Rags to Riches with JoEl Levy LoGiudice

Rag rug weaving embraces the folk art tradition of using everyday, readily available materials to build aesthetically beautiful, yet functional art: textiles made from the things we have, can forage, or acquire. With the craze du jour surrounding KonMari, now is a good time to think about new options for all those clothes you may be putting into the “Thank you, goodbye” pile. Rag rug weaving might be your perfect option!

A table runner made by JoEl with woven plastic bags! See a photo below of the process.

Rag weaving a craft that always offers a student the opportunity to get in the spirit of upcycling. I recently talked with longtime Folk School instructor, JoEl Levy LoGiudice about this sustainable, functional, colorful, and beautiful type of weaving. JoEl has taught rag rug weaving, among other subjects, at the Folk School since 1987. She has two classes coming up: Fabulous Fabric Necklaces on May 17–19 and Woven Rag Rugs and Runners on Oct 13–19. Enjoy our interview!

CP: You’ve been teaching at the Folk School for over 30 years! That’s so awesome. Do you remember the first time you came to the Folk School?

JLL: I learned about the school from a former student of mine when I taught at the Appalachian Center for Crafts. Douglas Atchley had recently moved to Brasstown to manage the craft gallery (at that time it was located in the History Center) and he thought I would enjoy teaching here. He put me in contact with Ruth, who was directing programs at that time, and the first class I taught was Appalachian Rib Baskets. Continue reading Rags to Riches with JoEl Levy LoGiudice

The Photographic Tool Box with Stephanie Gross

Do you have a basic understanding of your DSLR camera and want to learn more in-depth techniques for improving your photography? Check out The Photographic Tool Box on July 22–27, 2018 with instructor Stephanie Gross. Summertime at the Folk School provides an abundance of photographic material: pastoral landscapes, interesting folks, gardens, old buildings, barns, music, dance, craft studios. Stephanie has a BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been making and thinking about photography for 25 years. Enjoy our interview!

CP: How did you get started in photography?

SG: I had an amazing photography teacher in high school who is an incredible photographer and was also a great teacher (not always the case). We’re still friends  and I occasionally shoot with him. I assisted him after I graduated high school, through college.

I was interested in both photography and ceramics. I chose RISD because I could do both. I could make pots, but they were a creative dead end for me. Photography was scary and I had to struggle to learn to make pictures, but it’s been that struggle that’s kept me interested for 30+ years.

CP: What is your favorite subject matter to shoot?

SG: Stories, specifically people with stories. I suppose that’s anyone from the right point of view, but it’s more the search for what makes someone or some place interesting that’s my favorite.

Even in the most boring situations, I start to look at faces, at the light, playing with the background, composition, etc. It’s like a game. You know something fascinating is going on, but how do you show it? Continue reading The Photographic Tool Box with Stephanie Gross

Cozy Up to Your Favorite Craft


Happy New Year from the Folk School! As we look forward to new opportunities in 2018, we invite you to continue your creative journey with us. The Folk School offers a diverse selection of weeklong and weekend classes throughout the year, and our mid-January catalog will showcase them all. Enjoy this sampling of upcoming classes, and come experience the Folk School for yourself this year.

Continue reading Cozy Up to Your Favorite Craft

Holiday in the Mountains Week: December 3-9


Enjoy a relaxing, festive week at the Folk School during Holiday in the Mountains Week, December 3-9. Our last week of 2017 classes, this much-loved session celebrates the season with holiday-themed offerings and popular special events. Choose your favorite class, and come experience this magical week with us.

Continue reading Holiday in the Mountains Week: December 3-9

Tend to Your Home & Hearth


October is here! Soon will be the time to gather around the table and to congregate in front of the fireplace. It is also a time to focus on crafts of the home and hearth. Consider our class picks to get you in the mood to get cozy around the fire and inspired for the fall season.

Continue reading Tend to Your Home & Hearth