Another wonderful week at John C. Campbell Folk School has come and gone. Again, my daughter and I found ourselves not willing to leave. She took a jewelry class using blacksmithing techniques and enjoyed it immensely, while I took a very interesting basketry class with instructor Nancy Jones. The techniques Nancy taught me were new and different from others I had learned previously. After studying Peruvian ceremonial burial baskets, Nancy was able to reproduce the style in modern baskets. Nancy used her findings in these Peruvian baskets as a basis for the unique twill technique she taught us during the class.

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"Friends Afoot" basket by Sandra Koch

There were only three students in our class. The three of us were each treated to Nancy’s undivided attention making the class very informative and enjoyable. Ramona and Wanda, my classmates, are sisters.  They were full of stories about the area and we all became fast friends. Upon the urging of my daughter, Nancy and I created a pattern all of our own in the style of Cherokee baskets native to North Carolina.

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Instructor Nancy Jones with the "Friends Afoot" baskets and the "Cherokee Arrow" basket at center

Every time I visit John C. Campbell, I come away with new friends in addition to ideas and crafts.  Learning new techniques and making beautiful creations, that one can be proud of, is an important part of the Folk School experience but, the community one finds and the friendliness of the other students at John C. Campbell is what brings my daughter and myself back year after year.

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Ramona, Sandra, Nancy, and Wanda with their "Friends Afoot" baskets.