Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 20

In search of community
Folk school
teaches
more than
crafts
By Pamela A. Keene
Photos courtesy of John C.
Campbell Folk School

A

The art of words

t the John C. Campbell
Folk School in Brasstown, N.C., Wednesday is
"turning-point day" for students
immersed in weeklong learning.
"For many of our students, Wednesday's
the day that the light-bulb moment occurs, when
they realize that the undertaking they've chosen will
truly happen," says Jerry Jackson, executive director
of the 95-year-old school just across the Georgia
state line near Blairsville. "Perhaps they've chosen
a craft that's brand-new to them and spent the first
two days of class working through techniques. They
may have even, admit it or not, been frustrated. But on
Wednesday, somehow, for almost everyone, it all comes
together."
The school offers more than 860 weekend or
weeklong classes in skills such as blacksmithing, music,
storytelling, calligraphy, jewelry making, furniture
crafting, dyeing with natural sources and constructing a
kaleidoscope.

20

Georgia Magazine

Above: A student paints a pastoral scene
on the campus of the John C. Campbell
Folk School. Left: Two students enjoy
a jam session as part of their old-time
fiddle class.

June 2020

Sharon Coogle has taught
calligraphy at the school for more
than 25 years. She fell in love with
words and writing-actually creating the
shapes of letters-in the 1970s as a sophomore literature major at Eckerd College in
St. Petersburg, Fla.
"While studying medieval manuscripts that were
handwritten with lovely illustrations, I found a way to
combine art and words," she says. "I began to study
various documents and was fascinated by what I was
seeing."
Coogle studied the elaborately decorated lettering and the detailed, hand-drawn pictures that help
bring these ancient manuscripts to life.
"Calligraphy is a whole world that's more than
lovely lettering," she says. "It combines drawing, painting and creativity. There's no one particular style, so
people can come up with their own lettering."
Professionally, she slowly gained exposure for her
talent in the corporate world.



Georgia Magazine - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - 8
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Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - June 2020 - Cover4
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