I just signed up for a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Georgia! Yay! I had been thinking hard about whether or not I should go, and now, I am going! My mother and aunt have gone in the past – it is not that far from Atlanta.
“Enjoy working in related disciplines, learning the art of block printing, and then incorporating the prints in several handmade books to showcase them. Explore how to create images, transfer them to blocks, carve them, and pull prints. Then it’s on to binding the prints into books designed to preserve them. Want more? Create boxes to hold and protect the books. It’s layers upon layers of art! All levels welcome.”
Doesn’t that sound fun? The class, I think is only for five days, but I will arrive on Sunday and leave the following Saturday. I have chosen to live “dorm” style, in a room with 4 to 6 beds – it was the least expensive option. All meals are included. I am waiting for the supply list – that will probably be extra.
Here is what a typical week looks like, according to the website:
Arrival: On Sunday afternoon you will register, settle into your room and then attend an orientation meeting to learn everything you need to know for a joyful and enlivening Folk School experience; after a welcome dinner, you’ll meet your instructor and classmates for a short session in the studio.
Class Day: Coffee (make that Diet Coke for me!) and the morning papers are available in Keith House starting at 6:30 a.m. You can choose to join a guided morning walk or explore the Folk School trail system on your own; attend Morningsong, a Danish custom of music, singing and storytelling led by a different performer each morning; or wait to start your day with a hearty breakfast at 8:15 (oh, yes, on second thought, that probably will be me!).
Class sessions are held from 9:00 to 12:00 and after lunch from 1:30 to 4:30. For most classes there is also optional studio time in the evening. Classes are usually limited to 12 students or less, and are designed by the instructor to include a combination of demonstrations, individual instruction and time to work at your own pace in a non-competitive environment.
Meals: Three delicious meals are served family style each day in the Olive Dame Campbell Dining Hall and offer a substantial menu, including homemade breads and produce from the Folk School’s gardens. There is always a vegetarian selection and special diets can be accommodated. Fresh fruit, bread and peanut butter are available throughout the day.
Activities: Optional activities are scheduled each day in the late afternoon and after dinner, giving you a range of choices. Learn to contra dance, attend a concert, poetry reading or blacksmithing demonstration, or visit a local artist’s studio. Take a break from class and get a chair massage or participate in a yoga session. Each week’s activity schedule is a little different, but there’s no doubt you’ll find many options to your liking.
You are also free to explore our beautiful 300-acre campus in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, visit other studios, shop in the Craft Shop, relax with a book in the Library, visit the History Center to learn more about the school’s fascinating story, Appalachian culture and folklore, or, just sit awhile on a porch rocker or in a swing.
Ending the Week: Friday marks the end of the class week with a student exhibition and closing ceremony in Keith House. During this informal presentation, you can admire the work of each class displayed on tables and the stage in Keith House, sample creations from the cooking class and listen to melodies played by members of the music class. Departure is Friday afternoon for five-night weeks and Saturday morning for six-night weeks.
I will certainly miss my husband and dog, but I am looking forward to focusing on myself and on my art for a week! No more pencils, no more books, no more students’ dirty looks! Ha!