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Instructors & Resident Artists

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.
Resident Artists
One of the most important things our Resident Artists do is 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, our Resident Artists 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!

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. When she opened Aunt Pattie's Basketry Shop in 1999, she began teaching on a weekly basis. She quickly realized that teaching had become as much of a passion for her as making baskets. She closed the store in 2002, still maintaining Aunt Pattie's in her home studio. She has been teaching at the Folk School since 2003. Pattie is a charter member of the Georgia Basketry Association and is a past president.

Paul Garrett at the anvil
Paul Garrett

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 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.

Resident Artist Terra Ciotta
Terra Ciotta

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.

Resident Artist Paul Roche
Paul Roche
Enameling, Hot/Warm Glass

Paul's versatile background includes being a chef for 15 years and a butcher for 8 years, and he is skilled at smoking meats - knowledge which he has shared with cooking students at the Folk School since 2008. An opportunity to assist in an enameling class completely hooked him on this art form. He now has a home studio producing enamel work, has taught enameling here since 2009, has also taught at Thompson Enamel, and his work has appeared in Glass on Metal.

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. A passionate advocate of healthy agriculture, local food, and forest farming, Karen is a member of North American Fruit Explorers, Seed Savers Exchange, and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She has taught 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 and was featured in the Summer 2010 issue of American Style. 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

Brittany has been photographing for over 14 years, and during that time obtained a degree in commercial photography at North Georgia Technical College in Clarksville, GA. She was department head of the Digital Photography Program at NGTC in Blairsville, GA, during the 2007-2008 term. She continues to teach private and group ‘introduction to photography' sessions locally, and has been a Folk School instructor since 2011. Brittany has also run a successful business for 10+ years, specializing in portraiture using natural light.

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

Martha learned to spin at the Folk School in 1978 and had sheep, Angora rabbits, and border collies by 1980. Also a banjo player and known to tell a story or two,
Martha's interest in sheep and wool, and 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! She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and former co-owner of Yarn Circle in Murphy, NC.

Pam Howard at the loom
Pam Howard
Weaving, Rugs, Needlework & Thread Art, Lace, Beading

Pam has focused on weaving and the fiber arts for more than 30 years. She has taught and presented programs throughout the Southeast and has also traveled
to Denmark to study Scandinavian weaving, culture, and history. Pam is a former staff member of Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot magazine and is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Resident Artist Helen Gibson
Helen Gibson

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.

Resident Artist Lindsey Liden
Lindsey Liden

Lindsey Liden grew up in Brasstown, spending much of his youth at the Folk School. After years of studying, getting a music degree at UNC/Asheville (with percussion as the focus), and traveling, he has returned to Brasstown to share his discoveries. He is a multi instrumentalist who enjoys teaching music, music theory, and composition to all ages, with very approachable methods for demystifying all three. Also a woodworker, Lindsey recently graduated from the Professional Crafts: Wood program at Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC. He makes spending time in the woodshop a challenging, yet safe, experience for youths and adults alike, and he now manages our studio as Woodworking Resident Artist.

Additional thanks to our studio assistants:

Lynn Ann Miller
Book & Paper Arts

Kay Patterson

Sheryl Koch
Stained Glass & Kaleidoscopes

Virginia Urani

Christie Rogers
Weaving & Rugs

Don Marks

Victor Wells

1-800.FOLK.SCH (365.5724)
828.837.2775 Contact us by email

John C. Campbell Folk School
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902

Main Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Craft Shop Hours:
By appointment only, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 828-837-2775

John C. Campbell Folk School is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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