The Southern Highland Craft Guild presents its annual Heritage Day on Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Folk Art Center. This free celebration of mountain heritage features traditional crafts accompanied by music and dancing. There will also be demonstrations of traditional craft throughout the day, including woodwork, weaving, spinning, dyeing, broom making, stone carving and printmaking. Some stations will offer interactive opportunities for both children and adults and there will also be a music stage with bluegrass and gospel performers throughout the day.
Guild member Dede Styles will be demonstrating at Heritage Day, using a common native plant to dye yarn. “I will also have a display of lots of natural-dyed yarn,” she says. “I will talk to visitors about the natural dye process and the plants I use for dye. Heritage Day is important to the local community because it helps them think about how things are made and how our ancestors provided for themselves.”
Cassie Dickson, a juried member of the Guild who has been weaving for more than 40 years, will also be demonstrating at this year’s event. “I grow and process the flax plant into linen cloth,” says Dickson, who has also been raising silkworms for several decades and processing their cocoons into cloth. “I will show and tell the story of a 200-year-old linen sheet that was woven by a woman from North Carolina. I feel it is important for the public to see craftsmen demonstrating our heritage crafts. Traditional crafts are what our Guild was founded on.”
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.