Welcome to the Arbutus Folk School

Enriching lives and building community through joyful, hands-on learning with master artisans.


We offer classes in ceramics, fiber arts, stone carving, woodworking, music, blacksmithing and more!

We now offer customized gift certificates!

book now               book now 

The Arbutus Folk School, located in historic downtown Olympia, is the heart of Pacific Northwest craft education. We provide professional instruction from world-class artists and community-based learning opportunities to people of all ages. Our programming is intended to support skills individuals seek to make useful and beautiful crafts for their own use, personal enrichment or artistic endeavors while supporting the local businesses that provide sustainable, locally-grown materials.

We proudly welcome students of any race, color, gender and national or ethnic origin.   Please contact us with questions or comments at: info “at” arbutusfolkschool “dot” org.


 The Arbutus Folk School brings together highly skilled teachers and artisans of crafts to offer rich, positive experiences that inspire lifelong learning.  Students will be able to explore the richness and variety of the Northwest’s unique cultural and craft heritage through activities which have served Northwest communities from one generation to the next.  Read about our Craft Philosophy here.

To keep up on our upcoming classes and events sign up for our newsletter by entering your email address in the box on the right.  Classes currently scheduled are listed on the “Current Classes” page.

For a little peek into Arbutus, click here to view a video of “Folk Music 101” with Professor Banjo and several local young musicians performing at a recent music event.

The Arbutus Folk School is a 501(c)3 tax deductible non-profit.  Registration fees pay for instructor’s time and building rent.  However, all operational costs, equipment and tool replacement and services we require to operate are paid by individual contributions and small grants.  Becoming an Arbutus Guild Member is the best way to ensure a strong craft culture!  Additional ways to support the school can be found on the Support” page.

2015 banner