John C. Campbell Folk School invites you to attend its 47th annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 7, and Sunday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school’s Brasstown campus. Since 1974, the Folk School’s Fall Festival has attracted thousands from across the region for an extraordinary celebration of Appalachian craft, culture and heritage.
“There’s a real community that forms around this event,” says the Folk School’s marketing and communications assistant Rachel Lomauro. “I hear so many stories of folks that attended years ago with their parents or grandparents, who now bring their kids and grandkids to experience the same magic and make new cherished memories.”
This year’s festival will feature more than 200 craft vendors exhibiting along winding wooded paths. Davidson Hall, the woodworking studio porch, and the blacksmithing shop will host activities and demonstrations of traditional and contemporary crafts throughout each day.
Items typically available include everything from paintings, drawings, photography and other two-dimensional art to basketry, brooms, quilts, homemade soaps and carved and turned wood objects.
Glass artist Terry Hale will show her lampwork beaded jewelry for what she guesses is the tenth year. The beads are decorated with dots, lines, scrollwork, fine silver leaf or wire, then placed into a computer-controlled kiln to cool slowly, releasing stress in the glass and making it resistant to cracking. Her finished pieces include necklaces, earrings and other items made with sterling silver.
“It is an absolute delight to be smack dab in the middle of so much creativity,” says Hale. “Amazing artwork is everywhere, wonderful food is offered up, there’s great music and dancing all weekend and the people who attend are excited to experience it all.”
Potter Sienna Shute is returning for her second year at the Festival. Her work will consist mostly of functional tableware, including her newest pieces with carved vine patterns, curvy, feminine shapes and a glaze palette that leans toward light and airy pastels.
“I’m also excited to debut what I call mountain vases with these new designs,” says Shute. “These are curved, narrow flower bricks with a mountain range silhouette.”
Shute will share a booth with her husband, banjo maker Lindsey Liden. She will conduct a wheel throwing demonstration on Sunday and will dance both Saturday and Sunday as part of the Morris dance team Dame’s Rockets.
Traditional roots music, storytelling and dance performances will take place on two stages each day of the event. Youth-oriented activities will include face painting and hands-on crafts. Twenty-one food vendors will be on site, with offerings including the Folk School’s famed barbecue.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for those 65 and over, veterans and youth ages 12-17. Children under 12 enter for free. To learn more or purchase tickets in advance, visit FolkSchool.org/FallFestival.