This Year Give A Gift That Is Handmade

Handwoven ornaments by JoEl Levy LoGiudice


If you could make all your holiday gifts in one week wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity. Well this is your lucky day because John C Campbell Folk School is offering a class “Handwoven for the Holidays” on December 6-12, 2015 during their special weeklong event “Holidays in the Mountains“. This class is designed for all level students from Beginning to Advanced. It will feature working on 4 types of looms. Everyone will begin by creating simple ornaments and coin purses on cardboard looms. From there students will move on to creating small stuffed animals such as sheep, birds and mice on pin looms.  

Handmade ornaments by JoEl Levy LoGiudice

Then they will advance to weaving on an inkle loom. This is a great loom for making everything from belts to guitar straps to a variety of tree.  The weeklong create-a-thon ends with weaving purses, trivets and small table runners on a four-harness floor loom. So as you can see we have your entire gift list covered in one week:  stuffed toys for the youngsters, belts or woven key rings for the men on your list, purses or woven jewelry for the ladies and tree ornaments for all your friends and co-workers. I have had a great time designing the projects for this class and I know everyone with have fun getting into the holiday spirit.

It’s not to late to register for Handwoven for the Holidays, December 6 – 12, 2015.

Handwoven by JoEl Levy LoGiudice

JoEl Levy LoGiudice, Artist/Gardener/Chef/Traveler


3540 Sweethome Road

Ashland City, TN 37015


Your Holiday Season Event Guide

Header-Holiday-Events-BlogThe Folk School’s holiday season is filled with festive classes, concerts, dances, parties, and holiday sales. Events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. See our complete Holiday Event Schedule below:

Holiday-Sidebar2 Wreath Making

December 3 • 7 p.m.
Community Room, Keith House
Learn to make decorative holiday wreaths for free with supplies provided by the Folk School. The wreaths created will be used to beautify the Folk School during the holiday season.
For more information please call Tammy or Kim at our office at 828-837-2775. Limited space available.

Decorating Day

December 5 • 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Community Room, Keith House
Join the fun of decorating the Folk School for the holidays. Decorations will be provided.
Call the main office at 828-837-2775 or email us at to sign up. Space is limited.

Fireside Sale

December 6 • 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Keith House and Davidson Hall
Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts in our beautifully decorated Keith House and Davidson Hall (next to the Craft Shop). Craftspeople will offer handmade items such as jewelry, weaving, forged iron, photography, quilts and turned wood. Continue reading Your Holiday Season Event Guide

Bead Addict! The Magic of Bead Making with Terry Hale

Terry teaching in the studio
Terry teaching in the studio

I sat down with Terry Hale in the Folk School Enameling Studio where she teaches bead making several times a year. We talked about the joys of craft addiction and how she got hooked on moving glass into beads, what she likes about teaching, what she loves about the Folk School, and more. Enjoy our interview!

Dotted Bead by Terry Hale
Dotted Bead by Terry Hale

CP: What are your students making this week?

TH: This week I am teaching an all-levels class called Beyond the Basics—Bump Up Those Beads! I have a variety of students (some are beginners, some are advanced); what we are doing is stepping back and learning some of the basics that make all-around good beads, not only surface decoration, but how to build a good foundation.

CP: I noticed while reading your bio that the one of the main reasons you started making beads is because you were making jewelry and just couldn’t find the right beads for your projects, so you took the initiative and decided to make your own beads. What was the moment you embraced bead making as your main craft?

Glass waiting to be transformed
Glass waiting to be transformed

TH: From the first moment of putting the glass in the flame, I was hooked! I took my first lesson with Marjorie Langston (who’s also a teacher at the Folk School) and after about 15 seconds at the torch, I fell in love. I had no idea that you would see so much movement in the glass.

I love the process of craft, so to know that it was so active from the get-go was incredible. You take this breakable, fragile, dangerous material, make it molten, coax it into a shape, it hardens up again, then it’s something you can put on your body and wear! And then when I took the first beads out of the kiln, it was like ahhhhhh okay here’s the cliff, now I’m going off.

CP: Where do you live and work?

TH: My studio is in Madison, Alabama, in my home. I had a commercial studio and store for a while, but I found that in selling beads you have to be able to tell the story behind them and finding the right people to be able to do while I was away teaching was often difficult. People think to just go to Michaels and buy a $3 strand of beads if they don’t see the value and story of hand-crafted beads. I have so many teaching gigs and I am traveling so much, my current studio is now more of a private home-based studio than a retail/commercial studio. Continue reading Bead Addict! The Magic of Bead Making with Terry Hale

The (BIG RED) Heart of the Folk School

Jan and Nanette welcome three newlywed couples to the Folk School’s Big Red Heart
(Line up includes: L-R: Julie & Harry, Nanette & Jan, Robert & Keather, Hannah & Ted)

Do you know about the heart of the Folk School? The people, the creativity, the tradition, the camaraderie, the music, the home cooking, the smell of Keith House when you first walk in? Arguably, these are all elements that make up the intangible heart of the Folk School, but I am talking here about the tangible Big Red Heart. This is the heart that documents Folk School couples with the Sharpie of Destiny, turning their love into legend. I sat down with Folk School director Jan Davidson this Valentine’s Week to find out a little bit more about the myth and magic of the Big Red Heart.


CP: What is the Big Red Heart? Who made it?

 JD: Dana Hatheway (who was at that time the Resident Artist in Woodworking) made the Big Red Heart. I believe he was having an anniversary with his wife Marcia Bugg (who was the Resident Artist in Clay). They had already been married many years and it just occurred to Dana that it would be cool thing to make a Big Red Heart. So he cranked it out on the band saw, painted it red, and stuck a dowel through the middle of it like an arrow. The dowel was even originally fledged with a little bit of pink boa feather. It sticks all the way through the heart and you can spin the heart in your hand.

Continue reading The (BIG RED) Heart of the Folk School

Handmade Catalog Paper Decorations

In the spirit of a handmade holiday, many ornaments and garlands hanging around the school were created from past Folk School catalogs. The new 2015 Folk School Catalog arrives this week, so we encourage you to re-purpose your 2014 Folk School catalog to make crafty and inexpensive holiday decorations with your family and friends.

Tiny house ornaments
A pinwheel wreath made out of old Folk School catalog pages
A pinwheel wreath made out of old Folk School catalog pages

The intention is to re-purpose our beautiful catalog in a way that would allow a lot of people to participate at very little expense. It was an opportunity to look at the wonderful photographs and design layout with a different eye and to use the actual paper it was printed on in an unpretentious but artful way.

I am really happy that people got behind this and had fun with it, which was also the goal – to have fun making things together that could be shared by the community. Some of our makers could actually cut out pictures of themselves and their craft or the craft of those they love. We are uniquely tied to this paper as a medium.

-Nanette Davidson

Dapper dandy dancers line the windows of the Community Room.
Dapper dandy dancers line the windows of the Community Room.
Pinwheel flowers created from 2014 catalogs look lovely nestled in the laurel leaves.
Flock of colorful catalog chickens

We have fun making decorations with recycled materials here at the Folk School. We hope you will take some inspiration from our creations, and maybe come up with some creations of your own!

Download the Folk School Chicken Ornament Template to create your own festive flock.