Fall Craft Week

Work with your hands, your voice, and your craft to create beautiful handmade works of art as you make time for renewal in a community of artists.

Work with your hands, your voice, and your craft to create beautiful handmade works of art as you make time for renewal in a community of artists.

A Montreat Conference Center Event
September 29–October 4, 2019

Come gain proficiency in an art form of your choice, and enjoy the community of other artists during a fall week in the mountains. This is a great opportunity for individuals or groups. Bring a group from your church, community, family, or come alone. We can help you figure out the details!

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 smartphones and computers. Our goal is to bring people together as a community of artists to work with our hands with beautiful and natural materials, to write songs, to offer time for worship and singing, and to learn about each other in new ways.

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

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.

Click here to view photos from last years conference!

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.

Event Leadership

Leslie McCarthy – Not Your Grandma’s Weaving!

Leslie McCarthy is a creative spirit with a sense of adventure and play thrown in the mix. A retired business owner, she is now lucky enough to create, volunteer and have fun with like-hearted friends. Leslie would say that she's primarily a textile and fiber artist with a little wood and paint thrown in for good measure. She loves to design and create everything from jewelry and journals to totes and handbags, but her passion is designing fun and funky furniture that can found on her Instagram account FunkyFibersKY. She's willing to try anything once... well, almost anything!

Howard Moore – Dulcimer Making

Howard Moore is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in mathematics and retired from Sonoco Products Company as director of corporate compensation and benefits. He has been a woodcarver for over 60 years and enjoys puzzles, origami, photography, and making dulcimers and ukuleles. Howard has taught wood-working classes with Dick Porter for over 30 years.

Dick Porter – Dulcimer Making

Dick Porter is a retired pantyhose maker from Hanes Hosiery Corporation and now lives in Hartsville, SC. He has taught dulcimer making with Howard Moore for over 40 years. In that time they have helped students make over 600 dulcimers. Dick and his wife, Brenda, are involved in Living Waters for the World projects in the Dominican Republic.

Roger Maness – Creating with Stained Glass

Roger Maness lives in Nashville, TN, and is no stranger to Montreat or teaching stained glass. He officially “retired” from full-time recreational ministry in the church a few years ago, but is anything but retired, currently working in a very large non-profit youth sports program. In his limited spare time, he continues to enjoy teaching others the “how-to” of creating with stained glass.

Joye Ardyn Durham – Fun with Photography

Joye Ardyn Durham is an award winning photographer whose work has been published around the world. After closing her gallery of 23 years, Joye is now photo editor for The Laurel of Asheville magazine as well as showing her photography in other galleries in the area of Western North Carolina and Tennessee. Joye is known as a nature art photographer as well as specializing in dog, food, and abstract photography and people portraits. She holds a BA in behavioral science with a minor in art and her masters in theology. Joye’s work is online at www.artistwithcamera.com.

Becky Garrity – Get Away... With Clay!

Becky Garrity is from Charlottesville, VA. Clay has called her back time and again. In the ‘70s, she studied sculpture and ceramics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. In the ‘80s, she happened into a two-year pottery apprenticeship in Okinawa, Japan. In the ‘90s, after many years as a student of pottery, she finally shifted to full time work with clay. She has been making and selling pots and teaching pottery ever since. She is energized by her students who bring a fresh outlook to this ancient material. Through their eyes, she finds new ways to view her own work. See Becky’s work online at garritypottery.com.

Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez – The Art of Songwriting for All Musicians

Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez is the chaplain at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School in Miami, FL. Originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Jorge has worked in ministry for over 15 years. He earned his undergraduate degree in music from the University of Puerto Rico and received his Masters of Divinity from Louisville Seminary. Jorge’s calling is to transform hearts and minds through music.

Pat Brown – Art of the Handmade Book

Pat Brown is a practicing artist and former art department faculty member at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, teaching art history and fiber media courses from weaving to paper making to dyeing. A dye-garden maker, a bird listener, reader, foodie, and a great fan of the present chapter of life (which should be called something other than retirement).

Ina Hughs – Creative Writing: Sacred Texts (CANCELED)

Ina Hughs is retired from 40-plus years as fulltime newspaper columnist, writing three to five columns a week as well as feature writing. She is a speaker for civic, educational, service, and professional organizations locally and nationally: topics include writing, the needs of children, religious and social issues, the adventures of aging, and the environment. She has been a writing workshop leader for courses in non-fiction, poetry, humor, spiritual writing as well as the personal narrative: recent workshops in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, California and Wisconsin; Southern Festival of Books, University of Tennessee, Tennessee Mountain Writers, Knoxville Writers Guild and regular faculty member for Learning Events Workshops in Madisonville, TN.

Ann Laird Jones – Conference Director

The Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones is the year-round director of arts ministry at Montreat. She is a graduate of Eckerd College (’77), Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (’82), and Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC, where she earned her DMin in arts and theology, under the guidance of Catherine Kapikian. She is a teaching elder and member of St. Andrew Presbytery, and splits her time between Greenville, MS, and Montreat, NC. She and her husband, Mike Caulfield have two adult children, Sally and Doug.

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