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. 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.

Online Learning

Winter/Spring 2021 Online Classes

Learn with us online! The Folk School is excited to partner with Lessonface, an online learning organization founded by previous Folk School Work/Study student Claire Cunningham. We're offering 30 classes between February and April 2021 in music, cooking, painting, nature studies, writing, paper arts, knitting, spinning, quilting, and more.

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.

Appalachian Traditions

Appalachian Traditions Discussion Series

Appalachian Traditions is our free webinar discussion series with instructors from our master-artist-led series on traditional Appalachian craft. These hour-long conversations provide a space for instructors in traditional craft to share their personal stories and discuss their creative process.

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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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.

RECENT STORIES

Scholarship Applications for 2021 Classes Are Now Available

Each year, the Folk School awards a limited number of scholarships to those who would otherwise be unable to attend due to financial limitations. Scholarships provide partial or full financial support for tuition, housing and meals. We accept applications throughout the year on our SlideRoom application site. Learn More…

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Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin season means farmers’ markets and local growers have pumpkins galore in the mountains. They’re technically a squash and extremely healthful. But combine pumpkin with chocolate chips in this delicious cake and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

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At a Glance: Traditional Craft Mentorships

As our Traditional Craft Mentorships come to a close, we want to express how grateful we are to the instructors, mentees, and staff that made this new programming possible. These mentorships were created as an opportunity for early-to-mid-career artists to spend a month this fall learning from master artisans. Through this, we hoped to inspire the next generation of traditional craft artisans, keeping the practices of basketry, music and dance, weaving, blacksmithing, chairmaking, and fiber arts alive.

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Making Colorful Corn Shuck Dolls with Anne Freels

Pumpkin season means farmers’ markets and local growers have pumpkins galore in the mountains. They’re technically a squash and extremely healthful. But combine pumpkin with chocolate chips in this delicious cake and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

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Blacksmithing Workshops: Learn the Basics

Have you ever wanted to try blacksmithing? Come take a Monday afternoon or evening forging class at the Folk School! Learn basic safety, blacksmithing history, coal fire maintenance, forging and finishing techniques while making simple and useful items for your home such as hooks, a key rack, or a wall hanging coat rack.

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Keeping the Folk School Healthy

We miss having our Folk School family with us here in Brasstown and have appreciated hearing from so many of you who feel the same. So, here’s a fun romp through the Folk School’s campus that reminds us of the camaraderie and creative learning we’re all eager to get back to.

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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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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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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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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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Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new May–December 2021 eCatalog is now available.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.

What Folks Are Saying