Arts, Crafts, and Folklore Classes

Arts, Crafts, and Folklore Classes

July 7 - July 26, 2019

Over 45 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.

 – Kevin “Woody” Woodcock, Craft Coordinator

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

Registration will open on March 5, 2019. 

(+ Room & Board or other available options.)

Register Here! |July 7-12 Schedule of Events Coming Soon!July 14-19 Schedule of Events  Coming Soon!July 21-26 Schedule of Events Coming Soon!

Participants register for one workshop for the week. Each workshop builds upon information presented the previous day.

2019 Workshop Leaders and Classes COMING SOON. 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.”

Week of July 7-12, 2019

Blacksmithing (Beginning / Intermediate) – Zander Aloi

Blacksmithing (Beginning / Intermediate)  

This workshop serves as an introduction to traditional metalworking techniques for the beginning blacksmith, and will be taught as a combination of demonstration and personal instruction. The workshop will begin with a discussion of best safety practices, and move on to starting and maintaining coal-fueled forges. Participants will learn fundamental forging processes including tapering, drawing out, splitting, and scrolling. Participants will then combine these basic techniques to create various functional and decorative pieces such as wall hooks, fire tools, and other types of hardware. The workshop will also make time for participants to work on personally selected projects for which the instructor will provide assistance on process and design.

A limited number of spaces will also be open to those with prior experience to work on personally selected projects with design and technical guidance from the instructor.

All participants should bring a cross-peen hammer and a set of tongs, as well as eye and hearing protection, welding gloves, and closed-toed shoes.

Zander Aloi

Zander Aloi is a blacksmith and West Virginia native. His first experience in the craft was through a workshop with Augusta as a high school student. Afterward, he worked on the student-run blacksmith crew while studying history at Warren Wilson college in Swannanoa, North Carolina. He has since gone on to work as a smith in living history sites, instructional settings, and production shops in West Virginia, Michigan, and North and South Carolina, as well as working on various public history and historic preservation projects. In his work as an independent craftsman, he focuses on adapting traditional forms and processes to fit modern uses.
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Cajun Cooking (All Levels) – Jackie Miller, assisted by Michelle Brown and 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. Michelle Brown and Judie Smith will assist.

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

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.

Photo coming soon!

Michelle Brown

Michelle says, “I was born and raised in rural South Louisiana on a farm, and cooking was something I learned to do at an early age. My mom was a homemaker and cooked every day. I watched and learned from her the ways of Cajun cooking. My culture is known for our great food, and where there is food, there are family and friends. We talk about our next meal while we are eating the one we just prepared! I also like to bake, and my pastries are served at the local coffee shop in Eunice, Louisiana. After 25 years bringing many little people to school for Acadia Parish, I retired one year ago as school bus operator. My passion for sewing, which began at age 9, is a joyful hobby for me. I was able to make wedding gowns for both of my girls. I love sewing for my granddaughters and enjoy repurposing wedding gowns into baby dedication gowns, including bonnets for a special day in the life of a child. I started quilting and learned old fashioned tatting and smocking. My husband Greg and I are the parents of three children, Anya Thibodeaux, Megan Brown Constantin, and Briggs Brown. We have two granddaughters, Roury and Iris, and excitedly await another granddaughter “Shirley Mae,” who will be born in August. Megan and Briggs are both involved in Cajun music and preservation of our Cajun Culture. Greg and I enjoy canning and preserving produce from his garden. My parents own a Cajun Restaurant, DIs Cajun Restaurant, which is known worldwide and has been open for 33 years. My siblings and I help at the restaurant. I look forward to working with Ms. Jackie in the Cajun cooking class, making new friends while demonstrating to them our way of life here at Augusta.”

Judie Smith

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.

Lap Dulcimer (Advanced Beginning) – Luanna Moore

Through old tunes and songs of many genres, such as old-time, folk, gospel, Celtic, and country, we will expand playing abilities. We will explore adding chords to tunes; playing chords for jamming and accompaniment; playing in different keys, with and without a capo; playing in different octaves; and techniques such as hammers and slides. We will expand your repertoire of tunes. Most tunes will be taught in DAD, and some may be taught in DAA. Tunes will be taught many ways, and standard dulcimer tab will be provided for all tunes. Bring a capo if you have one, but don’t worry if you don’t.

This workshop is geared toward the advanced beginner level, meaning when you come to class you should be able to comfortably play some tunes, maybe add a few simple chords, and are ready to learn more tunes and techniques.

The workshop is a full-week class, and will meet from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Participants are welcome to attend the Classic Country and Cajun & Creole Week cultural sessions after lunch each day, and will have the opportunity to perform as a class in the Friday afternoon showcase.

Photo coming soon!

Luanna Moore

Luanna Moore was born and raised in the Elkins area. Her interest in the Mountain Dulcimer was sparked when she was a student at Berea College in Kentucky and had the opportunity to hear and see Jean Ritchie in concerts and workshops. Her father, a woodworker, made her first dulcimer from plans in Popular Mechanics. She carried her dulcimer to camps around the state, playing popular camp and folk songs of the sixties. In the 1980s, she took her first Augusta class and learned to play with others and use chords. Since that time, she has taken more Augusta classes, and participated in workshops in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. She is a regular at Pickin’ in the Park here in Elkins. She teaches weekly classes in mountain dulcimer at the Homestead Community Center and the Elkins Senior Center, where she also teaches hammered dulcimer. She leads workshops annually at Pattyfest and teaches tunes for the Mountaineer Dulcimer Convention. She has introduced hundreds of school students — pre-K through 12th grade — to the mountain dulcimer. She entertains at nursing homes, senior center events, churches, and many other local groups. Through teaching, she continues to pass on the heritage and the music of the dulcimer to others.

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

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.

Materials fee $35, payable to workshop leader. Ages 16 & up.

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.

Appalachian Berry Baskets, Folk Medicine & Lore (All Levels) – Talcon Quinn

Berry baskets are the first containers humans created. In the Appalachian region, tulip poplar bark is the most commonly used material to create these baskets. The class will cover what other tree barks can be used, best time of the season to harvest, as well as best harvesting practices. Each student will get to peel off the Tulip Poplar bark & getting on hands on experience of harvesting the materials. Once all the tulip poplar bark is transformed into containers, the baskets will be filled with plants, berries, stories and memories as Talcon leads you thru the woods to share knowledge of plants, animals and humans interactions with the natural world throughout history From common herbs you can find in any yard around North America to treat a bug bite, to rare orchids that can heal broken hearts; Talcon will share with you some practical and dear folk remedies. Sustainable and ethical harvesting is of the utmost importance to her, so though you will get to harvest herbs for creating a slave and a tincture, what herbs are harvested will be decided in the field. As a group you will go thru a check list to make sure proper harvesting techniques are being practiced to ensure that the plants come back hopefully even stronger than before. Folk medicine is passed down in an oral tradition. It is learned by spending time in the woods with others who spend time in the woods. Talcon Quinn adores being in the natural world and sharing stories. She looks forward to not only teaching you how to craft a berry bucket, make a salve and prepare a tincture; but to also hear the stories you have to share & to create new ones as a group.

Materials fee $70 – 80, payable to workshop leader. Ages 13 & up.

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.

Week of July 14-19, 2019

Appalachian Weaving for the Kitchen (All Levels, Beginner to Advanced / All Ages) – Rachel Slaughter

Appalachian Weaving for the Kitchen (All Levels, Beginner to Advanced / All Ages)

Historically, weaving was passed from generation to generation and in this class we hope to honor the old ways of passing on knowledge by inviting advanced weavers to learn new techniques alongside beginning weavers who are just getting their start. In this class we will explore traditional and historical weaving drafts collected in the Appalachian region and use them for inspiration to design kitchen textiles. Using Frances L. Goodrich’s Brown Book of Weaving drafts, students will get to learn about historical Appalachian textiles and their production. For beginner weavers we’ll learn to warp and weave on floor looms and take inspiration in the colors and time honored methods of weaving for the homestead.  For more advanced weavers, you can learn to use block drafting methods to manipulate overshot patterns to make your own unique creations.  After designing or finding patterns that suit each students understanding of woven structures, students will warp and set up their looms for weaving. Using these methods, and developing drafts students can expect to weave beautiful kitchen towels, placemats, napkins, and/or table runners depending on their weaving pace.

Materials fee $60 – 70, payable to workshop leader. Ages 12 & up.

 

Rachel Slaughter

Rachel Slaughter is a weaver and farmer from Johnson City, TN. Growing up in Louisville, KY she learned to weave in high school at the Little Loom House. She continued weaving at Warren Wilson College’s Fiber Arts Studio while studying international relations. Since finishing school, Rachel has taught weaving and fiber arts in schools, colleges and community centers throughout the southeast. She works to combine her passions for farming and textiles by raising sheep, growing cotton and flax, and various natural dyes to use in her textile production. Her current work focuses on using natural, U.S. produced fibers to create modern takes on traditional Appalachian overshot patterns.
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Constructing a Parlor Guitar: Part 1 of 2 – (All Levels) – Aviva Steigmeyer (Participants attend both weeks)

Constructing a Parlor Guitar: Part 1 of 2 – participants attend both weeks – (All Levels) 

This two-week course provides a unique opportunity to build a basic parlor guitar from scratch using traditional building techniques and aesthetics from the golden era of guitar building (1900-1930s). We will build an unadorned ladder-braced small-bodied guitar with domestic hardwoods and a 12 fret to the body neck. This is not a kit-building course but some materials will be prepped for you so that we can complete the guitar in the allotted time.

During week one, participants will learn how to hand bend guitar sides, mix and use hot hide glue, cut a soundhole, glue top and back braces, assemble the guitar body, lay out the neck, and cut a traditional dovetail neck joint.

Week two will continue with carving the neck with drawknife and spokeshave, applying shellac and a French polish finish, fretting, gluing a bridge, and setting up the guitar with nut, saddle, and tuners. While our goal will be to leave with a finished guitar, more importantly students will gain a good understanding of the process of guitar construction and the confidence to carry out these skills with your own hands.

All tools will be provided although we will be taking turns with some of the specialized tools. If you have any of your own tools that you’d like to bring or think would be helpful, please contact Aviva in advance.

A materials fee of $300, payable to the workshop leader, will cover all wood and hardware (tuners, bone nut and saddle, bridgepins, endpin, fretwire, and strings) needed to build your parlor guitar. At the end of the course there will be an option to buy some of the jigs and tools that we used.

Familiarity with stringed instruments and good listening skills is a must. Woodworking experience is helpful but not required.

Ages 16 & up.

Aviva Steigmeyer

Aviva Steigmeyer lives in the Ozark mountains near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is inspired by rural American folk arts of the early 20th century. After years of tinkering with instrument repair Aviva traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for an intensive apprenticeship in guitar building with Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitar Company. In 2013, Aviva started building her own guitars under the name Preservation Guitar Company. Her focus is on small-bodied guitars built with American hardwoods and she draws on aesthetics and building techniques from 1920s-era parlor guitars. Aviva also plays guitar and sings with the old-time string band “The Ozark Highballers” and spends time gardening and printmaking. Her work reflects an appreciation of the simple and the traditional while also exercising the freedom of individual creation and the beauty of imperfection. Www.preservationguitar.com

Heather Summers, Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Creative Writing (All Levels) – Rebecca Gayle Howell

Creative Writing (All Levels) – Rebecca Gayle Howell

In Appalachia, we talk often of the traditional repertoire in the context of music or crafts, but rarely when it comes to writing. Still, a hundred years of literature has sprouted from this ground—poetry and storytelling styles evolving right alongside fiddle tunes and banjo styles. What is their relationship? How can you learn to write a better poem by better understanding the accomplishments of a Sarah Ogan Gunning or a Roscoe Holcomb? How about Irene McKinney? Jim Wayne Miller? What is it about this place that has given rise to such a prolific, particular artistry? In this generative workshop, we will read and write daily, asking questions about inheritance and innovation, origins and originality, as we explore a literary culture unique in the American idiom.

Rebecca Gayle Howell

Rebecca Gayle Howell is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow. Her most recent book is American Purgatory, selected by Don Share for Great Britain’s 2016 Sexton Prize and named a must-read collection by Poetry London, The Millions, and the Courier-Journal. She is also the author of Render / An Apocalypse, which received wide critical acclaim, most notably by David L. Ulin for the Los Angeles Times who called it “remarkable.” Howell’s debut was as the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s Hagar Before the Occupation / Hagar After the Occupation, shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award and selected by Library Journal as a best book of 2011. Among her other honors are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Howell is the Poetry Editor for Oxford American and serves as the James Still Writer-in-Residence at Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky.

Gourd Art: Beyond the Basics (All Levels) – Suzi Nonn

Gourd Art: Beyond the Basics (All Levels)

If you can dream it, you can do it. Spend a week with a talented and well known gourd artist and make your fantasy gourds!

Come discover how to create unique pieces of gourd art. Learn how to create surface textures by carving, stippling, or cutting out waves of design. Or how to carve stone and channel inlays. Experience chip carving and coiling and ways to enhance your gourd with color by using inks, dyes or powders. Embellish your work of art with beads, stones and other natural materials. Create functional bowls, light fixtures, or whimsical decorative items. In this workshop, all this is possible and more!

The goal of this workshop is to encourage participants to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with new techniques. The workshop leader will tailor the program to meet the participants’ needs, meeting them where they are, and helping them stretch their abilities to the next level.

Materials fee $50 – $75, payable to workshop leader. Ages 16 & up.

Suzi Nonn

Susan (Suzi) Nonn, artisan and author, has worked with gourds for more than twenty 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. 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.

Week of July 21-26, 2019

Affrilachian Storytelling: Roots, Replanting and Common Ground – Lyn Ford

Explore the diversity and transcultural traditions of Appalachian storytelling through its age-old heritage of African- American narratives. Discuss and compare stories to narrative concepts from your own families and communities–why and how do we relate to the “ancient” and “traditional” tales, and what importance do they have in contemporary education and life, common sense problem-solving and wisdom-keeping? Trace the story map of the Appalachian Region and its impact on storytelling and story styles in other parts of the country. Experience unique story variants, and discover or rediscover motifs and characters sharing humorous, haunting and heartfelt common ground. Enhance your own spoken-word stylings, too; if you’re working on a tale to tell, we’ll help you nurture its development through the honing of your unique story-sharing tools, the practice and preparation of your presentation skills, and gentle communication and coaching in a joy-filled atmosphere.

When we’re done, all participants will have:
• gained information on Appalachia’s storytelling diversity, developing the potential for deeper respect for its many cultures;
• experienced story models and recognized motifs and variants;
• received a handout of information and resources for potential research and story-building, as well as tips for prepping and “easing into” oral communication, and,
• for those participants who want to tell, gained a higher level of confidence in sharing their stories.

Our process:
• 20% demonstration, discussion, and lecture.
• 20% experiential models of interaction/communication through story and exercises for vocal and physical expression.
• 50% individual and group story “play” and presentation.
• 10% Q & A and reflection.

Lyn Ford

A nationally recognized fourth-generation storyteller, author and educator, Lyn Ford shares folktale adaptations, spooky tales, personal and original stories rooted in her family’s multicultural Affrilachian (African-American Appalachian) heritage. Ford’s “Home-Fried Tales” are seasoned with rhythm, rhyme, audience interaction, humor, and heart. Lyn is an Ohio teaching artist in a state-based collaborative initiative of the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and a Thurber House mentor for young authors. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers Circle of Elders, an award-winning author and a two-time recipient of the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence award. “An exceptional artist.” – Jim Arter, Greater Columbus Arts Council

West Virginia Foodways with Lost Creek Farm (All Levels) – Amy Dawson & Mike Costello

West Virginia Foodways with Lost Creek Farm (All Levels)

This workshop will explore Appalachia’s rich food heritage from a whole hog perspective, through butchering and preservation techniques passed down through the generations in north central West Virginia. We’ll learn to break down a whole heritage-breed hog from a local farm, preserving various parts for year-long use — shoulder cuts to make heritage sausage, leaf lard in storied pastries and desserts, salt pork in leather britches, and offals for charcuterie. Through hands-on demonstration and storytelling, we’ll take several side journeys into the traditions such as seed saving, salt rising bread, and pickles from the summer garden. No previous experience necessary. Closed-toed shoes and a reasonably strong stomach is needed for this class.

Materials fee $100 – 150, payable to Lost Creek Farm. Ages 16 & up.

Mike Costello

Mike Costello developed an appreciation for the relationship between land and food at an early age, roaming the fields and forests on his family’s farm, learning to string pole beans and bake traditional desserts from his grandmother. By high school, Mike knew he wanted to be a chef, but in local fine dining establishments he encountered a then-pervasive mentality that “quality” ingredients must be shipped to Appalachia from far away. This caused Mike to back away from his formal culinary education before it even started, instead going into the field of journalism. Though he’s taken a long, circuitous route to assuming his role as chef at Lost Creek Farm, he never losing sight of his early desire to open a culinary business that would make the Mountain State proud.

Amy Dawson

Amy Dawson is a farmer, baker, teacher, and co-owner of Lost Creek Farm. She grew up in a farming family in the farming community of Lost Creek, West Virginia. As far as she can trace back (about six generations or so) her family has raised and slaughtered their own hogs in West Virginia. Growing up, she helped process the hogs every fall, butchering and preserving the meat, as well as gardening, handling cattle, canning, and other farm-based tasks. In college, Amy studied Geology and Law, but always felt a pull back to the farm. She returned to the farm to help start Lost Creek Farm, a culinary and farming business that highlights the local food-based techniques and stories of her part of Appalachia.

Constructing a Parlor Guitar: Part 2 of 2 – (All Levels) – Aviva Steigmeyer (Participants attend both weeks)

Constructing a Parlor Guitar: Part 2 of 2 – participants attend both weeks – (All Levels) 

This two-week course provides a unique opportunity to build a basic parlor guitar from scratch using traditional building techniques and aesthetics from the golden era of guitar building (1900-1930s). We will build an unadorned ladder-braced small-bodied guitar with domestic hardwoods and a 12 fret to the body neck. This is not a kit-building course but some materials will be prepped for you so that we can complete the guitar in the allotted time.

During week one, participants will learn how to hand bend guitar sides, mix and use hot hide glue, cut a soundhole, glue top and back braces, assemble the guitar body, lay out the neck, and cut a traditional dovetail neck joint.

Week two will continue with carving the neck with drawknife and spokeshave, applying shellac and a French polish finish, fretting, gluing a bridge, and setting up the guitar with nut, saddle, and tuners. While our goal will be to leave with a finished guitar, more importantly students will gain a good understanding of the process of guitar construction and the confidence to carry out these skills with your own hands.

All tools will be provided although we will be taking turns with some of the specialized tools. If you have any of your own tools that you’d like to bring or think would be helpful, please contact Aviva in advance.

A materials fee of $300, payable to the workshop leader, will cover all wood and hardware (tuners, bone nut and saddle, bridgepins, endpin, fretwire, and strings) needed to build your parlor guitar. At the end of the course there will be an option to buy some of the jigs and tools that we used.

Familiarity with stringed instruments and good listening skills is a must. Woodworking experience is helpful but not required.

Ages 16 & up.

Aviva Steigmeyer

Aviva Steigmeyer lives in the Ozark mountains near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is inspired by rural American folk arts of the early 20th century. After years of tinkering with instrument repair Aviva traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for an intensive apprenticeship in guitar building with Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitar Company. In 2013, Aviva started building her own guitars under the name Preservation Guitar Company. Her focus is on small-bodied guitars built with American hardwoods and she draws on aesthetics and building techniques from 1920s-era parlor guitars. Aviva also plays guitar and sings with the old-time string band “The Ozark Highballers” and spends time gardening and printmaking. Her work reflects an appreciation of the simple and the traditional while also exercising the freedom of individual creation and the beauty of imperfection. Www.preservationguitar.com

Heather Summers, Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Loom Weaving: Overshot Weave Structure (From Scratch to Advanced) – Jennifer Lackey

Loom Weaving: Overshot Weave Structure (From Scratch to Advanced)

Explore this beautiful and iconic weave structure which has been used for everything from antique coverlets to lovely scarves to kitchen towels! The class will look at the different draft methods for these weaves as well as warping the loom and weaving with two shuttles. The ability to independently warp a loom is recommended but the course is open to novice weavers. Students will explore overshot possibilities by weaving a series of “mug rugs” that could even be turned into a pillow top or a guitar strap. Looms and materials provided.

Materials fee TBD, payable to workshop leader. Ages 16 & up.

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

White Oak Basketry (All Levels) – 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.

Materials fee $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.
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Click here to see additional full day workshops!

Click here to see the Dance workshops offered this week!

Click here to see Arts, Craft & Folklore workshops offered this week!

Click here to see the Folk Arts for Kids! workshops offered this week!

Click here to see all  mini courses offered this week!