AACB Holds Hammer-In at the Folk School

Fireplace Tool Set by Paul Garrett, Susan Hutchinson, Lynda Metcalfe, Julie Clark, Andy Phillips, Clint Busbee, and Ron Nichols
Fireplace Tool Set by Paul Garrett, Susan Hutchinson, Lynda Metcalfe, Julie Clark, Andy Phillips, Clint Busbee, and Ron Nichols

On Friday night before the Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction, blacksmiths from the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths (AACB) met for their annual meeting at John C. Campbell Folk School.  The members worked into the wee hours of the morning together on many projects to put into the auction the following day. Some blacksmiths came together to create larger projects. Like a hotter, louder version of a quilting bee, an event like this is called a “Hammer-In”  where experienced blacksmiths come tougher to share ideas and collaborate on projects.

Seven of the blacksmiths including Folk School resident artist and instructor Paul Garrett and instructors Susan Hutchinson, Lynda Metcalfe, Julie Clark, Andy Phillips, Clint Busbee, and Ron Nichols worked together to create a Contemporary Free Form Fireplace Tool Set (seen above) which sold for $650 in the Saturday auction. Susan Hutchinson came up with the design for the tool hangers, Julie Clark created the handles, Lynda Metcalfe and Paul Garrett designed and created the stand, Clint Busbee tied the broom, and Paul Garrett created the shovel from a single piece of metal.  The overall concept for the piece was to create a contemporary free-form fireplace tool set with traditional joinery. 

The members of the AACB gather at the Blacksmith Shop at John C. Campbell Folk School
The members of the AACB gather at the Blacksmith Shop at the John C. Campbell Folk School

The members of the AACB collectively raised over $1000 with the projects they created that night. Next year, Paul hopes to expand the meeting to a larger event, where people who attend the Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction can attend watch the projects actually being created at the Hammer-In. 

The Folk School Appears on Singing Stitches Blog!

Suzan and friends posing behind the Fall Festival painting at Festival Barn
Suzan and friends posing behind the Fall Festival painting at Festival Barn

Suzan deSerres is a long arm quilter and founder of Singing Stitches Quilting Studio. She lives and works in Chapel Hill NC with her husband, Mark deSerres. The first weekend in October, she came up to Brasstown for her first ever Fall Festival- And she wrote about it in her blog. Check out Singing Stitches Blog here to read more about her adventures at Fall Festival. 

The quilting show at Fall Festival. Photo by Suzan deSerres.
The quilting show at Fall Festival. Photo by Suzan deSerres.

Young Potters Visit the Folk School Wood Firing

Students from The Learning Center! visit the Folk School Wood Kiln.

The Folk School is a great resource for local children to learn about Appalachian history and traditional crafts. Throughout the school year, field trips from local schools visit the History Center, take a tour of campus, or visit a studio.

Recently, Julie Johnson, a teacher at local charter school The Learning Center! brought her pottery elective class to visit the Woodfire – Smoke in the Mountains, taught by Rob Withrow & Darrell Adams. Rob talked to the children about traditional pottery techniques and demonstrated how the wood kiln works. The students were able to experience the excitement of the wood firing process firsthand.

Trailer for David Rakoff’s Final Book “Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish”

David Rakoff and Jan Davidson at Grand Central Station
David Rakoff and Jan Davidson at Grand Central Station

The late David Rakoff held many distinctions including being the only person besides Ira Glass to host This American Life. He starred in and adapted the script of a movie that won an Oscar for best Foreign Short Film. He wrote the three best humorous essay books of the Twenty-First Century. He won the James Thurber Prize for American Humor, the big fried pie in that line of work. His peers approved. One website’s banner was “Actually Funny Man Wins Humor Award.” He was also one of the best friends the Folk School ever had, no joke. He wrote “The week I spent there is as close as it gets to my idea of paradise.” He worked very hard at the craft of writing, and when it got easy, which is never, he would throw himself a curve. His latest book is also his first novel, and he does it in verse. The result is formal and classic, funny and sweet, lusciously about language, life and love. Alexander Pope and Dr. Seuss lyrics to a story by Edith Wharton with accompaniment by Joni Mitchell. Check out the trailer for David’s book, and support the Folk School’s David Rakoff Scholarship Fund.