All crafts, all the time

SHOW AND TELL: Craft tours and fairs offer opportunities to meet artists, watch demonstrations, and go home with unique gifts. Photo courtesy of John C. Campbell Folk School

American Craft Week is, as the name suggests, a national celebration. But in Western North Carolina, where craft heritage is knit into our history and culture, Craft Week — Friday, Oct. 3-Sunday, Oct. 12 — seems especially apropos. And, just as Beer Week is all about raising a pint (or several), Craft Week is all about indulging in exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and examples of handmade works. FYI, you can literally raise a pint at Grovewood Gallery’s Hops & Crafts exhibit opening — details below.

Regional crafts range from textiles and ceramics to metal and woodwork, book arts and glass to jewelry and more. Artists work in traditional and contemporary forms, sometimes bucking one in favor of the other; sometimes searching for the point where past and future intersect.

Craft Week pays homage to those ideas and techniques. A week’s worth of activities includes a kickoff with Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer (who comes from a family of artists), a number of craft fairs and festivals, exhibition openings and a keynote address by Karen Fowler, executive director of ArtFields, a successful art event held in South Carolina. Learn more at

Read more Craft Week stories here and here.

For more local craft happenings, check the Community Calendar or visit

• A kickoff celebration for American Craft Week, with Mayor Esther Manheimer, takes place at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design on Friday, Oct. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m.

• Contemporary mountain arts gallery Mountain Made hosts events throughout Craft Week, including a reception on Friday, Oct. 3, from 5-8 p.m. The galley will display the five completed pieces from its summerlong interactive project, Art — NO Talent Required. Children and adults are invited to participate in the final piece of the series, “Glorious Fall.” There will also be a handcrafted wire bonsai trees demo by Jim Begthol on Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; fiber artist Paige Houghton displays bowls made from mohair, wool and other fibers on Friday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; quilter Bonnie Lucas demonstrates plant pounding wall art and quilts on Saturday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

• Local artists and crafters showcase and vend works of glass, ceramics, wood, jewelry and metal at Asheville Art in the Park. The market sets up in Pack Square Park on Saturdays, Oct. 4 and 11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

• John C. Campbell Folk School holds its 41st annual fall festival. The event features crafts from more than 200 vendors as well as 40 demonstrations, two stages for music and dance, food and family fun. Held at John C. Campbell, in Brasstown, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $5 adults, $3 for ages 12-17, free for kids age 12 and younger.

• The Arts Council of Henderson County produces the annual Art on Main, held on Hendersonville’s Main Street. The high quality show features the work of artisans from throughout the Southeast. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

• Grovewood Galley opens its new exhibit, Hops & Crafts: Mugs, Steins & Tankards by regional artists on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2-5 p.m. The show, in celebration of American Craft Week, includes “divine steins, perfect pints and tempting tankards, all handcrafted by 17 of WNC’s leading artists.” This event is sponsored by Hi-Wire Brewing and Urban Orchard Cider Co.; the exhibit remains on display through Dec. 31.

• Cooperative gallery Flow, based in Marshall, is owned, run and curated by its artists. Represented work includes fiber, wood, jewelry, furniture, quilting and weaving. The gallery opens a new exhibit, Synesthesia: Ineffable Pairings of Cloth and Scent, with work by Lisa Mandle, Katie Vie and Selinde Lanier, on Thursday, Oct. 9.

• Local Cloth Inc. and the Haywood Community College Creative Arts Program hold the exhibition EXCITE, An Exhibit of Contemporary Textiles & Fiber Art. The theme is “Contemporary fiber work inspired or reflective of the design ideals set forth by Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, where she formed and taught the weaving program.” The work must include some material sourced from within a 100-mile radius of its point of origin. The exhibit opens on Thursday, Oct. 9, with a reception from 4-7 p.m. at the Mary Cornwell Gallery in the Haywood Community College Creative Arts building in Clyde. The show will be on display through Saturday, Dec. 6.

• Asheville’s River Arts District, known for its twice-annual studio stroll weekend, also hosts Second Saturdays in the RAD — a day of artist demonstrations, classes and open studios. The next Second Saturday is on Oct. 11.

• Contemporary jewelry gallery Mora welcomes groundbreaking art jeweler Robert Ebendorf for a book signing and trunk show. In 1995, Ebendorf was “awarded the American Craft Council Fellowship for his achievement in craft and commitment to the craft movement, and he has contributed to the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art Oral History Program,” says a press release. “The Life and Times of Robert W. Ebendorf: Jeweler and Metalsmith is a new book and exhibition produced by the Racine Art Museum.” The pop-up exhibit takes place on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 2-5 p.m.

• Karen Fowler, executive director of Lake City, S.C.’s ArtFields, gives a keynote address. The event, sponsored by both Southern Highland Craft Guild and HandMade in America, takes place at HandMade in America’s meeting room at 125 S. Lexington Ave., No. 101, on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m.

• Potters and clay artists gather to show their wares at the Spruce Pine Potters Market. “Enjoy wonderful food and beautiful handmade pottery on a colorful autumn weekend,” says a press release for the free event, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 11 and 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 

• For more crafts on the move, join the Highway 80 South Fall Art Hop. Artists of the South Toe River Valley open their studios and galleries to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 11 and 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Writer and photographer Sue Wasserman, folk artist Charlie Frye and author Jerry Newton offer demonstration; luthier David A. Wiseman hosts the Saturday Morning Micaville music jam from 10 a.m.-noon. The hop begins in Micaville; to find participating studios and businesses (such as CrazyCakes Fine Coffee and Baked Goods), look for signs along Highway 80 heading toward Celo. Pick up a map at One of a Kind Art Gallery in Micaville.


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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