Chartered in 1930, The Southern Highland Craft Guild (SHCG) is one of the most highly regarded craft organizations in the United States. Featuring around 800 artisans from 9 states across the southeast, the SHCG is dedicated to sustaining the Southern Highlands craft economy. The Guild supported commerce for craftspeople in Appalachia during the Depression and continues their commitment to Southern Highland artisans with four craft shops and two annual craft shows.
The Guild’s ongoing legacy relies on their educational efforts and programs. These educational endeavors include a public library at their Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, community events, and artisan demonstrations at retail shops and shows. Centrally located from Asheville to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, the Guild’s four craft shops are all located in the Blue Ridge Mountains:
Southern Highland Craft Guild Craft Shows
The Southern Highland Craft Guild presents two annual craft shows in Asheville, North Carolina. The 71st Anniversary shows in 2018 feature a Summer and Fall event, July 20-22 and October 19-21 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. This Summer’s show opens Friday, July 20 at 10 am and running through Sunday, July 22 at 5 pm, the Summer show features over 150 booths at the US Cellular Center.
This event provides the public with the opportunity to shop and get to know the juried artisans of the Guild. The traditions of hand-crafted arts are represented by works that include wood, glass, clay, metal, leather, mixed media, jewelry, and more.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild
The high standards of the Guild selection process ensure that every artisan is a master in their craft and represent the very best of the Southern Highland’s culture, history, and art. The works represented at each SHCG show are carefully curated and evaluated by the Guild and artisan peers resulting in one of the finest and most diverse selections available.
The traditions of hand-crafted arts are represented by works that include wood, glass, clay, metal, leather, mixed media, jewelry, and more. The high standards of the Guild selection process ensure that every artisan is a master in their craft and represent the very best of the Southern Highland’s culture, history, and art. The works represented at each SHCG show are carefully curated and evaluated by the Guild and artisan peers resulting in one of the finest and most diverse selections available.
Featured Artisan: Winchester Woodworks
Allen Davis of Winchester Woodworks is a juried artisan with the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and his works are featured in nearly 200 galleries across the country. Renowned for his work with “polychromatic segmented woodturning,” Davis has been creating unique turnings for over 20 years. The beauty and intricate, one-of-a-kind designs of Davis’ works rely on native and exotic hardwoods. Cocobolo, Zebrawood, Yellowheart, Bloodwood, and Appalachian hardwood from his own 10-acre North Carolina are woven into wooden tapestries of function and design.
My greatest satisfaction is creating something that is beautiful and unique and has meaning for my customers.
Winchester Woodworks creates pieces for galleries, shows, and for custom orders that include bowls, urns, and other segmented works. While Davis spends most of his time in his workshop in Waynesville, North Carolina designing and turning wood, he also spends time making sure the traditional art of woodturning continues with new generations.
His seven grandchildren are all woodturners, and Davis has also taught classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School where traditional handcrafting has been kept alive since the late 1800s in Brasstown, North Carolina. Find out more about Allen Davis and his work here. Davis also participates in select workshops, shows, and demonstration events throughout the year. His love for introducing the art of woodturning to new generations is one of his greatest driving forces. His demonstrations are carefully designed to appeal to children in the hopes that they will find the workshops interesting enough to spark an interest in hand-crafted, functional art.
Davis’ long-standing relationship with the Southern Highland Craft Guild provides him with venues to display his work and present his skills to the public. Winchester Woodworks will be featured in 2018 with demonstrations at venues like the Moses Cone Manor event in July and the craft shows in Summer and Fall.
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