The Show Promoters Blog
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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. 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 just a dream come
true. As the years have flown by, more and more artisans
wanted a good place to sell their hand work and
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 artisan 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. A great set up crew makes this big event
happen for me two times each year.
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 to be here.
Every year, I buzz around in my little car
visiting many of the areas craft shows (sometimes three or four a day!) to find these unique artisans. I hand out information and get to know as many
as possible. Not every craft is right for this area but I feel
confident each exhibitor selected is outstanding in their field.
Spring is just around the corner !
It is time for the artisans to clean
their studios and get ready for spring shows. They will .
I hear spring birds singing so warmer weather
is around the corner.
I am already filling the summer show.
For this show, 99% of the artists are in the building's main
arena but a few exhibitors prefer to be outside.
The sidewalk leading up to the big Catamount door entrance
has a sample
of the quality artisans inside. Look for:
- Doreyl Ammons, catchthespirit ,
who will be demonstrating pastel paintings, is preparing
some new creations for this year's show. Look for
small limited edition fine art prints under non-reflective
glass on a stand. The art includes details from her new
mural: trillium, larkspur, butterflies, birds, horses and
groundhogs. There will be townscapes and landscapes
- Wesley Angel's
blacksmith creations will be back on the corner. His
hand forged candlestick holders, mirrors
- and custom
accessories feature nature designs. This year, he
will be adding yard art creations .He will be
- showing some of his skills as he
demonstrates this vanishing heritage craft.
- His daughter, Colleen Angel is
very talented too. She will be showing off her painted furniture, next door to
- Right beside them will be Ken Di Rico's Smoky Mountain
delicious kettle popcorn. (I sample popcorn from
many places and his is "tops").
- For the summer, John Bauknecht,
chain saw bear carver, will be at the Whistle Stop
Franklin. He will be
- back for the November show.
- Meanwhile, enjoy Jimmy and Marlene
Hopkins colorful yard art. Remember the big
- birds that dress up your place?
- .No one can turn a gasoline can into a
piece of folk art like Bobby
Bearden ! He will be back with his pigs and
- cat recycled inventions.
- Right next door will be Steve
Carter with his driftwood fountains and bird houses .
- Leslie Samuels
is a trained artist .She will be
bringing lovely painted scarves, mosaics and sea glass
- Jan Kleinrath
allthingscanvas will be back with canvas bags and hats
.If you are heading to the beach, be sure to stop by her
- Henry and Alice Hoover are coming
back with the fun canjoes and the Tennessee music box .
They can teach
- you how to play pretty good music from a spam
- A new talent in our area is Joshua
Grant from Whittier. This young man makes and plays
- banjoes! Wait. They are made from ...gourds ! If you ever thought to learn, here is your chance.
- Charles Wells, associate
professor of art from Georgia Southwestern State University,
was the glass blower
the 'Hard Candy Christmas" show. He is bringing his set up again
to educate us with his cooool
- demonstration .You will
have an opportunity to watch the master at work and
purchase some of his art pieces.
- I am expecting artist Jim Gunter with his
rock carving again .
- We may have Robin Lumpkin's rustic
art again . She is working on a little portable wagon to
hold her art work .
- Kathy Cirka BackwoodsBakery
will be baking up organic bread and cookies.
- Kerry Marsh is an amazing carver
of arrowheads and rock artifacts .
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.
- Dogwood Crafters from
Dillsboro will be selling samples from their unique shop.
They feature handcrafts from the mountain area, also.
- The Arena:
- Good live music lifts
- There will be live guitar
music floating from the fingers of Macon County's
- He will be playing the old
tunes we grew up with and selling his cds.
The pottery section includes :Tim Moran and Janet
Gaddy have wheel thrown pottery with
Celtic motifs and crystaline glazes.
We have a good selection of
specialty foods and sweets :New this year:
Old Salem packaged Moravian cookies ,baked
goods and Moravian stars and angels.
Good News : Betty Lambert's Chocolate
Jelly is coming back ! You who fell in love with all the unique
are going to be happy to get more !
- Kathy Nash Serendipity will be back with her
heirloom nut brittle goodies. It is a fast seller.
- Terri Cook's Delightful Dips
was a hit last show and will be back with her homemade dips, mixes and
- meat rubs. (I noticed lime chiffon pie mix on
her web site).
- I am hoping House of Douglas Bakery
will be back with Scottish and Irish breads,
and scones to take home.
- Does blackberry jelly and strawberry
jam sound good? Robyn Brechbill Mountaincreekcreations
jams, jellies and pickles picked from Tusquittee
Farm where she lives. She will have special soaps and
- Scotty Ellis Cold
Mountain Toffee maker will be bringing
her lovingly made, surprisingly soft and delicious
- candy. It is from an old family
recipe with 7 flavors.
- Jerry Edwards Castlerock
Honey is a bee keeper
that will be bringing all kinds of honey and a line of
cosmetics from the sweet stuff !
- Heritage Soap:
- Bill Reed Freedom Farms
is coming back with his
milk soap. And his personal grooming
- Tim Trescott
beelitecandles will have a line of bees wax and soy
candles, and homemade soaps .Maybe some
- honey, too.
- Elizabeth Lilley Spreadthelove
LipBalm is the queen of the all natural lip balms.
Get ready for some scrumptious
- Doll Makers:
- Corn shuck flowers date back to the
early settlers. Betty Cabe is preserving this
heritage craft .She will demonstrating and selling her colorful
bouquets. She has some of the best shuck dolls I have
- Elly Davey's folk
figure is our featured
art piece this year ! Her tiny dancing lady has a hickory nut head .She tenderly
dresses each one with attention to detail . She has many
collectors who look for new creations
crafts : Molly McCurdy makes and plays
dulcimers . She will be here to teach you how eas it is to
- Animals from recycled railroad spikes ? Yes, a
whole farm from Rich and Rhonda Peters. Coppins
Critters You will
love these little creatures!
- I hear there are going
to be a new addition for summer : bumblebees !
- Just got the news that Susan Mick
will be coming back with her bark frames. Her natural
materials are used both for pictures and mirrors.
We have attracted some wonderful
fine artists and painters for this show such as:
Suzan Buckner . She is an Alabama girl
who paints amazing art.
Peyton Foster is a mountain
fellow who captures the
mountains in acrylic.
Nancy Moore is a popular folk painter in
our area. She decorates baskets , gourds and windows . She
is only here
for the summer show ,so don't miss her wonderful
- Elizabeth McAfee's delightful
animal watercolors are coming back ! Her studio cat, Sandy,
- in each painting . Her creations are
doing all sorts of capers like golfing , cooking and
dancing to our delight .
- Alan R Young ,will be back with
his award winning wildlife
- Macon County's own watercolorist, Michael
M. Rogers http://www.sharethebeauty.tv will be bringing his
summer collection of art to this show .(He was one of the first artist
who started this show with me in 1987. ) He is an avid hiker of
the trails of our beautiful area. Come with him as he
captures waterfalls, flowers and views on canvas and video. You will be able to take a piece of
mountains back home with you
- Carolyn Cordell is a mixed media artist. She will
not be coming to the summer show but will be back to
her little gallery with metal paintings,
mobiles and jewelry for the November show. In her space will be Jeanne Mack , a popular
southern southern artist, with originals and giclees.
She is a cat lover/rescuer also.
artist, Michele Alcock, Micheles Garden Girls
is coming back to this show !
With dried flower petals and things found in nature, she
dainty garden ladies. See her on facebook.com/micheles
- The fabric art category is looking is
looking good :
- Animal lover and artist Ri Noel
Tarpoll has won my heart with her lovely art work . She
will present them on 100% organic cotton
sweaters and tees with her art work on it.
- Susan Kennedy: quilted designer
purses and Mark's photography.
- Gretchen Branning:
purses each one created from a man's neck tie.
- Norma Jean Corhn:
18' inch doll dresses and more ..
- Linda Levy is busy right now
quilting up a storm to have a wonderful display for June
.Look for wall hangings, baby quilts and accessories.
- Bill and Linda Van Order only come
to the summer show with their Beary Hill Bears for their
collectors .Linda sews some practical accessories that are
hard to find . .
- The wood craftsmen at
this show are some of the best around:
- I was just assured that
Dick Crowder's Tree Wood Art is coming back
! They use many kinds of native
- wood to do their wall silhouettes .
- I found the best wood crafted
children's toys ever a few years back .I never gave up
until they came to our
- show . Val and Al Oliveira
make a wide variety of trains, wagons, and cars . If you are
tired of plastic stuff. you are going to love their quality
- Jerry's Custom Woodcrafts is coming from
Tennessee to bring their handcrafted log furniture.
- Gerald and Ruth Bleniek owners
.See pictures above .
- Dennis and Judy Wilkey are
favorites each show with fine wood turnings ,gifts and jewelry.
- Ron Thompson: master wood
turning from regional wood . (I was given a set of apple wood bowls
that I cherish).
- Ken Rudd's customers buys his potato boxes and waste cans like
crazy . They are hard to find .
- Steve Simonelli is a fine, fine
wood crafter who is famous for his beautiful rocker chairs
and boxes .
- Dora Reynolds is a hit each show
with her bright colorful fabric plates and bowls.
- The knitters are in vogue right now:
Tolotti: Laura's Butterflies scarves and hats
- William T. & Nancy Smith: shawls, yarn, pins and accessories.
- Connie Anderson was a hit with her
colorful of hairpin lace scarves in November . She will be back with
shawls, and necklaces, too. .
- The Glass artists are unique:
- Janet Anderson is coming back with
her original glass art both fused
- and slumped .
- . Daniel Brown is a new
artist with stained glass and mirror holders that are
- Mike Smithwick is coming back with
his wine bottle lanterns and etched glassware and more
- We have some of the most skilled jewelers
from our area and far away:
- New this year is Janet L.
Simons Dean . She is a hat maker and vintage jewelry
- Peggy and Grady Nolan come every
year with their vintage silver craft jewelry and
chimes. They are always a hit with one of a kind pieces.
- Jan Nethery will be back for her
customers who collect her natural stone wearable art .
- Ellen Speed makes
amazing accessories from soda cans. What fun!
- Donna Rainey Artworkzstudio
a fine wire wrapper. She is coming a long way to bring her
skillful designs! And some neat photography .
Dodge is new this year . She has some lovely ,original
designs ,you will be proud to wear.
Neal and Nanci Hearn boxesbyneal
will be back with Neal's glass boxes . Each one is an original
with gem stones or specially crafted glass . Wife, Nanci
has a line of handcrafted gemstone jewelry you are sure to enjoy
Stay tuned as the show fills .