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Meet Host Donna Glee Williams

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 28, 2016

in Fiber Arts, Host & Work/Study, Interview, Weaving, Writing

Donna Glee’s felted creations from the class “Nuno-felt Collage” with Liz Spear & Neal Howard

Our current host, Donna Glee Williams, is a writer of fantasies for the teenager in all of us, as well as being a seminar leader, dream worker, and creative coach. She has recently published two novels and her work has been featured in anthologies, literary magazines, academic journals, spoken-word podcasts, and more. She even came to the rescue and taught a recent weekend writing class at the Folk School when the scheduled instructor cancelled at the last minute. The hosts at the Folk School keep the show running smoothly and they are fully involved in the daily life of the School for a four month period. Without further ado, let’s get to know Donna Glee!

CP: What first brought you to the Folk School?

Donna Glee Williams outside of Keith House with her book, the Braided Path

Donna Glee Williams outside of Keith House with her most recent book, Dreamers

DGW: From 1994 to 2015, I worked at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching and we created weeklong intensive seminars for public school teachers in all manner of subjects with the goal of helping them reconnect with their passion, pride, and love of teaching. In that time, I worked with many fabulous local craft artists. I wanted come learn about this resource that was so close and make connections with the people here who could be possible presenters for my teachers. That’s what got me to the Folk School for the first time.

CP: What inspired you to apply for the Host position?

DGW: When I left my job to be a full-time writer, I knew I wanted to add craft adventures to my life. I wanted to continue to work with top craftspeople and have these experiences of the hand that by some mysterious alchemy wind up coming out as material in my books.

Living the life of the full-time writer, I knew I would not have the funds to make that happen, so the host position was an ideal program for me. I don’t know how what I learn here will come out in a book, but there is a strong likelihood that it will. Right now, I am working on a book that is the residue of an experience I had in 2008 when I was a Fulbright fellow and went to India to study certain small, desperately poor communities are declaring independence from pesticide use and raising cotton without chemicals. Fiber arts have often been a focus in my work. [click to continue…]

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Fire It Up!

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 26, 2016

in Blacksmithing, Featured Classes, Glass & Enameling, Jewelry & Metalwork


Fire shapes, molds, melts, cooks, burns, and cures. Many traditional crafts (think Blacksmithing, Cooking, Glass, Enameling, and Clay) rely on fire to make magical transformations possible. Come light up at the Folk School and learn how fire can mold raw material in beautiful fine craft pieces.

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What Class Will Ewe Take?

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 18, 2016

in Fiber Arts

Our acclaimed Fiber Arts program honors traditional roots while celebrating new and creative innovations in the craft. Come learn intriguing techniques and new styles in weaving, spinning, knitting, felt making, dyeing, quilting, and more. Beginning and seasoned fiber enthusiasts alike enjoy our diverse classes. View these upcoming fiber class picks.

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Adventures in Kaleidoscope Land

by Meghan Smith on August 18, 2016

in Featured Classes, Glass & Enameling

Scott Cole

Earlier this month, I had the chance to take a class on kaleidoscopes with longtime Folk School instructor Scott Cole. I’ve taken many classes at the Folk School, but I’ll admit I was a little daunted to work with glass and metal, both materials I’ve had little experience with.

The first night, we set up our studio as a group, looked at examples of the many styles of kaleidoscopes, and had our first small challenge: taping a set of three long mirrors together to create the reflective pattern found in many kaleidoscopes. Our first night’s homework was deceptively simple: take home your mirrors and master their assembly.

The next day, Scott walked us through the process for making a basic brass kaleidoscope. We learned to cut glass, cut our mirrors, glue with epoxy (occasionally a sticky mess for some of us), and how to shape small pieces of glass for our kaleidoscopes’ object cell. While our first kaleidoscopes had matching exteriors and mirror systems, we each found ways to personalize our scopes in ways that matched our individual sense of color, movement, and texture. [click to continue…]

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Capturing Portraits

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 11, 2016

in Class Picks, Featured Classes


At the Folk School, we’re surrounded by intriguing faces. Each student, instructor, and staff member reflects their life experience through their facial features and expressions. Sometimes, the most fascinating faces are portraits in wood, on felt, in a painting, molded in clay, stitched in a quilt, or even engraved on a nickel. Enjoy these class picks that embrace people as inspiration for the artist’s craft.

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