Top Drawer: fashion news and views

Rustic-furniture designer Mary Messer has been crafting culled-from-nature pieces for so long that she insists, “I’m not sure how I got started.” The Haywood County-based craftswoman adds, “I have just always loved different and unusual things. I get a picture in my head and I have to make it.” Messer’s inspiration comes from hiking the nearby mountains and exploring riverbanks with her dog, all while seeking out unusual pieces of wood. Then, using chain saws, files and a hatchet, she fashions the rough-hewn benches, shelves and chairs favored by mountain-crafts enthusiasts and those looking to furnish their vacation cabins. Messer’s sense of whimsy is apparent in her highly varnished porch swing. Other items, such as her keepsake chest, feature intact tree bark—a trademark of rustic furniture. “Mother Nature does all my designs,” the artist notes. “All I do is put it together.” Look for Messer’s work at Tupelo’s (20 Swanger Lane, Waynesville, 926-8778) and Pigeon River Rustics (2020 Dellwood Road, Waynesville, 926-6161) or contact her at

Try this on

The Henderson County Red Cross will hold its second annual Fashion Show on Saturday, March 15. Sponsored by Belk Simpson of Hendersonville, the fundraiser sends local celebrity models (including Miss Hendersonville) down the runway. The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., also includes brunch and a raffle. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Info: 693-5605.


About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli 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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