Subscribe in a reader

Fall Festival 2014 Poster

by Cory Marie Podielski on August 7, 2014

in Around Campus, Fall Festival, Special Events

Presenting our new Fall Festival Poster for 2014! The image celebrates the bounty of the fall harvest with a young banjo pickin’ gal sitting in a pumpkin patch. She holds a cornucopia, a symbol of abundance, overflowing with riches of the land. The two vessels, a clay vase and a hand woven basket, harken to the union of the form and function found in many crafts created at the Folk School. The style of our fall maiden is inspired by Dame’s Rocket Clog Morris.

FF2014 Poster 070314

The picture reminds us that we need nourishment of all types: delicious harvest food to nourish our bodies, sunshine, nature and seasons to warm our hearts, and the joy of creating, learning and growing to feed our souls.

One of the largest and most popular regional events of its type, Fall Festival is a celebration of our rich Appalachian heritage. Over 200 fine craft vendors will display their work for sale. Musicians and dancers will grace the two stages with lively performances. Children’s activities and delicious Festival food make this event fun for the whole family!

Join us October 4 & 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the John C. Campbell Folk School.
Daily admission: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 12-17, and free for children under 12.

Visit our Fall Festival page for more information.

View photos from Fall Festival 2013 on our Flickr or Facebook albums.


Everyone had a wonderful evening during our July 31 Wine Tasting Event at the Craft Shop! Enjoy our photos and stop on by the Craft Shop to find out more about our events.


Valley River Vineyards and Winery provided the wine…

Image 2

Rick Taylor & Friends made music…

Image 3

JCC Craft Shop offered special, surprise discounts…

Image 1

and everyone shopped for unique, hand-crafted items! A fun time was had by all!


The Craft Shop Hours:

Mon., Tue., Wed., Fri., Sat. – 8am-5pm
Thu. – 8am-6pm
Sun. – 1-5pm
Phone for pricing and shipping info: 828-837-3899
Or, stop by, we’d love to see you!

Handcrafted Merchandise Arriving Daily
At John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop!

Bottom floor of the Olive Dame Campbell Dining Hall. Campus Map

{ 1 comment }

Pushing the Handmade Envelope

by Jan Davidson, Director on July 30, 2014

in Book & Paper Arts, New & Noteworthy

Book_KS2A5694“What do you like best about the Folk School?” I asked an eight-year-old friend.

“All the new old-timey stuff.”

The Folk School is cutting edge, ever pushing the handmade envelope. We were growing our food in Brasstown before any of us knew we were locavores. When bigger was surely better, we were small and rural and believed it to be the fountainhead of creativity. (Yer welcome, cityfolks). We wanted art to be a part of everyday life, and every person an artist, not just for art’s sake (but, hey, art, yer welcome) but for our own sake. We said there was art in all of us, especially as children, and that we just wanted to give it back to those who may have missed it or laid it aside. BA-GianWe were helping people to find common ground at times when others tried to divide us about race, class, gender, orientation, origin, personal appearance, attitude, religion, and footwear. We are not really about crafts or music or books, though we teach and learn them at the very highest levels; to us, they are a legacy and a way to get beyond our bad selves and try to love one another. We teach good ways. Some of them are very old. Cool.

Words under glass are handy, like when you’re waiting in the drive-through at the Krystal and you can’t remember who it was that shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914.

BA-Holly-XOBut books are more than the words or images they contain. They are a physical object, the best-ever communication device and an inspiration. The fact that we’ve had paper and books around a long time does not mean we are through with exploring them, it means that we have a lot going for us in the forward journey. We still paint mountain landscapes in oil, though there are quicker ways to grab an image. We still carve wood, though plastics may be a quicker route to “bear.” We still play the banjo, heaven help us, though it is easier to plug in the earbuds and listen to somebody else making music.
That would be too easy for the likes of us. We are willing to go to some extra trouble to have beauty in our lives.
[click to continue…]


Bowed Psaltery Weekend

by Annie Fain Barralon on July 30, 2014

in Featured Classes, Music! Dancing!

Ivan Stile teaches autoharp and bowed psaltery a the Folk School.

Ivan Stile teaches autoharp and bowed psaltery a the Folk School.

The bowed psaltery can be traced back to at least 1600 A.D. The strings are strung across a sound box, most often triangular in shape allowing each string to extend a little farther than the one before it, so that each can be played individually with a small horsehair bow. It is also possible to play with a bow in each hand which allows for the addition of harmony notes to complement the melody. The result is a sweet, Medieval-type sound (many a video example can be found online).

What I see as one of the best parts of this particular instrument, is that it is very approachable and easy to learn. So much so, that the contemporary bowed psaltery became popularized as a tool for music education in primary schools by German music teacher, Edgar Stamer.

So where does the Folk School come into this story?

We have a bowed psaltery class coming up this Weekend! There are 2 spaces left.

Bowed Psaltery with Ivan Stiles, August 1-3, 2014
This enjoyable class will lead you through the basic of playing the bowed psaltery. Single-bow techniques for more flowing melodies will be followed by double-bow techniques for the addition of harmonies and playing rapid melodies. No knowledge of written music is required, but students must bring a psaltery of triangular design. Level 1- No experience required. Register on our website.

Ivan Stiles performs nationwide and is known in autoharp circles across the country as an autoharpist of unique ability; not just as a performer, but also as a recording artist, instructor, author, and co-founder and co-editor of Autoharp Quarterly magazine. In addition to the autoharp, he plays the Appalachian lap dulcimer, bowed psaltery, and musical saw. Ivan has given concerts and workshops since 1980 at such places as the Walnut Valley Festival, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, California Traditional Music Society, Augusta Heritage Center, Swannanoa Gathering and the John C. Campbell Folk School. Ivan was even inducted in the Autoharp Hall of Fame!

Here is a video of Ian in concert, check out 26:40 to hear the bowed psaltery:


Scrap copper

Scrap copper









What to do with all your scrap copper?……… Make jewelry, and then enamel it!

Learn how to make beautiful jewelry out of scrap copper in Enameling Class “Reuse, Recycle…Enameling!” September 12-14, 2014.

From scrap to finished jewelry

From scrap to finished jewelry

We will cover where to find scrap, including roofing copper, old copper tubing and other types,  how to clean and cut it to make pendants, and then we will go through the process of enameling step-by-step! With the high price of copper, it just makes sense to use scrap!

All materials and tools will be provided, so all you have to do is sign up, show up, and plan to learn a lot and have tons of fun doing it!

For more information or to register, visit the Folk School website:

Visit my blog: