The Southern Highland Craft Guild will be hosting the last of its demonstrations at the Folk Art Center until March of 2023. These demonstrations take place daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature two artists of differing media. On Wednesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 15, Amy Brandenburg will be making jewelry with Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and explaining her craft process. “This is a ‘clay’ made from microscopic particles of silver suspended in a binder that allows it to act like clay,” she says. “I sculpt the clay and sand and refine the piece for firing. I fire the piece near the melting point of the silver, 1650 degrees, and once fired the metal particles melt together and form a solid piece of silver. From there I can finish the piece with patina or add an enameled layer of colored glass.”
On Thursday through Sunday, December 15–18, visitors to the Folk Art Center can see potter Rodney Leftwich at work. A native of Western North Carolina, Leftwich is inspired by the early folk and pottery traditions of the region. He makes face jugs and mugs that are glazed with wood ash and clay slip glazes. “The oldest face jugs made in North Carolina were created in Buncombe County about 1870,” he says. “The potters, primarily farmers, found glaze materials locally. It gives me much satisfaction to continue my interpretations of this early form.”
Through February 14, 2023, the exhibition Treasures will be on display in the Focus Gallery at the Folk Art Center. Treasures features work in different media from six Guild members: Allen Davis, Lynne Harrill, Gigi Reneé Fasano, Ruthie Cohen, David Alberts and Vicki Love. “When someone purchases an item from a crafter it is because they believe it is a treasure, whether for a moment or forever,” says Love, who crafts bags from deerskin leather. “The centerpieces of my bags often utilize semiprecious stones which are certainly treasures. Yet the imaginary flowers which celebrate the natural world are also treasures. I do believe that all true crafters desire to create items which endure and bring continual delight to the owner.”
The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the Highway 70 entrance in east Asheville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Learn more at SouthernHighlandGuild.org.