OK, just so the stage is set... I had one of the best times I could possibly imagine... Now that I've stayed at the facility, I can honestly say that I think the John C. Campbell folk school is a national treasure!

I'm hoping that I will be motivated enough to do a series of posts about my experiences, but we shall see... Procrastination is my middle name.

Anyway... today, for folks that are not familiar with how to arrange logistics for a trip like this, here is how I did it...

We flew (from Oregon) to Atlanta, GA on Saturday, rented the car, and then went to stay the night with some friends of ours who live in the north Atlanta area.  This was a treat in itself, because I haven't seen them since we moved back to my home state a number of years ago.

On Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast, we left their house (around noon), and started driving north.  It's a good thing that the cell phone GPS works well, because I was driving a route that isn't necessarily the route that the folk school driving instructions say.....  I'm not too sure there is a direct route.  But we just started driving north, following the cell phone instructions, and once we were off of GA400, we drove through some beautiful rural areas.  It was two lane curvy roads through the hills/mountains with all the folliage not yet turning colors, but on the verge...

I would have to say, the campus of the folk school looks a lot like the surrounding area, simply because I couldn't tell what was part of Brasstown (the closest "town"), and what was part of the folk school.  I believe the population of teachers/students/staff must be larger than that of the Brasstown community, so we very suddenly went from driving on the rural road system to being "there"!  In fact, if you look at a google satellite view of Brasstown, the folk school encompasses (300 acres) of land including the very big expansive field to the west of Brasstown.  Brasstown Road actually divides the folk school property in half with most of the studios located west of the road.

We arrived at the folk school by mid-afternoon, in time for check-in, and were given our room assignments at the Keith House, which accomodates the staff, library, community room, and sleeping quarters for work study students, etc. Our lodgings were in the Davidson house, which also housed the studios for Music (Dulcimer), Cooking (Indian food), and Silk Screening.  Our room was on the third floor of the building, which actually had four rooms plus a commons area.  The house also had some wonderful rocking chairs for sitting out on the porch and contemplating the scenery.  Our room had three twin beds, and a private bath.  When we arrived in our room, fresh linens were there ready for us to use - we had to make our own beds though! *grin*.  I would consider the accommodations basic and comfortable.  After all, the only time we actually spent in our room was to sleep, so we didn't need much.

One thing I didn't realize when I planned this trip, was that although most of the studios are a short distance away - across the road, there are many others that are in the combined housing/studio spaces.  It can be a bit of a walk to get around.  The Folk School can accomodate handicapped individuals in that if you need a wheelchair or cannot walk well, your best option would be to drive between your housing, dining, and studio.  If you do this, you are likely to do fine, and parking is not difficult.  If you are inclined to walk - as I am, you might find yourself doing quite a bit of walking by week's end.

Anyway, once we had arrived, and taken our belongings to our room, it was time to explore before dinner!

That's it for now... back to work.



Joanne Hall

Folk School is a treasure.  I have taught there three times and it is such a comfortable place for learning.  I look forward to more of your messages.



Yes, a fair amount of walking - made more challenging in January because of the snowfall!  But the staff made sure the pathways were shovelled - not a job they expected to be doing I'm quite sure!  :)



tommye scanlin

... are many, for me. My very first weaving class was taken at the Folk School back in the early 1970s... the weaving studio was then in the little stone building that now houses the History Center. I began teaching at the Folk School in the 1980s. And I've taught almost every year since then. When I was teaching at the university full time, I'd go for summer sessions. Now, as a emerita at the univ., I can teach almost anytime that Pam invites me! I'll be back there for a class in January... and I'm looking forward to it already! The Folk School is indeed a national treasure in many ways. I'm so glad I live only 60 or so miles away from it so I can drop in to the Craft Shop occasionally, or go up for the end of the week Show & Tell of classes. Students from the university here sometimes drive up for contra dancing in the evenings... all in all, a fabulous place in the world! Tommye


I first heard of the folk school from my husband, a woodcarver. He wants to go, too. Problem is, the classes don't coincide for us to be able to go at the same time - at least in the current schedule of classes. I wonder if they ever have open studio for weaving, at times when a weaving class isn't being offered.

Joanne Hall

Tell Pam at the folk school which classes you each want to take and I am sure that she will look into it.  My husband would also like to go sometime to take the blacksmithing class.


tommye scanlin

... since I live about 60 miles away from the Folk School and about an hour away from the north-most point of the MARTA (Atlanta's rapid transit) station, I could possibly pick someone up who's flown to Atlanta for a class and who'd be willing to ride the hour north on the MARTA from the airport to the Northsprings Station.  I could then offer a bed overnight at my studio in Dahlonega and a ride up to Brasstown the next morning.   This is all contingent on my schedule, of course.  But if anyone is interested in contacting me privately about the potential for this connection, please let me know.

A private lesson about tapestry at my studio might also be arranged to piggy-back with a JCFS class, either coming or going, if one were so inclined.  Again, I'll be happy to discuss costs/logistics of that, if anyone is interested... pm me.



That's a good idea. I'll talk to Pam about it. Wow, Tommye, what a compelling offer! That would truly be icing on the cake.

Pam Howard (not verified)


So sorry not to have answered sooner, but my Mother just passed away.  So two trips down to Florida in the last month and getting a house ready to go on the market has kept me away from the computer.

When and what are you and hubby wanting to take.  Sometimes, depending on the instructor you can sign up for a class and then do your own independent study.  I let people do that in my beginning class.  A lot of my beginners come back to tackle a harder project.

Also Tommy's offer is a wonderful idea.  She is a WONDERFUL tapestry weaver and instructor!!!!  Give me a bit more information to go by.

Pam Howard, Resident Weaver at JCCFS



Pam, My heart goes out to you in your great loss. I know it takes a while to recover from the difficulty that comes with all of that. My sincere condolences. My hubby is most interested in the mantle carving sessions. I'm just starting with floor loom weaving, so I still have a significant learning curve in just about every area. So, ideally, we'd love to see the mantle carving coincide with beginning weaving or rag rug weaving, though either of us would consider other classes if the fit was right. The timing doesn't make a big difference, and we're not in a hurry, so we'll just keep an eye on the class schedule to see if/when things line up for us. Thanks!


Thanks for posting of your experience. Cost has always prohibited me from taking a class there. I am retired now. It could be my last large purchase for myself before moving into a retirement community. Your enthusiasm is a great motivator!