Our blacksmith friend Bob took us out of town just a few miles to see this huge stand of bamboo. The owners even cut tunnels to walk through. I almost got vertigo inside of it. The sounds it made as it swayed side to side in the breeze were mesmerizing.
This is the pottery studio where I spent the better part of the first week. It was my first attempt at throwing clay.
I pretty much kept to this shape all week. I just couldn't get the technique of pulling the clay any higher.
This is John DeWeese, the instructor for the week. He is a very talented man. He told us his parents were both artists.
The wood fired kiln is shaded by a timber frame shed.
My final project was a shaving mug for the blacksmith. However, it was only taken to a bisque form. I bought it home with hopes of finding someone local to glaze and fire it.
The kiln smoked for a day.
It smoked because part of our lesson was stoking the fire, as I take my turn here.
One evening there was a blacksmith demonstration for all of the students. Jerry Darnell demonstrated making a swan. I was lucky enough to win it too!
Beautiful pottery and flowers adorn the lawn outside the pottery studio.
Our first peek inside the kiln.
We were like kids in a candy shop, watching the pieces come out. My new friend Jean made this face jug.
I spy. . . we all were looking for our pieces.
Here are my finished pieces. I was pretty proud of them since this was my first time throwing clay.
On Friday afternoon after the week long classes are finished, it's show and tell. Here is the pottery class display.
The woodworking class made traditional banjo's, know locally as Banjar. These were made using native Appalachian hardwoods and groundhog hides.
Sarah Hammond from Charleston South Carolina taught the most awesome basket class. No one, I repeat no one, in this class had made a basket before. In doing a little research I found Sarah's niece had a blog post about her, More than a Geechee. Check it out.
The weaving class taught by Kathrin Weber focused on warps. By no means does this picture do the weaving justice! They were beautiful.
Here are the 18th-century tobacco and smoking implements made in Jerry Darnell's class. These items were used in taverns when using the long clay pipes. It was an early form of recycling. The pipes were used by everyone. At closing time, the clay pipes were washed and cleaned. They were then put in the pipe kiln (the long round cylinder in the back of the photos), and hung inside the fireplace to dry. Some of the tools are flint strikers that hold the charred cloth and fire coal tongs with tobacco tampers on the ends.
Friday evenings are free after dinner. Classes are over and everyone goes their separate ways. Lucky for the blacksmith and I, we have Bob for our personal guide. He knows the hot spots to go to. So we went just a short from the Folk School to Clay's Corner. There in the back room, the locals play music. The only bad thing . . .it didn't last long enough. It was a great time.
That concluded our first week at school. But wait . . .there's more to come!