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2023 Fall Craft Week

September 24–29, 2023AdultContinuing 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!

Years ago M. C. Richards, renowned potter, came to Black Mountain College to teach poetry but ended up a potter the moment her hands touched 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 Arts and Crafts Movement, which found real fruition in these mountains during the last century, had already introduced the idea of “craft” into an increasingly industrialized culture. Using our hands to create beauty in community is lifegiving!

Fall Craft Week is our quest to bring people together in the embrace of these beautiful mountains as a community of artists, working with our hands with natural materials, led by skilled leaders, offering plenty of time in well-equipped studios. During this conference we will learn so much 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, woodworking, basketry, drawing wildflowers, photography and stained glass!

Optional offerings include sunrise yoga, and morning prayer and sunset evening prayer out on the lovely Wharton Porch at Assembly Inn. Evening options also include a nighttime campfire with lots of stargazing and songs (Monday evening), a coffee house and open mic (Wednesday evening), and a closing gathering (Thursday evening), a joyful “show and tell” celebration of everyone’s masterpieces. Most of your time will be spent in the wonderful community in your studio—your space to create.

We never want cost to interfere with your plans to register for Fall Craft Week 2023, and are eager to offer scholarship assistance to you. We also have lots of housing ideas to get you here. Think about coming with a group of friends, with your church, with your community of favorite artists! Feel free to reach out to us with your questions and ideas! We are planning to offer a silent auction during next year’s conference to support our scholarship fund.

Mark your calendars now, and plan to join this community of artists in the creation of beauty and 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 see photos from the 2022 event.
Click here to see photos from the 2022 “Fun with Photography” class.

¹  M.C. Richards, Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person (Wesleyan University Press: Middleton, Connecticut, 1969) p. 12.

Leadership

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!


Jumpstart Writing – Ina Hughs

No. We aren’t going to hurl ourselves off Lookout. I’m talking about creative memoir and personal narrative writing - which means taking some high-jinks risks, the same kind, really, it takes to push off and head toward a good landing. You and I are made up of the people, places, things, events and ideas that are stitched together over the years into the fabric of our life. Using very specific, non-threatening daily assignment-prompts, we will revisit some of the ideas and stories we live by, writing them out in a way that shows the imprint of them on who we are in today’s world.
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Class limit: 12
No materials fee


Jewelry Metalsmithing Basics: A Hammer, a Torch, a Saw - oh, my! – Deb Guess

We will focus on a variety of skills and techniques in this class that will take participants from basics to a much wider skill set by the end of the week. Besides learning lots about metal sheet and wire and torches and hand tools, some of the special things we will focus on will include fold forming sheet metal to create cuffs, pendants, and earrings; Water Casting sterling to create beautiful little flower like shapes to be used as embellishments; Jewelry saw skills to create a cutwork pendant; combining pewter, copper, torches, and rubber stamps to create highly textured charms and pendants. All tools and supplies needed will be included. Participants need to bring a work apron, small notebook and pen, extra magnification reading glasses if needed for close work, and need to wear closed-toe shoes.

Class limit: 10
Class fee: $60, which includes use of all tools and classroom supplies, a kit of copper sheet and sterling wire needed to complete specific projects, and access to lots of other supplies.


Few Little Scraps and Sew Much More...Fabric! – Leslie McCarthy

CLASS IS FULL. If you would like to be put on a waiting list please contact the registrar at susana@montreat.org.

Using up your fabric scraps can be so much fun, but how will you take them to the next level? We will spend the week learning some artsy embellishment ideas which will include beading, embroidery, image transfers, cutwork and many more techniques to add to your bag of tricks! A little sewing machine mixed with some hand sewing will be the focus of this week. At the end of class you will be able to put your pieces and parts in a fun journal or incorporate them into a project of your choosing!! Bring your machine and thimble and come play with us!

Class limit: 11
Class fee: $40


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, dahlia fields, forests, nighttime skies and sunsets, taking portraits, and go 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

CLASS IS FULL. If you would like to be put on a waiting list 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: 14
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 (including glass) and tools provided. You will leave with beautiful, finished work that you can go right home and hang up on the wall!

Class limit: 15
Materials fee: $50


Working with Wood – Dick Porter, Jeff McCarthy, Rodney Bramer

Woodworking this year offers two options: Birdhouse Building and Knife Making Class. These two classes will share the Lower Moore Center classroom (and power tools!!!) for the week. During the week the two classes will join together for short bonus classes to learn and build a small wooden box (recipe box size-this is a very neat way to build a box) and Advent or Celtic crosses. You will experience a variety of woods, and learn to use all kinds of tools and saws. Please choose one of the following options:

  • Knife Making (limit 5), Dick Porter and Jeff McCarthy - During the week the class will make at least two knives. One knife will be made from an 11" knife blank that is 1095 high carbon steel. This is a high-quality steel for making knives. One or more knives will be cut by the students from old, discarded saw blades. The shape will be determined by the students. The knives will be made from start to finish: heat treating, grinding, making and installing wooden handles, finishing, and shaping.
  • Birdhouse and Door Knocker (limit 5), Rodney Bramer – Each student will choose a design they like for their own birdhouse from pictures that will be sent out after signing up for the class. There are three different designs to choose from. Rodney will prepare all the pieces by making preliminary cuts of wood, ready for final shaping, sanding, and painting. There will be a variety of paint colors to choose from so each student can create their own color scheme. All wood pieces will be made from hardwood and attached together with nails and glue to make the body, wings, and beak. Each student will be using wood working tools and machines like belt sanders, band saw, drills, battery powered screwdrivers, air powered nail guns, wood files, and hand sandpaper. Students will also have an opportunity to make a woodpecker door knocker and learn a unique way to make a small wooden box with a hinged lid (about the size of a recipe box). Both items are fun and easy to make.

Class limit: 10 (5/Birdhouses and 5/Knife Making)
Materials fee: $60


Flower Drawing with Color Pencils – Stephanie Sipp

Enjoy learning drawing techniques while creating a nature journal page using local flowers as our inspiration. This class provides an opportunity to learn drawing skills and color rendering techniques using color pencils. We will be taking photographs of flowers with our phone for visual references, drawing outside for several sessions and creating a final drawing for display. Beginners & intermediates welcome!

For each flower we start with reviewing the properties of the flower which includes identifying their family, flower type, stem shape, leaf shape properties and placement on the stem. Stephanie will guide you through step-by-step drawing instructions with live demonstrations of drawing techniques that will help you observe and document the flower. Her multi layering pencil coloring technique will finish your drawing with vibrant color. Throughout the creative process Stephanie offers positive feedback on your progress, successful tips for working through stumbling blocks, and methods for using photographs as a visual reference.

The goal for this class is to build your knowledge and skill so that you can draw or paint realistic flowers and other natural elements in a botanical style. The visual reference handout is provided to support this process. This includes an image of the finish drawing, a grid drawing, photographs of the flower and the suggested color pencils to use.

By joining this class, you can be a part of a drawing community sharing your work, communicating with other participants, learning new skills, exploring color theory and basic composition as you create a nature journal. This fun and informative educational experience will expand your awareness of the natural world and inspire your creativity.

Class limit: 12
Materials fee: $60


Baskets from Nature – TBA

We will announce details on this class as soon as they are available. This will be a class on traditional basket making with an avant garde, modern feel! We will use found materials from nature's bounty, and imagine the million reasons why the world needs more baskets! Go ahead and sign up, and hold your place in this class. Details forthcoming!

Class limit: 10
Materials: $30

Schedule

2023 Fall Craft Week Schedule

Coffee is available for purchase at the Huckleberry Café located on the top floor of Moore Center. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00am-3:00pm. Childcare is not provided during this event. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023
3:30–5:30 pm Registration & Check-in (room check-in at 3pm), Assembly Inn
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
7:00-8:30 pm BLOCK ONE, Classrooms (sites listed below)
Monday, September 25, 2023
6:30 am Sunrise Yoga, Assembly Inn Lobby
7:00 am Early Morning Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast, Galax Dining Room
9:00 am–12:00 pm BLOCK TWO, Classrooms
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch, Galax Dining Room
2:00–5:00 pm BLOCK THREE, Classrooms
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
6:30 pm Sunset Evening Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:00 pm Campfire with Stars and Songs, Moore Center Field
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
6:30 am Sunrise Yoga, Assembly Inn Lobby
7:00 am Early Morning Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast, Galax Dining Room
9:00 am–12:00 pm BLOCK FOUR, Classrooms
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch
2:00–5:00 pm BLOCK FIVE, Classrooms
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
6:30 pm Sunset Evening Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
6:30 am Sunrise Yoga, Assembly Inn Lobby
7:00 am Early Morning Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast, Galax Dining Room
9:00 am–12:00 pm BLOCK SIX, Classrooms
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch, Galax Dining Room
2:00–5:00 pm BLOCK SEVEN, Classrooms
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
6:30 pm Sunset Evening Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:00 pm Coffee House and Open Mic, Upper Anderson
7:00 pm Silent Auction Opens, Upper Anderson
Thursday, September 28, 2023
6:30 am Sunrise Yoga, Assembly Inn Lobby
7:00 am Early Morning Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast, Galax Dining Room
9:00 am–12:00 pm BLOCK EIGHT, Classrooms
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch, Galax Dining Room
2:00–5:00 pm BLOCK NINE, Classrooms
5:30–6:30 pm Dinner, Galax Dining Room
6:30 pm Sunset Evening Prayer, Assembly Inn Warton Porch (Outside)
7:00-7:30 pm Final Bids for Silent Auction, Upper Anderson
7:30 pm Closing Gathering - A Joyful "Show and Tell," Upper Anderson
Friday, September 29, 2023
6:30 am Sunrise Yoga, Assembly Inn Lobby
7:00 am Early Morning Prayer, Assembly Inn Wharton Porch (Outside)
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
9:00–12:00 pm BLOCK TEN POTTERY CLASS ONLY
11:00 am Check-out
1:00pm Pick up pottery

Classrooms:

  • Woodworking: Lower Moore Center
  • Jewelry: Upper Freeland
  • Clay: Sally Jones Pottery, Upper Currie Craft Center
  • Fabric: Lower Left Bank
  • Wildflower Pencil Drawing: Upper Left Bank
  • Stained Glass: Walkup
  • Writing: Lakeside, Second Floor in Assembly Inn
  • Photography: Resource Room
  • Baskets: Lower Currie Craft Center

Rates & Registration

Comprehensive Rate

Comprehensive rates below include conference fee of $255, 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: $949.00
Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $686.50 per person ($1373.00 total)
Single Occupancy, Shared Bath: $874.00
Double Occupancy, Shared Bath: $649 (1298.00 total)

Commuter Rate

Rates below include a conference fee of $255, 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: $260 per person
After August 15: $285 per person

Check-in/Check-out for Housing
  • Housing Check-in: Sunday, September 24, 2023 AFTER 3:00 pm
  • Housing Check-out: Friday, September 29, 2023 BEFORE 11:00 am
Scholarships

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 10 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after August 10, but on or before September 10 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 10. All requests must be made in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

© 2022 Montreat Conference Center