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Instructors & Resident Artists
Instructors
The Folk School is a place to bring folks together. One of the ways we do that is with the “living word” – our hands-on, supportive, non-competitive approach to instruction. This makes the more than 600 instructors who teach each year a vital part of the Folk School. So stick your hands in the clay. Push the shutter button. Pull back the drawknife. There will be someone there to inspire and guide you. Browse class descriptions by instructor.
Resident Artists
One of the most important things our Resident Artists do is schedule the more than 880 classes we offer each year. As experts in their individual areas, they are familiar with the best instructors in that field, and bring the most knowledgeable and personable ones to teach at the Folk School. Of course, our Resident Artists teach here as well. They are also largely responsible for supplying and maintaining those studios dedicated to a particular area. We love and appreciate our fabulous Resident Artists!


Pattie Bagley with her beautiful antler basket.
Pattie Bagley
Basketry, Brooms, Chair Seats
Pattie started basket weaving in 1993 and began
teaching her friends soon after. When she opened
Aunt Pattie’s Basketry Shop in 1999, she began teaching on a weekly basis. She quickly realized that teaching had become as much of a passion for her as making baskets. She closed the store in 2002, still maintaining Aunt Pattie’s in her home studio. She has been teaching at the Folk School since 2003. Pattie is a charter member of the Georgia Basketry Association and is a past and current president.


Paul Garrett at the anvil
Paul Garrett
Blacksmithing
Paul is a full-time artist blacksmith who has been working with metal since 1978. He is owner/operator of The Ironwood Forge and has experience in projects ranging from architectural to functional to artistic. He has attended, taught, and assisted many classes at the Folk School. His mission as an instructor is to teach good basic smithing techniques and habits early to ensure a rewarding experience for each student. In 2009, Paul took a study trip to Europe, where he and teammate Matt Jenkins received an Honorable Mention in the World Forging Championship in Stia, Italy.


Dea Sasso at Light of Day Bindery. Photo: Renato Retolo.
Dea Sasso
Book Arts, Paper Arts, Printmaking, Marbling, Calligraphy
Dea is a professional hand bookbinder, sole proprietor of Light of Day Bindery since 1988, and custom leather designer since 1970. She works on private collections; repairs and restores old books; and designs and creates new books, editions, and miniatures. She has been teaching in art institutes and privately since 1991. Dea has an MSPH and has studied and worked for numerous nationally known hand binders and conservators. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.


Potter Mike Lalone
Mike Lalone
Clay
Mike started his clay career at a teacher re-certification course, which led to a fulltime teaching position at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL. His program developed into a nationally recognized center for clay. He did his postgraduate studies at the Kansas City Art Institute and Western Carolina University. Mike’s work has been published in Clay Times and can be found in the Florida Governor’s Mansion. He also designed and produced the lighthouse finial for Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure®. He now works out of his “by His hand” studio in Murphy, NC.


Carla Owen demonstrates bread making techniques to Folk School students. Photo by Margot Eld.
Carla Owen
Cooking
Carla studied art with a concentration in textile design at the University of
Georgia. Later she had her own homemade bread business, worked in a local bakery, cooked and baked in a restaurant, and managed the kitchen at the Folk School. Most recently, she served an apprenticeship at Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen in Berkeley, CA, that produces nourishing-traditions food. Carla has enjoyed teaching cooking, organic gardening, spinning, natural dyeing, knitting, and feltmaking at the Folk School for many years.


Nanette harvesting turnips from the Folk School's organic vegetable garden.
Nanette Davidson
Cooking
Nanette, after many years of cooking, gardening, working in restaurants and teaching classes, was asked in 1999 to launch the cooking curriculum at the Folk School. A long-time supporter of the school, she learned to weave here in 1976 and has maintained a successful business making rag rugs for galleries and interior designers. Nanette is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Slow Food Movement. An enthusiastic teacher to both adults and children, she serves up light-hearted instruction for lifelong enjoyment.


Paul Roche works in the Enameling studio.
Paul Roche
Enameling, Hot-Warm Glass
Paul’s versatile background includes being a chef for 15 years and a butcher for 7 years. He now owns an organic farm of vegetables, poultry, and fruit trees here in Brasstown. He was previously co-owner of two stained-glass studios. A chance opportunity to assist in an enameling class completely hooked Paul on this art form. He now has a home studio producing enamel work, has taught at Thompson Enamel, and his work has appeared in Glass on Metal.


Tim Ryan carefully shapes a bonsai.
Tim Ryan
Gardening
Tim has over 40 years experience as a landscape gardener. He is also an auctioneer, medicine showman, raconteur, and he makes a fine pot of chili. Tim is a former Folk School board member. A student of blacksmithing since 1986, he served on the board of the Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America and has an honorary Ph.D. in metal arts. He has taught at the Folk School since 1993 and considers teaching an expression of his attempt to integrate his life toward wholeness.


Pendant by Barbara Joiner
Barbara Joiner
Jewelry, Metalwork, Stained Glass, Kaleidoscopes
Barbara has taught clay and jewelry classes for over 25 years. She studied clay at the University of Illinois, silversmithing at Indiana University, and she has an MFA degree from Southern Illinois University. Barbara's work is in many collections, including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and has won numerous awards throughout the U.S. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.


Resident Artist Ted Cooley
Ted Cooley
Nature Studies, Storytelling & Folklore
Ted has a Master of Education in storytelling from East Tennessee State University and has been both a classroom teacher and an outdoor educator. He has been a student host at the Folk School twice and is recreation leader for the annual youth weeks at the Folk School—Little/ Middle Folk School and Intergenerational Week. Ted also enjoys playing traditional Appalachian music and working with clay.


Billie Shelburn outside the Painting Studio
Billie Shelburn
Painting, Drawing, & Mixed Media
Billie has studied painting with a number of prominent watercolorists. She has served on the boards of several art organizations and is a member of the National Organization for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Her work is represented in numerous galleries and exhibitions and was featured in the Summer 2010 issue of American Style. Billie has taught art classes to both children and adults, and she has also taught creative writing in public and private schools. She enjoys incorporating humor and life situations as a creative outlet, along with therapy-related exercises for artists.


Brittany McConnell
Photography

Brittany has been photographing for over eight years, and during that time obtained a degree in commercial photography at North Georgia Technical College in Clarksville, GA. She was department head of the Digital Photography Program at NGTC in Blairsville, GA, during the 2007-2008 term. She continues to teach private and group ‘introduction to photography’ sessions locally. Brittany has also run a successful business for six years, specializing in portraiture using natural light.


Quilter Pat Meinecke
Pat Meinecke
Quilting
Pat is a quilter, designer, teacher, and lover of fine
fabrics. The midnight oil often burns at Pat’s house as she tries out new techniques for classes at the Folk School, area quilt shops, guild meetings, and workshops. A member of several professional organizations, she attends conferences to stay abreast of the latest tools and techniques. With her latest toy, a long-arm quilting machine, she has fun dreaming up new designs for every top that comes her way. Pat is also director of two handbell choirs, including the regionally well-known Brasstown Ringers.


Martha Owen and her sheep. Photo by Bonnie Sherer.
Martha Owen
Spinning, Dyeing, Feltmaking, Knitting
Martha learned to spin at the Folk School in 1978 and had sheep, Angora rabbits, and border collies by 1980. Also a banjo player and known to tell a story or two, Martha's interest in sheep and wool, and music and dance, have carried her quite literally and joyfully around the world. Her children say she is a "wool nerd," but her sheep say she is outstanding in her field! She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and co-owner of the Yarn Circle fiber shop in Murphy, NC.


Pam Howard at the loom
Pam Howard
Weaving, Rugs, Needlework & Thread Art
Pam is a full time fiber artist that has focused on weaving for almost 30 years. She first came to the Folk School in 1980 and knew that someday she would to move to Brasstown. Little did she know, in 1999 that she would become the Resident Weaver. Pam has taught and presented programs throughout the Southeast and has also traveled to Denmark to study Scandinavian weaving, culture, and history. Pam is a former staff member of Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot magazine, an active member of Complex Weavers, Nonah Weavers and the Southern Highland Craft Guild.



Woodturnings by Marsha Barnes.
Marsha Barnes
Woodturning
Marsha has a business degree and worked for the Department of Commerce as a legal secretary before retirement. Self-taught throughout her life, Marsha has developed the perseverance that opens opportunities to learn and develop in any field. She started making country furniture in the '70s and taught oil painting privately for 13 years. After watching her husband, Doug, in woodturning for years, she decided to give it a try in 2001 and soon began joining him at art and craft shows.


Resident Artist Helen Gibson
Helen Gibson
Woodcarving
Helen is a Brasstown Carver in the famed local tradition. She studied with Jack Hall and is one of the few instructors who still carves and teaches the Brasstown Nativity figures she illustrates in her books, Carving the Nativity and The Animals of the Nativity. These, along with her books on carving Moses and St. Francis of Assisi, depict her highly detailed style of carving in the round. Helen teaches workshops throughout the Southeast.


Resident Artist Larry Teems
Larry Teems
Woodworking
Larry is a lifelong resident of Brasstown, NC. He carries on a long Folk School tradition—his father worked at the school for many years. Larry is an experienced cabinet maker and a member of the Brasstown Volunteer Fire Department.

Additional thanks to our studio assistants:

Rob Withrow
Clay

Virginia Urani
Painting

Barb Harmon
Stained Glass & Kaleidoscopes

Christie Rogers
Weaving
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1-800.FOLK.SCH (365.5724)
828.837.2775 • (fax) 828.837.8637
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John C. Campbell Folk School
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902


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