Monday, September 10, 2012
Buckram, Surface Design, and French Flowers--JCCFS, 2012
For the past three years I have been fortunate enough to be asked to teach a 'Unique Offerings' class at John C. Campbell Folk School in the Appalachian region of North Carolina. The motto of the school is 'Sing Behind the Plow' and the logo is the plow team you see above. This metal piece I found tacked to the entrance to one of the many craft discipline studios on this beautiful 300 acres campus.
There is a very rich history to the Folk School, named after Olive Campbell's husband. The Campbells were enamored with the rich society mountain folk lived in and documented and cataloged that society for many years. The School is a culmination of that effort, founded by Olive Campbell and Marguerite Butler.
Gorgeous vistas all around this campus.
This year I taught a week-long class and then a weekend class. Week-long classes start on a Sunday night and end at lunch on Friday. Weekend classes start on a Friday night and end on Sunday at lunch. It made for a full week of great classes, fun people, new experiences and some fabulous work from my students.
The first class was entitled Hats and the Fabrics That Love Them (Buckram and Surface Design). Yes, that is a mouthful! The class was designed to incorporate three different ways to make a buckram frame hat, and then (the really fun part) to create your own textiles from a fabric stash, using a number of surface design techniques.
Surface design techniques included, pleating, slashing, dissolving, overlaying, embossing, and more. In the photo below you see a few samples and a covered buckram form without the rich textile covering as yet. Each student was required to make at least 4 textile samples to take home with them. They could choose whatever technique they wanted to cover their buckram hats.
Below, Cat works hard on her buckram pillbox. Three buckram hats were made: one was a pre-formed shape from a millinery supplier, another was a self-created dry buckram pillbox, and the other was a wet-shaped buckram form of the student's own design.
Beverly working on her pillbox. Beverly is a committed hat-wearer and wore one each day to class.
As we progressed through the week we also progressed in difficulty of technique. Pictures of the shapes from the wet-shaping part of the class and the most difficult of the three buckram techniques.
Marilyn gets silly!
Before I get into the French Flowermaking portion of my time at the Folk School I'll show you a few more pieces of the magnificent JCCFS puzzle. These photos are from displays in the History Museum on campus, to further explain this magical place. Read the short bio of John C. Campbell below.
Olive Campbell and Marguerite Butler.
A few more photos of sites around campus. You walk almost everywhere on campus and all these lovely little vistas appear out of nowhere.
On to the weekend class! French Flowermaking. On Friday night we all processed our fabrics so that we would be ready with dry fabrics the next morning. Weekends are very full classes here! Because they are very drippy after the processing, we hung them out to dry under a covered area in front of the Fiber Arts Building on make-shift clotheslines. When I went by to check on them early the next morning, the whole area was covered in fog. Makes for a beautiful and eery photo.
Enjoy the lovely flowers made during the class from many different fabrics--silks, linens, cottons; sheers, opaques, velvets, velveteens. Each student made two flowers--a large rose and a peony.
Many fiber arts are offered by the school over the course of a year. If you are interested in finding out more about the school and the many other offering throughout the year, click here. You will not be disappointed!