I can speak for all of us at HandMade in America (HIA) when I say that we are very excited to represent at this year’s Craft Fair of Southern Highlands.  For four days every July and October the US Cellular Center is packed full of fine crafts from over 200 craft artists, selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, metal, and more.  Staff and volunteers of HandMade in America will be at a table to share our latest and greatest news, events, and programs.  This will be our first time representing at the Craft Fair of Southern Highlands.

Did you know that the Southern Highlands Craft Guild was chartered in 1930?  The Guild was created in response to the Great Depression as a way to help craftspeople and generate revenue in the Appalachian regions.  Fast forward 83 years, and the Guild is made up of almost 1,000 craftspeople from 293 counties, spanning 9 states!  They keep busy with many different educational programs, demonstrations, an entire library, 5 craft shops, and 2 of the most highly recognized craft fairs held every year.

 The first Craft Fair of Southern Highlands was in 1948 in Gatlinburg, TN.  It wasn’t until a few years later, in 1951 that they moved the Fair to Asheville, NC.  Back in those days the Fair was a full week-long event that lasted until 10:00 pm every night!  It’s hard to believe that people would’ve been more serious about craft 60 years ago than they are today.  Deb Schillo, Southern Highlands Craft Guild Archivist, explained that back in those days there would be people in lines extending far beyond of the doors to the Fair.  That was one reason the Guild added a second craft fair in the fall of 1960.  They have been offering two craft fairs per year ever since.

 Looking for something fun to do July 18th-21st?  Come down this week to US Cellular Center in Asheville, NC to see craft artistry represent this amazing Southern Highland region that is so rich in craft and culture.  Oh, and say hi to us at HandMade in America too!

Lindsey Mudge,

Operations Manager

HandMade in America


828-252-0121 x303

Craft Fair of Southern Highlands


Dates/Times: July 18th-21st

Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-5pm

Location: U.S. Cellular Center

87 Haywood St. Asheville, NC



Fall Boone Handmade Market

Event date: 
Sunday, December 2, 2012 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Mark your calendar for this great opportunity to support your community, buy locally and add unique handmade gifts to your holiday shopping list!

The Fall Boone Handmade Market, organized by Art Management Organization, an ASU Club, and held at the Turchin Center is an indoor arts market that supports local handmade goods. This indoor market features art, fashion, jewelry, pottery, and anything handmade featuring artists and craftspersons of the High Country. The market serves as a fundraiser for the club.

The Arts Management Organization or AMO, seeks to promote professionalism and networking within the arts fields by increasing awareness of the arts on Appalachian State University’s campus and in the community.

For Interested Vendors- Apply Online Today. Deadline is October 15th. 

For more information or if you have any questions, please visit the Arts Management Organization’s website or email us at amo.asuart@gmail.com.


Arts Management Organization

Contact name: 

Arts Management Organization- Allison Cook

Contact email: 


Contact telephone: 



West Wing of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Map link: 

view map




Our Executive Director, Gwynne Rukenbrod is going to be teaching Best Practices for Artists tomorrow from 6-8pm here at HandMade. If you have never hear Gwynne speak, then you are really missing out.  I have lamented for many years that I didn’t have a true mentor in the world of Art and Business. Now that I am at HandMade and work for Gwynne, I have found a strong woman who is a mentor and role model.  I will be attending the Craft Lab to learn from her, and I hope that you come and join too.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Every person in her last Craft Lab checked the “Very Useful the Me” box on the evaluation. The participants said, “Very glad I attended” and “Face pace, not boring. The presenter knew everything we needed.” One person even said it could be improved by “Being Longer.”  I know this sounds like shameless self-promotion, but I think it’s important for our members to know what a great resource they have and how your chances of success can be greatly improved by taking advantage of Craft Labs. In this economy, a crafter can’t just have good work at their craft anymore. It takes time, education, and business know how. Come let us help you and your business!

Gwynne Rukenbrod, My Mentor and Role Model

Gwynne’s accomplishments include being the Curator of Fine Craft at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, a nonprofit founded to advance education about he process, product, and history fo craft, from 2007-2010.  She is an accomplished glass artist, but has also served as Exe. Dir. of the International Society of Glass and Beadmakers, Art Curator of The Works, and the Director of the Short North Neighborhood Foundation.  Gwynne currently serves on various boards including, Energy Exchange, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the Public Art and Cultural Commission for the City of Asheville, American Made Alliance and the World Craft Council of North America.

Local artist and author will be speaking at our AWE meeting in Asheville on Monday, July 9th!  She is going to be giving a short talk on our topic- “Finding Your Target Market”

She has been very successful at what she does and I am really excited to hear what she has to say.  Please Join us from 6-8 pm at our offices on Hilliard offices at the corner of Church and Hilliard Street.  Any woman who has a craft based business (include craft makers/artists, natural products, food/farm, services, tourism, handmade retail).  Let your friends know!

Alena is also having a fantastic workshop and party at Malaprops bookstore next Thursday.  Check it out!



Start: 07/12/2012 6:00 pm
End: 07/12/2012 7:00 pm
 Join us for a workshop by visual artist Alena Hennessy, author of Cultivating Your Creative Life: Exercises, Activities, and Inspiration for Finding Balance, Beauty and Success as an Artist.  The workshop is limited to 20 participants. Please bring a journal, pen and pencil. Other art making supplies, as well as a $5 gift card toward the purchase of Alena Hennessy’s book, are included in the $20 cost of the workshop. You will learn how to make a simple and colorful India Ink painting, along with other mixed media techniques on a small wood panel. All levels welcome. Register on-line at www.malaprops.com, or in person at the store.  After the workshop, come to a party and booksigning with Alena Hennessy, 7 – 9 pm at Malaprop’s.

Model: X7118


ISBN-13: 9781592537860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quarry Books, 7/2012

55 Haywood St
Asheville, North Carolina
28801United States

Martha Enzmann, a dedicated Small Town member of HIA and AWE member,  and the nonprofit Elkland Art Center put on a fantastic parade every year on the 4th of July. This year, come at 10:30 to dress up, (everyone can participate for free!) or at 11 to see the parade. Bring a picnic for after when you can enjoy lovely Todd and the French Broad river.

The parade is free, but couldn’t happen without the love and support of those who participate, so don’t forget to bring a little cash to help the lovely people who put it on!

Liberty Parade-An Epic Journey

Every year we get to build a parade in our own home community of Todd, NC on July 4th. This parade is called The Liberty Parade.  It is our mission to pull creative minds out of the community and into the parade.  It takes a community to make a parade.  About 300 participants and over 100 volunteers make up this fantastic event.  If we can get those who are walking dedicated to building the parade, Elkland Art Center has done their job.  During the Liberty Parade artists have been known to take home projects.

We have collaborated with local batik artist, Berkeley Brown.  It is our collective goal to make a parade with all of the elements as themes.

In 2011 we created Earth by using a gigantic cotton parachute.  We have three large, beautiful and majestic papier mache heads, peering out of the Earth.

In 2010 our theme was “Looking Deeper”.  We took a close look at the little (and big) critters that live in our river.  We made hellbenders and native fish.  That was an extension of our 2009 parade creation which was the element of water.  We built a 11′ tall water goddess as our big parade piece.

She has a papier mache head and is accompanied by many droplet outfits and water hats.

This year we are focusing on the element of air and next year we will complete the element creation with fire.  All of these parade creations will be batiked and guided by our dear friend Berkeley Brown.  After that, who knows what is next.  At a recent workshop we created dragon fly wings.  With air being our theme, it seems important to honor the critters that soar through the air.

Few things in life are as rewarding or gratifying as a big, beautiful parade- for people to see and for people to be in.  People who have worked on this parade get to see their creations scattered among nearly 300 happy faces.  This event is sure to live in the minds of all who attend for many years to come.


If you enjoy the parade, you can learn to create a Handmade Community Parade of your own with HIA’s Small Town Conversation. Martha Enzmann will lead this workshop from July 29th to August 3rd at the John C. Campbell Folk School. For More Information, go to http://www.handmadeinamerica.org

The Asheville Reef

July 19, 2011

Every Wednesday at the HandMade in America office, you can find a group of ladies who drop in for a few hours at lunch to crochet. We are not just any crochet group; there aren’t any hats, scarves or blankets to be seen… we meet to create coral, shells and sea creatures! Our group, along with many others in Western North Carolina have joined with the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design to form The Asheville Reef:

The Asheville Reef is a part of a collaborative project that was created in 2005 by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles. The project emerged out of several intersecting threads in mathematics, marine biology, feminine handicraft, collective art practice, and environmental concerns regarding the plight of living reefs. The Asheville Reef will grow and evolve in the CCCD Gallery with your participation and contributions throughout the course of the exhibition.



Stephanie Moore, Executive Director at CCCD was very kind to open up their gallery on Saturday for our group to bring completed crocheted pieces and take a look at what has been contributed to the reef so far.  They had a beautiful installation with an assortment of sea creatures and new designs.  Stephanie mentioned that the group in Hendersonville attracts over 35 ladies, crochet hooks in hand, every Thursday from 2-4 in their gallery.

Needless to say, our little crochet group left the Center for Craft Creativity and Design inspired and excited to add more to The Asheville Reef.  We were bursting with ideas! I was so excited about everything I saw, I had to finish my coral that night.

To join our crochet group, visit the HandMade in America office on Wednesdays from 11-2 until August 17.  Supplies, patterns and an instructor are available and drop-ins are welcome. Our office is located in Lexington Station in Downtown Asheville, on the corner of Hilliard and Church Street.


Center for Craft Creativity and Design

Find other crochet groups in the area

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project


July 8, 2011

Welcome to Connected our newest way to keep you posted on what is happening at HandMade in America.  For those of you who are not familiar with our organization, HandMade in America was formed in 1993 in Asheville, North Carolina with the goal to grow economies in Western North Carolina through craft and cultural heritage. To accomplish our goal, we offer programs that facilitate the development of small towns, rural entrepreneurs, and craft artists to reach their potential.

Connected will feature information and updates on our programs, success stories, interesting craft articles, and upcoming events. Posts will be written by the HandMade staff, board members, craft artists and small town leaders and guests.  We have a lot to share and are excited to have you connect with HandMade in America as we continue to grow in craft, culture and community.

–HandMade in America