Stories

I just finished teaching a weekend class on pollinators and gardening at the Folk School. My class was a great group of folks. We learned about seeding starting and growing native milkweeds for monarch eggs and caterpillars, planting flowers, native shrubs and trees for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, the challenges of neonicotinoids and herbicides. The weekend exhibited beautiful May weather! Enjoy our photo album: 13265881_1561794134115085_2642922861034997978_nJohn Clarke in the Folk School bee yard, showing the class the old bee hives, plus two brand new Russian bee colonies installed from the Beekeeping Class three weeks ago with Virginia Webb. Russian bees seem to be more varrora mite resistant than our beloved Italian honey bees.

IMG_9177_650pxEvery year, we have a sweet tooth soothing tradition in Emily Buehler's bread baking class. On Thursday, students team up to make a special recipe: Emily's Mom's Sticky Buns. The beginning of the week is spent learning the basics of  breads like baguettes, sourdough loaves and whole wheat sandwich bread. By Thursday, students are happy to shift gears from savory to sweet for this divine gooey treat. 

Empty Bowls checks of $3,188 each were presented this week to the Cherokee County Sharing Center and Clay County Food Pantry. The 10th Annual Empty Bowls was held on March 12 at the Folk School. The Empty Bowls fundraiser for Cherokee and Clay County food banks has been organized by Resident Potter Mike Lalone and hosted by the John C. Campbell Folk School for the past 10 years. Thanks again to everyone who supported this event! [caption id="attachment_14845" align="aligncenter" width="650"]On May 10, 2016, the staff of John C. Campbell Folk School and Empty Bowls volunteers presented a check for $3,188 to Robert Merrill, President of Cherokee County Sharing Center. The Center provides food for over 400 families each month, 30% who are children. Presenting the check, Folk School Director Jan Davidson and Robert Merrill. Also pictured from left to right: Kate Delong, Ellen Sandor, Jennifer Slucher, Dianne Arnold, Marianne Hatchett, Colleen Plonsky, Mike Lalone, Cory Marie Podielski, and Harry Hearne. The Empty Bowls fundraiser for Cherokee and Clay County food banks has been organized by Resident Potter Mike Lalone and hosted by the John C. Campbell Folk School for the past 10 years. Folk School Director Jan Davidson presents a check to Robert Merrill, President of Cherokee County Sharing Center. Also pictured from left to right: Kate Delong, Ellen Sandor, Jennifer Slucher, Dianne Arnold, Marianne Hatchett, Colleen Plonsky, Mike Lalone, Cory Marie Podielski, and Harry Hearne.[/caption]

IMG_8825_650 [caption id="attachment_14958" align="alignright" width="307"]IMG_8828_650px Rob demos how to make a big jugs in segments, using the torch to quick dry the base.[/caption] Clay students of all levels joined Rob Withrow in the Folk School Clay Studio this past week to learn new skill and techniques on the wheel. Many students had never thrown on a wheel and were eager to get started. Rob is a local Brasstown potter and owner of Smoke in the Mountains Pottery. He makes the JCCFS logo mugs that are for sale in the craft shop and the big soup bowls in the Dining Hall. Rob is most know for his face mug pottery and wood firing. He creates loves to throw BIG! He has thrown 6-ft tall face jugs and can only fire them in his wood kiln (because of their large size). Students in the class tried their hand at creating mugs, bowls, plates, cups and more. By the end of the week student had some finished fired pieces and confidence to throw a vessel on the wheel. It was a great week!

On Friday, April 8, high school students in the Folk School JAM Program played a concert in the Community Room to celebrate the conclusion of the first session. Under the direction of Johnny Scroggs (guitar) and Peggy Patrick (fiddle), students spent 12 weeks learning traditional Appalachian music as part of the Folk School JAM program. We recently sat down with Program Director Hannah Levin to find out more about this wonderful program preserving traditional Appalachian music in our local high schools. Read on to find out how you (or your teen) can get involved! [caption id="attachment_14703" align="aligncenter" width="630"]JAM_Scroggs Johnny Scroggs leads a guitar lesson[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_14688" align="alignright" width="279"]Karen Hurtubise in her turmeric hoophouse Standing in a new Black Turmeric variety in the hoophouse.[/caption] In 1981, my husband John Clarke and I traveled cross country from Oregon to Brasstown in our un-aircondtioned '66 blue Dodge Dart we called “Grandma.” We were coming to the six month John C. Campbell Folk School Homesteading program. John had already been to the Folk School to learn woodcarving with Jack Hall in 1977 and had returned every fall (1978-80) when the blacksmiths and quilters were there. To our surprise, the Homesteading program had gone defunct, so instead we became Work/Study students and attended a two week furniture making class with Dana Hatheway. We made a gorgeous poplar desk we still use and love today.

[caption id="attachment_14405" align="aligncenter" width="634"]Blown glass ornaments Blown glass ornaments by student Dylan Goodson[/caption] [caption id="attachment_14403" align="alignright" width="328"]Tony Prince shapes a glass blown swan with the heat of the torch. Tony Prince shapes a glass blown swan with the heat of the torch.[/caption] What do swans, jellyfish, marbles, icicles, and ornaments have in common? These design shapes are just a few of the incredible student projects you could see this week in "Intro to Glass Blowing," co-taught by Alex Greenwood and Tony Prince. Using tabletop torches, students are learning the craft of manipulating tubes and rods of borosilicate glass into unique glassblown ornaments and small vessels. Last night, I attended Tony's demonstration in the studio. Many Folk School folks packed the room, eager to see the torch in action and the experience the excitement of moving glass. Tony explained that glass material comes in many forms: a solid rod, a hollow tubing, and thinner colored rods and that there are many ways to use and connect the different types of glass. Everyone looked on while Tony lit the torch and prepared the tube to make a hollow swan. When the glass tube was hot enough, Tony blew into the tube and the body of the swan rounded out like magic! He made it look so easy. Tony described it like blowing bubble gum or blowing up a balloon.