Author: Julie Sibley

April’s Flowers

The glories of April fill every sense!  The feel of the wind in my hair thrills me; and I’m not even outside – I’m in the house in a windows-open day! After the immediate barrenness of winter, spring seems like a dream. Everything wild and cultivated takes on a new life of color, texture, sound, and smell…truly more than the senses can contain in any one moment or hour! Anywhere you go, the new green color is heading up the slopes. By the River Cane Trails and the fields that edge the Folk School campus, the new grass is thickly growing.

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Peeking in During Blacksmith Work Week

Blacksmith Work Week is a wonderful annual tradition at the Folk School where blacksmiths from all over come and volunteer their time to do smithing projects around campus and make improvements in the Shop. It’s been 15 or 20 years that they have gathered here every spring, for Blacksmith Work Week, so Paul Garrett, the Resident Blacksmith tells me. When I visited, there were about 20 men and at least one woman circling like bees. They are all over the balconies, in corners and down on the floor.  Red hot metal is being pounded beside blazing forges, power hammers have metal running through at a rapid speed, and components are being welded together.  It is high-level intensity with professional focus in the shop today.  No students are here; the blacksmiths are giving their time and talent to retrofit the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop. What was the primary blacksmith shop is now being set up for material storage, welding, grinding, and drilling. A few forges have been left in place for this studio.

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The Greening of the Fields

I turned off the lights in my studio and set out for Brasstown, just 12 miles away.  Around the curve and up the hill to Keith House, the signs of buds and new growth are everywhere. I park by the old oak tree outside the fiber arts studio so I can walk down the hill to Tower House, my first stop. I’ll mention here that since it was fairly spring like that day, I had worn a bright pink skirt with lace trim, a hand-dyed pink jacket with rhinestones, and my trusty pink tiger striped hi-tops. Topping this outfit off was pink heart shaped sunglasses. Voila!

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Through the Years

By Julie  Sibley,  Artist, Designer &  Celebrating 25 years  this year, of being a faculty member at the  John C. Campbell Folk School

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The Folk School Cookbook

Author Nanette Davidson meticulously collected, curated, and adapted over 200 delicious recipes for The Folk School Cookbook. These include some of the most memorable recipes served family-style in the school’s Dining Hall and at seasonal celebrations over the decades. Bring the Folk School’s culinary traditions into your own kitchen and order your copy today!

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