FOLK ARTS AND SKILLS DEMONSTRATIONS 2014
Curtis Allison and Dwayne Franks – horses and mules
Allison and Franks, both experts at working with draft animals, demonstrate traditional skills of harnessing and driving horse and mule drawn wagons of bygone days. Allison of Webster, NC is also an expert at plowing with mules and has demonstrated large animal skills at events such as Mule Days in Columbia TN. Franks is from the Canada region of Jackson County.
Lori and Chuck Anderson – corn shuck crafts and broom-making
This couple from Bryson City, NC are remarkable craftspeople each in their own right. Lori Anderson, a member of HandMade in America, makes wonderful corn shuck dolls and flowers as taught to her by the late Annie Lee Bryson. Historically, corn was a staple crop for both the Cherokee and settlers. Shucks were used in many functional and creative ways, including as cleaning mops, rugs, and dolls. Chuck Anderson makes different types of brooms the old fashioned way using locally-grown broom straw with hand crafted handles. He often demonstrates at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Mountain Farm Museum.
Tom Brown - heritage apples
Brown searches for heritage apples introduced before 1928 as part of his effort to preserve America's agriculture heritage. Living in Clemmons, NC, Brown developed a passion for "old apples" after tasting a variety that originated in the mountains of North Carolina. He is a regular writer and presenter on the topic of lost or endangered apple varieties and started applesearch.org to share the information he has found or been given by others.
Lloyd Owle - stone carving
Lloyd Carl Owle of Cherokee, NC uses his knowledge of legends and stories to carve masks, birds, and animals, describing his work as "realistic with subtle emphasis on the mystical." He demonstrates stone and wood carving, creating figures in stone representative of Cherokee myths and dreams. Owle attended WCU and has worked for many years with troubled youth often working with them to learn and practice traditional arts.
A descendant of Johannes Plott who brought the first Plott Hounds to North Carolina, Bob Plott is an author and living historian. With Charles Brown, Bob will be demonstrating an 18th Century hunting camp complete with a bark-tanning of deer hides. Charles is one of the finest 18th Century hunting accoutrement makers around today, specializing in horns, knives, and hunting bags.
William Rogers – blacksmithing
Rogers, a well-known metalsmith and member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, will showcase his blacksmithing skills. He has taught metal smithing including working with iron and copper throughout his career. Living in Cullowhee, he is currently working with Cherokee High School students.
Tsa-la-Gi Touring Group - traditional Cherokee crafts
Craft demonstrations and traditional dance are this authentic Cherokee group's forte. Staff members at the Ocanaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, NC, the group specializes in crafts such as beadwork, finger weaving, wood carving, and basket making.
Joe Williams – bucket making
Joe Williams makes bark buckets that were used for years when collecting berries. These buckets were generally made from poplar bark that was taken off the tree in a sheet, scored, and folded to form a bucket. When finished, this type of bucket was used for gathering all sorts of items from the forest or farm such as kindling or berries. Mr. Williams is also involved with the recreation of Davidson's Fort, the original name of the town of Old Fort, NC. Mr. Williams has demonstrated at the Foxfire museum in Georgia and is a member of Handmade in America.
R. O. Wilson - logging skills
A long-time festival favorite who demonstrates cross-cut saw sharpening, Wilson logged for over 45 years all over the Southern Appalachians. He hand hewed logs and split shingles for a half-dovetailed cabin in MHC's exhibit on the Scotch-Irish settlers. A native of Jackson County he is widely known for his expertise and recently assisted the Union Historical Society of Georgia re-do the shingle roof of their Payne Cabin.
Max Woody – chair making
Born and raised in McDowell County, Max has worked as a sixth generation chair maker since he was a teenager. The summer of 2014 marked the 64th year he has been in the chair making business, and his sons Myron and Carey have both begun to carry on the family tradition. Max started working with his father's hand tools when he was about four years old. "I always had a knack for it," he says. His father passed away when Max was only fifteen, but his grandfather, Martin Woody, was still alive and making chairs and was able to pass along his knowledge. The following year Max spent most the money he made working at a furniture factory on tools, some of which he continues to use today. Most of the chair styles and designs that he uses have been passed down through his family although a few of the designs are his own.