American Craft Week: WNC fires up kilns and pulls out the paint

Image 1. In the reeds: Maggie Jones of Turtle Island Pottery carves intricate images of river flora and fauna into a ceramic vessel.
Image 2. The South in oil: Art Rosenbaum's oil paintings bring Southern traditions to life. See his take on rural culture at The Bascom in Highlands, along with works by 50 other craftspeople.
Image 3. Fire it up: WNC ceramicist Steven Forbes-deSoule smothers his pottery in flames to create raku pottery.

A craft revolution is taking over America and Western North Carolina is in the thick of it. People across the nation are eschewing mass-produced goods in favor of handcrafted items and American Craft Week is helping to spread the word. “In a society filled with machine-made things, we need to support the talented and dedicated people who create decorative and useful goods by hand,” says Diane Sulg, co-chair of the American Craft Week campaign.

Handmade goods are part of WNC's rich artistic tradition and our region is doing its part to highlight the exceptional works of local crafters. Unusual techniques such as raku pottery will be at the forefront of our area's celebrations. Ceramicist Steven Forbes-deSoule pulls his pottery from the kiln and places it in a specialized metal container filled with combustible materials to create unexpected results and intense colors. His raku pottery will be for sale at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands in Asheville Thursday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 21.

Art Rosenbaum is known for his colorful depictions of Southern life. His oil paintings capture the spirit of real and imagined people and the places they love. Rosenbaum's paintings will be on display at The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts in Highlands, alongside a juried exhibition of 50 craftspeople, through the end of October.

Turtle Island Pottery encourages the public to do some good while shopping for handcrafted items during American Craft Week. The studio will donate 10 percent of its sales to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, which provides direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists during natural and medical emergencies. As if that wasn't incentive enough, the studio will offer a free gift with any purchase from its showroom in Old Fort.

American Craft Week is a chance for crafters and art-lovers to come together to honor handmade goods. Check out our list of exhibits, demonstrations and lectures to plan the final week of this annual celebration.


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