We are thrilled to announce the Traditional Craft Mentorship Program, a grant-funded opportunity for early-to-mid-career artists to spend a month in Brasstown this fall, learning from master artisans. This creative means to safely offer programs follows the difficult decision to cancel all previously scheduled 2020 programs and events. Through this new endeavor, made possible by rethinking an unexpected change to our standard programming, we have found a way to invite small groups of emerging artists to focused sessions that will enhance their interests, knowledge, and skills in traditional Appalachian craft, music, and dance.Read More
The Traditional Craft Mentorship Program is a grant-funded opportunity for early-to-mid-career artists to spend a month in Brasstown this fall, learning from master artisans. Through this new endeavor, made possible by rethinking an unexpected change to our standard programming, we have found a way to invite small groups of emerging artists to focused sessions that will enhance their interests, knowledge, and skills in traditional Appalachian craft, music, and dance. The deadline to apply for the Traditional Craft Mentorship Program is August 28, 2020.
Immerse yourself in heritage oak basketry. Learn from the skilled hands of a husband/wife team as you split out an oak tree to create a basket. Then follow the guidance of a Tennessee Governor’s Folk Life Award winner to refine techniques of splitting and scraping to create a quintessential Appalachian egg basket. Finish your session with a revered Cherokee native known for her white oak basketry. All classes require strong hands and stamina.
Traditional Split-oak Basketry
Mary Ann and Bill Smith
September 27–October 10 (2-week class)
Canon County Style White Oak Egg Basket
Cherokee Split-oak Market Basket
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.
Traditional Song and Dance and the Folk School Model
Annie Fain Barralon
September 27–October 3
African American and Appalachian Musical Connections
Clawhammer Banjo – Then and Now
Playing, Dancing, and Singing Appalachian Style
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.
Weavings of the Settlement Schools
September 27–October 3
Appalachian Textile Treasures: Overshot Patterning
Tapestry: The Weaving Style of Alice Tipton
Appalachian Rag Rugs
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.
October 25–November 7 (2-week class)
Traditional Ironwork and Tools of Appalachia
Incorporating Tradition – Old Processes/New Projects
Forge an Axe or Tomahawk
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 professional 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 building their craft and develop the skills needed to further their career as a master.
October 25–November 7 (2-week class)
Windsor Chair: Skills, Tools, and Techniques
November 8–21 (2-week class)
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.
October 25–November 2 (7-day class)
November 3–11 (7-day class)
Spindle and Wheel: A Complete Spinning Shop
November 12–21 (8-day class)
Weave a Wool Blanket
Beth Ross Johnson
All Photos Courtesy of the Artists, or from the Folk School Archives.
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!