Arts Craft Arts

See the Work of Professional Crafts Program Graduates at Folk Art Center

Laura Lau Klein, artist

An exhibition showcasing the work of the 2024 graduating class of Haywood Community College’s (HCC’s) Professional Crafts Program will be on display at the Folk Art Center starting Saturday, May 11, and running through September 18. HCC is an educational center of the Guild and many graduates of the Professional Crafts Program eventually become members of the Guild.

The Professional Crafts Program has long been a goal for jewelry artist Jacob Hoke, who learned about it while taking a hatchet-making workshop when he was 18. He obtained a diploma in welding at Wilkes Community College, knowing it would serve his career making jewelry. “I wanted to be in a professional crafts program like this so I could dedicate two years full-time to learning the craft and have a fully equipped shop to work in,” he says.

Mokume Cuff. Jacob Hoke, artist

For the exhibition at the Folk Art Center, Hoke has submitted three pendant-cuff-ring sets crafted from the soldered Mokume material that he created using silver solder and brass, bronze and copper wire. “I love the fiery colors I can create on the metal after it’s finished, and I also like seeing what patterns are possible to make,” he says.

The program invites craftspeople from all walks of life with a variety of different backgrounds. Laura Lau Klein had long been a craftsperson before joining the program in spring of 2022. “I saw HCC as an opportunity to improve my skills and combine creativity and practicality to make my art relevant to my professional life,” Klein says.

Klein submitted two jewelry collection for the graduate show, Currents and Loam. “Currents explores the relationship between the Laurel and French Broad rivers,” says the artist. “The set is composed around a necklace incorporating chain links made from river stones and plant material from river banks. Loam is a set of wood-turned hoop earrings made with repurposed wood and silver-cast elements, presenting adornments as living organisms.

Elevating components perceived as worthless into valuable, timeless objects drives my curiosity and can be seen in the pieces I am submitting for the graduate show.”

Other upcoming events at the Folk Art Center include Fiber Day on Saturday, May 11, and a Mini Fair on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SHCG is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to cultivate the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. 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.

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