As we consider makers in this our Fall Crafts issue, we decided to cast one more look back at our Feature Artists from the first months of this year. Artists featured each month are ones whose work we think represents some of the best of what Western North Carolina has to offer in fine craft. This year we have profiled artists working in a variety of mediums—jewelry, glass, pottery, metal, leather, cloth and wood.
Notable this year was an all-in-the-family moment when we featured Sara Hall, The Laurel’s graphic assistant. Her lovely quilts were on display in the June issue, whose cover bore a striking collage created by her husband and fellow artist Bill Hall.
In May, with pandemic pandemonium disrupting all of our lives, we found Roberta Diggs, who had set aside her leather crafting and quilting to make face masks. Like many of our artists, Diggs’ talent grew out of a practical suggestion in her childhood from someone close to her. “My grandmother initially thought I should learn to sew so I can make a living,” she says.
And, like all of our artists, Diggs found talent within herself that she nourished and developed through education, determination and hard work. Artists are generous by nature also. Diggs sent our grateful staff a box of her crafted masks at a time when they were still hard to come by.
All of the artists we meet, correspond with and talk to also share an unselfish willingness to foster creativity in others. July’s featured artist Jem Klein said this: “The thing I’d like to most promote is to encourage your readers to get in touch with their own creativity. The world needs your creativity now. It is possible to follow your calling as an artist and get supported in following that dream.”