The Adirondack Folk School’s 2018 Course Catalogs are now available around the region in public libraries and many stores and businesses.
The nonprofit school in Lake Luzerne hosted its first class in 2010. Year round it offers more than 200 classes, such as the popular “Build a Wee Lassie Canoe,” in which students spend 11 days building their own lightweight, cedar canoe. » Continue Reading.
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. » Continue Reading.
Once again the Adirondack Folk School is hosting evening blacksmithing demonstrations at its Lake Luzerne school in addition to all its other traditional Adirondack art classes.
Since its founding in 2010, the Adirondack Folk School has provided artisan classes with the core idea to keep Adirondack crafts alive.
My family was fortunate to be able to attend one of the free evening blacksmithing demonstrations years ago. At that time the pavilion and blacksmith forge were new. The opportunity allowed us to watch Blacksmith Steve Gurzler create beautiful forged objects while teaching his students. Gurzler is once again back for the Open Forge Nights. The monthly events take place on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Bring a picnic or just stop by to watch. For those wishing to learn the art of blacksmithing there is a $20 materials fee. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Folk School has announced its second ADK Fiber Experience Getaway Weekend event scheduled from Thursday night, April 24, 2014 through Sunday, April 27, 2014. The event will be held at two sites: the Adirondack Folk School and the Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George. This year’s ADK Fiber Experience includes fiber arts classes during the day Friday and Saturday, fun events at night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and free farm tours scheduled for Sunday in conjunction with the Washington County Fiber Tour.
Participants can knit and spin with Donna Kay, a master fiber artist from New Hampshire, do felting work with local artist Robin Blakney-Carlson and Carol Ingram, a felter from Connecticut, and weave with Tegan Frisino. There are classes planned in rug hooking, making stitch markers, knitted wire jewelry, wheat weaving, and more. » Continue Reading.
It’s spring in the Adirondacks! This is a photo of one of the participants in the ‘Perfect Pictures Every Time’ photo workshop I did during the last weekend of April at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. I saw him move into place by the cascades, and moved over to place him in front of the falls. Zoomed in to a telephoto focal length and shot with about a 1 second exposure to have a nice motion blur in the water. What a beautiful day it was for a workshop and photography.
For much of the past summer, Chris Shaw was busy organizing workshops and staging concerts of the region’s traditional music at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. “It’s vital that we preserve these songs,” said Shaw. “Nothing gives you better access to the Adirondack experience than listening to the music.” But it’s not the mission of the Adirondack Folk School to display the region’s hand crafted products behind glass, nor to make craftsmen into re-enactors; it’s to ensure that the traditions will be continued, said Shaw.
“That’s what’s so cool about the Adirondack Folk School; you don’t just learn the history of Adirondack pack baskets, you make one. It’s the same with music. We want to maintain the musical traditions, but also, to see them live and evolve,” he said. Shaw, a native of Lake George, has made a career of singing Adirondack folk songs and telling Adirondack tales. » Continue Reading.
The weather in April can be a bit finicky, to say the least. Just as in any other season in the Adirondacks, there are inside options for entertaining ourselves.
The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne has finalized its 2012 schedule of over 200 classes focusing on the traditional folk arts and crafts of the Adirondacks.
Executive Assistant Mary Stevens says,” We do have some nice classes going on this month with the majority of our programs ranging from a few hours to a few days. Currently we have courses such as ‘How to carve an Adirondack Loon,’ with Walt LeClair, and ‘Making Gourd Art’ as well as the popular ‘Stick and a Hike.’”
Stevens says that planning ahead is essential, as classes do tend to fill up. Classes at the Adirondack Folk School are geared toward individual attention, so attendance is intentionally kept low.
We are a small, non-profit,” says Stevens. “We are always open to having people interested in volunteering to come and fill out a registration form. Up until this year, 2012, the Adirondack Folk School was completely run by volunteers. We have 25 new instructors at the school this year for a total of 75. We are very excited to have them and all that they are offering.”
Stevens says, “Our whole goal is to promote the arts, crafts and culture of the Adirondacks. We aren’t looking for students with previous skills. We want people to able to walk out of class with a nice piece of art or something functional.”
“We have a number of classes for children,” says Stevens. “What we call ‘A Stick and a Hike’ is very popular. An adult comes with the child and they learn to carve their own hiking stick. During the morning the students learn about trail etiquette and what to take on a hike. Later they can enjoy the trails. It is a nice day to share for anyone ages 8 to 80.”
Other classes geared toward children are Nature Photography, Tinsmithing for Young People, Basic Blacksmithing, Fly-Casting Basics for the Young as well as Creative Clay Construction for Kids.
On April 21 the Adirondack Folk School will be hosting a free event called “Song and Story Swap” with singer and musician Colleen Cleveland. People are encouraged to share songs, stories or poems in a round robin, focusing on a specific theme. The Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) will be there with plans to record and present the evening of music on their website.
“We also have a new open air bread oven and will be teaching a series of cooking classes we didn’t have in 2011,” says Stevens. “We will be teaching a class on ancient grains and baking in a wood-fired oven. In the fall, we will be having a Colonial Fest and students will be using colonial cookbook recipes to make food by traditional methods, such as cast iron Dutch ovens.”
The Adirondack Folk School opened its doors in 2010, offering 90 classes to almost 300 students in that first year. Housed in the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building, the school hosts inside or outside classrooms in fiber arts, basketry, woodworking, ceramics, woodcarving, felting, quilting, blacksmithing, boatbuilding and more.
The coming weeks will provide lots of opportunities to shop for interesting handmade items, but one opportunity you won’t want to miss is the 2nd Holiday Gift Fair at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne this Saturday, December 3rd, from 9AM to 3PM.
The quality of the folk arts products is the best you will find anywhere, produced by the students and faculty in the Adirondack tradition. The types of articles you can find for sale include handcrafted furniture and woodworking, basketry, caning, ceramics, photography, leathercrafting, fiber arts, paintings, and so much more.
A special preview members-only event for the school’s supporters will be held on Friday, December 2nd from 7PM to 9PM showcasing the arts and crafts that will be later on sale. An individual membership starts at $25 annually. Contact the school to donate and register for this event. Donations go toward expansion and outreach efforts to make this school a success.
Opened for just over 18 months, the Adirondack Folk Art School is the first of its kind, designed to preserve an American tradition in Adirondack folk arts that is usually passed down from family to family, friend to friend. The school provides instruction in more than 20 types of crafts throughout the year at its beautiful Lake Luzerne setting with more 90 classes and workshops.
The holiday gift fair is a great opportunity to see where the traditions of Adirondack folk art live on—and to pick up a few Christmas gifts in the process. While there, you can pick up a course schedule and talk to the instructors to learn more.
Photos courtesy of Adirondack Folk School.
Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.
The Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will be showcasing its new pavilion and blacksmith forge this weekend with free blacksmithing demonstrations on June 18th.
The school is located at the former Town of Lake Luzerne town hall building. Classes in traditional Adirondack arts such as basketry and twig/rustic furniture building are available as well as other folk art traditions such as weaving, ceramics, quilting and fly tying. For families, one popular course is the “stick and hike” workshop. Parents and children can come create a walking stick and then go take their stick for a hike around the beautiful 6.8-acre Adirondack Folk School property that borders the Hudson River.
Adirondack Folk School Founder and Acting Director Jim Mandle says, “We recently had a group of high schoolers use the same techniques for the ‘stick and hike’ but instead of a walking stick created a memory stick with markings and carvings to highlight events that have influenced their lives.”
Mandle explains that a true “folk school” is based on a Danish principle in which people learn for the sake of learning, not to earn course credit. Some classes are set over a specific time frame but most classes are for a day to appeal to locals as well as visitors.
“The property is located on one of the most beautiful spots on the Hudson,” says Mandle. “It is the last free-flowing spot where the Hudson is untouched. Rockwell Falls is where we hold some of our painting classes.”
“The core idea of the Adirondack Folk School is to keep the Adirondack crafts alive,” says Mandle. “We just celebrated our one year anniversary on June 5th. We have a course catalog available. In the beginning I made a list of ideas for classes and sought out those instructors. Other people have since come to us and asked if they could teach a class. I am amazed what has happened in the past year.”
Mandle encourages people to just drop by and see the new blacksmith forge and maybe even get an opportunity to become a blacksmith for the day. With the addition of the outdoor pavilion the event will happen rain or shine.
The Adirondack Folk School is located on Main Street in Lake Luzerne. Offering over a hundred classes in traditional Adirondack folk art, there is bound to be something for everyone. Make sure to check their schedule of events for free summer events such as Saturday Evening Campfire-Sing-Along and July 2nd Anniversary Party.
photo: students participating in Adirondack Folk School blacksmithing class photo credit: Jim Mandle, Adirondack Folk School
Beginning in June, the much awaited Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne will begin its first classes. Dubbed by its founders as “the only school of its kind in the country dedicated to teaching the arts, crafts and culture of this unique Adirondack region,” the Lake Luzerne school will be housed in the former Odd Fellows hall (and later an elementary school and Town Hall) which was constructed in the 1930s. The school began with an idea by town resident Jim Mandle who was looking for ways to revitalize Lake Luzerne’s downtown. It came to fruition with the support of town leaders, Adirondack Community College, and the Adirondack Museum.
The school is expected to house classes in Fiber Arts, Basketry, Woodworking, Ceramics, Felting, Quilting, Fly Tying, Cooking, Gardening, Leather Craft, Photography, Outdoor Skills, Rustic Furniture, and Blacksmithing.
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