“Hey mister smarty-pants instructor, you threw so much stuff at us yesterday that our minds are scrambled. How about helping us sort out that information?”
Mar 29, 2010
When you bump into Charley Orlando at the Folk School, one can’t assume he is teaching Blacksmithing, though he’s been teaching it here since 1989. This is because Charley also teaches Tin Can Art and Knitting. Charley’s classes are usually full with students waiting patiently on the sidelines hoping to get in. Maybe we should make two of him. That’s why this week we’re just going to follow Charley around as he takes his class into the world of Gansey and Aran knitting. Let’s see what we’ll be discovering as the week progresses.
Mar 19, 2010
In the Wet Room studio this week we have “Sheep to Shawl” with resident artist Martha Owen. “This class is a process class, not a production class,” Martha reminded her students. In the middle of the week we were working with piles of wool, roots, vegetables, bugs, and other such ingredients. But how would it all come together?
Jan 30, 2010
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.
Aug 4, 2009
Whether you’re here for the first time, or returning for your sixth visit, the John Campbell Folk School is a destination that’s more a state of mind than a place. Sure the food is great and the mountains are beautiful, the people are friendly and the classes engaging…but it’s sort of a Peter Pan kind of place. Each week, more than a hundred grown-ups arrive and leave behind the cares and responsibilities of our adult worlds to play.
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