Category: Learning Opportunities

Blacksmithing Workshops: Learn the Basics

Have you ever wanted to try blacksmithing? Come take a Monday afternoon or evening forging class at the Folk School! Learn basic safety, blacksmithing history, coal fire maintenance, forging and finishing techniques while making simple and useful items for your home such as hooks, a key rack, or a wall hanging coat rack.

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Summer and Fall Workshops: FAQ

Please visit our “Frequently Asked Questions page” to learn more about how to register for workshops, cost, and health and safety information. You can also learn about our virtual demonstrations, available to everyone.

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Late Summer and Fall Workshops: Virtual Demonstrations

If you can’t be here in person for our summer and fall workshops, we invite you to join us online! These hour-long virtual demonstrations will give you a chance to learn from a live presentation by our talented instructors, followed by a 10–20 minute Q & A.

Please Note: these are not follow-along lessons, although we do encourage you to make while you watch! These programs will cost $10 to attend via Zoom.

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Broom Making Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Join us for our Basketry & Broom Making Workshop Series featuring workshops that are tied to the Folk School garden and grounds. Harvest fresh willow from the Folk School gardens and learn to weave decorative shapes, or make your own personal cobweb broom. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Photography Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Enhance your knowledge of the natural world and your photography skills as you explore the Folk School gardens in our Photography Workshop Series. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Dyeing Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Join us for our Dyeing Workshop Series featuring workshops that are tied to the Folk School garden and grounds. Learn the wonder of indigo dyeing, receive recipes and details involved in setting up a dyepot for pre-mordanted fleece and yarn, or obtain satisfying, pure colors from nature on pre-mordanted white wool. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Nature Studies Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Join us for our Nature Studies Workshop Series featuring workshops that are tied to the Folk School garden and grounds. Choose from a variety of workshops where you can explore the fields and woods of the Folk School campus, forage for wild mushrooms, identify southern Appalachian birds, and more. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Cooking Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Join us for our Cooking Workshop Series, featuring workshops that are tied to the Folk School garden and grounds. Learn how to create delicious fermented fruits and vegetables, use vibrant aromatics to elevate your cooking, or the basics of the wood-fired oven. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Gardening Workshops, Summer and Fall 2020

Join us for our Gardening Workshop Series featuring workshops that are tied to the Folk School garden and grounds. Learn how to start plants for your home garden, sustainably compost waste, control bugs and weeds, and have a successful fall vegetable garden. All workshops will be limited to six students, ages 18 and up.

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Traditional Craft Mentorship Program Session 2: Chairmaking

The chairmaking mentorship offers extensive instruction to an emerging craftsperson. This program takes advantage of 2-week classes to thoroughly explain the processes and techniques used to become a proficient woodworker. Windsor and Appalachian ladderback chairs will be explored in-depth, with spoon carving adding another glimpse into tools and finishes. Students will learn these steps under the guidance of gifted instructors, then continue to build their craft and develop the skills needed to further their career as a master.

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Traditional Craft Mentorship Program Session 2: Fiber Arts

Make your own cloth! Explore or improve historic and adaptable skills and practices associated with the coloring of fleece/fiber and the manufacturing of yarn and cloths. Experienced fiber and textile artists will enjoy sessions on natural dyeing, spinning, and weaving.

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Traditional Craft Mentorship Program Session 2: Blacksmithing

Take your blacksmithing abilities to the next level in a month of forging with master smiths. Spend two weeks honing your skills as you craft traditional Appalachian tools. Build on rekindled knowledge and new practices to create a project that reflects your individual ability and style. Finish with a week spent making a piece that showcases technique and serves a practical purpose. Apprentices should have foundational blacksmithing skills and physical stamina for lifting and long periods of standing.

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Traditional Craft Mentorship Program Session 1: Weaving

Weaving has a strong history in Appalachia. Spend four weeks learning some of that history, starting with weaving as craft and trade in settlement schools. Continue with a focus on weaving structures that were found in many homes throughout the region. Create a tapestry inspired by a beloved Folk School weaver, and finish with rag rugs and runners. Weavers who can independently warp their looms and who want to explore Appalachian weaving will come away with knowledge of techniques and traditions.

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Traditional Craft Mentorship Program Session 1: Music

Spend a month exploring the history and varied music and dance traditions unique to Appalachia. Learn about the importance of music and dance in the Folk School model. Immerse yourself in the history of African American music in Appalachia and its traditional tunes and styles. Study the history of old-time music through the banjo and dive deep into Appalachian traditions of music, dance and song. Best for multi-instrumentalists who are interested in expanding their repertoire and developing their career skills.

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Traditional Craft Mentorships: Virtual Demonstrations

Learn about virtual demonstrations by our Traditional Craft Mentorship Program instructors, available to everyone. These hour-long programs will feature a demonstration by the instructor in the studio followed by a Q & A. These programs will cost $10 to attend via Zoom.

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Current Catalog


Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. View the current eCatalog now. You can also search and register for classes here.

Our Top Priority: Health and Safety

As we prepare for 2021 programs, the health and safety of our students, instructors, staff, and community is our top priority. We recognize COVID-19 will likely continue to be a public health concern in 2021, and there is much more to learn about it in the coming months. Read detailed information on safety measures and what you can expect to find at the school on our blog, or on page 9 of the eCatalog.

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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