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Fall Craft Week

Work with your hands and create beautiful handmade works of art

Come create with your hands, gain proficiency in an art form, and enjoy the community of other artists during a fall week in the mountains.

A Montreat Conference Center Event
September 30–October 5, 2018

Years ago M. C. Richards, renowned potter, came to Black Mountain College to teach poetry but ended up with her hands in clay. In her book Centering she defines the word craft as “…Craft, as you may know, comes from the German word Kraft, meaning power or strength. We can’t fake craft. It lies in the act.”1

The idea wasn’t totally new. In fact, the Arts and Crafts Movement, which found real fruition in these mountains, had already introduced the idea of “craft” into an increasingly industrialized culture. “They sought to provide an alternative code to the harshness of late nineteenth-century industrialism, to foster spiritual harmony through the work process…(by encouraging) individualism, the creation of hand-made goods in place of machine uniformity, and a reappraisal of design materials.”2

The Fall Craft Week is our quest here at Montreat Conference Center to celebrate the profound idea of “craft” in a world where technology dominates and where people mainly use their hands to operate smart phones and computers. Our goal is to bring people together as a community of artists to work with our hands with beautiful and natural materials. Mark your calendars now, and plan to join this community of artists as we create our own craft!

See more details below, including class offerings, instructors, registration, accommodations, and daily schedule.


1 M.C. Richards, Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person (Wesleyan University Press: Middleton, Connecticut, 1969) p. 12.
2 Elizabeth Coming and Wendy Kaplan, The Arts and Crafts Movement (Thames and Hudson: London, 2004) p. 9.


Class Offerings

Please choose one class for the entire week. Any materials fees for your class are in addition to the conference fee. We assign classes on a first-come, first-served basis. We reserve the right to cancel a class based on projected attendance. Register early to insure a place in your class!

Embellishments for You, Leslie McCarthy
Scarves, jewelry, totes, and bags! There is a little something for everyone as we spend the week together playing with yarns, fabrics, beads, and other embellishments and create great one-of-a-kind artsy accessories for you to wear or to give as gifts. A sewing machine and basic sewing skills are required. We will use the machines for some but not all of the projects. All supplies are included. Come spend the week and create with us!

  • Class Limit: 8 people
  • Materials Fee: $50

Dulcimer Making, Dick Porter and Howard Moore
Come join us for a fun class making a dulcimer. All materials are supplied to enable participants to complete a four-stringed Appalachian mountain lap dulcimer. The instrument will be constructed from selected walnut with chestnut soundboards, which came from damaged church pews from Montreat Conference Center’s Anderson Auditorium. Mechanical tuning pegs, which enable easier and more accurate tuning, will be used. The week will also include time to make a dulcimer stand that permits displaying or storing on a shelf or piano top. There should be time to practice playing, as well.

  • Class Limit: 14 people
  • Materials Fee: $75

Colorful Adventures in Art Journaling, Deb Guess
Spend a week totally transforming a traditional bound book into an explosion of color, texture, and design that will become a three-dimensional work of art. Paint, stencil, cut, sand, fold, rip, attach, insert, and embellish pages and covers until the original book becomes your original masterpiece. Most supplies will be provided, but participants need to bring a Gelli Plate (available on Amazon - recommend an 8x10), three large Elmers extra strength glue sticks, and scissors. Participants are also encouraged to bring a ziplock bag packed with an assortment of any of the following: scraps of lace or yarn or ribbon, old buttons, charms, broken jewelry, junk drawer small found objects, copies of old photos, paint chips, etc.

  • Class Limit: 12 people
  • Materials Fee: $30

Come Join This Circus: An Adventure in Writing, Ina Hughs
What do you really want and maybe even need to write about? Are you stuck in your comfortable style or is your writing "voice" beginning to stutter or sound boring even to you? Are you in the same-ol’-same-ol’ rut? Do you want to write, but don't know how or where to start? This class is a hodgepodge of writing genres: personal narrative; memoir; poetry; prose; fiction; nonfiction. If you automatically turn to the familiar, or like to stay in your comfort zone, you will have a chance to break out of that box. If you tend to follow a GPS on getting to your destination on a writing journey, you will be challenged to stray off course, to blaze a new trail. The seasoned writer will find new venues; the novice writer will hit their mother lode of talent, and everyone will leave well on the adventure of knowing and following through with all the possibilities before them. Carefully designed writing assignments encourage class members to explore ways to say what you always wanted to say but didn't know how, or maybe when you start writing, you discover things you never knew you wanted or needed to say. It's a little bit like lion taming, a little bit like high wire work, and some days we'll unload the clown car. Bring paper, pen (or laptop) – and an open, creative mind.

  • Class Limit: 10 people
  • Materials Fee: N/A

Fun with Photography, Joye Ardyn Durham
This class is based on pure fun and alternative ways to take photos. We will cover ICM (intentional camera movement), abstracts, long exposure, light painting, and crystal ball photography. Bring your close-up lens as well as neutral density filter and polarizer. A basic knowledge of how your camera works is needed to take this class. We will also be going to different locations to take photos.

  • Class Limit: 10 people
  • Materials Fee: $20

Creating with Stained Glass, Roger Maness
Whether learning the basics or improving your skills, join us to build your own beautiful stained glass creations. If you’re a beginner, you will learn to cut glass, apply lead or foil, and to solder in order to create one or more one-dimensional pieces. If you have prior experience, you will be able to create more intricate pieces, including larger panels, or three-dimensional pieces like boxes or kaleidoscopes. Everyone will leave with beautiful pieces, the fun of creative expression, and the resources to continue at home if you wish.

  • Class Limit: 8 people
  • Materials Fee: $50

Get Away... With Clay! Becky Garrity
Grow your skills on the pottery wheel and in hand building. We will throw on the pottery wheel basic bowls and cups and will hand form bowls, boxes, lidded jars, and trays. Learn various surface design techniques including texturing, carving, slips, and underglazes. Focus on finishing techniques, design, and form while exploring possibilities with lids, handles, and feet for your creations. Gain a basic understanding of the make-up of glazes and how to apply them. Immerse yourself in the world of pottery without the distraction of everyday responsibilities!

  • Class Limit: 12 people
  • Materials Fee: $40

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