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Arts & Entertainment Folk school Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction supports rich crafting tradition

Elmer Roush of Brasstown, N.C., teaches blacksmithing techniques to a class at the folk school.Cooler temperatures and falling leaves inspire a season filled with festive indoor gatherings. The John C. Campbell Folk School's Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction has become a premier November event, drawing residents, fall visitors, and folk school supporters to the school's Brasstown, North Carolina campus. On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Folk School's Keith House Community Room will host this lively afternoon fundraiser. Dozens of fine craft items will be up for bids, including forged metal, jewelry, fiber, pottery, and wood pieces. Attendees will enjoy friendly camaraderie while supporting the folk school's Clay Spencer Blacksmith Shop and other acclaimed craft programs. Auction admission is free.

“Jesus Praying in the Garden,” a woodcarving by Helen Gibson of Brasstown, N.C.The Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction festivities will begin with a silent auction from 1 to 2 p.m. Attendees can bid on fine crafts donated by folk school instructors, students, and other artists. Browsers can also preview live auction items before this keystone event takes place from 2 to 4 p.m., with folk school director Jan Davidson serving as the enthusiastic emcee. Jovial auctioneers Tim Ryan and Bob Grove will drive the bidding while they keep attendees smiling in their seats.

Auction proceeds will help the folk school continue its rich tradition of craft leadership. In fact, resident woodcarving artist Helen Gibson, who donated her “Jesus Praying in the Garden” carving, has been intertwined with the folk school her entire life.

“The folk school is just a place I've lived around all my life ... The folk school has just always been a part of the community.”

Blacksmithing instructor Elmer Roush, who donated his “Spike Tomahawk,” expressed his two-fold vision for the folk school's future.

Helen Gibson of Brasstown, N.C., assists a student with a carving during a woodcarving class at the Folk School.“It is my hope that the folk school will become a center for learning traditional crafts, and a place for serious craftspeople to come to learn more about their chosen field.”

A successful Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction can help make that wide-ranging vision a reality.

As the pre-auction excitement builds, the auction website showcases a growing list of participating artists and selected auction item photos: www.folkschool.org/auction. On Oct. 29, the folk school launches its eBay fine craft auctions as well. Learn more about the Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction by calling the John C. Campbell Folk School at (828)837-2775, or visit www.folkschool.org/auction.

The John C. Campbell Folk School is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

This spike tomahawk by Elmer Roush is of an 18th century trade style, specific to northeastern U.S.


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