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Celebrating the American craftsmen.

"WHERE ALL THE GOOD ARTISTS ARE "......You will find  the work of some of the area's most unique artisans. 

Mountain Artisans presents   

"HARD CANDY CHRISTMAS" 

ART AND CRAFT SHOW


NOVEMBER 28-29 2014

Gingerbread Church by Kathy Cirka :Backwoods Bakery & Cake Works, Whittier, NC

 

 

Click here for  Featured Artists 

CLICK HERE FOR 2014  'HARD CANDY CHRISTMAS'  EXHIBITORS

 

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.

     Mountain Artisans 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 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 just  to be here.

NOTE: The apples for our give away table are waiting in the Barber Orchard chiller.  I picked them out in October.  This was a good  apple year. Our white oak split basket will be overflowing with crisp  varieties like Red and Yellow Delicious, Gala and Cameos.

 Christmas, for  mountain children, was always celebrated  with exciting stockings.  You can be sure that each one was stuffed with an apple, orange and hard candy ,no matter how lean the year.  The best gifts were hand made with special care .It was a magical time  that I never forgot.  It is an inspired labor to bring up to 2014,  the smell of fresh evergreens, special baking and hand crafted items.  Each gift is made one at a time.

Have some peppermint candy from our family heirloom jar, a crisp apple  and select an original treasure from our fine artisans. It is a mountain Christmas Tradition.  I bet you catch the Christmas Spirit!  

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

  • Doreyl Ammons Cain, catch the spirit, (Jackson County's own),  will be demonstrating pastel paintings. She is designing two murals in the upcoming year.
  • 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  groundhogs.? What fun.
  •  Ken Di Rico's Smoky Mountain  delicious kettle popcorn will be back.  (It is never burned or too salty)
  •  John Bauknecht, Bear Necessities, chain saw animal carver, will have his yellow trailer overflowing with carvings, signs and walking sticks. Brother Fred will have a project on the  chain saw carving stump.
  • Henry and Alice Hoover  Hoover Folk Instruments are coming back with their Southern canjos and Folk Musical Instruments. They can teach you how to play pretty good music from a spam can!
  •  If you smell homemade bread baking, that will be Backwoods Bakery chef Keith firing up his portable oven outside. You can purchase delicious, golden loaves just in time for all that holiday company!
  • Next door, will be Bethany Mollar with barn wood creations. She has recycled doors to make tables and other interesting items.
  • Sculpture, artist,  Jim Gunter will be back again with his rock carvings.  He mines local stones and carves amazing nature and Indian art in them.
  • Michele Allen  will have dried fruit orange ropes and  new this year: cinnamon ornaments that smell good for years.
  •  Susan Camera's Ramble Wood Ridge rustic wagon will be on the corner with recycled folk art. Check her web page for more mountain makings.
  • Dale Nash recycles granite drops and turns then into lazy Susans and cutting boards that make lovely addition to your kitchen.
  • Molly McCurdy ,dulcimer maker and player and Joshua Grant , gourd banjo maker will be showing you how easy it is to play.
  • Johnetta Heil Plaid Sheep Weavings will be bring her fall collection  of accessories.
  • John Bowen will be back with his  lighted piers, personalized for your little home away from home.
  • Kyle Carpenter Green Thumb Pottery will catch you nature lovers eye with his garden themed pottery.
  • Robbins's Specialty Sauces famous for the Carolina Pig Polish is here with an old family secret recipes for delicious sauces.  Perk up your barbeque and cookouts.
  • Folk Artists Bryan and Kristy Adams recycle to make some nifty items.
  • I am hoping David Klatt from Black Mountain is coming with his amazing wood bowls . They are made with various woods and such a nice gift for not much money !
  • Gary Draffin ,best peanut roaster around ,will be delighting us with his sweet ,organic peanuts ,roasted to perfection .

Come inside . 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.
  • Tree grower and fresh wreath maker, Larry Haskett , will be showing off his creations for your home.  He will also have vine, everlasting wreaths too. The big tree in the lobby comes from his A&E Tree Farm ,Tuckasegee, NC. each year.
  •  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.
  • Steven  Rich and David Walker recycle planks from yesterday's barns into fun birdhouses and feeders. Some look like log cabins.
  • No one can turn a gasoline can into a piece of folk art like  Bobby Bearden World of Smiles ! He will be back with his pigs and cat recycled inventions.  He has a new owl, just for this show.
  • 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.

Arena :   

  • Good live music brings cheer!  There will be  live  guitar music floating from the fingers of  Macon County's Ronnie Evans. Everyone will get the Christmas spirit as he plays the old tunes we grew up with.  He will be selling his cd's to enjoy all year.

The pottery section includes :

     All you Mike Hart Hart Works fans will be able to add to your table settings.  His stoneware with pinecone and Cindy will have her sheep buttons .

     Larry Moore Soft winds Pottery is new this year.  You are going to find some different designs that will be a hit.

   Ashley Poston Blue Mountain Clay pottery has a blue glaze you are going to enjoy in your house.

     Evening Shade  Pottery Eva McCray from Saluda makes some amazing face jugs.

Specialty foods and  sweets :

  •  Scotty Ellis Cold Mountain Toffee is coming .  Remember the delicious mint chips coated with luscious chocolate ? They will have 9 flavors to enjoy ! (My German in-laws are going to get several bags of this for Christmas !)
  •  Kathy Cirka  Backwoods Bakery will be  our featured artist this year.  This talented young lady has baked up our gingerbread church.  Someone is going to win a  little masterpiece ! Go by her booth and sign up for the drawing.  Drawing will be at the show's end. You do not have to be present to win, but, it  needs to be  hand carried  home!  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.
  •  Jessica DeMarco  Copper Pot Traditions will have homemade jams, jellies and pickles.

Heritage Soap:

  • Bill Reed Freedom Farms is coming back with his popular goat milk soap. And his personal grooming accessories.
  • Tim & Penny Tescott 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.
  • Elizabeth Lilley Spread the love Lip Balm is the queen of the all natural lip balms. Get ready for some scrumptious flavors.
  •  Laura Craig  Shade Tree Farm  soap maker will have some new delicious new flavors.
  • All you customers of Carmen O'Dell By Willing Hands will be able to stock up on her artisans soap for sensitive skin.

Doll Makers:

  • Corn shuck flowers date back to the early settlers. Artisan, Betty Cabe, is preserving this heritage craft.  She will demonstrating and selling her colorful bouquets. And Christmas angels are here.
  • Elly Davey bird in hand makes little folk figure and whimsies.  She has many collectors who look for new creations each show. 
  • Let's see what folk artist Alva Houston will have for us.  Folk figures from gourds and Christmas ornaments and more!

Other special crafts : 

  • Valerie Holden will be back with her everlasting bow wreaths to dress up your porch and kitchen.
  • Breaking news: Bonnie and Denny Wallace Greasy Creek Crafts  create a wide variety of holiday decorations.  They are bringing lighted boxes, table settings and cheerful accents.  Denny has woodturnings . Welcome back to the Wallace's!
  • Marcia Roland is a scherenschnitte' artist.  It is a 3D paper craft from the old world that is hard to find.  She will be demonstrating and taking special orders.
  • Linda Miller is new this year.  She also, has paper art silhouettes.  Her family is preserving the mountain craft of bark bucket making.
  • Tommy Hill with his quality leatherwork, will be back in time to replace that old worn out wallet.
  • Mike Malak  - Antler Mike will be back with his antler art lamps and accessories.
  • Danny Robinson  Ex Files Knives recycles old files and saw blades to make handmade knives.
  • Come see what Tennessee sculpture Billy Reynolds will be bringing this year.  He always 'wows' us with his original  mountain carvings
  • Chris Turnier Fish eye art also a Tennessee artist, does amazing barn wood sculpture, fish watercolor paintings.
  • JoAnn Lazaro The Basket Lady is coming with a good selection of  functional baskets for practical gifts.
  • Mike Merritt makes designer birdhouses.  They are almost too lovely for the birds. They dress up your garden and porch.
  • We are honored to have Macon County native and author Roy Owenby.  He will be signing his new book: Blue Ridge Mountain Heritage  Caricature of Southern Appalachian life . Owenby takes you down the byways of the Appalachian Mountains with stories of the soul of the mountain people. What a great gift !
  • Another author, Marcia Riley, The Pillow Fairy has a children's book ,just in time for Christmas. Welcome Marcia.
  • Marker Mountain Frank and Darlene Marker are coming back with candles, spices, and good things from their mountain herb and flower  garden.
  • Vikki Tabor's lighted  Christmas Boxes has sold out each year.  Get there early to her booth.
  • Mike and Sharon  Smithwick usually come to the summer show. Their customers will be happy to see them for  last minute Christmas gifts.  Their recycled bottle lanterns and etched glass is perfect for picky people.
  • You are gonna like Jennifer Hayden Out on a limb , a copper artist who sculptures unique metal works for indoors and out.

 

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

  • Carolyn Cordell Metal Paintings artist missed the summer show but will be in a grand space to show off her fall collection.
  • Jeanne Mack Southern Paintings will have her winter paintings and charming feline art.  Hint: she is a cat rescuer.
  • Mary Cinnamon  Gert's Kid is a gourd artist.  She paints her little masterpieces on natural surfaces.  I saw her 4 years ago and said that she must come to my show.  It will be worth the wait. (She is busy working on Christmas ornaments right now). Welcome Mary.
  • Tennessee artist Alice Shamblin is coming with her quaint rural scenes that can be personalized. How about a cozy fireplace with the stockings all hung.  She can put your children or grandchildren's names on them .A new item this year is nite lights with her art in the background.
  • Lealon McLeod is no stranger to this area with his rural art .He can capture your  old home place from a photo.

The fabric and Fiber art category is looking is looking good:

    Ginger Rutland Gingerbread land has a wonderful collection of unique Christmas quilts, like Grammy    used to make, wall hangings and ornaments. She features gingerbread themes but has snowmen and Santa, too. Welcome Ginger.

       Ann Eastabrooks the scarf lady combines quality and price with her popular scarves .

  • Donna McCarthy  Alpaca Tina raises Alpaca and shares her weaving, felting, and yarns with us.
  • Sue Dial also a fiber artist is coming back with wearables, dolls and jewelry.
  • Martha Shanks,  Nozama Hats creator of designer, felted hats is coming back. You will be warm and classy with one of these!
  • Mary Ann Zelinsky  Morzelweaving is a master weaver from Johnson City Tn. She will have scarves, hats and accessories.
  • Virginia Bobian 's scarves, shawls and hats will be here.
  • Do you want a tea towel with the recipe of how to bake possum? Joy Garcia embroideries handed down recipes for fun gifts.  She has antique handkerchief angels also.
  • Linda and Bill Van Order Beary Hill Bears are returning with their Christmas collection and home accessories.
  • Susan Kennedy: quilted designer purses and Mark's photography.
  • Gretchen Branning: purses; each one created from a man's neck tie.
  • Returning is Linda Owens with unique tie dyed clothing for young and old.  Also house wares just made for you.
  • Dora Reynolds  Designer Tableware is a hit each show with her bright colorful fabric plates and bowls.  She will have her winter and holiday collection
  • Linda Jackson is an artist on silk scarves. What a neat gift for the lady with everything.  She will have painted glassware.
  • Kathy Bolen  Seasons to sew will be hit for those looking for pot holders, casserole carriers, bottle aprons  and coasters. She has school themed items.
  • Jo Bolt is a craftswoman who make wrap dresses. Check out  her creations .
  • Robyn Brechbill Mountain Creek Creations is sewing some handbags and ladies accessories.
  • Ashley Houston, has  batik clothing. That is melted wax process on cloth.

 

The wood craftsmen at this show are some of the best around:

  • Good news!!  Dick and Jo Crowder's tree sculpture inside various wood circles is coming back for this show!
  • (Customers looked for them last year but a new grandchild took precedent).  They use southern hardwoods and some chestnut for their art.
  • David Hedrick makes "gin-u-.wine" old fashioned wood toys.  He had a great show last year from parents who are tired of plastic under the tree.  He will have a lovely selection this year of trucks, cars and trains.
  • Jerry's Custom Woodcrafts is coming from Tennessee to bring their handcrafted log furniture.  Gerald and Ruth Bleniek  owners.
  • Dennis and Judy Wilkey are favorites each show with fine wood turnings,  gifts and jewelry.
  • Ron Thompson is a master turner from regional wood.  (I treasure a set of his apple wood bowls).
  • Ken Rudd's customers  buys his tables, 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.
  • Colette will have her Christmas decorations.
  • Gary Morris is going to be at this show with his popular  scroll saw name puzzles and  wood art.
  • Arden Hopper &family are woodworkers who will be showing cutting boards,  ornaments, and candle holders.
  • David  Pruitt will be back with his hand crafted log house replications.  His wife,  Silvia, makes little tea towels that button in the kitchen for quick clean ups.
  • Are you looking for a quality quilt rack? Fine woodworker,  Steve Waldroop, is working on them right now.  He will have other inventory and sewing crafts from his sister.

The knitters are in vogue right now: With winter coming on ,new hats and scarves are in order.

  • Eva Tolotti:  Laura's Butterflies scarves and hats and accessories.
  • William T.  & Nancy Smith: shawls, yarn, pins and accessories. Maybe Nancy 's sewing work bags will be here.
  • Connie Anderson's colorful hairpin lace scarves are a hit.  She will be back with shawls, and necklaces, too.
  • Linda Jackson paints on silk scarves .You are  going to enjoy giving this gift.  She has glassware,  too.
  • Mary Jo Brown will be back with quality hand knitted mittens,  hats,  and scarves.
  •  Susan Dodd hand sews bottle covers to dress up your table. She has other hand crafted accessories.
  • Susan Gunter hand knits shawls, hats, mitts and sweaters. They are going to feel good about January!
  • Alexandra Cassell, Katelin Alexandra will have some neat crocheted  knitted accessories such as mittens, hats, and wraps.
  • Ernestine Plemmons with fiber/crocheted gift items.  How about something special for the new baby?

 

The Glass artists are unique:

  

  • Kristin Munzo Morning Star Glass will showing off her hand blown glass globes.  Each is one of a kind.  Coming only for this show is Katie Knopp  Katie did it with her 3D hanging  glass art.
  • 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.
  • I peeped into Lynn Grady's  product page.  You are going to love her art!  It  is whimsical paintings on rocks and things at hand.  She will have some fused glass, too.
  • Customers of Wil Baker and Dick Covalinski, glass craftsmen, will be glad to see them again, after a    few years off. They have sun catchers for small gifts .

We have some of the most skilled jewelers from our area and far away:

  • Coming back is the James Ledbetter family  from Alabama with their popular jewelry from antique silverware.
  • Also back is Janet L. Simons Dean Victorian Traditions.  She is a hat maker and vintage jewelry designer extraordinaire.
  • Ellen Speed  makes amazing jewelry accessories from soda cans. (The Coke ones are favorite). What fun!  
  •  Returning  is Donna Rainey Art workz studio with  her  fine wire wrapping. She will have a whole booth with her photography, also.
  • Virginia Bohanan Ginny's Jewelry specializes in ladies and children's jewelry.
  • Jennifer Clem is popular with her whimsical jewelry.
  • Angel Hudgins Hudgins Designs is new this year with unique cool designs for the 20something crowd.
  • I had many jewelers to choose from this year.  The one I picked  to close the jewelry category was Tom and Sherry Jones.   Their work is more like  wearable art. Tom draws his design inspiration from his Cherokee heritage.
  • Shep and Marge Shepherd will be having their last show with us, before retiring,  They will be selling fossils and beads used in their craft. And maybe some tools that  they will not use anymore.
  • 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.

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  • Macon County's own watercolorist, Michael M. Rogers http://www.sharethebeauty.tv will  be  unable to attend this year's Hard Candy Christmas show .He will return in 2015 with his summer collection of art.  (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

  • Also: favorite artisan, Neal Hearn, who makes those beautiful glass boxes, will be back in the Summertime show.  Contact him at www.boxesbyneal.com

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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