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Everyone will agree that a week at the Folk School passes too quickly. One minute, it’s Sunday night; you’re getting to know your teacher and studio and looking forward to the week ahead. The next minute, it’s Thursday afternoon, and you’re scrambling to finish work and facing the inevitable: that last meal in the dining hall, the absence of friends who’ve departed early, turning in your nametag, and forcing yourself into the car to drive off campus, leaving only the barn swallows swooping over the fields and the chickens pecking in the now-silent garden.

It’s therefore important to get started right away. In The Science of Bread last week, we spent Monday making French baguettes all together, and talking about how long to knead, how to properly shape dough, how to prepare the oven for baking, and much more. But on Tuesday, it was time for the students to get busy, whether by making the class “regulars” like sourdough and ciabatta or by making the recipes they’d brought to class.

And get busy they did: We saw the creation of a diabetic-friendly nut-and-seed loaf, multiple versions of yeast rolls, the experimental Frankenloaf (which garnered the most praise at the student show), New-York-style bagels, and the ever-popular challahs. By Friday, the students had made dozens of loaves, learning both from successes and failures, and meeting many of the goals they’d brought to class.

It occurred to me that, being June, it’s a good time to think about your goals for the year. In the same way that a week at the Folk School flies by, 2017 is flying by. Have you accomplished any of the things you meant to? If not, there is still time to get busy. For me, 2017 has been a year to practice my writing and grow my editing business. While I’ve been diligently arising early each morning to work, I see room for improvement in the bravery arena: leaving my comfort zone to find new opportunities.

What are your goals for the year? There’s still time to make them happen!

 

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EmilyBuehlerEmily Buehler is the author of this blog and a frequent bread instructor at the Folk School. She became a bread baker in 2001, intending to take a break after finishing a degree in chemistry. Six months later she began teaching bread classes. Emily has written two books: one on bread making called Bread Science, and one about her bicycle trip across America called Somewhere and Nowhere. Visit Emily’s website for more information.

Emily will be teaching her popular bread making class again in 2018.

 

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Something Old, Something New

by Cory Marie Podielski on June 18, 2017

in Class Picks, Featured Classes


At the Folk School, we value old objects as we embrace new creations. We’re especially delighted by the opportunity to breathe new life into well-used items. Enjoy these class picks focusing on repair, reuse, and repurposing of familiar materials.

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Wood You Join Us?

by Cory Marie Podielski on June 15, 2017

in Class Picks, Featured Classes, Wood


Woodworking, Woodcarving, and Woodturning are among our most popular subjects, and each discipline celebrates the beauty of wood in a unique way. Here at the Folk School, we use wood to craft furniture, bowls, sculpture, containers, vessels, tools, and more. Come get acquainted with wood this summer at the Folk School!

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Craft Meets Fashion

by Cory Marie Podielski on June 3, 2017

in Class Picks, Featured Classes


Craft and fashion often unite at the Folk School, offering students the chance to design and create distinctive garments, accessories, and jewelry. Come learn new sewing techniques, block stylish hats, knit socks and scarves, and craft beautiful necklaces and rings. Wearing your own handmade piece provides a sense of gratification and pride. Explore our diverse offerings below, and join us for a class this year.

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Next week is a special week for our Book & Paper Arts Program as our brand new beautiful studio opens its doors to students for the very first time. It’s appropriate that the first class is a letterpress printing class considering that printmaking will flourish with the new space and room for equipment and presses. We talked with instructor Jessica White who is teaching the inaugural class about her craft and process. Enjoy our interview!

CP: Congratulations on being the very first instructor to teach class in our brand new Book and Paper Arts Studio! So what drew you letterpress printing? Why is the medium meaningful to you?

JW: When I was a printmaking grad student at the University of Iowa, I made drawings and prints that combined images with text. One day, a friend saw me struggle with different methods of printing the text on a lithograph, and he suggested letterpress. He showed me how to set and print one line of text, and I haven’t stopped since!

For me, letterpress printing started as and still is a means to an end; I like all types of printmaking, but my love of text always brings me back to letterpress because it’s the perfect method to printing my work.

CP: How would you describe your work?

JW: My work tends to be humorous and looks sweetly charming, but there is a philosophical and slightly dark side. I’ve been told that my work is “what you get if Beatrix Potter crashed into Edward Gorey.”

“Never Mind the Bears” letterpress print by Jessica White

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