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Resident Artists & Studio Coordinators

The Folk School is a place to bring folks together. One of the ways we do that is with the "living word" our hands-on, supportive, non-competitive approach to instruction. This makes the more than 600 instructors who teach each year a vital part of the Folk School. So stick your hands in the clay. Push the shutter button. Pull back the drawknife. There will be someone there to inspire and guide you. Browse class descriptions by instructor.

Our Resident Artists and Studio Coordinators schedule the more than 800 classes we offer each year. As experts in their individual areas, they are familiar with the best instructors in that field, and bring the most knowledgeable and personable ones to teach at the Folk School. Of course, they teach here as well. They are also largely responsible for supplying and maintaining those studios dedicated to a particular area. We love and appreciate our fabulous Resident Artists and Studio Coordinators!


Pattie Bagley with her beautiful antler basket.
Pattie Bagley
Basketry, Brooms, Chair Seats

Pattie started basket weaving in 1993 and began teaching her friends soon after. She operated Aunt Pattie's Basketry Shop for three years, and also became a charter member of the Georgia Basketry Association, serving as president at one point. Pattie soon realized that teaching was her true passion. She has been a Folk School instructor since 2003 and became a resident artist in 2010. Since joining the Folk School staff, she has expanded her talents into many other fields, including beading and blacksmithing.


Paul Garrett at the anvil
Paul Garrett
Blacksmithing

Paul is a full-time artist blacksmith who has been working with metal since 1978. He is owner/operator of The Ironwood Forge and has experience in projects ranging from architectural to functional to artistic. He has attended, taught, and assisted many classes at the Folk School. His mission as an instructor is to teach good basic smithing techniques and habits early to ensure a rewarding experience for each student. In 2009, Paul took a study trip to Europe, where he and teammate Matt Jenkins received an Honorable Mention in the World Forging Championship in Stia, Italy. They retraced their steps for the 2015 Championship in Stia, then competed in the Czech Republic at Hefiaston, and Paul co-taught a workshop at the Hans Bochler Schule in Berlin, Germany.


Dea Sasso at Light of Day Bindery. Photo: Renato Retolo.
Dea Sasso
Book & Paper Arts, Calligraphy, Marbling, Printmaking

Dea is a professional hand bookbinder, sole proprietor of Light of Day Bindery since 1988, and custom leather designer since 1970. She works on private collections; repairs and restores old books; and designs and creates new books, editions, and miniatures. She has been teaching in art institutes and privately since 1991. Dea has an MSPH and has studied and worked for numerous nationally known hand binders and conservators. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Guild of Book Workers.


Josh Floyd, Studio Coordinator
Clay, Sculpture, Mosaics

Josh has spent most of his life in the Appalachian Mountains and has worked with clay for 20 years. He studied at Fairmont State University and Penland School of Craft and has completed artist residencies at the Red Lodge Ceramics Center, the North Carolina Pottery Center, and the Cub Creek Foundation. Just before moving to Brasstown, Josh served as both the Director of Heritage Crafts and a pottery instructor at Montgomery Community College. Since joining the Folk School in 2019, Josh has helped organize community events and served as interim Resident Artist for Clay. As Clay Studio Coordinator, he manages program development, studio maintenance, and community engagement.


Resident Artist Terra Ciotta
Terra Ciotta
Cooking

Terra moved to Murphy, NC, in August 2018 to work for the Culinary program at Tri-County Community College, where she develops and manages the broad curriculum, as well as teaches all classes. Prior to moving to Murphy, she was a culinary instructor at the Art Institute of Charlotte. With over 20 years experience in professional kitchens and 10 years in post- secondary culinary instruction, she offers a well-developed blend of food and teaching skills to help students develop their own cooking talents. Chef Terra's culinary interests include local foods, history and culture, fine dining, and traditional cooking techniques.


Kay Patterson
Enameling, Hot/Warm Glass

Kay Patterson began her working life as a gardener. She learned engraving and jewelry making from her husband, Tom, who owned a family retail jewelry store with a full-service shop offering repairs, fabrication, and engraving. Kay joined Tom teaching metal classes at the Folk School in 2003 and has assisted many jewelry instructors as she continues to learn. Kay served as the studio assistant for Enameling and Hot/Warm Glass for 10 years, helping maintain the studio and assisting with classes, and is now the Resident Artist. She teaches enamel, combined with forging and engraving metal, and her own work focuses on using recycled metals. Kay has also studied music and felt at the Folk School, and she still loves to spend time in her garden.


Resident Artist Karen Hurtubise
Karen Hurtubise
Gardening & Homesteading, Nature Studies

Karen and her husband have a small farm and grow diverse crops including native plants, berries, tomatoes, mushrooms, turmeric, and ginger. They began a large organic vegetable, flower, and herb garden over 30 years ago in Hayesville, NC, and won a Southeast Regional Rodale Organic Gardening Garden-of-the-Year contest. Karen is a passionate advocate of healthy agriculture, local food, and forest farming. She has been teaching at the Folk School since 1994.


Resident Artist Barbara Joiner
Barbara Joiner
Jewelry, Metalwork, Stained Glass, Kaleidoscopes

Barbara has taught clay and jewelry classes for over 25 years. She studied clay at the University of Illinois, silversmithing at Indiana University, and she has an MFA degree from Southern Illinois University. Barbara's work is in many collections, including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and has won numerous awards throughout the U.S. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.


Billie Shelburn outside the Painting Studio
Billie Shelburn
Painting, Drawing, & Mixed Media

Billie has studied painting with a number of prominent watercolorists. She has served on the boards of several art organizations and is a member of the National Organization for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Her work is represented in numerous galleries and exhibitions. Billie has taught art classes to both children and adults, and she has also taught creative writing in public and private schools. She enjoys incorporating humor and life situations as a creative outlet, along with therapy-related exercises for artists.


Resident Artist Brittany McConnell
Brittany McConnell
Photography

Brittany began photographing at the age of 18, and started working as a professional photographer in 2004. She has a degree in Commercial Photography from North Georgia Technical College and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. She was the department head of the Digital Photography Program at NGTC during the 2007-2008 term and has been an official contracted photographer for Young Harris College since 2014. Brittany has been Resident Artist since 2010 and is a Folk School instructor in photography. Since 2006, Brittany has been running a successful business photographing corporate events and television productions, among other things. She specializes in portraiture.


Resident Artist Martha Owen
Martha Owen
Spinning, Knitting & Crochet, Feltmaking, Dyeing, Surface Design

Martha began her adventure in spinning at this very school in 1978. Since then, her extended family has included sheep (mostly Corriedale/ Merino, Romney, Shetland and a little Blue-faced Leicester for fun) and French Angora rabbits. A banjo player known to tell a story or two, Martha's interest in sheep and wool, music and dance, have carried her quite literally and joyfully around the world. Her children say she is a wool nerd, but her sheep say she is outstanding in her field! Martha became a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in 1988, and was co-owner of the Yarn Circle in Murphy, NC, a store catering to fiber enthusiasts. She has been teaching spinning, natural dyeing and knitting design since 1984.


Resident Artist Helen Gibson
Helen Gibson
Woodcarving

Helen is a Brasstown Carver in the famed local tradition. She studied with Jack Hall and is one of the few instructors who still carves and teaches the Brasstown Nativity figures she illustrates in her books, Carving the Nativity and The Animals of the Nativity. These, along with her books on carving Moses and St. Francis of Assisi, depict her highly detailed style of carving in the round. Helen teaches workshops throughout the Southeast.


Resident Artist Karen Hopple
Karen Hopple
Quilting, Sewing, Dolls & Bears

Karen is a lifelong lover of fabric. Both her mother and grandmother were talented seamstresses and taught her to sew at the age of 11. She was introduced to quilting in 1981 during a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Quilting soon became a passion she could not deny. After making quilts from books and patterns, she branched out and started creating her own and was soon commissioned to make original quilts for others. In 2005, after a teaching career in South Florida, she moved to Murphy, NC, to open Bless My Stitches Quilt Shop. She is the founder of the Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild and a member of Misty Mountain (Traditional) Quilt Guild.

Allie Dudley
Weaving, Rugs, Lace, Beading, Needlework & Thread Art

Allie is a fiber artist and teacher working primarily with weaving and embroidery. She also dyes, sews, knits, and spins. Allie started learning how to weave on the weekends while attending college at the University of Chicago. After graduating with a degree in Cinema & Media Studies, she relocated to Asheville, NC to further her study of weaving. While there she worked under several production weavers and spent time learning and assisting at the Folk School, Penland School of Craft, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft. Allie's tapestries and other work have been included in several international fiber shows, including the 2019 Irene Davies Emerging Artist Award for Small Tapestries Finalist Exhibition and Small Tapestry International 6: Beyond the Edge. She attended the first session of the Traditional Craft Mentorship Program at the Folk School and she says those four weeks spent studying under our marvelous teachers convinced her to make the Folk School a permanent part of her life. Allie's work draws primarily on traditional textiles. She uses historical patterns and techniques while interpreting them through a contemporary lens. She loves the intimacy of textiles and the window they can provide into the past. Because of Allie's interest in textile history, she is particularly excited to help expand the scope of the Folk School's fiber program while continuing to maintain a strong connection to traditional Appalachian crafts.

Gabe Strand
Wood Studio Coordinator

Gabe Strand, a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, earned his MA in Ethnomusicology and worked in public arts programming until he was bitten by the woodworking bug a decade ago. He completed a certificate in Fine Furniture and Cabinetmaking in 2011 and has managed his own company for over ten years, designing and building custom furniture and cabinetry. He also studied staked furniture and Windsor chairmaking at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. Gabe's interests are broad, but he is genuinely happy when making shavings in green wood with a drawknife. The pull of green woodworking led Gabe to the Folk School in 2020 for the Traditional Craft Mentorship Program in Chairmaking. Smitten by greenwood ladderback chairs and a mild Appalachian fall (and lack of constant rain), he's eager to make Western North Carolina home. As for taking on the new position of Wood Studio Coordinator, he is most looking forward to the stimulation of being surrounded by the rich variety of instructors and students the Folk School attracts. Gabe has also been an active member of the Northwest old-time music and dance community for many years as a musician and square dancer caller. He looks forward to connecting with the Brasstown community through music and exploring the local mountains with his dog, Tilly, and his fishing pole.


Resident Artist Lindsey Liden
Lindsey Liden
Woodworking

Lindsey grew up in Brasstown, spending much of his youth at the Folk School. After years of traveling, studying art at Warren Wilson College, getting a music degree from UNC Asheville, and earning a diploma in fine woodworking from Haywood Community College, he has returned to Brasstown to share his discoveries. Lindsey is a multi-instrumentalist, luthier, and fine woodworker who also enjoys teaching music and woodworking. He builds banjos and furniture in his shop down the road from the school.

Additional thanks to our studio assistants:

Sheryl Koch
Stained Glass & Kaleidoscopes

Don Marks
Woodturning

Lynn Ann Miller
Book & Paper Arts

Christie Rogers
Weaving & Rugs

Virginia Urani
Painting

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1-800.FOLK.SCH (365.5724)
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John C. Campbell Folk School
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Brasstown, NC 28902


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