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Celebrating the American craftsmen.


......You will find  the work of some of the area's most unique artisans. 

Mountain Artisans presents    




    Gerald and Ruth Bleniek will be bringing their custom wood furniture .You will find lovely additions for the bedroom, kitchen and living room

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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  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.

   Mountain Artisans 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. 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 me. 

 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 here!  The artisans are starting their  spring shows.  

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.

Outside Exhibitors 

The sidewalk leading up to the big Catamount door entrance has a sample of the quality artisans inside.  Look for:

  • Doreyl Ammons, catchthespirit , will be demonstrating pastel paintings. She is preparing some new creations for this year's summer.  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 her dad.
  • 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 in Franklin.  He will be
  • back for the November show.
  • Meanwhile, enjoy Jimmy and Marlene Hopkins colorful yard art.  Remember the  big sunflowers and
  • 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 .
  • Jan Kleinrath allthingscanvas will be back with canvas bags and hats .If you are heading to the beach, be sure to stop by her booth first.
  • 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 can !
  • A new talent in our area is Joshua Grant from Whittier.  This young man makes and plays  handcrafted
  • 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
  •  from 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. How about pretzels, bagels,
  • brownies and carmel popcorn ?
  • Kerry Marsh is an amazing  flint knapper and litic artist .He will be demonstrating carvings of arrowheads and
  • rock artifacts .

Inside Exhibitors 

The entrance tunnel has some exciting exhibitors :

   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  everyone's spirit!
  • There will be  live guitar music floating from the fingers of  Macon County's Ronnie Evans
  •  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 flavors

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 southern
  • 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 is bringing
  • fresh jams, jellies and pickles  picked from Tusquittee Farm where she lives. She will have special soaps and jewelry.
  •  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 popular goat milk soap. And his personal grooming
  • accessories.
  • 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
  •  flavors.
  •  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 ever seen.
  • .
  • 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  each show.

     Other special crafts : Molly McCurdy  makes and plays dulcimers . She will be here to teach  you how eas it is to play.

  • 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.
  • John Adams is a heritage broom maker from Alabama. He will be selling and demonstrating  his brooms and
  • wood turned pens.
  • Brenda Jones is returning with her children's name puzzels.
  •  Leslie Samuels  is a schooled artist .She will be bringing lovely painted scarves, mosaics and sea glass jewelry.

We have attracted some wonderful  fine artists and painters for this show such as: Folk artist

Suzan Buckner  is an Alabama painter who will be bringing her  amazing art. http://www.suzanbuckner.com .

Peyton Foster  is an  artist  who captures the mountains  in acrylic.

Nancy Moore is a popular folk painter in our area. She decorates her handmade baskets , gourds and windows .  She is only here

for the summer show ,so don't miss her wonderful art!

 All  Jessie K. Collins customers will be thrilled that she is coming over to Cullowhee. She is a Georgia watercolorist , will be who will have a good selection of  new rabbit prints, wildlife paintings, and topographic maps .

  • Elizabeth McAfee's delightful animal watercolors are coming back ! Her studio cat, Sandy, is somewhere
  • 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 art.
  • 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 our 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.
  • .
  • Georgia artist, Michele Alcock,  Micheles Garden Girls is coming back to this show ! With dried flower petals and things found in nature, she 'paints' dainty garden ladies. See her on facebook.com/micheles garden girls.
  • 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:
  • Joyce Thisse is an intarsia and fretwork artist. She is new this year with Christmas ornaments ,too.
  •  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 and prices.
  • 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:
  • Eva Tolotti:  Laura's Butterflies scarves and hats and accessories.
  • 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.
  • Rivers Marchesoni will be showin off her hand crocheted gifts and hand made soaps and salves.


  • The Glass artists are unique:
  • Janet Anderson is coming back with her  original glass art both fused
  • and slumped .
  • .  Daniel BrownDB'sGlassShack is a new artist with stained  glass and mirror holders that are planted with terrariums .
  • 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 designer extraordinaire.
  • 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 LakotaCreations  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 is a fine wire wrapper.  She is coming a long way to bring her skillful designs! And some neat photography .

       Lynell Dodge is new this year . She has some lovely ,original designs  ,you will be proud to wear.

       Just in: 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 .


Promoter, artist, 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 is the only place in the world you can find her famous hummingbirds that graced the White House Christmas Tree in 2002.


 Selective 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 "HARD CANDY CHRISTMAS" always the Friday and Saturday  after Thanksgiving!

     At both shows  you can purchase an original painting or a piece of rustic furniture for your mountain home and meet the artist who created  it!  



Some of the artist represented at the "Mountain Artisans" Shows



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