Tag Archives: john c campbell

Folk Art & Family Time

As most of you know, Andy and I recently spent a wonderfully chilly week in North Carolina. For the first part of the trip, we were in the small mountain town of Murphy visiting my mom and her family. We fit a lot into three days despite the dreary weather, one of first stops was the Holiday Folk Art Festival at John C. Campbell Folk School.


The bulk of the event was set up in the Keith House, which is where the school also teaches Contra dancing and hosts musical events.

Not only were there all manner of awesome crafts, the school was decked out for the holidays. Of course there were no store bought trappings for these dedicated artisans, only gorgeous handmade pieces would do.





Admittedly, I am always a little more interested in the jewelry than some of the other crafts at events like these, but some of the vendors surpassed even my high expectations.

These bracelets are tiny seed beads woven into elaborate patterns. Absolutely gorgeous and I don’t even want to think about how long it took to create them.


I picked up one of these Swarovski studded snowflakes for a friend; I would have bought the entire tree if I could have (Fox Den Designs, NC).



Holiday shopping aside, I did break down and buy these incredible hand wrought copper calla lily earrings for myself. They also had dogwood blossoms, which would normally be right up my alley, but something about these delicate bells called to me. I’ve worn them every day since (Stuart Nye).


The weather was pretty awful: cold, rainy and more than a little muddy. Everyone was holding their coats close and umbrellas high as we dashed from building to building.

At first, I felt horrible for this poor little guy; he was wet and cold, and he had the saddest brown eyes. I felt a little less bad after I noticed he was well fed and had a collar. Even less so after he used those eyes to con some of my fellow event goers out of half a hot dog and two biscuits, which were promptly eaten and then said pitiful puppy trotted happily away, tail up and everything.

It was a lot of fun talking to the local artisans and seeing the incredible pieces they spend their days creating. I’d love to come back and take some classes, perhaps during the summer when I can take a few vacations days. Now I only have to decide what I want to learn first.