NICE RIDE: Handmade bikes by Capricorn Bicycles are a new addition to the Marshall Handmade market. Photo courtesy of the bike company

Hand-built bikes are a new addition to Marshall Handmade Market’s repertoire of craft

“Buy local, buy slow,” is a holiday tip from the organizers of the Marshall Handmade Market. The annual event offers locally produced wares that are made “through slow, labor-intensive processes in studios, barns and backrooms across the region.” It is a chance to purchase finely crafted objects, while also slowing the holiday shopping race to […]

FIBER FIX: Lisa Klakulak leads a three-day workshop on nuno, which involves combining wool fiber with different kinds of prewoven fabrics. The class is part of this year's Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair held at the WNC Ag Center. Photo by Michael Mauney

Asheville artist teaches three-day workshop at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair

“I live in downtown Asheville. I don’t have sheep,” says local artist Lisa Klakulak. “I don’t know that much about animals.” But she does know about the fiber culled from livestock, since that’s the medium in which she works. And that’s why Klakulak looks forward to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair — three days of […]

SPECIAL FINDS: Unique arts and crafts, like these pieces by Tiffany Ownbeyare part of Weaverville's annual Art in Autumn festival. Photo courtesy of the artist

Art in Autumn: Crafts, commerce and community in Weaverville

The first brainstorming session for Weaverville’s Art in Autumn festival took place in December, 2006. “We were desperately seeking ways to bring more foot traffic to the downtown area of Main Street,” remembers Sherrye Perry, a Weaverville Business Association member. With Beth Mangum, Perry organized what would become a successful annual event. “It seemed a […]

ROCKING HARD IN BREVARD: The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin play a previous Mountain Song Festival. The weekend-long music event and benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County started at the suggestion of Cindy Platt. Photo courtesy of the festival

Beyond bluegrass: Brevard’s Mountain Song Festival continues to evolve

“We never intended this to be exclusively a bluegrass festival,” says John Felty, owner of Mountain Song Productions. He’s talking about the Mountain Song Festival, now in its eighth year, which takes over the Brevard Music Center for a September weekend. While bluegrass is a strong component to the music showcase, “We are definitely looking ahead to […]

Selena Glass and Metal studio on the TRAC tour.

Insider perspective

A handmade piece of artwork, whether it’s a ceramic mug or a one-of-a-kind painting, is an insight into the personal narrative of the artist. Buying directly from an artist’s studio is a chance for the collector to connect to that artist’s process in a way they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Denise Cook, executive director […]

Liz Stiglegs of CozyBlue makes embroidery and patterns for DIY crafters.

All sewed up

In the hierarchy of craft cachet, fiber arts are often less discussed than other media such as pottery or metalwork. Maybe that’s because textiles are, by nature, a quieter genre: no hammers to wield, forges or kilns to stoke or clay to sling. But Western North Carolina’s textile artists are not only thriving, they’re taking […]

Midwest-transplant Deb Karash (whose work is shown here) was drawn to the small town’s thriving arts scene. She’s one of the Marshall High Studios artists who will show at this weekend’s Handmade Market.

Class project

Five years ago, the artists of Marshall High Studios brainstormed an annual event in the spirit of the holiday season. Because the artists do not keep regular open-studio hours, the idea that became the Marshall Handmade Market was a way for them to share their space and their work with the community. Additional makers from […]

Equine Entertainment: The Rural Academy Theatre is making several stops in WNC. The horse-and-wagon-pulled performance troupe features live music, silent movies and shadow puppetry. Photo courtesy of Rural Academy Theatre

Horseplay

At the lumbering speed of 2.5 miles per hour, the Rural Academy Theatre is making their second tour through Western North Carolina. The horse-drawn performance troupe loads all of its supplies, instruments and equipment into a wagon-trailer reminiscent of the Oregon Trail computer game. A few bicyclists ride alongside the caravan to scout roads and […]

Claymation: Browsers and shoppers at the Spruce Pine Potters Market, which highlights works by potters primarily from Mitchell and Yancey counties. Photo by Richard Kennedy

A whole lot of crockery

North Carolina’s pottery tradition stems from the very makeup of its geography: lots of clay. While the clay-laden soil may be a challenge for gardeners, it also provides a rich supply of artistic material. The use of local clay has been part of our history for a long time, with pottery shards dating back to […]