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



July 17, 2012

Hand made in America is happy to announce a new display at the I-26 Welcome Center!

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, American Craft Week + Crimson Laurel, all have new displays, as well as our Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs.

I created a Business Directory for all the members, so visitors know about so many of fantastic women business owners in WNC. Thank you to all the women who contributed work to the display. I think it looks fantastic!

Helen Sullivan
Lisa Gluckin, Linda Labelle
Victoria Rose
Connie Molland, Cathy Green
Susan Seidman
Krista Allison

The address is I-26 @ mile marker 6 Mars Hill, NC 28754 and the phone number is 828.689.4257, if you want to go see it!



By Gwynne Rukenbrod

I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a glass focused tour sponsored by the Asheville Art Museum on June 5th.  For those of you who might not know, I am trained as a glass blower and have a deep passion for the craft.  So having the opportunity to visit some local glass artists made me very excited.


Pablo Soto incised vessels, courtesy of Penland School of Craft

Our first stop was the Penland Focus Gallery where glass artists Pablo Soto has a solo exhibition called “Incised Glass.”  Pablo’s work focuses on form, line, and color.  This new body of work explores concepts he thought about when looking at the shadows and shapes cast by ice formed on the skylight in his studio.  The surfaces are gently marred and create wonderful shadows when lit.


Our next stop was Penland’s glass studio to visit Rick Beck’s class.  They were in the middle of a sand cast pour.  This is where you take damp sand and push various designs into the sand.  Then you ladle hot molten glass into the impressions and when it cools, it has the shape and details of the impression you made in the sand.  Here are some pictures of the students pouring their pieces.

The next stop was a delicious lunch aPenland’s dining hall.  Then on to Penland glass resident, Micah Evans’ new studio.  Micah is a glass artist who works at the torch, manipulating glass.  ImageHere is a picture of what he called a quilt.  It is made of beautiful and delicate lacelike glass. Micah moved to Penland from Austin Texas, so welcome fellow Texan to North Carolina!

Our final Penland Mountain stop was the flameworking studio of Shane Fero.  Shane’s studio is attached to his house.  Shane makes these colorful spirited birds and totems.  ImageShane uses colored powders, shards of glass, and sometimes evens stained glass to color his pieces.  Here Shane demonstrates making one of his birds.

Our next stop was the Energy Xchange located in Burnsville.  Located on top of the old Mitchell-Yancey landfill, the Xchange uses the methane from the landfill to power the ceramic kilns, and the glass studio equipment.  The Xchange has been in operation since 2001, using renewable resources and practices for educational opportunities and economic development in the fields of art and horticulture.

We stopped to visit the ceramic artists, Lisa Gluckin and Bridget Fox.  Also in residence at the Xchange is Will Baker, Joy Tanner, and Tersea Pietsch.  We then moved into the glass studio where new resident artist Amber Marshall was working on grinding some of her pieces.  Grinding is a cold working technique used in glass to often grind the bottom of a piece.  The other glass resident , Michael Hatch demonstrated making a blown and sculpted piece of a surfer on a wave.

ImageIt was  a great day of celebrating and sharing the craft of glass.  The tour was given in conjunction with the Asheville Art Museum’s “Fire on the Mountain” exhibition and the 50th celebration of the glass studio movement in the US.

For information about what is offered at the Asheville Art Museum go to their website at www.ashevilleart.org

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




[uhn-fet-er] To let loose, to liberate, to set free; Not limited by rules or any other controlling influence



I hear this word in the media often these days. “Unfettered markets,” “freedom from government interference,” and “freedom from taxes.” Unfettered equated with “freedom,” which is a sacred concept in our country.


Everyone wants to be “unfettered.” But freedom can have negative connotations as well. In a civilized society, everything and everyone are intertwined; what you see as your freedom can have important consequences for someone else’s freedom. An imbalance of power can have severe economic and social consequences. Who wins and who loses when there is an imbalance of power? Having more power should give us more control, thus more freedom.


Ironically, striving for power can be a form of fettering. In this sculpture, the Kind and Queen chess pieces are isolated and penned in by their fear of “outsiders” “stealing” what they believe to be “theirs.” It can take an enormous amount of energy to attain and keep power. The need for control can be detrimental if we put he material world about what is good for society as a whole.


The Pawns appear to lead a more colorful and community-oriented life and there are no fences to feel them in. But are they unfettered? It seems that the TV is absorbing all of their attention.


The mass media is a double-edged sword. It has brought us instant information and entertainment but also mass distraction. The omnipresence of mass media can skew our perspective and blind us to a lack of accurate information or absence of our freedoms. It robs all of us of the contributions that a fully engaged citizenry bring us and it can lead to a paucity of ideas.


Words are powerful. Words can be capricious. They can illuminate or they can mask the speaker’s intent. They can have diametrically opposed meanings depending on the subject, the person’s perspective or their political leanings. Sometimes the repetition of a word can alter its meaning or accuracy.


To fully understand “Unfettered,” the word and my piece, please view it from all perspectives.


Slate, shell casings, lamp parts, dye, patina, gold leaf, copper, brass, blister maple, quilted ash, LED light, other recycled and “found” objects

Footprint: 12” x 16”  Overall size: 20” x 12” 14


Caryl Brt


Buy HandMade in America a cup of coffee for $5, enter to win a piece of WNC craft, and help HandMade win $35,000!


Starbucks is giving $4 million to non-profits all over the country and you get to chose where it goes. HandMade in America is one of 124 non-profits chosen nationwide. We are the smallest of the non-profits chosen in North Carolina, but we serve over four thousand craft artists in our 25 county WNC region.  We are also the only one exclusively working within the state of NC. Turn your $5 into at least $50 back to HandMade in America.

Simply donate $5 today through the paypal donate button. You will be entered to win unique craft items. Winners will be informed via email on May 1st.

Click here to donate using PayPal

How to turn your $5 into more than $50 for HandMade in America:

  • Buy us a cup of coffee. Click this Paypal donate button to give $5 or more that we can use to buy a Starbucks card & vote on your behalf. We’ll buy the card, register it, and do the voting for you!
  • Register your own Starbucks card at www.votegivegrow.com & vote for us each week in April.

What do you get in return?

  • The satisfaction of helping us out, of course!
  • Donate or email us to tell us you voted, and we will enter you in a drawing to win a unique handmade craft item from an artist in WNC. Winners will be informed on May 1.