FOLK ARTS AND SKILLS DEMONSTRATIONS 2013
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 is also an expert at plowing with mules and has demonstrated large animal skills at events such as Mule Days in Columbia TN.
Lori and Chuck Anderson – corn shuck crafts and broom-making
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.
Susan Leveille - weaving
Leveille, a Jackson County native and a 5th generation weaver, is an accomplished weaver, lecturer and teacher. She specializes in overshot coverlet weaving, a form common in the mountains for generations. Her aunt, Lucy Morgan, was the founder of the Penland School of Crafts, and her parents, Ruth and Ralph, were the founders of Dillsboro's famous Riverwood Pewter Studios where she owns the Oaks Gallery. She is a lifetime member and former president of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Lucy Dean Reed and Dorine George - Cherokee pottery and beadwork
Reed, a master potter from the Paint Town Community, Cherokee, NC has been making pottery for thirty-seven years. Since starting at the age of fifteen, Reed has become well known for her many forms of pottery. When making pottery she buys local clay and gathers the rest of the materials and tools herself. She uses sea shells, sharpened sticks and wooden paddles for her designs and smooth river stones for polishing. She also gathers her own wood for firing the pottery. Reed is a self-taught potter but did get help from Annie Driver and Lydia Littlejohn. Known internationally for her pottery, Reed has won several ribbons at the annual Cherokee Indian Fair and has work on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Reed will be joined on Mountain Heritage Day by her daughter Dorine George, who will be demonstrating Cherokee bead work. George is a registered member of Qualla Arts and Crafts mutual and has demonstrated both her beadwork and her pottery at such locations as the Village of Yesteryear at the North Carolina State Fair.
William Rogers – blacksmithing
Rogers, a well-known metalsmith and member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, showcases his blacksmithing skills. He has taught metalsmithing throughout his career and is currently working with Cherokee High School students.
Dede Styles - natural dying
Since childhood, Buncombe County native Dede Styles has known the mountain traditions of dyeing and spinning. Her grandmother, Mabel Allen, was a weaver and a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and her mother was an expert on native plants. She uses a tall spinning wheel similar to the old Appalachian walking wheel that belonged to her grandfather. She collects native plants such as broom sedge, goldenrod, Queen Anne's lace, wild grape, rhododendron, and black oak bark that were used centuries ago to make her dyes.
Skip Taylor - woodworking
Taylor, a master craftsman, began his woodworking while in high school doing wood carvings. His love is 18th century and early 19th century pieces and he has made cabinets, tables, a bed, chests, chairs and among other pieces. He studied under legend, Tage Frid, an influential Danish-born woodworker and has demonstrated 19th century tools and techniques during the Cashiers Historical Society's Founders Day at the Zachary Tolbert House along with Brian Coe, director of manual arts at Old Salem, NC.
R. O. Wilson - logging skills
A long time festival favorite demonstrating 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. Wilson, known for his expertise, helped the Georgia Historical Society re-do the shingle roof of their Payne Cabin.