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Southern Highland Craft Guild

Southern Highland Craft Guild | East Asheville, NC

Beauty in the Making

An artist’s eye, a crafter’s hands, a creative impulse … it’s all displayed in profusion at the Folk Art Center of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. For this adventure, take your credit card, because you’ll be compelled to take one of these beauties home.

It’s more than arts and crafts, of course. Although the Center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians, it also contains three galleries, a library and the Allanstand Craft Shop. Traditional white oak baskets, vibrant quilts, hand-thrown pots, intricate jewelry – it’s all there.

If you visit between March and December, as you walk in the door, you’ll see an artist demonstrating his or her craft. There are two levels to the building, and just above the demonstrators are antique wooden chairs made by guild members back in the early 1900s. It’s a striking way to see how rooted we are in our history.

The permanent collection houses an exhibit of about 200 works, featuring the best of traditional woodcarving, textiles, furniture, basketry, pottery, dolls and other crafts of Southern Appalachia. Some pieces date from the mid-1800s. Others are almost new. Together, they weave an important portrait of life in these mountains, which remained isolated until the railroads arrived.

Wow factor: Only five minutes from downtown Asheville, and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Folk Center is very accessible for visitors. In fact, pioneers like Frances L. Goodrich helped introduce early craftspeople to the wider world, gaining them recognition for their work and a bit of extra cash as travelers bought items to take back home. These pieces are remarkable and the experience both educational and entertaining.

Hint: After you leave, drop by Filo, a locally owned coffee shop and bakery. We suggest a cappuccino and croissant or a sticky bun.

For More Information: or 828.298.7928. Milepost 382 Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, NC

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