Small Beginnings :
The Mountain Artisans Art &
Craft Shows started in Macon County in 1987.
Only 8 artisans exhibited at the first Christmas craft
show in Franklin, NC. We never imagined that, down the
road, we were headed to the wonderful Ramsey
Center on the Western Carolina University campus in
Cullowhee, North Carolina!
It is a dream come
true. As the years have flown by, more and more artisans
wanted a good place to sell their hand work and
joined us. So many of our small
businesses have been sent overseas, but there are no
imports here. The southern craftsman is alive and
well in this area. Many of the heritage crafts are handed down from the older generation. The quilting,
pine needle baskets, blacksmithing, clay art, folk
dolls, corn shuck flowers, broom corn brooms, carved
spirit sticks, and primitive furniture were inspired
from past generations.
You will find it all here.
Art and Crafts Shows provide a
marketplace for customers and artisans to meet. It is an amazing
collection under one roof. You would have to visit dozens
of shows to
find what I have gathered at one place.
Cullowhee, North Carolina is home
to the Western Carolina University. On the campus is the Ramsey
Center arena that boasts 18,000 square feet of climate controlled
comfort for everyone. It is home to the Catamount's
basketball games but two times each year, they move over for
our craft shows. A great set up crew makes it all look easy for
Quaint Cullowhee Valley nestles off Highway 107
that runs up to Cashiers, North Carolina from Sylva. It is a
stop off the Southern
Highroads Trail highway.
All around are big, soft mountains. A foot bridge crosses the Cullowhee Creek to get
to the show from the parking lot. It is peaceful to your soul
just to be here.
Outside: The sidewalk leading up to the big Catamount door entrance
has a sample
of the quality artisans inside. Look for the following
- Doreyl Ammons Cain, catch the spirit,
(Jackson County's own), will be demonstrating pastel paintings.
She is designing two murals in the upcoming
- You can own some of her
artist's sketches. She will have originals
and prints under non-reflective
glass on a stand. The art includes details from 'On Hallowed
Ground "mural: trillium, larkspur, butterflies, birds, horses and
- Ken Di Rico's Smoky Mountain
delicious kettle popcorn will be back. (It
is never burned or too salty)
- Dale Nash recycles granite drops
and turns then into lazy Susans and cutting boards that make
addition to your kitchen.
- Johnetta Heil Plaid Sheep
Weavings will be bringing her summer collection of
- Jan Kleinrath all things canvas
will be back .
Stop by her place before you head to the shore. Her
canvas hats , beach bags and accessories are favorites .
- Brad Greenwood ,Tennessee
blacksmith and copper artist, will be new this year. He
customizes stair railing, window boxes, and fireplace
brackets . His copper line of botanical sprays are hard to
Come inside . The entrance tunnel has some exciting
- First artisan inside the door is favored potter,
Sue Malsnee. She has many area collectors of her work. They will be glad to find
her newest designs and original glazes.
- David Hamilton Indian Ridge
is a fused glass artist .He will have a good selection
of his art.
- Dogwood Crafters from
Dillsboro will be selling samples from their unique shop.
They feature handcrafts from the mountain area.
- Visit their shop in Dillsboro, NC.
- Dearly cherished is Harold Sims; Catman2.His
kind heart started a no kill rescue and adoption home that
has aided hundreds of felines. Go by and donate generously. He
does much good.
- Steven Rich and David
Walker's functional birdhouses will back for our
- Good live music brings cheer! There will be live guitar
music floating from the fingers of Macon County's
Ronnie Evans. . He will be selling his cd's
to enjoy all year.
The pottery section includes :
- Ashley Poston Blue
Mountain Clay pottery
has a blue glaze you are going to enjoy in your
Specialty foods and sweets :
- Scotty Ellis
Toffee is coming . Remember
the delicious mint chips coated with luscious chocolate ? They will have 9 flavors to
- Kathy Cirka
Backwoods Bakery will be she will be baking up other
gingerbread goodies as well as her specialty
organic bread and cookies. How about pretzels, bagels, brownies and caramel popcorn.
- Kathy Nash Serendipity
will be back with her
heirloom nut brittle goodies. It is always a fast seller.
- Terri Cook's Delightful Dips
was a hit last show and will be back with her homemade dips, mixes and
southern meat rubs.
- Renae Allison will be welcomed
with Honey Roasted Peanuts, Almonds and Pecans.
- Bill Reed Freedom Farms
is coming back with his
milk soap. And his personal grooming accessories.
- Tim & Penny Trescott Beelite Candles will have a line of bees wax candles
and ornaments. Also, you will find soy candles, and homemade soaps. Tim has a good
selection of mountain honey; maybe some sourwood.
- Laura Craig Shade Tree
Farm soap maker will have some new
delicious new flavors.
- Corn shuck flowers date back to the
early settlers. Artisan, Betty Cabe, is preserving this
heritage craft. She will demonstrating and selling her colorful
- Elly Davey bird in hand makes little folk
figure and whimsies. She has many
collectors who look for new creations
- Let's see what folk artist Alva Houston
will have for us. Folk figures from
gourds and Christmas ornaments and more!
- Bonnie and Denny
Wallace Greasy Creek Crafts create a
wide variety of home decorations. They are bringing warm
weather , table settings and
cheerful accents. Denny has woodturnings .
- Linda Miller is coming back with
her paper art silhouettes. Also bark
buckets. Her family is
this mountain craft .
- Tommy Hill with his quality
leatherwork, will be back in time to replace that old worn
- Thomas Slavicek
BlackEagleLeather is new this year with leather pouches
and bags .
- Mike and Sharon Smithwick
will be back. Their customers will be happy to
recycled bottle lanterns and etched glass .
- Greg Scott makes kitchen and
outdoor cutlery from the finest materials. He is new this
- just in time to make your summer cooking
- Molly McCurdy DulcimersbyMolly
will be returning .If you ever wanted to play , now is a
good time to explore .
We have attracted some wonderful
fine artists and painters for this show such as:
Noel Tarnpol will be back with her hand painted animal designs on
cotton sweaters, jackets and t's.
Moore , popular folk artist, is already weaving baskets
colorful windows, and recycled items . She will have gourd art
- Elizabeth McAfee is coming back
with her animal caper paintings . The cats will be
golfing, cooking and amusing us all day.
- Jeanne Mack Southern Paintings
will have her summer paintings and charming
feline art. Hint: she is a cat rescuer.
- New this year is Jim and Carolyn
Teague .This artist team produce originals ,prints and
tiles in watercolors and acrylic medium .Welcome to the
- Caroyln Cordell , metal
paintings originals will have her summer collection for
all her customers. .
- Alan Young wonderful wild life
bird art will be flying back to the summer show .He will have
originals and prints .
- Jason Rizzo Jason's Fine Art
is new this year .He will have a mix of animal
photography, mixed media and prints .
The fabric and Fiber art category is looking is
- Linda Levy ,master quilter, is
busy these winter days ,working on wall hangings right now .
- Susan Kennedy: quilted designer
purses and Mark's photography.
- Gretchen Branning:
purses; each one created from a man's neck tie.
- Bob Taylor is new this year with
embroidered kitchen towels.
- Dora Reynolds Designer Tableware
is a hit each show
with her bright colorful fabric plates and bowls. She
will have her summer flower garden and bird collection.\
The wood craftsmen at
this show are some of the best around:
- Jerry's Custom Woodcrafts is coming from
Tennessee to bring their handcrafted log furniture. Gerald and Ruth Bleniek
- Ron Thompson is a master
turner from regional wood. He is off to explore the West this
summer .He will be back for the November show .
- Ken Rudd's customers buys his tables, potato boxes and waste cans
as fast as he can get them up here . Hardly any woodcrafter
makes them anymore.
- Steve Simonelli;s fine, fine
wood craft and his beautiful rocker chairs
and boxes will be here .
The knitters are in vogue right now:
Tolotti: Laura's Butterflies scarves and hats
and accessories will taking off for summer but will be back
for the November show
- William T. & Nancy Smith: shawls, yarn, pins and accessories.
Look for Nancy 's sewing work bags will be here.
The Glass artists are unique:
- Janet Anderson Wild Fired Glass
is coming back with
her original glass art both fused and slumped. Her
new line of jewelry is diachronic glass accented with
Swarovski crystals. A fine gift for a lovely lady.
- Neal and Nanci Hearn only exhibit
at this show . You collectors of Neal's fused glass boxes
will not be disappointed with his summer collection. Nanci
will have her original jewelry .
We have some of the most skilled jewelers
from our area and far away:
Lane and Shelvia Whitley will be back
with their hand casted pewter ornaments, pendants and earings.
Hand woven baskets by Lane ,too.
Peggy and Grady Nolan make jewelry and
wind chimes from antique silver plated dinnerware . Come
early for the best selection.
Dodge will be back with her original silver designs.
- Ellen Speed makes
amazing jewelry accessories from soda cans. (The Coke ones
are favorite). What fun!
- Virginia Bohanan Ginny's Jewelry specializes
in ladies and children's jewelry.
- Angel Hudgins Hudgins Designs
this year with unique cool designs for the 20something
- Dennis and Judy Wilkey will share
a booth with his fine turned pens in various woods ,ice
cream scoops, woodworking art and Judy's jewelry.
- Stay tuned as the show fills ...
and White House Artisan, Doris Hunter, combs through many craft
shows each year, looking for the best talent
available. She invites special artisans who make unusual craft.
Her own craft, pine cone
birds, can be seen at her home studio in Franklin, N.C. It
only place in the
world you can find her famous hummingbirds that graced the White
House Christmas Tree in 2002.
customers eagerly anticipate the wide assortment of original
work from the hands of 100 + artists at the "SUMMERTIME"
(July 4 week end ) show and the perennial favorite the
CANDY CHRISTMAS" always the Friday and Saturday
shows you can purchase an original painting or a piece of
rustic furniture for your mountain home and meet the artist who