The Folk Art Center is open for business after a snowy weekend. Even though the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed you can still get to the Folk Art Center from Hwy 70 in east Asheville. The road, parking lot and walkways have all been cleared for visitors.

Snowy footprints on the Mountains to Sea Trail beside the
Folk Art Center - a beautiful day for a winter hike.

One of the Christmas trees on display in Allanstand Craft Shop at the Folk Art Center. The tree features Bille Ruth Sudduth snowflakes and natural material ornaments. In the background, Mary Nichols' handknit stockings decorate the mantle. Allanstand represents over 300 artist members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, all of whom live and work in the Applachian mountains. The Folk Art Center makes it easy to buy local and buy handmade.

Happy Holidays everyone! We will be closing early on Christmas Eve and closed all day on Christmas. Come see us on the 26th - we're the perfect place to bring all those relatives who are still in town!

Today, Nikki and Jackie went to the WNC Farmer's Market and purchased a gorgeous Spruce Pine tree for the Folk Art Center lobby. This afternoon we decorated it, marveling at all the ornaments that have been donated by Guild members through the years as we trimmed the tree. The last image is the tree topper made by Jan Morris of Swannanoa. Come on by and take a look! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
On Thursday, members of the Guild's Annual Meeting Committee met at the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC for a tour and to begin planning next year's meeting. The Blue Ridge Assembly will be a perfect locale for the meeting: filled with natural beauty and a history as rich as the Guild's own. The committee is excited about encouraging more members to attend so be sure to mark your calendars for April 17, 2010 and stay tuned for more information.
Pictured left to right: April Nance (staff), Chuck Hunner, Mary Dashiell, Douglas Atchley (Board Representative), Janet Wiseman (staff), Nancy Darrell (Committee Chair), Tamela Wells.
The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is well underway at the Asheville Civic Center featuring demonstrations, live music and the work of over 200 craft artists.

Detail of Micheal Hughey's calligraphy demonstration at the Craft Fair.
Here he is preparing to add gold to the surface of a compass rose.

Detail of Susan Sorrell's fiber art demonstration

Earth 2 Art Pottery: Making and playing drums this weekend at the Craft Fair.

There are not many places more fun to be during October than downtown Asheville. It is the perfect locale for the October edition of the 62nd Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. The Fair features demonstrations, live music, and the work over 200 craft artists. It is an amazing display of fine traditional and contemporary crafts. The show goes on through Sunday. Come on out to the Asheville Civic Center this weekend!

Here are a few glimpses of Wood Day 2009 which took place earlier today at the Folk Art Center.
First Image: Walt Cottingham makes shingles for his rustic birdhouses on a shaving horse.
Second Image: Helen Gibson carves an angel.
Third Image: Mike Fiantaca of the Carolina Mountain Woodturners instructs a visitor on how to use a lathe to turn wood.
Fourth Image: Jayton Gates is a great helper for his dad - here he is taking a broom outside to dry in the sun.
Fifth Image: Carve Off Competition Winners pose with their trophies and carvings. The winners are (left to right):
Don Ives, third place
Carolyn Anderson, first place
John Williams, second place
Wil Whitsett, honorable mention

A great crowd enjoyed the festivities of the day. The SHCG would like to thank all the demonstrators who shared their time and talent, and for the visitors who showed their support of the Guild and its educational mission. Don't forget to join us for Heritage Weekend coming up September 19 and 20. It's never too early to sharpen up your whimmy diddle skills in preparation for the 29th Annual Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition!

Lynn Stanley, the manager of Cumberland Crafts is busy this week getting ready for the shop's Craft Heritage Days, July 23-26. A full line-up of traditional artists will be there to entertain and enlighten the crowd. Pictured above are Peggy Whitted of Sevierville, TN and Bill Henry of Oak Ridge, TN. They will be there weaving and whittling. They will be joined by Dale Liles (spinning), Anne Freels (making corn shuck dolls), and Jim Gentry (macrame jewelry).

Cumberland Crafts is located at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Visitor's Center in Middlesboro, KY. If you have any questions about the event call 606-242-3699.

There is a great diversity of fine crafts represented among the 200 exhibitors at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. The snapshots above are a small sampling of what visitors to the event can see. The Craft Fair continues tomorrow at the Asheville Civic Center from 10am to 5pm.
Top to bottom:
Wood art by David Datwyler
Wood carvings by John C Campbell Folk School
Fiber art by Sondra Dorn
Ceramic art by Marti Mocahbee
Friendship Houses by Holden McCurry
Glass art by Phillip Nolley
Wearable art by Janet Taylor
Balsam Mountain Pottery by Laurey-Faye Long

For more photo galleries of the show check out the Asheville Citizen-Times. Guild member and fair exhibitor, Judy Simmons also has images of the show on her blog.

The Asheville Civic Center has been bustling with activity this weekend as thousands of visitors have made their way through the concourse and arena levels to view the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. The images above are just a few glimpses of the fair.

Outside, Guild artists demonstrated natural dyeing and spinning, sunpainting and blacksmithing. Inside the Civic Center over 200 exhibitors were selling their pottery, jewelry, fiber art, metal, paper, natural materials, and wood.

Community connections are important to the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Representatives from Mission's Children's Hospital, as well as volunteers from the Asheville Humane Society were invited to the Craft Fair to share their mission. Folks from Our State magazine were also at the Fair on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, Martine House joined other fair demonstrators showing visitors her talent for mixed media, embroidery and fiber art. Ann Gleason hosts a children's activity table where kids (and their parents) can play and create with clay on Saturday and Sunday.

The arena stage came alive on Friday as regional old time and bluegrass musicians delighted crowds taking a break from shopping and craft inspiration. Demos, exhibits and bands all continue on Sunday. Check out the website for a full schedule.

Here are a few images of demonstrations from the Craft Fair today. The top picture is of Sandra Rowland sun painting or leaf printing outside the Civic Center. The next two pictures are of David Edgar's Plastiquarium. He spent the day at the Fair making fish pins out of detergent bottles. The final shot is of Dea Sasso's book restoration demonstration. Other demos were: Kathy Seely, beadweaving; Dede Styles, dyeing; Alwin Wagener, blacksmithing.

Of course there were also 200 exhibitors selling their amazing work. A steady stream of visitors enjoyed the Show. The fun continues tomorrow, and the music begins as well. For the full schedule check out the website.

For the past few weeks we have been busy promoting the Craft Fair by distributing posters all across Asheville. We are grateful for the kindness and support that so many businesses have shown by letting us display a poster in their window or on a bulletin board. The pictures above are of Cafe Azalea on Tunnel Rd. You will find the posters in bookstores, cafes, galleries, movie theaters, markets, salons, libraries, bead stores, yarn and fabric shops, studios, pubs, ice cream shops and boutiques.

We would also like to thank the many Craft Fair exhibitors who passed out posters in their own communities to get the word out about the show. With a few days to go before the Craft Fair if you know of a place we should send a poster let us know - if we don't make it this summer we definitely will for the October Fair.

See you Thursday (Craft Fair runs July 16-19 at the Asheville Civic Center)! For all the details about the show go to:
Friends and members of Southern Highland Craft Guild have shared their favorite recipes to create the brand new book, Artful Eating. The result is an inspiring collection of dishes including appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, breads and desserts.

The cookbook will be ready this Fall. It is now available for purchase at a pre-order discount of $16.95 plus tax. To buy your copy, call the Folk Art Center at 828-298-7928. It will make a great gift for the holidays so be sure to stock up for friends, family and yourself! Your early purchase will not only reserve your copy and save you some money, but it will also help the Guild offset the price of printing.
As a non-profit organization the Southern Highland Craft Guild is grateful for the work of volunteers in fulfilling its mission. Members of the community share their time and talent with the Guild in many ways including working in the main gallery at the Folk Art Center. Volunteers also play a vital role at the Craft Fairs held at the Asheville Civic Center each July and October. The Guild is now seeking volunteers to help out at the upcoming Craft Fair, July 16-19.

Some tasks volunteers can do at the fair include: taking tickets, handing out programs, working at the information desk and providing lunch relief for exhibitors. The jobs are divided into three hour shifts. Some benefits of volunteering at the Craft Fair include: parking reimbursement during the time you volunteer, a name badge which will get you into the Fair all four days, and two VIP passes to the show for friends or family.

If you would like to help out at the Craft Fair contact the Guild's volunteer coordinator, Jim Sugrue at the Folk Art Center, 298-7928 or you can email him at

It's been a busy week at the Folk Art Center! Guild curator Nikki Josheff has been giving the Permanent Collection Gallery some TLC. She has been cleaning, painting, and most importantly, updating the Modernism exhibition in the show. The new pieces she has added include work by Vivian Dai and Barbara Grenell.

Nikki is shown in the top picture above with Guild member and permanent collections volunteer Sharon Bailey. Sharon, Ursula Powers, and June Hillyer work closely with Nikki on cataloguing objects in the Guild's collection. Unfortunately, space will not allow for a large part of the objects to be on display so on occasions such as this week Nikki selects new items to be on view. The next time you are at the Folk Art Center be sure to check out these changes.

Beginning in March each year the Folk Art Center hosts educational demonstrations. This week the demonstrations included jewelry by Ruthie Cohen, lace making by Rita de Maintenon, and pottery by Batton Clayworks.

Ruthie is shown above working on a pair of earrings. In addition to producing her own jewelry Ruthie is also the founder of Mountain Metalsmiths School in Arden, NC.

While at the Folk Art Center Sandy Batton demonstrated how he forms slabwork vases from original designs. A selection of Batton Clayworks signature teapots and figurative houses were on display for sale. Sandy and his wife Ann create all of their pottery at their studio in Kenilworth. Next weekend (June 27 and 28) they will be participating in the Kenilworth Studio Stroll.

Ruthie Cohen and Batton Clayworks are both exhibitors at the summer edition of the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. For a complete schedule of Folk Art Center demonstrations check out the Allanstand page on the Guild's website.