Press release from the Southern Highland Craft Guild:
On the first weekend of August, makers of the Southern Highland Craft Guild will convene at the organization’s headquarters, the Folk Art Center, to showcase a variety of woodworking techniques at the annual Wood Day. Saturday, August 4, from 10 am to 4 pm, visitors are invited to join more than 15 fine masters of wood as they demonstrate their craft. This event is free to the public and includes opportunities to get hands-on with basic woodworking techniques.
The material of wood has multiple sources, such as branches, trunks, roots and even bark, that are used in both function and decoration. Its earliest forms were generated for basic living, as a means of shelter or protection. Pieces of Egyptian furniture from around 2500 BC survive as literal examples of man’s ability to create objects of beauty from wood. Being one of Appalachia’s indigenous resources, trees formed items for the early settlers of this region, such as tables, chairs, bowls, coopered barrels, wagons and homes. Over time, woodwork transitioned into a leisure activity through whittling and carving.
Member Fatie Atkinson of Clyde, North Carolina will be bringing his unique stools to explain the process of joinery. Fatie’s work holds an elegant and contemporary look with very functional items. “I try to blur the line between functionality and art. I like to see what I can get away with making it light and sturdy at the same time. It takes a lot of engineering to make that happen,” he states.
This free event not only educates the public on the rigors and talent that go into woodworking but also serves the mission of the Guild in preserving a longtime culture and heritage. The following members will be demonstrating their skill and mastery of wood; Ronnie McMahan in carving, Warren Carpenter in turning bowls, Tom Gow in carving, Valerie Berlage in assembly and surface design, Tim Nester in hand-hewn bowls, Brian Brace in arts & crafts style furniture, Jeff Neil in shaker boxes, John Dickens in carving, Lee Entrekin in flutemaking and many more carvers from the WNC Carvers.
Admission to Wood Day and the Folk Art Center is free. The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in east Asheville. Headquarters to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Center also houses three galleries, a library, a craft Shop and a Blue Ridge Parkway information desk and bookstore. For a complete list of makers participating in Wood Day and to learn more about Southern Highland Craft Guild programs at the Folk Art Center, call 828-298-7928 or visit www.craftguild.org/woodday.