Our Story

IMG_0651“Things we have made with wakened hands, and put soft life into
are awake through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing
for long years.
And for this reason, some old things are lovely
warm still with the life of forgotten people who made them.”

D.H. Lawrence

About the Folk School

Located in Boulder County, Living Arts School is Colorado’s folk school. A folk school, also known as a craft school, is a place for “folks” of all ages to pursue a unique and life-changing education–one that focuses on the renewal of traditional living skills, crafts and music, and in deepening our relationship with the natural world. The modern-day application of these practices represents a return to a simpler, more creative way of life. When we take the time to make something with our hands, or to be in nature, we find a delightful surprise: We are, through the process, more connected to ourselves, to our earth and to each other in the spirit of community.

Our workshops are held at various sites around Boulder County.  If you have a site to suggest, or you know of land (bare or built-on) that we may be able to develop into a more comprehensive folk school location, please contact us at info@livingartsschool.com or 720-383-4406.

For more information about folk schools, and the folk school movement visit our Resources page.

Our Mission

As Colorado’s folk school, the Living Arts School is committed to creating a haven for “folks” of all ages to pursue a unique and life-changing education–one that focuses on the renewal of traditional living skills, crafts and music, and in deepening our relationship with the natural world.  We believe that it feels good and is meaningful to make things for ourselves and each other, and that we make new connections to ourselves and our environment by spending time in nature. We seek to enrich our community’s natural, cultural and artistic legacy, and to support a movement of the people towards heart-centered resiliency and awake, aware living.

About the Founder

Elizabeth Nova ScotiaElizabeth Uhrich became interested in starting a folk school in Boulder County right around the time she realized that she would like to become a “student of her hands”.  When researching where she might be able to acquire the skills she needed to raise bees and chickens, can her own jelly and build a compost pile, she discovered that, in Boulder County, educational opportunities on these topics were few and far between.  She knew that there were others like her, interested in a complete “folk” education,–and so the Living Arts School was born.

Elizabeth’s background is in education, and her journey includes co-founding and directing a progressive school for young children, teaching for 10 years and speaking at conferences on the topic of education.  For her, the folk school is a natural outbirth of her passion for education.  After all, “The hands built the head, not the other way around.” (Aonghus Gordan, Ruskin Mill Trust).  She holds a BA in Philosophy from Colorado College and an MA in Educational Psychology from CU Denver.  She also currently holds a Director’s Certification from the CDHS and a Colorado Teacher License.  She lives with her husband James, (who teaches wood and metal work at the folk school!) and their small dog in Erie, and loves to be outdoors or playing music, whenever she can.

Workshops of the Living Arts School are likely to fall into the following categories:

    • Fiber Arts – Sewing/Embroidery, Knitting/Crocheting, Weaving/Spinning, Felting/Needle-Felting, Rug-Making, Lace-Making, Quilting
    • Food Arts – Preserving (Canning, Drying, Freezing), Fermenting/Pickling, Cheese/Yogurt Making, Kitchen Arts (Cooking, Baking, Noodle Making, Etc…), Charcuterie, Beverage Brewing (Cider, Beer, Mead)
    • Wood and Metal Working – Timber Frame Construction, Furniture-Making, Toy-Making, Woodcarving, Blacksmithing, Metal Fabrication,Cold Metalworking, Handtools
    • Gardening and Animal Keeping – Permaculture/Biodynamic/Heirloom/Organic Gardening, Beekeeping, Animal Keeping (Goats, Chickens, Rabbits), Urban Homesteading, Composting, Flowers, Orcharding, Native Plants/Foraging, Seed Saving, Mycology (Fungi)
    • Traditional Crafts – Ceramics, Soap-Making, Candle-Making, Glass Working, Stone Laying, Basket Weaving, Broom Making
    • Paper and Ink – Writing, Calligraphy, Book-making, Paper Art (Paste Papers), Ink-Making
    • Oral and Movement Arts – Folk Music, Community Singing (Rounds, Harmony, Children’s Songs), Sacred Harp/Shape Note Singing, Storytelling, Dance (Traditional Folk, Clogging, Group Dances), Geneology
    • Art and Design – Jewelry-Making, Leather Work, Printmaking, Fabric Surface Design, Enameling, Drawing, Bead Work, Painting, Mixed Media Arts