Category: Folk School Folks

The Greening of the Fields

I turned off the lights in my studio and set out for Brasstown, just 12 miles away.  Around the curve and up the hill to Keith House, the signs of buds and new growth are everywhere. I park by the old oak tree outside the fiber arts studio so I can walk down the hill to Tower House, my first stop. I’ll mention here that since it was fairly spring like that day, I had worn a bright pink skirt with lace trim, a hand-dyed pink jacket with rhinestones, and my trusty pink tiger striped hi-tops. Topping this outfit off was pink heart shaped sunglasses. Voila!

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Christmas in Appalachia

The following is a Christmas remembrance relayed by local blogger, Tipper Wilson Pressley. Visit Tipper’s blog, Blind Pig & the Acorn about all things Appalachia.

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Spreading the Word About the Folk School

Through a recent program called “Appalachia Rediscovered: A Celebration of People and Place” hosted by the David A. Howe Public Library, many people had the opportunity to learn about the Folk School.  We are grateful to Charley and Betsy Orlando, who gave this presentation in their hometown of Wellsville, New York.  The Orlandos, both long time students and instructors at the Folk School, consider Brasstown a second home, and were eager to spread the word about this unique and creative corner of the world.  With the title of their talk being “Still Singing- The John C. Campbell Folk School”, Charley and Betsy discussed what the School offers and their personal experiences, followed by a viewing of the Emmy-nominated documentary of the School, Sing Behind the Plow. We are so glad to have friends who want to share their love of the Folk School!

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Hammered Dulcimer Victory

The week of May 30 was an exciting one for 10 beginning dulcimer players.  Although several students had a music background, there were a number of others who couldn’t read music, and felt they “weren’t musical.”  Under teacher Anne Lough and myself as the assistant, students went from being terrified of the 60 plus strings to being able to play several tunes.  In fact, the entire class played for “Morning Song” on Friday to a packed Davidson Hall!  All this was accomplished with much laughter, sharing, and fun! Everyone left at the end of the week talking about attending the continuing class later in the year.   As Dorothy said, “I never thought I’d be able to really hear music.”

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I Wish I Were a Workstudy

Spring is in the air.  The daffodils aren’t just buds anymore.  They are big and vibrant.  It’s time to slow your pace as you walk around campus and see the crocuses pushing the heavy brown oak leaves out of the way.  And yes ~ hyacinths complete the trio.

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Folk School Friend: Norman Kennedy

You meet the most interesting people here.  Over the years, I’ve learned from and enjoyed talking to some of the world’s great characters right here in Brasstown.  Shortly after I became the Director of the Folk School, I asked some of my musical and crafts friends to tell me great people we should try to get to teach at the Folk School.  A trusted musical advisor, Beth Ross Johnson, said “Get the great ballad singer Norman Kennedy.”  My weaving advisor (spouse Nanette) said, “Get the great weaver Norman Kennedy.”  These two turned out to be the very same ponytailed Scotsman.  So for the last eighteen years or so, he has made visits to Brasstown which are always memorable for us here, jazzing up weavers and spinners, slamming tweed on the table to the beat of the ancient waulking music, where the singing and the weaving come together, as the song propels the cloth sunwise around the table while all the hands of the people lift it up and slam it down and pass it on to the next waulker.  In this way, the wool is preshrunk, softened, bonded and unified.  The people likewise, except they are not preshrunk.

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Fledgling Birder

A marketing worker-bee by day, a dancer/weaver/botanist at 5 pm – that’s how I would have described myself a few months ago. I think I’ve been bitten by the birding bug, though, so I might have to revise this description.

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Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new January–June 2022 eCatalog is now available.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.

What Folks Are Saying