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Vanishing Crafts on Display | Laurel Magazine

Written By: Deena Bouknight | Issue: July – 2022

The Mountain Artisan Summertime Art and Craft Show set for July 1-2 at Western Carolina University, will be laced with examples of “Vanishing Crafts.”


An abundance of local artisan talent will be on display at the Annual Mountain Artisan Summertime Art and Craft Show, which will be held Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center, 92 Catamount Drive, in Cullowhee. In fact, about 60 exhibitors are expected. One of the exhibitors is Joan Marsden, whose business name is Raven Arts. She is a fabric artist who lives on the Plateau. As is the case with many artistic people who eventually land on their particular niche, Marsden was first a commercial artist and then an art teacher before she began focusing on applique sewing – which is basically stitching fabric pieces on top of other fabric pieces. She primarily creates fabric greeting cards, pillows, wall hangings, and framed mountain landscapes resembling the Blue Ridge Mountains. She buys batik fabrics, cuts out the shapes, and then assembles them through sewing. Nature and wildlife inspire her creations: bears, birds, mountain mist, flowers, etc. To achieve this, she explained, “I use roving (locks) from Alpaca.” Marsden has been a member, along with 80-plus other artists, at Dogwood Crafters in nearby Dillsboro for nine years and her work is displayed there for sale regularly . “This will be my first time showing at Mountain Artisans,” she said, explaining, “other crafters at Dogwood have been exhibiting there and told me about it.” Doris Hunter, a resident of Franklin and the show’s organizer, established the Annual Mountain Artisan Summertime Art and Craft Show to present and preserve what she refers to as “vanishing crafts,” which were goods, like quilts and pottery, needed historically for daily survival in the Appalachian Mountains. Western North Carolina artisans will present paintings, wood crafts, quilts, pottery, glass blown goods, master jewelers, turned-wood cutting boards, rustic furniture, American flags made of recycled wood, and more. And live music will be provided by Guitarist Ronny Evans. Admission is $5 for adults and the ticket is good for both days of the event. Children under 12 are free, and convenient parking and concessions are available. For more information, contact Doris Hunter [email protected].

by Deena Bouknight

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