Category: Fiber

Into the Blue: Indigo Plant Dye Powder Extraction Study by Sally Blankenship

I find joy in the color blue… more specifically, I find joy in dyeing with indigo. Each time I pull a piece out of my dye vat, I am in awe of the magical transformation. Like many avocational dyers, I order my natural, processed powdered indigo for my dye vats from a supplier. Then I learned that indigo can be grown in this region, and that one type, Japanese indigo, grows especially well here. How wonderful to learn that Farmer Teddy, the Folk School gardener, was planning to grow indigo in the school’s new dye garden for upcoming classes.

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A Look at Our Dye Garden

Welcome to the new Folk School Dye Garden. Natural dye comes from the leaves, flowers, or roots of plants. In this video, we will take a look at Nankeen cotton, indigo, coreopsis, yarrow, French marigolds, madder, chamomile, and purple gromwell.

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Martha Owen on Natural Dyeing with Marigolds

Martha Owen stands in front of our new dye garden, one of the many projects Farmer Teddy is currently working on in the Folk School Garden. Come along as Martha describes the process of using marigold flowers from the Folk School garden for dyeing in the video below:

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Colors from the Garden: An Interview with Catharine Ellis

Catharine Ellis is an internationally acclaimed textile artist who is well-known for developing the technique of woven shibori. Specializing in both weaving and dyeing, she has also done extensive research and experimentation with natural dyes. Enjoy our interview!

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Shearing Day at Martha’s Farm & A Prize for All

The days have pushed themselves along since the birth of our three brave lambs born to “Robin” on March 6th. When they arrived, I did not call them anything much. I just looked at them, noted their shape and health and desire to eat, and thought, Those three, they are the ones without names!

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A Look at Southern Scrap Quilts with Pepper Cory

One of Pepper’s specialties is Southern scrap quilts, both making and collecting. Pepper explains that Southern scrap quilts, particularly from North Carolina, are a fascinating study in frugality, family life, and beauty.

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Spring Garden Tour with Farmer Teddy

Happy Earth Day everyone! Usually during Earth Week, we celebrate Mother Earth’s amazing treasures with programming connected to nature. This year we invite you to take a walk around the Folk School Garden with Farmer Teddy.

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With Spring, Comes Lambs! What to Name Them?

I was sort of joking when I decided at the end of last year that a sheep should be in every conversation. This joke coupled itself with the sad thought that there are so many things that I can’t fix, so why not talk about sheep?

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Studio Batik with Jessica Kaufman

Have you ever wanted to try batik and hand-dyeing? We have a very special surface design class coming up on January 12–18, 2020 with Jessica Kaufman: Studio Batik: Many Techniques, Amazing Results. Jessica has studied batik methods from Indonesia and India and is the owner of WAXON Batik & Dye Studio in Asheville, NC.

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Rags to Riches with JoEl Levy LoGiudice

Rag rug weaving embraces the folk art tradition of using everyday, readily available materials to build aesthetically beautiful, yet functional art: textiles made from the things we have, can forage, or acquire. With the craze du jour surrounding KonMari, now is a good time to think about new options for all those clothes you may be putting into the “Thank you, goodbye” pile. Rag rug weaving might be your perfect option!

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Paper Thread Sculptural Basketry with Aimee Lee

If you are interested in basketry, paper art, or weaving, and want to learn new techniques, materials, and form, don’t miss our upcoming class with Aimee Lee, Paper Thread through Asia, scheduled for June 9–15, 2019. You will discover ancient techniques of transforming paper into thread, cord, small weavings, and sculptural basketry. Based on Korean and Japanese traditions of jiseung (paper basketry) and shifu (paper cloth), you will learn to spin one-ply thread and twist two-ply cord in completely different ways.

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Traces of Beauty: Rust Printing with Lauren Koch

Expand your ideas about printmaking with found objects in a new weekend class taught by artist Lauren Koch: Traces of Beauty: Rust Printing. Rust printing is a unique way of mark making that utilizes steel and iron to create images on paper and cloth. I recently talked to Lauren about her work, rust printing, and her relationship with the Folk School. Enjoy our interview!

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Folk School Stories: Tommye Scanlin

Having grown up just 12 miles down the road from Brasstown, many of Tommye Scanlin’s earliest Folk School memories date back to her youth. In the mid-1960s, she and her boyfriend would often catch a glimpse of campus on their way to the drive-in movie theater in Peachtree. Since those drive-in, drive by days, Tommye’s Folk School story has come full circle…

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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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