Meet our Instructors & Classes
- Instructor bios, class overviews and materials -

Drawing by Oscar Rayneri
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Oscar Rayneri, GWS

Drawing and Watercolor Instructor

Chestatee Artists Folk School

Dahlonega, GA

Class overview & materials (for adults 18 and over only)

My strategy for teaching drawing is to work with each student to improve his/her ability in the medium. I welcome students in my workshops from every level of ability. If painting is a future goal for you, good drawing skills will make the difference in creating a successful painting.

I have taught adults drawing and watercolor painting at the John C. Campbell Folk School and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and in workshops in Dahlonega and other Georgia communities. I’ve been drawing and painting watercolors for 35 years and I am a Signature Life Member of the Georgia Watercolor Society, achieved by competition and acceptance into two national exhibitions and two member exhibitions.

I begin a session explaining the use of materials and starting a demonstration. For this class, the students will work from still life scenes that I will set up. We will be using a lot of the techniques described in the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

Materials for each student

A list of materials for the class will be provided to students when they register for the class, along with suggested suppliers. It will be up to each student to purchase these materials.

Oscar Rayneri


Acrylics by Beth Stull
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Beth lives in Dahlonega and began taking art lessons when she was 11 and continued to take classes in various mediums at schools in Florida and Georgia throughout her life.

She has found her favorite medium has become Acrylics over the past 12 years.

Her work has been shown and sold at the Quinlan, Bowen and Sautee Natoochee, and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church Arts galleries.

She was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Cumming United Festival of the Arts.

Learn to Paint a Landscape in Acrylics 

This class will teach Acrylics while learning to enjoy the process of focusing on color, mixing, perspective and value in your work.

You will learn what makes a painting draw in the viewer to a landscape by using these important techniques. 
Choose from two different scenes one horizontal and one vertical. 

Supplies - $100 includes, table easel, canvas, paints, brushes, palette and palette knives, water spray bottle, tote bag and clean up supplies. All supplies above are yours to keep.

Cost of materials


Beth Stull

Memories in Mixed Media by Josie Toney

Class Description

Students will create a  wrapped canvas mixed media painting, using acrylics,

pastels, markers, glue, collage materials and miscellaneous 3D objects.


What Student needs to bring

Students should bring any subject matter and/or reference materials they are interested in incorporating

into their piece, i.e., photos, magazine cut-outs, beads, flowers, etc. – the sky is the limit! Instructor will

have additional materials for use.

Material cost: $50

Includes 16” x 20” x 1.5” canvas, paints, brushes, mixed media materials and tools for use during the class.

Students will take home a completed painting of their own creation. 

Leathercraft by Tom Slavicek
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Tom Slavicek has been leather crafting since he was a Boy Scout, when he earned his Leatherwork Merit Badge on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. During his career days as an executive director for a national youth organization, his hobby managed to stay alive and thrive in the form of creating numerous Native American leather/beadwork outfits and articles of clothing, along with his favorite item,  hand-crafted leather pouches and shoulder bags.

After a 37-year career serving young people, Tom retired in 2010 and he and his wife, Karen, moved to Dahlonega, GA. His enjoyment of working with leather is coming to fruition through his crafting of various styles of pouches and bags, with the added feature of inscribed images on the front of the pouches. Tom uses a wood-burning tool to inscribe the images free hand directly onto the leather. Each pouch is a unique work of art, and no two are alike.

 Currently Tom teaches leather classes at about a dozen venues across north Georgia, including the John C. Campbell Folk School (North Carolina), Camp Mikell Folk School (Toccoa, GA), and the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts, at Young Harris.

Class Description

You will learn how to use the tools of leather bag making, and how to do the basic stitching technique. Leather will already be pre-cut and pre-punched to make it easy for you to put the pieces of your first bag together, making for yourself a one-of-a-kind beauty!  You will have a wide variety of leather colors and textures to choose from. After stitching you can decorate your bag with your choice of “bling”. All leather, materials, tools, straps and tassels, and decorations are provided along with instructions. In addition to making a leather bag you can also make a leather belt, phone belt pouch, wallet, notebook cover and more. Instructions for making these will be included. You will have time to make 2 to 3 pieces, depending on size and complexity.


What Student needs to bring

You don’t need to bring anything except your enthusiasm, and the desire to make something beautiful!


Cost of materials


Tom Slavicek

Wire Wrap Jewelry by Thomas Geckler
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Thomas Geckler is a Physician Assistant and Integrative Medicine specialist by profession, and began taking courses at the William Holland Retreat in Young Harris in 2015.

Thomas works with cabochons, wire wrapping, wire weaving, and most recently faceting.

Thomas is teaching a basic Wire Wrapping course.

Class Description

Expect to work in copper or silver-filled wire, and to produce several projects including earrings, a bracelet, ring, and a pendant.

All materials will be supplied to complete three chosen projects as able.

What student needs to bring

Nothing. All materials are provided.


Cost of materials


Thomas Geckler


                                       Basketry by Betty Johnson

Basket Weaving Basics

Betty Johnson has been weaving cloth and baskets for about 20 years. Her basket weaving actually began because she needed storage for piles of raw wool. Her basket journey has led her to weave all types of baskets from storage baskets, shallow tray baskets, and baskets with handles, decorative baskets and market baskets.

Class Description

The Basket Weaving Basics class will introduce students to the fun of working with caning to produce a wide variety of baskets. Students will make at least three different styles of baskets and learn various techniques that will enable then to weave creative designs once they finish the program. 

Materials for Each Student

 The Instructor will provide materials for the baskets.

Materials Cost per student $45.

                               Chain Maille Jewelry by Paul Roberts

“Chain Links”

Paul Roberts started making chain jewelry almost twenty years ago at William Holland School of Lapidary (Jewelry Making) Arts in Young Harris, Georgia. He learned from master craftsmen Preston Kemp, Dee Connybear, John Fetvedt, and Janet Trosino while also imbibing the nectars of wisdom offered in other crafts at William Holland.

At that school Paul has taught his own skills as a silversmith (his first venture as a jewelry maker/educator) and as a cabochon maker for the last 15 years. At the Cannery Gallery in Dahlonega he has taught wire-wrapped jewelry, and at the Senior Center he has taught basket making twice (a third time at Park and Rec, as part of the Pick ‘n’ Bow project). Now he is pleased to offer an introduction to chain maille jewelry as part of the Chestatee Artists Folk School. 

Class Description

In this class students will be introduced to the basics of chain maille and can expect to produce at least three bracelets, depending on their prior experience and the time available. Techniques will be demonstrated with both oral and written instruction.

Materials cost per student

Use of Paul’s tools, colorful art wire ”jump rings”, and both oral and written instruction will be provided for the basic materials fee of $25. Precious metal rings (Sterling and Argentium Silver and God-filled) will be available at nominal prices for those preferring a more formal look.

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