Adults from all over the country are here this week to learn and have fun. For some it is their first time, others are considered returning veterans, like Alice Ahlers.  “I’ve been here 188 times, and the look on people’s faces when I tell them that,  it’s priceless.” Ms. Ahlers said, who is participating in the painting class this week.

Monet’s and Da Vinci’s in training convene up at the painting studio to sharpen their skills. Students are taking photos of their choice and attempting to transfer the image onto a blank canvas with nothing but the colored pencils in their hands and eyes as guides. Subjects range from dazzling mountain scenery to violet wildflowers to charming human beings.

Colored Pencil Painting Class

Sawdust is flying and machines are whirring to a continuous melody in the woodturning class. Here men and women alike are spinning boxes and other useful ornamentations out of wooden blocks. Well worth the sweat it takes to manufacture, these products are both practical and decorative.

Turning a Small Lidded Box

The aroma of delicious food envelops the senses upon entrance to the cooking class. Students travel to the south of France by preparing dishes of all types like apple tarts, pasta, and soup. This is the Folk School’s culinary education at its best.

Making a French Apple Tart

An old-time fiddle class is also available for the more musically inclined. Adults learn to play scales and songs from this area. Everyone is able to learn at their own pace, and the result is a batch of people enriched in the musical culture of Appalachia.

Practicing Scales on the Fiddle

In the mosaics class, students create colorful pieces of art out of shards of tile, glass, and other materials, and arrange them in artsy designs. One student chose to create a replica of her home, while others chose to design more free-form geometric motifs.

A Woman's Mosaic Depiction of Her Childhood Home

Other classes in session this week are Rib Basketry, Bead Weaving, Colonial and Early American Blacksmithing, Jewelry, Native American Nature Studies, Log Cabin Quilting, Making Wood Tables with Inlayed Tops, and Fiction Writing.

On Wednesday night, the National Basketry Association presented two presentations demonstrating the work of some of its members. This afternoon the writing class will be reading from there selected works in the Keith House Living Room.

Also this week was the annual Anvil Shoot, a rare traditional event here in Brasstown. Even with high expectations, the crowd was not disappointed. Wednesday at noon, Colonel Tim Ryan attached some explosives to the bottom of his most pristine anvil, the jewel of the blacksmith world. “If you’re going to blow something up, use your best anvil. Not a sloppy old one from China or Thailand, but the best English one you have.” The Colonel said. Once the fuse (lit by Ryan) ran out, the anvil was projected at least 100 feet into the air, and the crowd went wild!

Written by Taylor Bello, Summer Intern from Murphy High School

Taylor, Summer Intern
About Taylor, Summer Intern