Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My head is still in the mountains

"The Folk School’s motto, 'I sing behind the plow,' reflects our desire to find happiness, expression, and art in our daily lives."

I spent this last weekend teaching temari at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. From where I live in Raleigh, it's best to drive up to Asheville and then head southwest through the Blue Ridge mountains to the folk school campus.  "Blue" is so right! These old mountains are thickly covered with trees that look all shades of blue from a distance. It's a beautiful place. Beautiful setting. Beautiful spirit.

Folk School with mountains in the distance

We started our mornings in the large, wood-floored meeting room, listening to some locals entertain us (well,  wake us up) with English folk songs one day and Appalachian music on the second day. Meals are served family-style in another large hall. I tell you, this place is just like camp for grown-ups. You pick one activity that you love and work on that in a small group setting. Try blacksmithing, jewelry, knitting, quilting, painting, bee keeping, growing mushrooms, or wood carving among others. There aren't more than twelve students in a class and if the class gets to eight students, then an assistant is hired to help. Lots of personal attention.

Fiber Arts and Quilting Studios

Our temari class had just four students making a nice, cozy group. They all did really well and accomplished everything that I had hoped for the weekend (and more!). I was delighted to discover one of the gals had been stitching temari for 30 years and is herself a teacher! Definitely a kindred sister. Here's a photo (that's me in the middle). This picture shows only a small part of the studio. The rest is filled with looms for weaving classes.

Temari at John C. Campbell Folk School
Since it was May Day weekend, we were treated to several dances including a May pole dance.

May Day dancers at the John C. Campbell folk school 2011
More dancers
When I got home and opened my email on Monday, I found an invitation to return to teach there for a full week next year. I felt like kicking up my heels just like this clogger!

Clogger kicking up her heels!

Here are links to videos of the dancing that I made with a small Flip camera
May Dance 1
May Dance 2

Kindred (adjective): having the same belief, attitude, or feeling.
Sister (noun): a female friend regarded as a sister.