Making Brooms, Pottery, Soap, Jam, Quilts, Baskets, Music

I have been so excited about the Alabama Folk School – especially the set of classes they’re doing November 11-14:

Appalachian-Style Broom Making with Lenton Williams
Pottery, Wheel-Work and Hand-Building with Sandra Heaven
“Simple Life Studies”: Soap, Candles, and Jam with Cheryl Patton (I’m getting to meet her in person for the first time this week at her home and *can not* wait!!)
Quilting: The Trapunto Tradition with Bettye Kimbrell
Reed Basketry with Mary Ann Smith
Beginning Fiddle with Jim Cauthen (love this in the class description: “Jim will teach all material by ear in the traditional manner”)
Rhythm Guitar with Joyce Cauthen
Fiddle with James Byran
Clawhammer Banjo with Adam Hurt
The instructors they have put together for this session is really impressive. I mean…to learn quilting from Bettye Kimbrell (!!!) – she’s a recipient of the 2008 National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award. And the last time I spoke with her, she told me that she is making quilts just for her own enjoyment now, not really taking orders so this is one of the best chances to spend quality time with her and learn from a real master. What’s really special about her quilting class is that the Alabama State Council on the Arts has underwritten this particular session so as to make it tuition free!
Just the opportunity to learn from people like the Cauthens and Sandra Heaven and Cheryl Patton and James Bryan – you couldn’t do better. Wow I wish there was a way I could pack up the little ones and us all go to camp for four days!
…and although it’s camp, it’s not like you’re exactly ‘roughing it’ – you sleep in air-conditioned, hotel style rooms. Aaaah…

I contacted the Folk School and they gave me their permission to use these photos from their previous sessions – clogging:

Scene from a hike (they give time in the schedule to relax on the porch rockers at camp or hike or whatever you like…)

This is Pradat Hall:


I’m even in love with the options of what they may do in the evenings for fun – square, contra, and circle dancing, plus Music Night, and hayride and bonfire.
Earlier this year, they’ve had sessions on (this is just a very partial list):
Sacred Harp singing
Shaker boxes
organic gardening and wildflower landscaping
Appalachian dance
glass beads
French hand sewing
Everything’s here.

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