2022 Fall Craft Week

September 25–30, 2022AdultContinuing EducationSabbath
A Montreat Conference Center Event

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 working with our hands with natural materials, led by skilled leaders, offering time for creating, worship, singing, and quiet contemplation of these beautiful mountains, and building relationships through the arts, as we learn about ourselves and each other through the power of craft. Join us as we explore our creative, artistic spirits through writing, pottery, jewelry, fabric arts, Appalachian basketry, dulcimers, photography and stained glass!

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. Fall Craft week is an excellent continuing education opportunity, as well!

Click here to view a video created by participants of the 2021 photography class.
Click here to see photos from the 2021 event.


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 ensure a place in your class!

(A)ppalachian and (B)ird - Baskets and Nests for Adventurous Beginners and Experienced Folks, Patricia Brown
Come join in as we explore the construction of two very diverse types of weaving a basket. You can think of this approach as city cousins and country cousins. With one, a tradition is honored and a uniform, familiar, beautiful, and useful round basket of reeds is going to happen. With the second basket, your inner birdness is going to weave a free-spirited, rules-free, creative basket which may (or may not) be useful but it will be amazing. After all, if a bird can make a well-formed vessel to hold its eggs using only its beak and feet, think how easily you can do it with opposable thumbs! An exhilarating journey into the world of fiber arts, natural dyes, weaving found materials!
Class limit: 10
Materials fee: $30

Opening that Box of Chocolates, Ina Hughs
Forrest Gump was right. Life is a box of chocolates, and you never know what you are going to get. Sweet? Nutty? Sour? That’s what we’ll be doing in this class, so to speak. Using in-class writing exercises and assigned prompts, we will open the Whitman’s Samplers* of life to find the people, places, things, events, and ideas that make us who we are, where we come from, and what is important to us. Any genre, any style, and a rewarding writing adventure for anyone, beginner or pro and everything in between. You will learn from each other more than you can imagine. *Chocolate not included
Class limit: 12
No materials fee

Jewelry Metalsmithing: Miniature Book Pendant with Hand Forged Chain, Deb Guess
Create a miniature metal book of copper and sterling bound with tiny pages (complete with a favorite verse or passage) and then create a hand forged chain on which to hang this unique piece of wearable art. The class will teach all necessary skills and provide all the needed tools and supplies. Participants should bring a work apron, notebook and pen, and any extra eye magnification needed for close work. This class is appropriate for beginner and intermediate metalsmiths.
Class limit: 10
Class fee: $50

Beads, Threads and a Few Little Scraps! Leslie McCarthy
What do we do with all those little scraps we collect over the years? Join this class and you will find out! You will learn the basics of crazy quilting, strip quilting, and rag quilting, basic bead embroidery, and lots of stitches to embellish your projects. You will be given patterns to make a stocking, journal, tote bag and more, and be taught how to turn your artwork into a lap quilt or you can make the fabric to use for a project you have in mind! Search your stash and bring your complementary scrap fabrics, bits of lace, buttons, and other embellishments to create in the colors that make you happy. Working sewing machine is required along with the knowledge to use! I will have lots of fabric scraps, batting, backing, buttons beads and trims to share along with pattern directions for several project options. Join us for a relaxing week in the mountains creating at your own speed. For additional information, email leslieamccarthy@gmail.com.
Class limit: 10
Class fee: $25

Fun with Photography, Joye Ardyn Durham
Fun photography is just that, fun. We will learn about our cameras along with photo techniques you can use to make your photography fun. We will also be taking a variety of photographs to show the Fall Craft Week attendees at the end of the week. Come join us for Fun with Photography. We will cover ICM (intentional camera movement) abstracts, long exposure, light painting, crystal ball photography, as well as cool nighttime shots of whirling steel wool and sparkler photography. We will explore mountain waterfalls, forests, and sunsets, going to different locations to take photos. It will be, did I say, fun?
Class limit: 10
Materials fee: $20

Open Up with Clay, Becky Garrity
This workshop is now full, if you would like to be added to the waitlist please contact the registrar at susana@montreat.org
Clay has a healing quality beyond our understanding. We touch, press, push and pull the clay while forming useful pottery. The process itself is truly magical! Gather with potters and learn new techniques for both throwing on the wheel and hand building. Broaden your skills and confidence, as you try new forms and push this forgiving earthly material. Deepen your understanding of the transformative power of glazing and firing processes. Wherever you are on your clay path, we invite you to open up to new ideas and techniques. All levels of pottery experience welcome.
Class limit: 12
Materials fee: $50

Creating with Stained Glass, Roger Maness and Brian Maness
Whether learning the basics or improving your skills, join us to build your own stained glass creations. All materials and tools provided. Jeff McCarthy will assist. You will leave with beautiful, finished work.
Class limit: 15
Materials fee: $50

Working with Wood, Dick Porter (class assistant is Rodney Bramer)
Our class will include many woodworking options. You will choose one major project (dulcimers or birdhouses) and then have other options as well (small boxes, Celtic, Advent, and Lenten crosses), based on your interests. You will experience a variety of woods, and learn to use all kinds of tools and saws. Finally, Dick and Rodney will offer wonderful demos on how to make knives with beautiful wooden handles. Listed below are some of the choices:

>Dulcimer Making - This option will be limited to four participants, using chestnut and walnut. Dulcimer making will require most of these participant’s class time.
>Rodney’s Artistic Bird House – This kit will require shaping and sanding, painting, and assembly, and is considered a major project.
>Small Box Making – Using the roll assembly method, you will build a recipe box or similar small box to hold treasures.
>Celtic, Advent, and Lent Crosses Making – Using a coping saw, fashion as many crosses as you would like.
>Kitchen Knife Making (demo only) – Learn how to fashion a knife from an old hacksaw, and make and install an exotic wood handle with brass screws.
Class limit: 12
Materials fee: $60

Landscape Painting in Watercolor, Virginia Fergus and Cheryl Keefer
This workshop is now full, if you would like to be added to the waitlist please contact the registrar at susana@montreat.org
Come paint the beautiful fall mountains en plein air (outside!) and in studio. We will explore the fascinating and versatile aspects of watercolor paint, sharpen technical skills, and focus on the beginning and the completion of paintings. In the mornings we will be en plein air and in the afternoons we will complete our pieces in studio and/or create a new painting using our plein air pieces as a starting point. The class is appropriate for any level painter, even beginners. Your ability and desire to participate and explore are the only requirements. All supplies are provided, but feel free to bring your own paints and equipment if you would rather. The first two and half days Ginny Fergus will be teaching and the final two days Cheryl Keefer will be teaching, so you will get two great experiences and points of view from two renowned painters!
Class limit: 10
Materials fee: $35


Download a tentative schedule here.

Daily Schedule

Begin the day at 9:00am in your classrooms. Classes meet 9:00am-12:00pm and 2:00-5:00pm daily, Monday through Thursday. All classes end Thursday evening, except for pottery, which continues through noon Friday, when kilns will be opened and unloaded. Early mornings, long lunch breaks, and early evenings are perfect times for walking the Montreat paths, enjoying the creek, and listening to the sounds of changing seasons. Coffee will be provided each morning, 8:30-11:30am, in Anderson Auditorium Lobby.

Evening Schedule

Sunday evening
Meet in Upper Anderson for a wine and cheese gathering to meet leaders, open silent auction, and close with evening vespers with Tom Ott and Ann Jones, as the daylight fades.

Monday and Tuesday Evenings
Most studios open for continuing work on projects; Evening vespers with Tom Ott and Ann Jones, down by the lake, 7:00pm.

Wednesday Evening
Free time

Thursday Evening
Gather in Upper Anderson for wine and cheese “show and tell" and the conclusion of the silent auction. Close with photography celebration and final evening vespers.

Fall Craft Week Silent Auction
You are invited to bring handmade items to contribute to this wonderful silent auction, designed to raise money for scholarships to help offset conference costs for individuals who would like to attend Fall Craft Week. The Silent Auction begins Sunday evening, and concludes Thursday evening! Questions? Contact leslieamccarthy@gmail.com.

Rates & Registration

Comprehensive Rate

Comprehensive rates below include conference fee of $250, room in Assembly Inn (Sunday through Thursday nights), meals in the Galax Dining Room (Sunday supper through Friday breakfast), plus a $5 community services fee per adult for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Materials fee will be added manually by the registrar before charging your credit card. Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis. After August 15, rates will increase by $25. Room check-in AFTER 3:00 pm on Sunday. Room check-out BEFORE 11:00 am on Friday.

Assembly Inn
Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $944.00
Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $681.50 per person ($1363.00 total)

Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $694.00
Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $556.50 per person ($1113.00 total)

Commuter Rate

Rates below include a conference fee of $250, plus a $5 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Materials fee will be added manually by the registrar before charging your credit card. Commuter rate does not include lodging or meals.

On or before August 15: $255 per person
After August 15: $280 per person

Check-in/Check-out for Housing
  • Housing Check-in: Sunday, September 25, 2022 AFTER 3:00 pm
  • Housing Check-out: Friday, September 30, 2022 BEFORE 11:00 am

Scholarships are available for this conference. Contact Ann Laird Jones if you have questions.

Contact the Conference Director

If you have any questions about the conference or classes, please email the conference director at Annlairdj55@gmail.com or call 662.347.3614.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by August 15 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after August 15, but on or before September 19 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable), less $40. No refunds will be issued after September 19. All requests must be made in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

© 2022 Montreat Conference Center