Communities Craft Arts

Dogwood Crafters: Supporting Craft Since 1976

Dogwood Crafters

Debbie and Bill Douglas, artists

By Natasha Anderson

The not-for-profit cooperative Dogwood Crafters started in 1976 with 12 dedicated members. Today, the organization boasts a membership of 85 housed in a 12-room log cabin in Dillsboro. “Membership is simple,” says president Brenda Anders. “Present a handmade item to be juried. The item must be unique and not already in our shop.”

Junetta Pell and her mother, Lessie Pell, were instrumental in the formation of the craft cooperative. Since retirement in 1994, much of Junetta’s time has been devoted to teaching classes in basket making, chair seat weaving and caning. She coordinates monthly educational workshops for Dogwood. Many crafters have come to discover the Dogwood cooperative through Junetta, including Bill and Debbie Douglas.

The Douglases moved to NC about 11 years ago after retirement. Debbie wanted to take a basket weaving class at their new church and she insisted that Bill go along with her since she did not like to drive in the mountains after dark. After that, the couple started taking classes taught by Junetta, who also taught Bill how to cane chairs. “Once our house was filled with baskets and chairs, we had to find a place to sell them,” says Debbie. “Dogwood Crafters has given us an outlet for our crafts and encouraged us to add new crafts to our repertoire by offering classes and scholarships. They have also encouraged us to demonstrate, participate in shows and attend the Mountain State Fair.”

Dogwood Crafters is located at 90 Webster Street in Dillsboro and is open seven days a week.. For more information, visit DogwoodCrafters.com.

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