini beds and identifies how our plants inevitably develop wear and tear. Learn how to keep your crop coming with succession planting.

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Colors from the Garden: An Interview with Catharine Ellis

Catharine Ellis is an internationally acclaimed textile artist who is well-known for developing the technique of woven shibori. Specializing in both weaving and dyeing, she has also done extensive research and experimentation with natural dyes. Enjoy our interview!

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Follow the Red-Railed Walkway by June Rollins

Watch a video slideshow to see how June Rollins created her beautiful watercolor of our iconic red-railed walkway. June also writes about this special place on campus. Whatever your path of creative discovery, the red-railed walkway is waiting.

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Farmer Teddy Discusses Companion Planting

Curious about companion gardening? Can you guess what the main purpose of a cover crop is? Watch Farmer’s Teddy’s latest garden video to find out! Take a look at a section of the Folk School Garden and hear about the benefits of interplanting and companion planting.

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