Getting Crafty in Asheville

Getting Crafty in Asheville
Indie & heritage craft fairs mark July weekends


Photo by The Big Crafty, Asheville.
The middle of summer marks two opportunities to get your hands on some of the most interesting and intricate crafts that the region has to offer. Forget Christmas in July--think about Christmas shopping in July!

First up is the Big Crafty, a semiannual celebration of indie craft (think: Etsy.com) set to take over the Asheville Art Museum with more than 140 vendors this Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Find everything from clothing to jewelry, from stationery to tableware, and from art prints to homemade soaps. There's a lot of Asheville and N.C. love on display, and there are many booths that feature great gifts for kids, and budget-friendly items as well as bigger buys. Admission to the show is free of charge.

Photo courtesy of the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Starting next Thursday, July 17, the semiannual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands arrives at the U.S. Cellular Center, featuring nearly 200 juried artists selling works of clay, metal, wood, jewelry, fiber, paper, natural materials, leather and mixed media.

The four-day event showcases the mountain craftspeople of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, which was formed in 1930 and is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the nation.

Craft Guild member & stonecarver

Collene Karcher
In addition to providing a retail market guild members, the Fair also offers demonstrations and live music. A strong part of the Guild’s mission is to educate the public about the history of crafts in this region, various craft techniques, and an appreciation for fine crafts. The July show features blacksmithing, natural dyeing, basket making and woodcarving. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children under 12.

If you can't make it to one of both of these excellent craft shows this month, don't worry! The fall Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is set for October 16-19, and the Big Crafty will return on December 7.

And you can also find these crafters' wares year-round: Find work by Guild artists at the Folk Art Center off of the Blue Ridge Parkway or at the new gallery in Biltmore Village. Also check out Horse + Hero in downtown, opened last month by Big Crafty organizers and filled with locally created items.

Where to find Arts & Crafts in Asheville.

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