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Fine Artists in the South Showcase their Work at Craft Fair

The talented Steve Noggle, a woodworker from Morgantown, NC is the featured craftsman this year. Photo courtesy of Southern Highland Craft Guild.

By Dasha Morgan- In its 71st year the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands returns to downtown Asheville with a variety of crafts ranging from contemporary to traditional with works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media and jewelry.

These are the finest artists in the South, who showcase their work as members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. At the US Cellular Center from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20th and on Sunday , October 21st from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM one can see an incredible variety of artists with their products. More than 200 craftspeople will fill the two levels at the Civic Center.

The talented Steve Noggle, a woodworker from Morganton, NC, is the featured craftsman this year. Every wood piece of his is carved on a spinning lathe and turned from a chunk of wet, green wood into a bowl or vessel with a satin finish.

Each beautiful piece is sanded to a fine touch and finished with a hand-rubbed tung oil varnish. His favorite local woods found in North Carolina include maple, cherry and walnut, but occasionally he works with less-often-turned Southern hardwoods such as dogwood, mulberry, locust, or ash.

Valerie Berlage of Leicester shows whimsical works of art at the Craft Fair this fall. Photo courtesy of Southern Highland Craft Guild.

This October at the Fair people are offered the opportunity to connect directly with the artist and purchase directly from them. Some amazing hand crafted pieces will be available to be purchased, so one can start holiday shopping with quality items.

Many demonstrators will be present to show how these incredible pieces are crafted. Out front in the Civic Center one will be able to see blacksmiths at work with the NC chapter of ABANA. This year a new demonstration will be given by The Village Potters, who have their permanent studios in the River Arts District.

Other crafts will be shown as well, namely: Jeffrey Neil, wooden shaker boxes, John Turner, raku glazing, Lesley Keeble, doll making, Marjorie Warren, tartan weaving, Joanna White, silk painting and Tamela Wells, polymer clay & metalsmithing.

The Southern Highland Craft Guild has a long history in the area with their home at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Today the Guild continues to serve and educate new generations in the importance of handwork to the mountain communities it serves, The Guild fosters opportunities for makers to build, market, and maintain their creative livelihood through continuing education, retail outlets, and mentorship.

Linda Azar is a jewelry artist and metalsmith, living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She was accepted into the Southern Highland Craft Guild in 2014. Photo Credit: Southern Highland Craft Guild.

As members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the exhibiting artists have passed a rigorous jury process to become a part of the organization.

Membership is open to artists who live in the mountain counties of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and the Virginias. The Guild helps members achieve their goals and providing them with the resources to refine and sell their craft.

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