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



Non Profit of the Month!

March 29, 2013

Patton McDowell & Associates deemed HandMade in America in September of 2012 and somehow we didn’t find out about it until just recently!

“Patton McDowell and Associates’ mission is to elevate nonprofit organizations through careful planning, unique strategies, creative fundraising and dynamic staff and board development. The PMA Blog covers various nonprofit, fundraising and philanthropy news, in addition to thought leadership pieces and case studies. Our blog aims to explore the intersection of nonprofits, philanthropy, technology and innovation.”

We are all so proud to be a part of an organization whose work is truly creating opportunities and affecting economic change all across WNC and beyond. Recognition like this plays such an important role in helping us to connect to a wider audience who may benefit from the services of our organization, so Thank you!

CLICK HERE to read the article about HIA!

Friday night was unbelievable. Our gallery was filled to the brim the entire evening with people who are passionate about Western North Carolina Craft. We are so fortunate to live in an area where Fine Craft is as appreciated as it is prevalent, and the turnout we had Friday night evidences that our community is thriving. We had between 150 & 200 people in attendance throughout the night and almost all of the artists were able to make it. There is just nothing better that being able to ask the artists themselves about their pieces.


If you weren’t able to make it out Friday night but would like to learn more about the artists and their work, please visit the links below!

Anna Johnson
Jeana Eve Klein
Janet Williams
Gwendolyn Bigham
Kenn Kotara
Sondra Dorn
Dustin Farnsworth
Hayden Wilson
Rachel Meginnes
Sam Reynolds
Robin Johnston
Kathie Roig
Heather Allen Hietala
Ben Elliott
Austin Richards
Michael Parry

HandMade in America is pleased to announce the upcoming opening of its new exhibition, Breaking Ground: Innovative Craft. Opening reception will take place on Friday, March 8, from 5:30- 8 pm to celebrate the work of regional artists. This exhibit, running from March 8- June 30, is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, Starbucks and Windgate Charitable Foundation.

“What is innovation in art? Perhaps it is a willingness to fail or make mistakes in service to fearless creativity. ‘Breaking ground’ by definition, engages the unfamiliar and is key to an innovative studio practice.”
-Kathryn Gremley


Breaking Ground: Innovative Craft features the work of WNC craft artists who are pushing the boundaries of their medium in unexpected ways. Featuring 26 works in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood, or mixed media, the pieces in this exhibit illustrate a balance of craft processes and unique ideas, combining tradition with innovation.

Artists featured are: Michael Parry, Austin Richards, Jeana Eve Klein, Janet Williams, Gwendolyn Bigham, Kenn Kotara, Sondra Dorn, Dustin Farnsworth, Hayden Wilson, Rachel Meginnes, Robin Johnston, Sam Reynolds, Kathie Roig, Heather Allen Hietala, Ben Elliott and Anna Johnson

If you haven’t seen Kenn Kotara’s braille poetry piece, in the eyes of memory, Stacks by Hayden Wilson, or Dustin Farnsworth’s Saint Anne’s Theatre, you are in for a real treat. These are just a few among a slew of beautiful pieces.

in the eyes of memory, Kenn kotara 01.bSaint Anne's Theatre, Dustin Farnsworth_01Stacks, Hayden Wilson 02

CSA: Community Supported Art!

February 27, 2013

We are so excited here at HandMade about this new business incubator program, and apparently, so is the Mountain Xpress! Click HERE to see the write-up online…

csa big

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With that buy-local spirit in mind, Community Supported Art is a similar endeavor to support regional craft artists and collectors.

We are seeking craft artists to launch our inaugural Community Support Art (CSA) program. Our local CSA program is modeled after the Community Supported Art project created by Springboard for the Arts and mnartists.org in Minnesota, where it continues successfully season after season.

Join us in becoming the first Community Supported Art program in North Carolina!

Vist our homepage HERE

John C. Campbell

February 8, 2013

This year, WNC’s American Craft Week celebrations are going to be huge. Many organizations and galleries throughout Western North Carolina and all across the state are committed to honoring craft by participating in this October celebration, and we have already started planning! A few of us WNC organizations got together for a first 2013 meeting and field trip with Sherry Master’s guidance. She even organized a van to drive us all out to John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown! We went out on Wednesday and had such a wonderful time. We went on a nature walk across the grounds to visit artist studios and ate lunch in the beautiful dining hall where we were able to begin strategic planning for ACW.

Take a look at the photos from that day…
Founders, Olive and Marguerite

I Sing Behind the Plow

Blacksmiths 2



Planting trees


Yarn closet 2




Ceramic color samplers

Color charts

Stained glass


Pottery & History

A sustainable structure

If you haven’t attended a Textile Study Group at HandMade in America, they happen on the third Wednesday of every month. On January 16, the group had an amazing turnout. The room was so packed that we had to borrow chairs from people’s offices! Ismini Saminidou, a wildly accomplished textile artist and designer, gave a lecture at the last meeting and presented on the exhibition she currently has up at The Center for Craft Creativity & Design. The exhibition is called Topography: recording place–mapping surface. In her Artist’s Statement, Ismini says, “I am particularly interested in the construction methods of woven fabrics, and the way that textiles can exist within a space. Narrative is a strong element in the work and often the weaving relates to a particular place, becoming a site-specific piece. The collaborative works extend my practice through conversations about materials and processes.”

The lecture was as inspiring as it was informational and I can’t wait to go see the works in person in Hendersonville. We were able to get the lecture on video, and it will be posted on the Members-only page soon. Stay posted for news about when it goes up!

To learn more about Ismini, you can visit her website HERE

To learn more about the Textile Study Group at HandMade in America the 3rd Wednesday of every month, visit the LOCAL CLOTH Facebook page…


See you at The Center for Creativity, Craft and Design…