Asia to Appalachia: Japanese Influence at the Folk School

Bonsai by Tim Ryan
Bonsai by Tim Ryan

Japanese aesthetic philosophy inspires us all the way from the Far East to the Folk School. Radically different from Western design, Japanese design principles mesh especially well with the Folk School due to an emphasis on simplicity, unobtrusive beauty, function, irregularity, weathered textures, nature, and tranquility. Cultivate a bonsai, write a haiku, try Ikebana flower arranging, learn about traditional Shibori dyeing, demystify Asian spices, create raku vessels for a Japanese tea ceremony and much more at the Folk School. Embrace Wabi-Sabi and Zen philosophy with these 2015 offerings focusing on Japanese design and techniques:

Beading by Judy Walker
Beading by Judy Walker

Beaded Kumihimo
with Judy Walker • February 1-6

Learn to do kumihimo – the beautiful Japanese braiding technique – with beads! Use a braiding disk for consistent results, starting with the easiest cords. Progress to more intricate designs and discuss the various results achieved with different materials and with the traditional marudai stand.

Haiku Poetry Writing Workshop
with Redenta Soprano • February 6-8 Weekend

Haiku Poetry by Redenta Soprano
Haiku Poetry by Redenta Soprano

Haiku is a traditional Japanese poem, consisting of 3 lines and 17 syllables. It is easy and fun to write, as well as an expedient, creative way to capture life’s special moments. Try your hand at it, using the winter beauty of the mountains as inspiration. Bring your powers of observation and depart with a:

Small book of haiku
At the end of the weekend
To take home with you! Continue reading Asia to Appalachia: Japanese Influence at the Folk School

Maypole Parade & Dance

The Maypole Parade & Dance took place on May 3. Community folks gathered early to make wreaths, finish costumes, and prep puppets. The parade started at the Festival Barn. The motley and joyous procession marched through studio row to Keith House and ended by the May Pole. Nanette led the may pole dancers, including many local children, in several colorful and frolicking figures before the final weave. Then the Morris Dancers entertained the crowd with some lively dance numbers.

Enjoy our slide show below, or see our complete Maypole 2014 albums on Flickr or Facebook. Happy Spring everyone!

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Fun and Frolicking at the Annual Egg Hunt

A group of victorious girls show off their bounty from this year's Egg Hunt
A group of victorious girls show off their bounty from this year’s Egg Hunt
Carrot triumph!
Carrot triumph!

The Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Folk School this past Saturday was a merry affair. A frisky and frolicking group of young ones with empty baskets in hand congregated with their families at Open House around 1 p.m. Egg hunters waited patiently behind the red tape for the sign to start. When the signal was given, fun-loving chaos ensued as children raced to find hidden treasures. Baskets were filled and it was smiles all around. A big thanks to David Brose, Host Bonnie and other volunteers for making the best a big success! We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Enjoy our photos from this fun day:

The egg hunters waited patiently with empty baskets and buckets behind the red tape for the signal to start the hunt.
The egg hunters waited patiently with empty baskets and buckets behind the red tape for the signal to start the hunt.

Continue reading Fun and Frolicking at the Annual Egg Hunt

From Garden to Table: Lettuce Eat!

IMG_4556-Lettuce
Lettuce in the Vegetable Garden is harvested by Work/Studies and brought to the Dining Hall

 

Greenhouse Starts
Kale, Spinach, and Lettuce transfer seed starts in the Folk School Green House

The Folk School’s vegetable garden provides organic, seasonal produce for our Dining Hall and our Cooking Studio. This time of the year, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, and collards transfer from their green house tray location to the earth. Volunteer Coordinator/Gardener Joe Baumgartner and the Work/Study crew have been busy tending to the seed starts and prepping beds since January.

Salad with Kale and lettuce from the Vegetable Garden
Salad with Kale and lettuce from the Vegetable Garden

Much of what is planted in the garden supplies and supplements the salad bowl and vegetable dishes in the Dining Hall. When you enter the Dining Hall check out the sign next to the menu board which details exactly what the Dining Hall is using from the garden each week. Next time you enjoy salad or veggies at lunch or dinner in the Dining Hall, take a post-meal stroll over to the Vegetable Garden to see what’s growing.

Folk School Garden
Frances Juhlin teaches about heirloom vegetables in the Folk School Garden.

Continue reading From Garden to Table: Lettuce Eat!

Celebrating Love

It’s Valentine’s Day here at the Folk School.  I caught up with some friends and classmates this week to hear more about what folks are doing to mark the occasion.

Karen and Paul

Wood turners and spinners make good sweethearts.
Wood turners and spinners make good sweethearts.

 Karen is a second-time Folk School student who brought her husband Paul here for the first time.  They did not pick this week intentionally for Valentine’s Day but are happy to be here to celebrate with the Folk School community. Karen and I are classmates in Martha Owen’s Sheep to Shawl spinning/dyeing class together, while Paul is over in the Woodturning class with Phil Colson.

Karen: I loved it here and knew he would love it too. So we looked through the catalog and found  a week where we could be here and work on stuff together.

Leah: So between the two of you, who is craftier?

Paul: She is.

Karen: I might be more artistic, but Paul’s an engineer. He is into figuring out how stuff works and making beautiful things that function well.

Leah: What are you learning this week that you will take home with you?

Paul: In wood turning, you have to concentrate hard for short amounts of time and then stand back and watch to see the potential emerge.  I think that’s something I am taking away from this week that applies in our life.

Karen: (laughs) So you concentrate on me for short periods of time??

Paul: (laughs) Yes – and then all the potential emerges.

Karen: I think the way we are spending time with each other this week is really reflective of how we want our lives to be, so it’s a good way to practice what to prioritize.

Leah: That’s beautiful you guys.  However, I actually meant – what are you literally taking home for each other?!

Paul: I am making some spinning tools, and a bunch of stuff for our home.  And I am working on a special thing that I haven’t told her about yet.

Karen: I am learning a bunch of techniques.  I don’t know how much knitting I am going to get done, but eventually these techniques will turn into sweaters.  Or socks.

Continue reading Celebrating Love