Saturday, January 20, 2018

Adirondack Folk School Keeps Traditional Arts Alive

It may be chilly outside, but Lake Luzerne’s Adirondack Folk School is providing over 250 classes this winter to get people out of the cold. With a focus to continue to introduce and maintain traditional folk arts, the Adirondack Folk School provides a variety of classes that appeal to all skill levels.

“I started with the organization in November 2011,” says Adirondack Folk School’s Program Manager Mary Stevens. “We had only opened in June of 2010 so I’ve certainly seen change and growth throughout the years. Recently we’ve seen an uptick on registration for these traditional folk skill classes.

According to Stevens the organization has seen an uptick on registration for these traditional folk skill classes. More blacksmithing classes had to be added to the schedule as it was drawing people from a variety of locations.

“Even as beginners, people leave these classes with a beautiful finished product,” says Stevens. “All our classes focus on the tradition of making something or learning a new craft. We have rustic furniture building, fiber arts classes, jewelry making, canoe building classes, wood working and carving as well as weaving the iconic Adirondack pack basket. Those are a just a few of the offerings. We do have a catalog coming out shortly as well as a complete list on our website.”

The Adirondack Folk School even provides winter excursions such as Winter Shelters and Backcountry Safety. In the late spring, Bird Language: Interpreting Calls and Mushroom Foraging are a few springtime examples that incorporate the surrounding area.

Stevens is pleased that the Folk School has welcomed a wide range of students from a variety of geographic locations. “We’ve had students as far as Europe, the Mid-West and Southern states,” informs Stevens. “It’s really incredible. Most people are coming from the Adirondacks and Capital Region, but we get people from all over.

Membership is not required to take classes, but does provide a significant discount. All classes take place at the Lake Luzerne Main Street address.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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