Saturday, August 15, 2009

John C. Campbell Folk School class

I've returned from a wonderful five days at John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. The Folk School is a place dear to my heart for many reasons. I grew up just a few miles from the spot--just barely over the line from North Carolina and into Georgia; the landscape is much the same with small farms and fields surrounded by wooded mountains all around.

Another reason I love to go to the Folk School is that my very first weaving class took place there--in 1974. I'd taught myself to weave by reading a few books and buying a little "Dorothy" table loom a couple of years earlier but there was still so much that puzzled me. Reading weaving drafts, for instance, was something that I just couldn't figure out from the one or two books I had available. When I took that weaving class, the instructor showed me the simple secrets for reading the relationship of threading to tie-up and treadling--and my life in weaving really took off.

I've taught at JCFS for a week-long class almost every year since the 1980s but haven't been an instructor there in a couple of years. The past week's class has reenergized my love for the school and its mission. It's so gratifying to have a fantastic group of people come together from different parts of the country, as this class did, and find all to be interested in and supportive of each other. Even though one of our class members had to leave early, I believe everyone found it to be a rewarding experience--I can certainly say I did!

I'll post a slide show of more images at some time but just have to do a few quick shots today. The rest of the month will be busy with meetings and then even a short vacation with my husband. So more photos will have to wait, I guess.

The weaving studio with frame looms warped and sampling begun--Tuesday morning.

Assistant instructor, Meredith Dahle, has just cut her piece off the loom.

Thomas holds his second piece of the week--he'd never woven tapestry before and he did two incredible pieces.

Michelle poses with her two pieces.

Meredith and I are winding down the week--she was a great assistant instructor.

Gwen was able to spend a bit of time browsing through tapestry books and catalogs I'd provided--and in the comfortable chair she brought along with her

The "Graduation Photo" of class, taken Friday morning.

And our show and tell display on Friday afternoon. I'd taken photos throughout the week of work in progress. These were being shown in a slide show on the laptop in the center of the display. After sampling a few basic techniques, everyone moved to planning and weaving a small tapestry of their own design. Meredith prepared mounting boards for everyone to showcase their work.


  1. It looks like another successful class, Tommye! Congratulations!

  2. The students work is all so lovely! I have heard many many good things about the JCFS but have never had a chance to take any classes there. I really should move it MUCH higher up on my bucket list.

  3. WOW - you all got a lot done in just a week - It looks great! Congrats!

  4. Tommye, I know how you feel. Teaching at JCCFS is such a great experience. I look forward to my class in February, but meantime, I hope to attend a class as a student before too long.
    The student's work is beautiful.
    Congratulations on a successful class.

  5. Hi Tommye,
    What a beautiful class! Congratulations! I miss my tapestry and plan to return to it soon! I am weaving on my small Elbe loom and just love it. I am also taking a class at October! Plein-Air Painting and am sooooo excited. I hope to get re-inspired in landscape painting! Here is my blog:
    Take good care! Karin