Shannon Berrey

Mountain Heritage Day

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The last Saturday of September brings around 18,000 thousand people to the tiny mountain town of
 Cullowhee, NC. The campus of Western Carolina University has been the host of this
 'combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachain music dance
and song' for the past 36 years.
 
 

The great thing about Mountain Heritage Day is that it has stuck to its authenticity. From the beginning,
its goal has been to showcase the enormous talents of the artists of this area. All products must be
 handmade from  natural materials--no machine made, commercially made or imported items.
pretty great, huh?
 


As an artist, my favorite part of the fair is getting to watch the artisans producing their craft.
These men are hand-hammering pewter into plates for Riverwood Pewter.

 




I've long been an admirer of this blacksmiths work. He doesn't do the traditional fireplace
 tools and hooks but rather whimsical butterflies and these great hummingbirds
 
'
 and here he is made into a bird bath


{this is my birdstake with years of rich patina from living in our yard}




And another artist that I have purchased my fair share of pottery from is Brent Ragan from
 'In the Potter's Hand'. He showed up only a few years ago at local festivals, but became an
 instant crowd favorite. There is almost always a huge line to check out and just getting
 close enough to snap these pictures was tricky!

 

He uses leaves to make impressions in the slabs of clay. Then the clay leaves are built into
 beautiful and functional pieces. Before the final firing, a dark clay slip is sponged over the
 light-color clay to bring out the texture and veining.
 
 



I love that he only glazes the inside of the bowls leaving the outside with a great rough
earthy feel. And of course we can't ignore the great scripture that is stamped onto each piece
Aren't these fabulous!? 

 
{This one came home with me}


{ as did this one...}

Another local favorite is Riverwood Pottery ( they share the same craft circle with Riverwood Pewter)
The Barnes family have created their treasures in our area for years.



I love the jewelry that Karen makes. And, her prices are really reasonable.




{I have a few of these in my collection!}

If you like the pottery, try to make it to Dillsboro's Western NC Pottery Festival
 
the 1st Saturday in November.




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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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