Would you like to visit some of the thousand artists that now call the Asheville area home? With over 40,000 copies of the first two editions sold, The Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina (by HandMade in America) stand as the definitive guide to art and craft in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is the only guide you will need to find open studios, galleries, craft-related bed & breakfasts, inns and restaurants as well as historic sites near Asheville.
The book is arranged in eight blue highway tours, each one looping back to or near its starting point and most within easy connection to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and covers over a thousand miles of back roads and scenic byways from Murphy to Sparta. One tour, Circle the Mountain, literally encircles Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the East, visiting the campus and studios of Penland School, one of the most revered craft schools in the nation and a place that has, in turn, given birth to a number of craft communities in Western North Carolina. The guidebook fits in the glove compartment and, in total, describes over 500 stops across 250 pages of lushly illustrated craft. It is published by HandMade in America in Asheville.
HandMade In America’s new Office Incubator and Craft Design Lab is located on Hilliard Avenue between South Lexington and Church Street, at 125 South Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville. The new Craft Design Lab and showroom represents a large step in further developing economic opportunities for Western North Carolina’s craft community by providing greater opportunities for public exposure for regional craft artists, many of whom live in rural parts of the 23 western North Carolina counties. Professional skills institutes are offered through HandMade’s Building Trades Education Fund to bring design professionals and craft artisans together through courses for craft artists such as reading, understanding and negotiating contracts, and understanding blue prints and design documents.
Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains, HandMade in America was founded in 1993 with a belief that economic revitalization wasn't necessarily tied to luring "modern" industry to the region but in making known the hidden heritage and craftspeople that are so vitally a part of Western North Carolina. Today, HandMade is a nationally recognized, multidimensional institution that has sparked initiatives and creative collaborations in education, small town revitalization and community development, economic development, environmentally sustainable strategies and enhanced opportunities for makers of the handmade object, heritage tourism, and incorporating crafts into building design and furnishing.
They don't teach crafts-making, or make or sell objects, but they do serve as a support system for craftspeople and the craft industry. Read more about HandMade in America.
AmericanStyle Magazine names Asheville as the Number Two Small City for Arts in USA