PO Box 248
June 29, 2007
The Ocrafolk School
Ocracoke will host an exciting new island venture this year, the OcraFolk
School. The school will feature a one week long session of classes and workshops in a variety of
disciplines the fourth week of October.
Come out to Ocracoke, learn a new skill or study island life, and enjoy this
special place in one of the best seasons of the year.
Classes for October 21-26 will include:
Jewelry Making taught by island artist Kathleen O'neal
Kathleen has been making jewelry for 35 years now, and has had her own shop
"Island Artworks" on Ocracoke Island since 1991. She has studied her
art at Western Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, The University
of Texas, UNC Pembroke, with Metalsmithing and Enameling Workshops at Arrowmont
School of Craft, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC,
and the Enamelist Society Conference Classes at East Carolina University. She
has had shows at the Peachtree Gallery, Atlanta, GA; The NC Society of
Goldsmiths Exhibition, Pinehurst, NC; American Crafters Gallery, New York, NY;
and Eclectica, Savannah, GA.
Kathleen says, "With nature as our inspiration, we will create and
enamel forms of copper and fine silver. Enameling will be the focus of this
workshop, including cloisonne and basse taille. All levels are welcome, and
creative experimentation is encouraged.
Island Cooking taught by former owner of the Back Porch Restaurant,
Debbie began her cooking career in a small Atlanta restaurant, calling her
mother every day to inquire, "how do you make this?" She went on to a full
apprenticeship under French chef, Jacques Gely and an intensive professional
course taught by Madeliene Kamman. In l979 she opened her first restaurant on
Ocracoke Island, and in l984 purchased and founded The Back Porch Restaurant.
Over her fifteen years there, she wrote The Back Porch Restaurant Cookbook, and
was covered by Saveur Magazine, Gourmet Magazine, Bon Appetit, The Washington
Post, and The New York Times, among others.
This class will cover basic cooking techniques, including soup and sauce
making, baking, saute, roasting, de-boning and filleting of meats and seafood,
vegetable preparation and exotic desserts. We will prepare a five course meal
together every day, all amidst an informal atmosphere of fun and good food!
Island Photography taught by island photographer & author, Ann
A long-time resident of Ocracoke Island, Ann Ehringhaus still loves photography
after 30 years of shooting everything from whales to weddings to CD covers! Her
book, "Ocracoke Portrait" is a classic, capturing the beauty, humor,
and drama of island life. Ann's artwork has been exhibited throughout the
Southeast and is in numerous collections, public and private. She taught for ten
years in NC's Artist in Schools program. In this island workshop we will use
film as well as digital cameras on field trips and also explore creative
possibilities of the Polaroid transfer process. Be sure to check the school
website for further details.
Painting in Watercolor with Grace & Ease taught by celebrated eastern North Carolina
artist, Mary Ellen Golden
Recently featured in "Our State" magazine, watercolorist Mary Ellen Golden
lives in Wilmington, NC and operates a studio gallery downtown in The Cotton
Exchange. She finds that "the beauty in the natural world around us is my
favorite subject. We experience all sorts of beauty in flowers-color, shape,
fragrance; the associations and memories which come crowding in. This 'seeing
and feeling' experience is the most important part of being an artist." Her
work appears in numerous corporate collections, including General Electric,
Boddie Noell, Bank of America, Japan Nuclear Fuel, IBM, First Citizens Bank,
BB&T, DuPont, and Corning, and may be found in private collections
throughout the world. Mary Ellen will demonstrate watercolor techniques and
assist students as they paint their own Ocracoke watercolors.
Basketry: Materials & Techniques taught by island basket maker, Judith
Explore traditional and non-traditional materials used in basket-making with
acclaimed artisan Judith Saunders, featured at the Ocrafolk Festival.
Judith has been weaving three-dimensional forms with a variety of materials
for more than twenty years. She has had work accepted in many juried exhibitions
including the New Waves Exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center of VA in
2005, Basketry International 2006 at the Dairy Barn, and the Northeast Basket
Guild's Waves of Tradition exhibition in Pawtucket, RI 2006 where she received
the Handweavers Guild of America award.
Create baskets using techniques suited to your individual interests and
experience level, whether this means making your very first basket or adding
depth to your current level of expertise. If your hands need a rest, you can
spend time enjoying an extensive collection of baskets from around the world
available for your viewing pleasure and study.
Model Boat Building taught by boat builder, Jimmy Amspacher
Jimmy Amspacher grew up pulling crabpots, hauling scallops, and culling fish
for the commercial fishhouses of his home community, Atlantic, NC. Here he
experienced firsthand what made a "good work boat," learning from the
fishermen and skilled boat builders of Down East, as they worked the waters of
Core Sound. Today he maintains the same high standards of traditional
boat-building in his models and in his backyard boatbuilding operation. Students
will construct a plank-built wooden skiff model, using methods similar to those
used in building a full-size juniper skiff.
An Ocracoke Sampler taught by Philip Howard, Rob Temple, David
Senseney,& John Golden
Enjoy four days exploring Ocracoke island culture, history, traditions,
ecology, and people, from four different perspectives. Eighth generation
islander, Philip Howard, will introduce you to the unique and fascinating
history and geology of Ocracoke. Captain Rob Temple, of the schooner
Windfall, will pass along time-honored nautical traditions and let you
experience first-hand what it was like to sail aboard a traditional two-masted
schooner. David Senseney will explore with you the wild side of Ocracoke
(her beaches, marshes, and maritime forests), all with an insider's
perspective. And John Golden, talented musician and recording artist, will
examine the history of shipwrecks and their rescues, and the duties of
lifesaving heroes and light keepers of the Outer Banks.
All of the above classes are designed to help fulfill the folk school
mission, namely to:
- preserve local cultural heritage
- preserve hands-on skills in arts & crafts
- encourage creative thinking & action
- promote appreciation of the natural world
- build community
- provide off-season employment for Ocracoke residents
- utilize existing island resources in the "off-season"
- bring interesting & talented people to our community
A typical class schedule will be arranged as follows:
3-6 pm Registration & Check in
6:30 pm Group Dinner (family style)
7:30 pm Meet Instructors
Monday - Thursday
8 am Morning sing & coffee
9 - 12 am Classes (Monday morning
will be an introduction to Ocracoke Island, including a walk about the village)
12 noon Lunch
1:30 - 3:30 pm Classes
3:30 Free Time
6:30 pm Group Dinner (family style)
[except Wed. -- participants will make individual arrangements for Wednesday
7:30 pm Evening activity (to be
announced -- music, dance, stories, etc.)
8 am Morning sing & coffee
9 am School wrap
up/sharing/"show & tell"
Afternoon Trip to Portsmouth Island
(depending on weather -- additional fee & registration required)
Fees & Other Information:
Fees: $495.00 for a one-week class, including group meals. Please contact
the folk school for up-to-date & accurate information about a particular
class. Housing and materials
(if necessary) require extra fees. Again, please contact the school for
Class sizes: Most classes will average 6- 8 students, though
some classes will be larger, and some smaller.
Housing: The OcraFolk School does not provide housing. However,
Ocracoke village boasts a wide assortment of accommodations, including motels,
hotels, cottages, bed and breakfast inns, & campgrounds. In response
to your inquiry the school will send you information about island lodging.
Meals: OcraFolk School fees include tuition and group meals (see schedule above). Please contact
the school for other details. Lunches & Wednesday dinner are not provided for, but
are available at many of the island's fine restaurants & eateries.
Printable Registration Form (PDF Format) Here.
The OcraFolk School is sponsored by the Ocracoke Preservation
501-C3 non-profit corporation.
Information on this web page was correct at the time it was originally
published, but may not be accurate at the time you read
it. Up-to-date information about the school is available on the official OcraFolk
site. You can also contact the school by email if you have