Arts, Crafts, and Folklore Classes

Arts, Crafts, and Folklore Classes

July 22 - August 10, 2018

Over 40 years ago, Augusta began as a craft and folklore program with an emphasis on traditional Appalachian culture. Today, week-long craft and folklore workshops are offered throughout the summer session alongside music and dance workshops, concerts, public dances, and special presentations that cover the history and literature of many traditions. Craft and folklore workshops are limited in size, with minimum ages for some workshops for safety reasons. Workshops meet all day, typically from 9 a.m. to noon, breaking for lunch, and resuming from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Our craft studios often buzz with activity late into the night as participants immerse themselves in their projects. Participants may sign up for one workshop per week.

Coming soon a greeting from – Kevin “Woody” Woodcock, Craft Coordinator

Tuition Guide:
$490/week if paid before June 1. $
530/week if paid after June 1. 

(+ Room & Board or other available options.)

Registration will open on March 1, 2018.

2018 Workshop Leaders and Classes. Click any name below to open more details. Click again to close.

Coordinator

Craft Coordinator – Kevin Woodcock

Kevin “Woody” Woodcock

Kevin M. Woodcock was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. After high school he traveled to West Virginia to visit a friend and was attracted to the mountainous beauty of the state. Kevin moved to Morgantown where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from West Virginia University. He met his wife, Mel, in Elkins through mutual friends. Kevin and Mel moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking at Louisiana State University. They moved back to West Virginia in 1989 and have lived in Elkins since 1992. Kevin creates his visual artworks at his home studio and at the Design Studio at D & E College where he works as a full time Art Faculty teaching Screen Printing, 2D Design, Intro to Printmaking, Beginning Painting and Color Concepts. Kevin also is involved with the ArtsBank Earth and the Arts program.

Kevin says “I am interested in showing the movement of wind, light, water and sound that I experience in nature, the phenomena of the natural environment intrigues me. When I was young the wilderness seemed like a place of mystery and adventure. This sense of mystery and adventure is still with me when I am creating artwork.” Kevin works in the mediums of screen, block and monoprinting as well as acrylic painting, “Music has a big influence on my work because I listen to some form of music while I am creating my pieces. I find some music actually causes me to envision landscapes and some I use for the energy it gives me to keep going. I am currently working on a series of pieces that are inspired from some of my favorite places in the Monongahela National Forest. When a painting or print is going well I feel like I am in the piece while I am working on it, I get totally into it and don’t notice what’s going on around me.”

 

Blues & Swing and Old-Time Week  (July 22 – 27) Craft Classes

Green Woodworking (Beginning / Intermediate) with Nathaniel Chambers

Green Woodworking (Beginning / Intermediate)

Green Woodworking (Beginning / Intermediate): In this workshop, participants will get an introduction to green woodworking, which is a traditional way of working with wood within certain specifications of a higher moisture content. For the most part, the wood we work with will be freshly cut, making it easier to turn or carve.

The first day or two of the workshop will be built around safety, tools, process, and design. We will learn about getting wood blanks out of a log for turning and carving. We will discuss knife and axe safety, sharpening, and spend time learning the correct cuts for carving wooden utensils. We will then move into bowl turning on the spring pole lathe. Participants will learn about preparing blanks and preparing them for the lathe. Then we will spend several days turning bowls and carving. Five days will be ample time to learn the basics of green wood carving and bowl turning.

Please be aware that working with the spring pole lathe is a strenuous physical activity. There will be four spring pole lathes available for use in the workshop, and participants should be prepared to share lathes and to engage in carving projects or activities when not turning on the lathe. Participants should come prepared to work! Tools will be available for purchase at the end of week, but all tool use during the workshop is included in the costs.

Ages 16 & up. Materials fee: $25 materials fee, payable to the workshop leader. All wood and tools provided.

Nate Chambers at lathe.

Bowl turned on spring pole lathe.

Hand carved spoons.

Nathaniel Chambers

Nate Chambers is a fulltime craftsman working out of Asheville, NC. He works primarily in the world of traditional craft: green wood turning on the spring pole lathe and electric lathe, coopering, green wood spoon carving, chairmaking, etc. He has been fortunate enough in the past five years to work with some of the best craftsman in the world, gathering and sharing information as he learns more and more about traditional crafts and how to apply the techniques in a modern, fast-paced world. In the past few years, most of his work has used machines, and his primary interest is the intersection of low tech traditional crafts and today’s technology. One of the questions he is trying to answer is how to work efficiently enough to make a living while trying to do the least amount of damage environmentally. Part of the answer comes from working with hand tools, which is a skill he teaches in classes and demonstrations in different parts of the country.

Loom Weaving (Beginning) with Jennifer Lackey

Loom Weaving (Beginning) 

Loom Weaving (Beginning): Explore all the skills you need to know for weaving beautiful cloth and projects on a loom. No prior knowledge or experience required! Participants will learn the differences in several kinds of looms but will focus their work on multi-harness weaving. We will cover the basics of how a loom works, becoming familiar with all of its parts, how they work and how to troubleshoot problems. The workshop will cover how to prepare your yarn to put it on the loom, how to warp a loom from start to finish, and how to read various styles of written patterns. Participants will work together to produce sampler dish towels. Then, they will be walked through the process of designing their own independent project, creating the warp and dressing the loom themselves to weave either a dishtowel or a scarf.

Ages 16 & up. Materials cost TBD.

Jennifer Lackey

Jennifer Lackey learned handcrafts at her grandma’s knee when she was just big enough to hold a needle. Becoming a serious knitter in college, she soon followed the thread of fiber down the rabbit hole and has now been a spinner for 17 years and an obsessed weaver for 6, especially of gigantic coverlets, having fallen in love with their history. Her spinning has won awards at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, including the overall Best Skein award in 2010 and the Grand Prize for blanket weaving in 2017. Currently serving as president of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild in Alabama (where she begrudginingly lives, held captive by her husband’s career and eternally disappointed that there isn’t room in their yard for a flock of sheep), she loves nothing more than promoting the love of handcrafts with those around her through the Guid and her own personal teaching. She has taught both spinning and weaving for nearly 10 years. www.jeekeehoo.com

Rug Hooking, Applique’ and Embroidery Together (All Levels) with Susan Feller

Rug Hooking, Applique’ and Embroidery Together (All Levels)

Explore how to combine these handcrafts as you learn about design. Choose to make a footstool or bring a pattern to colorplan and hook with embellishments. The footstool will have tin cans as the base and be covered with fabric. We are making the top using the three techniques and recycled materials like the McDonald Sisters of Gilmer County did in the 1970’s. (For information about their fascinating work, viisit ArtWools.com/McDonalds.) Supplies needed will be discussed before class including at least seven cans, fabric and yarns. These can be brought or available as a kit for $50 to be collected in class. Participants who bring a pattern will receive personal guidance in selecting materials and techniques. These lessons will benefit all participants as well. Participants should have some rughooking and sewing experience. Please bring a frame, cutter, hooks, wools, needle, and threads. Rughooking patterns designed by Susan can be ordered in advance from GreenMountainHookedRugs.com, and some will be available in the workshop with hand dyed wool for sale.

Materials fee varies, depending on participant projects. Foot stool kit available for $50.

Susan Feller

Footstool project

Chori of Angels

Susan Feller

Susan L. Feller learned rughooking in 1994 and has used the techniques with other handwork skills to explore traditions and contemporary design. She created 200 hooked rug patterns under the name of Ruckman Mill Farm, recently selling the business to a four generation company in Vermont. Now concentrating on studio work, teaching, writing, and advocating for the arts, her opportunities to exhibit have lead to honors. Her work is presented online under the business site of ArtWools.com. Feller is a Tamarack juried artist, recipient of a fellowship from Tamarack Foundation for the Arts to research the textile work of the McDonald Sisters, Gilmer County, and in 2017, a purchase award from the Division of Culture and History for the hooked rug ‘Progress in the Mountains’. She authore Design Basics for Rug Hooking (Stackpole Publishers), and Design in a Box-Frakturs (Ruckman Mill Farm), and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Rug Hooking Magazine. She is a past-President of The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers, a Board member of Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, and Board member of the River House in Capon Bridge, WV. BA from University of Massachusetts/Boston in Art and History.
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Stonecarving (All Levels) with Kevin Stitzinger

Stonecarving (All Levels)

Come and explore stonecarving as a stress free, meditative and highly creative artform that you can do at home with minimal setup. The instructor will guide you through the process of designing, roughing out and finishing your own alabaster sculpture. The class will focus on the safety, tools and techniques necessary for soft stone. This is an introductory course, however those with a bit of experience are welcome as well.

Ages 16 & up. Materials: $100, payable to workshop leader. Includes alabaster stone and a set of basic tools for participants to take home.

Kevin Stitzinger

Kevin Stitzinger is a stone sculptor living in Green Bank, West Virginia. His work focuses on three dimensional sculptures and low relief surface carvings with nature-oriented themes. Kevin has twelve years of experience sculpting stone and a formal education in geology and geography. He has found success as a stone artist by combining his understanding of stone structure with a variety of carving tools and techniques to highlight unique characteristics of the stone he selects. Kevin also has twenty-two years of experience in education and finds great satisfaction in teaching others how to enjoy the processes and results of stone work.

 

Cajun & Creole and Classic Country Week (July 29 – August 3) Craft Classes

Cajun Cooking (All Levels) with Jackie Miller, assisted by Judie Smith

Cajun Cooking (All Levels)

Learn the secrets of the Cajun kitchen, from roux to sauce piquante and étoufée, the typical home-style cooking which is an essential part of the culture of southwestern Louisiana. Judie Smith will assist.

Ages 16 & up. Materials: approximately $50, payable to workshop leader.

Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller from Iota, Louisiana, is a prizewinning cook and the author of two Cajun cookbooks. She teaches the secrets of authentic home-style Cajun cooking. She will be assisted by Judie Smith.

Judie Smith, Assistant

Judie Smith has been assisting with the Cajun Cooking class at Augusta for many years. A resident of Elkins and a faculty member of Davis & Elkins College, Judie fell in love with Cajun cooking at Augusta. She has made numerous visits to Louisiana and has connected with Cajun culture through Augusta and her friends there.

Figure Sculpting (All Levels) with Andy Thorne

Figure Sculpting (All Levels)

Figure Sculpting (All Levels): This workshop introduces different types of modeling clay and the sculpting of the human form. Designed for participants with little to no experience in the medium, the workshop will cover how to sculpt busts, how to sculpt the human form, and how to construct armatures while using both water-based clay and oil-based clay. Participants should bring a towel and clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty. Ages 15 & up.

Materials fee: TBD, payable to Augusta upon registration.

Photo coming soon!

Andy Thorne

Bio: Andy Thorne creates figurative sculpture that celebrates the strength and diversity of the Appalachian spirit. His goal as an artist is to create interesting and inspiring characters that are directly connected to the rich culture and heritage of West Virginia. For him, inspiration is found around every corner. The beauty and realism of the Appalachian region provides powerful imagery to draw upon in his work. During his undergraduate program he spent an ample amount of time traveling between Europe and Asia and explored the art from these inspiring cultures. As a sculptor he is constantly in awe of the figurative work produced during the Italian Renaissance, such as the work by Lorenzo Bernini, and the Buddhist sculpture that surrounds Asian temples. These experiences inevitably show through in his work by meshing a classical sculpture feel with historical West Virginian themes. In his studio he likes to use traditional methods to produce his work. It is important for him to use these hands-on techniques so that he can stay true to artists that came before him. The labor-intensive lost-wax process of bronze casting is his main media of choice. The freedom to quickly and easily manipulate clay allows him the ability to create realistic figures that come to life before his eyes. His work has often been described as serious, with an extraordinary level of detail. He is constantly working to improve his skills as an artist so that he can better portray the realistic quality of his figures. Currently, he is working on a series of Mountain Men that will be cast in bronze. His work is in private collections across North America as well as on public display at the West Virginia State Capital Complex.

Gourd Art: From Beginner to Artisan (All Levels) with Susan Nonn and Reagan Bitler

Gourd Art: From Beginner to Artisan (All Levels)

From Beginner to Artisan (All Levels): New gourd artists don’t just make birdhouses anymore! Come discover for yourself how to create unique pieces of gourd art. Learn basic and advanced techniques as you are guided through using three basic tools: a wood burner, mini-jigsaw, and carver. Learn how to create surface textures by carving, stippling, or cutting out waves of design. Wood burn and cut out negative space to enhance design elements. Explore ways to enhance your gourd with color by using inks and dyes. Create functional bowls, light fixtures, or whimsical decorative items. In this workshop, all this is possible and more!

The goal of the program is to engage participants in projects that advance their gourd-enhancing abilities above whatever level they have on entry into the program. The two workshop leaders will tailor the program to meet the participants’ needs, meeting them where they are, and helping them stretch their abilities to the next level. Throughout the week, participants will become more comfortable and confident in the use of the tools that enable them to execute progressively more difficult techniques.

Participants will begin with a simple bowl that incorporates the basic techniques of creating a unique art piece. Creating the bowl introduces you to simple dark line pyrography, edge cutting, stippling with a carver, and the blending of inks.

There are three more projects during the week (progressively more difficult bowls and a light fixture), that will continue to advance these basic skills. Participants will have opportunities to repeat the core techniques in each project and to progress to new techniques, such as removing negative space around elements in a bowl.

Participants that finish these projects prior to the conclusion of the workshop will have the opportunity to start a puzzle gourd. At the completion of the course, the participant will have the skills and knowledge to finish the puzzle gourd on their own. The puzzle gourd enables participants to practice more innovative gourd-art techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Nonn 

Susan (Suzi) Nonn, artisan and author, loves gourds—their shapes, their mold patterns, even their defects. She has worked with gourds for more than sixteen years, and through her classes and coaching, encourages others to try gourd crafting.

Suzi teaches gourd workshops at gourd festivals across the United States. (To see her current teaching schedule go to www.naturallyyoursgourds.com.) She coordinates the Gourd Gathering at Cherokee (North Carolina), the largest gathering of gourd artisans and classes on the East Coast, as well as one of the largest gourding events in the United States.

Nonn is also the author of Cut-Out Gourd Techniques, a book written to help gourd artists to improve their skills with the mini-saw. Her second book, Gourd Lights: How to Make 9 Beautiful Lamp and Lantern Projects was released in fall 2017. When not teaching, she can be found in her studio/garage enhancing gourds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reagan Bitler

Reagan Bitler is a gourd artist and a veteran public school educator located in Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania. Reagan’s twenty-five years of public school teaching has provided him with the skills to develop fun and innovating gourd classes for both adults and children. Reagan’s ability to easily connect with students, coupled with his expertise of the use of dark pyrography lines and micro saws to make intricate cut outs, allows his students to learn and develop gourd crafting skills while creating pieces of art under direction. Reagan has taught gourd classes at the New York Gourd Festival, Virginia Gourd Festival, Maryland Gourd Days, the Gourd Gathering at Cherokee, and the Pennsylvania Gourd Gathering. He has served as the President of the Pennsylvania Gourd Society and actively participates with the Harford Community College gourd group and the Mason Dixon gourd patch. Reagan works full time as an eighth grade social studies teacher for the Hanover Public School District.

Willow Wicker Basketry (All Levels) with Talcon Quinn

Willow Wicker Basketry (All Levels)

Over the course of this workshop, participants will complete at least one round or oval wicker basket. We will discuss the propagation, cultivation, harvesting, storing, and processing of willow for basketry. Participants will finish the week with the knowledge of how to source materials as well as how to weave another wicker basket on their own.

Davis & Elkins Campus has a nice plot of woods, and we will go for at least one walk and talk about other materials that can be used for weaving. Ethical harvesting and proper processing of these materials will be discussed, as well as the different styles of basketry they are used for. We may even collect some materials to incorporate into our wicker baskets.

The museum at the college has an excellent collection of traditional baskets from around North America. We will arrange a time after we walk in the woods to look at these baskets and discuss the materials and styles of weaving used.

Talcon Quinn is an folk artist, herbalist, and naturalist who has a wide array of knowledge about plants, animals, and humans interactions with the natural world throughout history. Though the focus of this workshop is on willow wicker basketry, participants will glean copious amounts of knowledge and some fun folklore. We will weave together creating our own stories to share with our communities to keep traditional skills alive.

Ages 13 & up. Materials: $100, payable to workshop leader.

Talcon Quinn

Talcon Quinn is a native of southeastern Ohio and has traveled extensively in the states as well as abroad.  She has been making jewelry for over two decades, and weaving and tanning leather for more than ten years. She has completed multiple programs in herbalism, wildcrafting, survival skills, and midwifery. Talcon has dedicated much time to studying and practicing these skills outside of these programs and has also befriended talented teachers across the globe to expand her knowledge and keep the tradition of folk teaching alive. She has also challenged herself to obtain materials for her crafts in an ethical and sustainably sound way.

Traveling and learning from others in the folk tradition keeps the stories, history, and culture of the crafts alive. Talcon strongly believes that it is important for humans to understand where we came from, how our ancestors lived, and the stories they shared about plants, animals, crafts, and the world around them. By teaching and practicing these old and not yet forgotten crafts, she strives to inspire others to slow down and connect with the natural world. She hopes to create waves of change and inspiration for everyone to respect themselves, each other, and the world in which we live.

 

Bluegrass Week and Vocal Week (August 5 – 10) Craft Classes

Letterpress Printing & Wood Engraving (All Levels) with Sarah Brown

Letterpress Printing & Wood Engraving (All Levels)

Letterpress Printing & Wood Engraving (All Levels): Letterpress printing has its roots in centuries-old traditions, essentially dating back to Gutenberg. Wood engraving is a traditional letterpress relief image-making process. In this workshop, participants will use these time-honored processes to design, set, illustrate, and print a limited edition work using a vintage printing press. Through this creative process, you will learn how to use traditional wood engraving tools, the processes of hand setting wood and metal type, and how to ink and print your work on a letterpress. Participants are encouraged to bring words and imagery as inspiration for their pieces. No previous experience is necessary.

Ages 16 & up. Materials fee: $25, payable to workshop leader.

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown is a wood engraver and letterpress printer. She has been making some form of art since she could hold a tool, but she honed her basic printing techniques at West Virginia University. A few years later, she saved a couple tons of letterpress printing equipment from the scrapyard of Phillipi, West Virginia, then dove head first into the vast world of letterpress printing. She combined her hours of personal work with the knowledge she gained during two internships, one with Igloo Letterpress and the other with Power and Light Press, to perfect platen press printing. Early on in her letterpress career, she took the Wood Engraving and Letterpress Printing workshop at Augusta from Jim Horton, and now, years later, they just completed a year-long apprenticeship program together.

 

Letterpress printing is alive and well, and there have been big strides made in modernizing the process. Though Sarah has learned how to use these new methods, she has chosen to stick with the most traditional processes, like using hand set type and hand-carved and wood engraved images. As the Mastermind of Questionable Press, she uses these traditional skills and her few tons of equipment to create unique little pieces of whim-wham and ephemera.

Wet Plate Collodion Photography (All Levels) with Lisa Elmaleh

Wet Plate Collodion Photography (All Levels)

This is an intensive workshop that dives into the wet plate collodion process that was the leading mode of photography in the 1850s and 1860s. The process is most commonly known in three forms – tintypes (positives on tin), ambrotypes (positives on glass), and glass negatives (negatives on glass). Participants will learn all of the basics of the process, including how to safely mix the chemicals. The workshop will also cover how to build a darkroom and modify a camera. All materials will be supplied.

Ages 16 & up. Materials: $100, payable to workshop leader.

Lisa Elmaleh

Lisa Elmaleh’s work is an exploration of America. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process. She is a West Virginia based photographer and educator at the School of Visual Arts and the Center for Alternative Photography. She has been awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Tierney Fellowship, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Elmaleh’s work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, PDN and The Oxford American, among others.

White Oak Basketry (All Levels) with Alan Miller

White Oak Basketry (All Levels)

The workshop covers tree selection, log splitting and the making of stakes, splits, and handles for white oak baskets. New participants will learn to make a small Williamsburg and a shopper style basket. Returning or advanced participants will have new projects. No previous basket making experience is necessary. The process requires some physical strength. All supplies will be provided.

Ages 16 & up. Materials: $12, payable to workshop leader.

Photo by Lisa Elmaleh.

Alan Miller

Alan Miller is a retired West Virginia state forester and forest entomologist. He was inducted into the WV Agriculture & Forestry Hall of Fame in 2000. Since his retirement, Miller has continued to go to the woods for his craft and has been making white oak baskets for fifteen years. He also repairs chairs, weaves chair bottoms with hickory bark splits and hand carves wooden cooking utensils (treenware). In addition to teaching basketry at Augusta, he demonstrates regularly at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center.

He has taught plant identification, entomology and other classes for over 50 years, including classes for the WV Wildflower Pilgrimage each spring at Blackwater Falls State Park and the Webster Springs Garden Club at Camp Caesar. He teaches at and directs the Ted Harriman Forest Industries Camp at Camp Mahonegon. He is also President of the Treasure Mountain Festival Association, organizing an annual festival in Franklin, WV, that attracts over 30,000 people each September.