Press & Newspaper Information - Yadkin Valley Craft Guild

This page of our site will feature previous newspaper articles about the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild as well as press worthy updates (press releases) for publishing in your local newspaper.

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Press Release 

A free workshop for artists and craftspeople will be held Thursday, April 2 from 630-9pm at the Yadkin Center, the Yadkinville branch of Surry Community College.Marketing expert, Barnsley Brown will present “Creative Marketing for Artists and Craftspeople” and will present the top ten marketing methods of over twenty-five artisans who make their living from their art.Artists will come away with a palette of bold, new ideas and a plan to implement them.This free workshop is being co-sponsored by The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild and Surry Community College and is for any artist who is interested in learning to improve their marketing abilities.The workshop will be held in Room 202 of the Yadkin Center at 4649 Highway 601 North in Yadkinville.To pre-register, please call 336-386-3211.

Press Release

By Denise Lyon

One of the many things that will impress you upon getting to know Pat Bertke is that she really lives her art.  Pat was demonstrating the art of weaving on her hand-built 4-harness cherry wood loom at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery Shop recently, and was sharing a bit of her history of working with natural fibers.  As she rhythmically and effortlessly did the fancy footwork and the pushing and pulling, she gracefully demonstrated the dance of the weaver at the loom.  Pat is the owner of Wild Weft Weaving and she carries out her weaving process from sheep to shawl, involving herself in every aspect.  She lives with her family on a 100 acre farm in Yadkin County just outside of the town of Jonesville with a couple of sheep and a couple of llamas in the mix.  Not only does Bertke shear her own sheep, but she also spins her wool, dyes the fibers with natural dyes and uses the fiber for weaving gorgeous scarves, towels, placemats and table runners.

Bertke began working with natural fibers 20 years ago when she lived in Michigan and where she also raised lambs and sheep.  She began by spinning and then knitting, and learned to weave after moving to Jonesville and meeting her mentor, weaver Robert Elbe.

Bertke works on two different hand-built looms, both built by the 80 year old Elbe who lives just outside of North Wilkesboro.  Pat took part in the loom building process with him, and clearly knows how being integrally involved in the process takes you closer to the work.  "This helps you really know if something's off" during the weaving process, Bertke noted.

You get the feeling that this involvement in every stage -  from raising and nurturing her sheep, to creating the naturally dyed fiber, to building her loom to taking a beautifully woven completed piece off the loom -  is very important to Bertke.  She is an artist who seems to appreciate the significance of being very present in her work in all its stages…a person who knows that the process is as important as the product.  And by watching her weave, seeing the intricate designs emerge and following the meditative back and forth of the weft as she creates her work of art, you become part of that perfect present moment.

Pat Bertke is the owner of Wild Weft Weaving and is a member of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild in Elkin where she exhibits and sells her work.  She is also available for commissioned pieces by calling 336-835-4528.

To see the works of other amazing craft artisans in the Yadkin Valley, visit the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery Shop at 122 West Main Street in historic downtown Elkin, and find out more about the Guild at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

Press Release

By Denise Lyon

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild has quickly become an important part of the tapestry of the local arts community and of downtown Elkin in particular. Their Gallery on Main Street is a gathering place of talented local craftspeople and their works, and on a monthly basis offers a different intriguing Exhibition that is a favorite at Elkin's 4th Friday events.

The latest venture for the Guild is Yadkin Valley Clayworks, the Yadkin Valley region's new clay and ceramics studio and education center which is open to everyone. Integral to both the Guild and their new ceramics arm is Doris Petersham, who currently serves as President of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild. An accomplished ceramic artist with an amazing array of life experiences under her belt, Petersham is uniquely qualified to lead the growth of the Guild as it finds it's role in our region. No stranger to teaching and producing craftsmen, Petersham served as a field expert, along with her late husband Miska Petersham, on ceramic, textile and general handcraft projects with CARE and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in handcraft development geared to small enterprises. "We're extraordinarily fortunate to have a person as highly talented as Doris spearheading our Guild", said Rosy Beverley, board member of YVCG.

Yadkin Valley Clayworks will be a cornerstone in the success of the Guild's Mentor/Apprentice Program, an educational economic development effort to assist with employment generation in the greater Yadkin Valley region. The Program is already working with several ceramics apprentices who plan to work full-time in their craft, as well as with apprentices in wood, glass and printmaking.

Clayworks is located at the edge of Elkin's Town Park in a newly renovated section of the Park's maintenance building across from the Elkin Fire Department. The new 2,500 square foot facility boasts ten wheels, a new heavy duty slab roller, two clay extruders, two kilns and numerous other items to make a fun and rewarding clay experience for anyone attending classes.

Classes are currently underway in handbuilding, wheelthrowing, clay beadmaking and various children's classes. A new schedule of classes will be offered in the Fall and courses will be added as interest grows.

The studio is intended to be the first of several more media studios offered by the YVCG in glass, metal, wood, fiber and photography. Funding for Clayworks has come from the Town of Elkin, Surry County Commissioners and the Golden Leaf Foundation. For more information about Clayworks classes, contact the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild at (336) 835-2717 or at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.


Event Announcement

Yadkin Valley Craft Guild – “With the Grain” – An exhibition featuring the works of Guild Members in wood will open with a reception on Friday, August 22 from 5 – 8 pm at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery at 122 West Main Street in Elkin.Enjoy the opening and an evening of 4th Friday music and events in Historic Downtown Elkin.The exhibition ends September 25th and a new one opens every 4th Friday.

Learn more about the Guild and its mission to promote fine and heritage crafts and craft education in our region, its Mentor/Apprentice Program and Clayworks Studio at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org or by calling 336-835-2717

Event Announcement

Yadkin Valley Craft Guild - "New Potters Exhibition" - A new show featuring the works of the students in the inaugural classes of Clayworks ceramics and clay studio in Elkin. Opening reception is Friday, July 25 from 5 - 8 during Historic Downtown Elkin's "4th Friday" events. The show runs until August 21 and a new one opens every 4th Friday.

Event Announcement

Yadkin Valley Craft Guild – “Gems and Jewels and Goblets, Oh My!” - A shiny and glittering exhibition featuring the works of Guild Members in jewelry, glassware, and stained glass will open with a reception on Friday, June 27 from 5 – 8 pm at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery on Main Street in Elkin.Enjoy the opening and an evening of “4th Friday” events with music by “Big Daddy Love” as well as the shops, restaurants and winery in historic downtown Elkin. The exhibition ends July 24 and a new one opens every 4th Friday.Learn more about the Guild at 336-835-2717 or at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

Event Announcement

 

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild presents “Shades of Blue,” opening Friday, May 23rd in conjunction with Downtown Elkin’s Fourth Friday. Featuring new works by YVCG members (ie: local and regional artisans), the “Shades of Blue” exhibit will showcase pottery, jewelry, glasswork and more, all incorporating the color blue. The YVCG will open a new show every month during Fourth Friday, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00. For more information visit our shop at 122 West Main St., Elkin, call us at (336) 835-2717 or visit our website:www.yvcg.org. Support your local arts!

 

 

Event Announcement

The grand opening of Yadkin Valley Clayworks ceramics studio and classroom is this Saturday, May 17 in Elkin during the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival.Visitors can tour the studio, meet local potters and ceramicists from the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild and sign up for classes which begin in May.The newly renovated studio is the first of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s satellite craft education facilities and is located at the edge of Elkin Recreation Park on Front Street near the Elkin Fire Department.Thanks to the Town of Elkin, Surry County Commissioners and the Golden LEAF Foundation, the new clay shop has a bright and shiny new face of white walls and colorful furnishings with lots of posters illustrating many facets of ceramics.It is2,500 square feet and boasts 10 wheels, a new heavy duty slab roller, two clay extruders, two new kilns and numerous other items to make a fun and rewarding clay experience for anyone attending classes.Initial classes offered will include beginning and intermediate classes in hand building and wheel throwing, bead making and other ceramic jewelry forms, wind chimes clay works, ceramic bird houses and numerous children’s and youth classes.Courses will be offered and added depending on public interest.Hundreds of hours of planning and volunteer work have gone into the opening of the new studio.It is anticipated to be the first of several more media studios offered by the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild in glass, metal, wood, fiber and photography.Get the complete class schedule, costs and more information on the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

Press Release

Inspiration + Education = Creation

By Mary Mascenik

When you see a handmade item for sale in a shop or craft fair, do you find yourself wanting to touch it, turn it over, hold it up to the light or examine the inside? You likely want to figure out how it was made. You examine the workmanship. You appreciate the subtlety of the details, but you never really get close to the process of its creation.

This Friday night, at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s main gallery at 122 West Main Street in Elkin, you will have an opportunity to see behind the scenes in an artisan’s studio. Through photographs, you will see the Guild’s apprentices at work, learning from their mentors and developing the skills necessary to produce a finely-crafted product. You can also meet both mentors and apprentices, ask questions, and understand how they are coping with the devil in the details. Quilters will be demonstrating the attachment of binding to several completed quilts. Light refreshments and beverages will be served. Everyone is welcome to the opening night celebration, from 5 – 8 pm on Friday, April 25th. The show runs through May 22nd.

Titled “Inspiration + Education = Creation,” the gallery show features the works of ten apprentices in clay, glass, wood-turning, and printmaking/frame-making. Apprentices work from 8 to 35 hours a week with their mentors (and on their own) to build sufficient skill to start earning an income from sales of their products. The Mentor-Apprentice Program is funded by grants from the NC Rural Center and the Golden LEAF Foundation. It is a grassroots economic development effort to build artisan entrepreneurs in an 18-county area in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia, where heavy job losses occurred in the textile, tobacco and furniture industries.

Current apprentices are: Dianna Heft of Elkin in wood-turning under mentor Glenn Mace of Mocksville; Erik Dahlager of Traphill in printmaking/frame-making under John and Shirley Furches of Elkin; Linda Jacobs of Mocksville in clay under Warren Moyer of the Sawtooth Center in Winston-Salem; Jessica Wright of Hamptonville in clay under Richard Montgomery of Surry Community College, Dobson; Charles Cummings of Dobson, Shirley Edwards of Hamptonville, and Mary Mascenik of State Road in glass under Barbara Elmore of State Road; and Sybil Stafford of Clemmons, Bill Colvard of Jonesville, and Georgie Stone of State Road in clay under Doris Petersham of Elkin.

An aspiring craft artisan who would like information about the Mentor-Apprentice Program should consult the Guild’s website, www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org, or contact the program’s coordinator, Mary Mascenik, at 336-414-7749.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s gallery show opens in conjunction with Historic Downtown Elkin’s “Fourth Friday” street-wide event. Traffic-free strolling and musical entertainment by "That 70's Band" will fill the air, while merchants, restaurants and coffee houses remain open late.

 

Press Release

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


This old adage has never been truer for today’s craft artisan who vies with thousands of able competitors for acceptance into regional and national shows. These are venues where the artist gains credibility, possibly wins a “best in show” award and, not incidentally, hopes to make sales.

In the pre-digital age, the jury committee of a craft show required images of an artist’s work to be presented in slide format; that is, taken by a film camera and made into a tangible cardboard-edged mini-photo. The artist then labeled these originals appropriately, filled out a paper application, and US-mailed this bundle to the jury committee of a given craft show, hoping that it wouldn’t get lost or damaged in the process. The artist would repeat this laborious and costly endeavor for every show to which he or she wanted admission.

The jury committee, continuing this time-consuming and exacting work, would load the slides of all entrants in order, hopefully, not backwards or upside-down, hopefully, without a thumbprint in the middle or a wayward slide lost under the table, hopefully. All this before the gathering of jurors in a dark room to witness days of projected slides on the silver screen, comments, opinions, and the inevitable slide stuck in the projector.

Looking back, it’s a wonder the show ever got off the ground!

Nowadays, digital photography prevails for craft show applications. Its ease and cost effectiveness make it logical for both the artist and the jury. Further pushing both into the digital age are the photographic equipment companies: they’ve discontinued production of the accoutrements of the traditional film slide: the projector and the screen.

But, entrepreneurship to the rescue! There are now at least three web-based companies that provide “soup to nuts” coverage of the application process for nearly all juried fine craft shows. ZAPP (www.zapplication.org), CaFE (www.callforentry.org), and JAS (www.juriedartservices.com) are examples of these helpful enterprises.

The artist simply selects from a list of craft shows represented by the website, completes an application, and highlights the digital images of artwork from a gallery of photos previously uploaded to the site, all of which are password protected. The artist controls the layout of the works and sees exactly what the jurors will see. For a small fee, the site submits each application to its appropriate jury committee.

The result is that all artwork in the system is in a consistent, high-quality, digital format which the jurors can score online. No more bleary eyes after hours in a dark projection room, plus an easier and fairer consideration of each artist’s application.

Because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, the digital images of an artist’s work should be of the highest professional quality. To that end, the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is sponsoring a two-day workshop in digital imaging on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, 2008.

Titled “Professionally Photograph Your Artwork in a Cube,” the workshop includes lectures, slide shows and a hands-on component presented by Tom Zwierlein. He will teach artists working in any medium how to digitally photograph their artwork in a tabletop “cube” for professional results.

Tom Zwierlein, studio artist and visual arts coordinator, has been teaching art at the Lovett and Callanwolde Arts Center in Atlanta since 1987. He has taught at University of Kentucky and has been a visiting artist at many craft schools and colleges, including The Penland School, the Hambidge Center, and the Georgia High School Governor's Honors Program at Valdosta State. Mr. Zwierlein was a founding faculty member of the Anderson Ranch Ceramics Program in the late 1970s under the direction of Paul Soldner, and is a contributing writer for the international ceramic magazine Clay Times. His educational credentials include both photography and ceramic majors at Kent State University where he earned his BFA in the early 1970s. He continued there as a studio potter for a few years before pursuing his MFA at the University of Kentucky.

The two-day workshop fee is $30 for Guild members and $45 for non-members. It is possible to register for either the lecture or the hands-on session. Enrollment in the hands-on session is limited due to space and equipment considerations. The Saturday, April 5 program will take place in the cooperating ceramic department of Surry Community College in Dobson. The Sunday, April 6 program will take place at the Recreation Department facility in Elkin. Each day’s session will run from 10 am to 4 pm.

Applications are available from the Guild’s website at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org or by telephoning the Guild Gallery at 336-835-2717.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is grateful to The Yadkin Valley Bank and Trust for its generous support of this workshop.

Press Release

Guilds of Yore Continue to Thrive Today

Unique handmade products are the new growth industry in this corner of North Carolina, though the folks here are no strangers to making things by hand. Women through the centuries have worked with fibers - spinning, knitting, weaving, felting, and sewing them – while the menfolk tended the animals that produced those fibers. That stereotype has changed with the times, but the guilds that have encouraged their efforts have not.

Local fiber artists of all stripes, from aspiring to accomplished, are sharing their skills through support groups, as they have for generations in this neck of the woods. Several venues offer encouragement and hands-on support to artisans and hobbyists in quilting, spinning, weaving, felting, knitting and crocheting.

To judge from the turnout at the initial meetings of the Foothills Quilt Guild, there are a good many people interested in the art and craft of the quilt. And the numbers are growing. Some 25 quilters have come to each of the three meetings so far, and more than 50 are on the group’s mailing list. They are experienced quilting instructors and craft show prize winners, as well as eager intermediates and curious beginners. Their ages span thirty-something to nonagenarian.

Joan Sanders and Carol McDowell created the group, which is loosely organized and has no officers or dues. “The quilting group actually grew out of a desire to get to know like-minded folk in the neighborhood,” says Carol. Both women attended the annual show of North Carolina Quilter’s Association in Mars Hill last year and came away determined to start a guild here in Elkin. They assumed they’d be starting small. However, the volume of interest in their show at the Galloway Episcopal Church during the Pumpkin Festival last September proved them wrong. Quilters came out of the woodwork to volunteer their handiwork for display. More than 80 quilted items – bed-coverings, wall-hangings, pillows, vests, even an ecclesiastical stole – were submitted by area quilters. “We lost track of the hundreds of people who came,” says Carol. “We’re very grateful to the parishioners of Galloway for generously providing their historic church for our show.”

It was an auspicious beginning for the group, which has since featured several educational programs at its monthly meetings. Topics such as “quilting with neckties” and “the decorative use of yo-yo’s” (an 18th century flattened cloth embellishment) have informed and entertained the quilters. Georgia Bonesteel, who designed the Teapot Museum quilt, has discussed her inspiration and shown her work, as well.

The Foothills Quilt Guild meets at the Foothills Arts Council, 124 Church St. in Elkin, on the third Tuesday of the month at 1 pm. Their next meeting is February 19. Anyone interested in attending is welcome. For further information, call Carol McDowell at 336-526-5159 or Joan Sanders at 336-835-6351.

    Another local source of camaraderie, inspiration and support for fiber artists is the Mountain Homespun Fiber Guild. As a group, they have shared their love of color and fiber for more than fifteen years. They welcome new members interested in weaving, spinning, knitting, crocheting and any of the many ways of manipulating fibers. The guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month, rotating its meeting place among Elkin, Sparta and Independence, Va. It is also loosely organized, with members from each of the three geographic areas planning upcoming meetings.

    They have an annual “Dye Day” in early fall when members bring a dye pot full of collected plant materials, like pokeberry, goldenrod, lichen or walnuts, to share with the others in naturally dyeing various fibers. The fibers themselves are often harvested from animals owned by members: mohair from goats, wool from sheep, angora from rabbits, even the under-fur of dogs! Members have enjoyed one-day workshops in marbling cloth, felting, and triangle loom weaving, among other topics. Sometimes an excursion is planned to a fiber show at a museum or to the Piedmont Craftsmen and Fiber Company gallery shops in Winston-Salem. Currently, a small study group within the guild is learning the subtleties of overshot weaving.

    For further information on the Mountain Homespun Fiber Guild, call Nancy Goodwin at 336-527-2038 or Kathy Hill at 276-579-3190.

    The Circle of Friends Yarn Shop and Fiber Art Studio, located at 120 West Main Street, Elkin, is another source of ideas, supplies and friendship for the needle-clickers, shuttle-throwers and twisted-spinners among us. Owner Ruth Hutton is a member of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild and has had a 26-year career in textile design for jacquard looms. The palette of yarn colors in her shop is eye-popping and the various fibers and textures make the yarns incredibly versatile. She carries looms and spinning wheels, as well as a large inventory of knitting, crocheting, and felting supplies. The large work table in the center of the store is usually abuzz with happy creative conversation. Ruth’s hands-on assistance makes her a fiber artist’s treasured friend. Spinning and weaving instruction is available by appointment, as is studio time for fiber preparation, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. She offers both evening and weekend classes in a continually changing spectrum of projects. These are best explored on the shop’s website: www.circleoffriendsnc.com. February is for lovers, and for lovers of fibers, Ruth has a “Sweetheart Sale” with their name on it. Plan to stop in and get lost among the yarns. For further information, call Ruth Hutton at 336-526-3100.

    And finally, for those with considerable weaving or spinning skill, the Handweavers Guild of America offers a “Learning Exchange” program. Focusing on one targeted topic, the participants in this program mail small samples of their work to a coordinator for critique. Four exchange programs are offered each year, two in spinning and two in weaving. This is truly a global fiber support group for accomplished artisans, and is an option to those for whom a local guild is impractical. To be included, a person must be a member of the Handweavers Guild of America, which can be achieved via their website and requires no juried approval. For further information, visit www.weavespindye.org.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is a regional umbrella organization to the many smaller groups in its 18-county area which focus on a specific craft. The Guild supports the skill development of the independent artisan through its Mentor-Apprentice Program, its workshops in making a career in fine craft, and its schedule of classes. It maintains a calendar of upcoming craft show venues and gallery stores at 122 West Main Street in Elkin and at several of the local wineries. The guild unifies craftspeople of diverse media into one educational and marketing body. This enables them to have greater impact in the wider world than the solo artisan can achieve. The guild welcomes new members, both exhibiting and supporting. Call the gallery office at 336-835-2717 to discuss opportunities for you and your work. Visit the guild’s developing website at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

 

 


Press Release

By Mary Mascenik

    “We never expected to sell what we did on our opening day,” said Deb Saladin about the debut of Howlin’ Wolf Creations, a new stained glass shop located at 113 West Main Street in Elkin. She and her partner Sally Johnson had a $1000 day on December 15th when their doors welcomed customers for the first time. “Now we have a mark to beat,” said Deb. The pair, who started a stained glass hobby in an attic room eight years ago, is thrilled with their new business.

    Howlin’ Wolf Creations is located in the former Surry Gift Shoppe space and hopes to benefit from the familiarity of that local landmark. The owners are members of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild where they have volunteered as saleswomen every Saturday. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Guild, the Town of Elkin, and our co-workers. With their encouragement, we realized, ‘Hey, we can do this!’” said Deb.

    Their opening is a triumph for the Guild also, whose goal is to enhance economic development in an 18-county area in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Howlin’ Wolf Creations fulfills the mission of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild to develop professional crafts markets and to promote crafts education. The shop joins other businesses on West Main Street that are devoted to art, fine craft, needlework and antiques.

    Howlin’ Wolf Creations stocks a broad variety of glass, tools, patterns and information for the craftsperson, as well as completed works such as sunshine catchers and mobiles. The owners aim to create a one-stop shop for everything that’s needed in glass crafting - including inspiration. Evening and weekend classes will begin in mid-January at the West Main Street studio. These will feature both leaded and foiled stained glass, fused and slumped “warm glass,” and jewelry encompassing many techniques. The studio plans to feature artisans from the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild demonstrating how to combine skills from other media with glass. In addition, Deb and Sally will offer children’s mosaic art camps in the summertime. The primary focus of their shop will be instruction and the partners anticipate that their biggest revenue will come from classes.

    “It’s a working studio for us too,” said Sally. “We’ll still be taking orders for custom installations and working on them here. We welcome folks to stop by and watch. There’s always a pot of coffee on.” The partners supply glass items to the Gift Shop at Old Salem and to All Things North Carolina in Mocksville. They received a commission on opening day to create a large hummingbird window panel for a new construction project in Hamptonville. Both Sally and Deb enjoy the beauty of glass. “It’s incredible how many things you can do with it. We’re always amazed by the splendor of the colors when we hold a finished project up to the sunlight,” they said.

Howlin’ Wolf Creations gets its name from three wolves that Sally had as pets. The shop is open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6 to 9 pm, on Saturdays from 10 to 4, and on Sundays from 1 to 5. The telephone number is 336-391-9590. Both owners have full-time day jobs: Sally as a welding supervisor and Deb as an assistant principal at a Winston-Salem middle school. They reside in Pinnacle, NC.


Press Release

    By Mary Mascenik

    Is the high price of gasoline eating up your Christmas budget? Why not think local this holiday season and give your family and friends creations handmade by the artisans of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild?

    The craftsmen and women of the Guild are local Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin County folks, as well as residents of 15 other counties in Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. Some work for the pure enjoyment of it, others for the income it provides their families. “It’s all high-quality, beautiful stuff, but not all high-priced,” says Margaret Griffin, administrative assistant at the store. “You can find something lovely for $12 or something remarkable for $100, and everything in between,” she continues.

    So, keep that gas money in your pocket! If you live close enough to the Guild’s gallery store at 122 West Main Street in Elkin, you might even walk to the shop and burn calories today to savor later in the season. Children can visit the shop on their own and actually afford a simple treasure that will put a twinkle in a parent’s or grandparent’s eye. Salespeople will guide the young ones to potential gifts in their price range.

    The Guild shop has a broad and affordable selection, from stocking stuffer to masterpiece, and purchasing an item there keeps the economic benefit in the Yadkin Valley. If you’re traveling this holiday season, visiting people who’ve moved away from here, bring a piece of their North Carolina memories with you. Consider a hostess gift like an angel crafted by Sandy Hovey ($12-$15), a lighthearted chef made from a large gourd by Myrna Hester ($18.50), or a fluted clay votive dish fashioned by Barbara Whitaker ($16). These are homegrown works of art and as authentic as the landscape.

    Have a big brother who’s a basketball player? The Guild shop has a tiny gourd celebrating the sport for only $4.50. Delicate and golden starfish Christmas tree ornaments, handmade by Julie Ottesen, cost $7.15. Youngsters might glue this year’s school picture to the back and give it to Mom as a keepsake. Maybe a New Year’s resolution to organize the family coat closet could get started with a wrought iron coat hook (Crews Ironworks, $12) at the bottom of everyone’s stocking.

    Visiting a pottery lover in California? Consider the miniature jugs by Aaron Blackwelder. At $10-$12 each, they are light on the pocketbook as well as the suitcase. A cornucopia-shaped wall vase (Sandy Hovey, $15) or a candle surround (Lynda Sanders, $16) would fit the bill as well.

    If it’s unique earrings you’re after, the Guild Gallery Shop offers a generous variety at prices from $15-$30. They are imaginatively designed and finely made. Check out the clay and mixed media earrings by Doris Petersham and the fused glass ones by Barbara Elmore and Charlie Cummings. Vintage German molds were used to make reproduction glass for earrings by Carole Wells that feature Swarovski crystal and sterling silver. DB Designs has a unique collection in fine silver and gemstone.

    Breadboards, pasta measurers, wooden spoons and spatulas by Lynn Childress would be welcome in any kitchen ($4-$17). Just right for that morning jolt of java, there are coffee mugs ($12-$15) in many fanciful shapes and sizes, absolutely unduplicated anywhere else.

    And Sir, if you’ll be giving your sweetheart an engagement ring for Christmas, how about presenting it in an elegant lidded ceramic box (Sybil Stafford, $12-$16) or (why not go all out?) an exquisite miniature Nantucket basket (Julie Ottesen, $179). The contents are sure to surprise her and the box will be a treasured souvenir of the big day.

    The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery Shop at 122 West Main Street, Elkin is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 to 5, and on Saturdays from 11 to 3. Smaller satellite shops are located at the RagApple Lassie Winery in Boonville and at the Foothills Arts Council in Elkin, where the annual Art-For-Giving sale continues until December 20th every Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4.

Support your local artisans. A gift of something hand-crafted says a lot about YOU. So conserve gas, think globally, shop locally.

 



 

Yadkin Valley Craft Guild – “Gems and Jewels and Goblets, Oh My!” - A shiny and glittering exhibition featuring the works of Guild Members in jewelry, glassware, and stained glass will open with a reception on Friday, June 27 from 5 – 8 pm at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery on Main Street in Elkin.Enjoy the opening and an evening of “4th Friday” events with music by “Big Daddy Love” as well as the shops, restaurants and winery in historic downtown Elkin.The exhibition ends July 24 and a new one opens every 4th Friday.Learn more about the Guild at 336-835-2717 or at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

Event Announcement

 

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild presents “Shades of Blue,” opening Friday, May 23rd in conjunction with Downtown Elkin’s Fourth Friday. Featuring new works by YVCG members (ie: local and regional artisans), the “Shades of Blue” exhibit will showcase pottery, jewelry, glasswork and more, all incorporating the color blue. The YVCG will open a new show every month during Fourth Friday, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00. For more information visit our shop at 122 West Main St., Elkin, call us at (336) 835-2717 or visit our website:www.yvcg.org. Support your local arts!

 

 

Event Announcement

The grand opening of Yadkin Valley Clayworks ceramics studio and classroom is this Saturday, May 17 in Elkin during the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival.Visitors can tour the studio, meet local potters and ceramicists from the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild and sign up for classes which begin in May.The newly renovated studio is the first of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s satellite craft education facilities and is located at the edge of Elkin Recreation Park on Front Street near the Elkin Fire Department.Thanks to the Town of Elkin, Surry County Commissioners and the Golden LEAF Foundation, the new clay shop has a bright and shiny new face of white walls and colorful furnishings with lots of posters illustrating many facets of ceramics.It is2,500 square feet and boasts 10 wheels, a new heavy duty slab roller, two clay extruders, two new kilns and numerous other items to make a fun and rewarding clay experience for anyone attending classes.Initial classes offered will include beginning and intermediate classes in hand building and wheel throwing, bead making and other ceramic jewelry forms, wind chimes clay works, ceramic bird houses and numerous children’s and youth classes.Courses will be offered and added depending on public interest.Hundreds of hours of planning and volunteer work have gone into the opening of the new studio.It is anticipated to be the first of several more media studios offered by the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild in glass, metal, wood, fiber and photography.Get the complete class schedule, costs and more information on the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

Press Release

    Inspiration + Education = Creation

    By Mary Mascenik

    When you see a handmade item for sale in a shop or craft fair, do you find yourself wanting to touch it, turn it over, hold it up to the light or examine the inside? You likely want to figure out how it was made. You examine the workmanship. You appreciate the subtlety of the details, but you never really get close to the process of its creation.

    This Friday night, at the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s main gallery at 122 West Main Street in Elkin, you will have an opportunity to see behind the scenes in an artisan’s studio. Through photographs, you will see the Guild’s apprentices at work, learning from their mentors and developing the skills necessary to produce a finely-crafted product. You can also meet both mentors and apprentices, ask questions, and understand how they are coping with the devil in the details. Quilters will be demonstrating the attachment of binding to several completed quilts. Light refreshments and beverages will be served. Everyone is welcome to the opening night celebration, from 5 – 8 pm on Friday, April 25th. The show runs through May 22nd.

    Titled “Inspiration + Education = Creation,” the gallery show features the works of ten apprentices in clay, glass, wood-turning, and printmaking/frame-making. Apprentices work from 8 to 35 hours a week with their mentors (and on their own) to build sufficient skill to start earning an income from sales of their products. The Mentor-Apprentice Program is funded by grants from the NC Rural Center and the Golden LEAF Foundation. It is a grassroots economic development effort to build artisan entrepreneurs in an 18-county area in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia, where heavy job losses occurred in the textile, tobacco and furniture industries.

    Current apprentices are: Dianna Heft of Elkin in wood-turning under mentor Glenn Mace of Mocksville; Erik Dahlager of Traphill in printmaking/frame-making under John and Shirley Furches of Elkin; Linda Jacobs of Mocksville in clay under Warren Moyer of the Sawtooth Center in Winston-Salem; Jessica Wright of Hamptonville in clay under Richard Montgomery of Surry Community College, Dobson; Charles Cummings of Dobson, Shirley Edwards of Hamptonville, and Mary Mascenik of State Road in glass under Barbara Elmore of State Road; and Sybil Stafford of Clemmons, Bill Colvard of Jonesville, and Georgie Stone of State Road in clay under Doris Petersham of Elkin.

    An aspiring craft artisan who would like information about the Mentor-Apprentice Program should consult the Guild’s website, www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org, or contact the program’s coordinator, Mary Mascenik, at 336-414-7749.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild’s gallery show opens in conjunction with Historic Downtown Elkin’s “Fourth Friday” street-wide event. Traffic-free strolling and musical entertainment by "That 70's Band" will fill the air, while merchants, restaurants and coffee houses remain open late.

 

Press Release

    A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


    This old adage has never been truer for today’s craft artisan who vies with thousands of able competitors for acceptance into regional and national shows. These are venues where the artist gains credibility, possibly wins a “best in show” award and, not incidentally, hopes to make sales.

    In the pre-digital age, the jury committee of a craft show required images of an artist’s work to be presented in slide format; that is, taken by a film camera and made into a tangible cardboard-edged mini-photo. The artist then labeled these originals appropriately, filled out a paper application, and US-mailed this bundle to the jury committee of a given craft show, hoping that it wouldn’t get lost or damaged in the process. The artist would repeat this laborious and costly endeavor for every show to which he or she wanted admission.

    The jury committee, continuing this time-consuming and exacting work, would load the slides of all entrants in order, hopefully, not backwards or upside-down, hopefully, without a thumbprint in the middle or a wayward slide lost under the table, hopefully. All this before the gathering of jurors in a dark room to witness days of projected slides on the silver screen, comments, opinions, and the inevitable slide stuck in the projector.

    Looking back, it’s a wonder the show ever got off the ground!

    Nowadays, digital photography prevails for craft show applications. Its ease and cost effectiveness make it logical for both the artist and the jury. Further pushing both into the digital age are the photographic equipment companies: they’ve discontinued production of the accoutrements of the traditional film slide: the projector and the screen.

    But, entrepreneurship to the rescue! There are now at least three web-based companies that provide “soup to nuts” coverage of the application process for nearly all juried fine craft shows. ZAPP (www.zapplication.org), CaFE (www.callforentry.org), and JAS (www.juriedartservices.com) are examples of these helpful enterprises.

    The artist simply selects from a list of craft shows represented by the website, completes an application, and highlights the digital images of artwork from a gallery of photos previously uploaded to the site, all of which are password protected. The artist controls the layout of the works and sees exactly what the jurors will see. For a small fee, the site submits each application to its appropriate jury committee.

    The result is that all artwork in the system is in a consistent, high-quality, digital format which the jurors can score online. No more bleary eyes after hours in a dark projection room, plus an easier and fairer consideration of each artist’s application.

    Because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, the digital images of an artist’s work should be of the highest professional quality. To that end, the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is sponsoring a two-day workshop in digital imaging on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, 2008.

    Titled “Professionally Photograph Your Artwork in a Cube,” the workshop includes lectures, slide shows and a hands-on component presented by Tom Zwierlein. He will teach artists working in any medium how to digitally photograph their artwork in a tabletop “cube” for professional results.

    Tom Zwierlein, studio artist and visual arts coordinator, has been teaching art at the Lovett and Callanwolde Arts Center in Atlanta since 1987. He has taught at University of Kentucky and has been a visiting artist at many craft schools and colleges, including The Penland School, the Hambidge Center, and the Georgia High School Governor's Honors Program at Valdosta State. Mr. Zwierlein was a founding faculty member of the Anderson Ranch Ceramics Program in the late 1970s under the direction of Paul Soldner, and is a contributing writer for the international ceramic magazine Clay Times. His educational credentials include both photography and ceramic majors at Kent State University where he earned his BFA in the early 1970s. He continued there as a studio potter for a few years before pursuing his MFA at the University of Kentucky.

    The two-day workshop fee is $30 for Guild members and $45 for non-members. It is possible to register for either the lecture or the hands-on session. Enrollment in the hands-on session is limited due to space and equipment considerations. The Saturday, April 5 program will take place in the cooperating ceramic department of Surry Community College in Dobson. The Sunday, April 6 program will take place at the Recreation Department facility in Elkin. Each day’s session will run from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is grateful to The Yadkin Valley Bank and Trust for its generous support of this workshop.

Press Release

    Guilds of Yore Continue to Thrive Today

    Unique handmade products are the new growth industry in this corner of North Carolina, though the folks here are no strangers to making things by hand. Women through the centuries have worked with fibers - spinning, knitting, weaving, felting, and sewing them – while the menfolk tended the animals that produced those fibers. That stereotype has changed with the times, but the guilds that have encouraged their efforts have not.

    Local fiber artists of all stripes, from aspiring to accomplished, are sharing their skills through support groups, as they have for generations in this neck of the woods. Several venues offer encouragement and hands-on support to artisans and hobbyists in quilting, spinning, weaving, felting, knitting and crocheting.

    To judge from the turnout at the initial meetings of the Foothills Quilt Guild, there are a good many people interested in the art and craft of the quilt. And the numbers are growing. Some 25 quilters have come to each of the three meetings so far, and more than 50 are on the group’s mailing list. They are experienced quilting instructors and craft show prize winners, as well as eager intermediates and curious beginners. Their ages span thirty-something to nonagenarian.

    Joan Sanders and Carol McDowell created the group, which is loosely organized and has no officers or dues. “The quilting group actually grew out of a desire to get to know like-minded folk in the neighborhood,” says Carol. Both women attended the annual show of North Carolina Quilter’s Association in Mars Hill last year and came away determined to start a guild here in Elkin. They assumed they’d be starting small. However, the volume of interest in their show at the Galloway Episcopal Church during the Pumpkin Festival last September proved them wrong. Quilters came out of the woodwork to volunteer their handiwork for display. More than 80 quilted items – bed-coverings, wall-hangings, pillows, vests, even an ecclesiastical stole – were submitted by area quilters. “We lost track of the hundreds of people who came,” says Carol. “We’re very grateful to the parishioners of Galloway for generously providing their historic church for our show.”

    It was an auspicious beginning for the group, which has since featured several educational programs at its monthly meetings. Topics such as “quilting with neckties” and “the decorative use of yo-yo’s” (an 18th century flattened cloth embellishment) have informed and entertained the quilters. Georgia Bonesteel, who designed the Teapot Museum quilt, has discussed her inspiration and shown her work, as well.

    The Foothills Quilt Guild meets at the Foothills Arts Council, 124 Church St. in Elkin, on the third Tuesday of the month at 1 pm. Their next meeting is February 19. Anyone interested in attending is welcome. For further information, call Carol McDowell at 336-526-5159 or Joan Sanders at 336-835-6351.

    Another local source of camaraderie, inspiration and support for fiber artists is the Mountain Homespun Fiber Guild. As a group, they have shared their love of color and fiber for more than fifteen years. They welcome new members interested in weaving, spinning, knitting, crocheting and any of the many ways of manipulating fibers. The guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month, rotating its meeting place among Elkin, Sparta and Independence, Va. It is also loosely organized, with members from each of the three geographic areas planning upcoming meetings.

    They have an annual “Dye Day” in early fall when members bring a dye pot full of collected plant materials, like pokeberry, goldenrod, lichen or walnuts, to share with the others in naturally dyeing various fibers. The fibers themselves are often harvested from animals owned by members: mohair from goats, wool from sheep, angora from rabbits, even the under-fur of dogs! Members have enjoyed one-day workshops in marbling cloth, felting, and triangle loom weaving, among other topics. Sometimes an excursion is planned to a fiber show at a museum or to the Piedmont Craftsmen and Fiber Company gallery shops in Winston-Salem. Currently, a small study group within the guild is learning the subtleties of overshot weaving.

    For further information on the Mountain Homespun Fiber Guild, call Nancy Goodwin at 336-527-2038 or Kathy Hill at 276-579-3190.

    The Circle of Friends Yarn Shop and Fiber Art Studio, located at 120 West Main Street, Elkin, is another source of ideas, supplies and friendship for the needle-clickers, shuttle-throwers and twisted-spinners among us. Owner Ruth Hutton is a member of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild and has had a 26-year career in textile design for jacquard looms. The palette of yarn colors in her shop is eye-popping and the various fibers and textures make the yarns incredibly versatile. She carries looms and spinning wheels, as well as a large inventory of knitting, crocheting, and felting supplies. The large work table in the center of the store is usually abuzz with happy creative conversation. Ruth’s hands-on assistance makes her a fiber artist’s treasured friend. Spinning and weaving instruction is available by appointment, as is studio time for fiber preparation, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. She offers both evening and weekend classes in a continually changing spectrum of projects. These are best explored on the shop’s website: www.circleoffriendsnc.com. February is for lovers, and for lovers of fibers, Ruth has a “Sweetheart Sale” with their name on it. Plan to stop in and get lost among the yarns. For further information, call Ruth Hutton at 336-526-3100.

    And finally, for those with considerable weaving or spinning skill, the Handweavers Guild of America offers a “Learning Exchange” program. Focusing on one targeted topic, the participants in this program mail small samples of their work to a coordinator for critique. Four exchange programs are offered each year, two in spinning and two in weaving. This is truly a global fiber support group for accomplished artisans, and is an option to those for whom a local guild is impractical. To be included, a person must be a member of the Handweavers Guild of America, which can be achieved via their website and requires no juried approval. For further information, visit www.weavespindye.org.

The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild is a regional umbrella organization to the many smaller groups in its 18-county area which focus on a specific craft. The Guild supports the skill development of the independent artisan through its Mentor-Apprentice Program, its workshops in making a career in fine craft, and its schedule of classes. It maintains a calendar of upcoming craft show venues and gallery stores at 122 West Main Street in Elkin and at several of the local wineries. The guild unifies craftspeople of diverse media into one educational and marketing body. This enables them to have greater impact in the wider world than the solo artisan can achieve. The guild welcomes new members, both exhibiting and supporting. Call the gallery office at 336-835-2717 to discuss opportunities for you and your work. Visit the guild’s developing website at www.yadkinvalleycraftguild.org.

 

 


Press Release

By Mary Mascenik

    “We never expected to sell what we did on our opening day,” said Deb Saladin about the debut of Howlin’ Wolf Creations, a new stained glass shop located at 113 West Main Street in Elkin. She and her partner Sally Johnson had a $1000 day on December 15th when their doors welcomed customers for the first time. “Now we have a mark to beat,” said Deb. The pair, who started a stained glass hobby in an attic room eight years ago, is thrilled with their new business.

    Howlin’ Wolf Creations is located in the former Surry Gift Shoppe space and hopes to benefit from the familiarity of that local landmark. The owners are members of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild where they have volunteered as saleswomen every Saturday. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Guild, the Town of Elkin, and our co-workers. With their encouragement, we realized, ‘Hey, we can do this!’” said Deb.

    Their opening is a triumph for the Guild also, whose goal is to enhance economic development in an 18-county area in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Howlin’ Wolf Creations fulfills the mission of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild to develop professional crafts markets and to promote crafts education. The shop joins other businesses on West Main Street that are devoted to art, fine craft, needlework and antiques.

    Howlin’ Wolf Creations stocks a broad variety of glass, tools, patterns and information for the craftsperson, as well as completed works such as sunshine catchers and mobiles. The owners aim to create a one-stop shop for everything that’s needed in glass crafting - including inspiration. Evening and weekend classes will begin in mid-January at the West Main Street studio. These will feature both leaded and foiled stained glass, fused and slumped “warm glass,” and jewelry encompassing many techniques. The studio plans to feature artisans from the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild demonstrating how to combine skills from other media with glass. In addition, Deb and Sally will offer children’s mosaic art camps in the summertime. The primary focus of their shop will be instruction and the partners anticipate that their biggest revenue will come from classes.

    “It’s a working studio for us too,” said Sally. “We’ll still be taking orders for custom installations and working on them here. We welcome folks to stop by and watch. There’s always a pot of coffee on.” The partners supply glass items to the Gift Shop at Old Salem and to All Things North Carolina in Mocksville. They received a commission on opening day to create a large hummingbird window panel for a new construction project in Hamptonville. Both Sally and Deb enjoy the beauty of glass. “It’s incredible how many things you can do with it. We’re always amazed by the splendor of the colors when we hold a finished project up to the sunlight,” they said.

Howlin’ Wolf Creations gets its name from three wolves that Sally had as pets. The shop is open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6 to 9 pm, on Saturdays from 10 to 4, and on Sundays from 1 to 5. The telephone number is 336-391-9590. Both owners have full-time day jobs: Sally as a welding supervisor and Deb as an assistant principal at a Winston-Salem middle school. They reside in Pinnacle, NC.


Press Release

    By Mary Mascenik

    Is the high price of gasoline eating up your Christmas budget? Why not think local this holiday season and give your family and friends creations handmade by the artisans of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild?

    The craftsmen and women of the Guild are local Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin County folks, as well as residents of 15 other counties in Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. Some work for the pure enjoyment of it, others for the income it provides their families. “It’s all high-quality, beautiful stuff, but not all high-priced,” says Margaret Griffin, administrative assistant at the store. “You can find something lovely for $12 or something remarkable for $100, and everything in between,” she continues.

    So, keep that gas money in your pocket! If you live close enough to the Guild’s gallery store at 122 West Main Street in Elkin, you might even walk to the shop and burn calories today to savor later in the season. Children can visit the shop on their own and actually afford a simple treasure that will put a twinkle in a parent’s or grandparent’s eye. Salespeople will guide the young ones to potential gifts in their price range.

    The Guild shop has a broad and affordable selection, from stocking stuffer to masterpiece, and purchasing an item there keeps the economic benefit in the Yadkin Valley. If you’re traveling this holiday season, visiting people who’ve moved away from here, bring a piece of their North Carolina memories with you. Consider a hostess gift like an angel crafted by Sandy Hovey ($12-$15), a lighthearted chef made from a large gourd by Myrna Hester ($18.50), or a fluted clay votive dish fashioned by Barbara Whitaker ($16). These are homegrown works of art and as authentic as the landscape.

    Have a big brother who’s a basketball player? The Guild shop has a tiny gourd celebrating the sport for only $4.50. Delicate and golden starfish Christmas tree ornaments, handmade by Julie Ottesen, cost $7.15. Youngsters might glue this year’s school picture to the back and give it to Mom as a keepsake. Maybe a New Year’s resolution to organize the family coat closet could get started with a wrought iron coat hook (Crews Ironworks, $12) at the bottom of everyone’s stocking.

    Visiting a pottery lover in California? Consider the miniature jugs by Aaron Blackwelder. At $10-$12 each, they are light on the pocketbook as well as the suitcase. A cornucopia-shaped wall vase (Sandy Hovey, $15) or a candle surround (Lynda Sanders, $16) would fit the bill as well.

    If it’s unique earrings you’re after, the Guild Gallery Shop offers a generous variety at prices from $15-$30. They are imaginatively designed and finely made. Check out the clay and mixed media earrings by Doris Petersham and the fused glass ones by Barbara Elmore and Charlie Cummings. Vintage German molds were used to make reproduction glass for earrings by Carole Wells that feature Swarovski crystal and sterling silver. DB Designs has a unique collection in fine silver and gemstone.

    Breadboards, pasta measurers, wooden spoons and spatulas by Lynn Childress would be welcome in any kitchen ($4-$17). Just right for that morning jolt of java, there are coffee mugs ($12-$15) in many fanciful shapes and sizes, absolutely unduplicated anywhere else.

    And Sir, if you’ll be giving your sweetheart an engagement ring for Christmas, how about presenting it in an elegant lidded ceramic box (Sybil Stafford, $12-$16) or (why not go all out?) an exquisite miniature Nantucket basket (Julie Ottesen, $179). The contents are sure to surprise her and the box will be a treasured souvenir of the big day.

    The Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Gallery Shop at 122 West Main Street, Elkin is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 to 5, and on Saturdays from 11 to 3. Smaller satellite shops are located at the RagApple Lassie Winery in Boonville and at the Foothills Arts Council in Elkin, where the annual Art-For-Giving sale continues until December 20th every Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4.

Support your local artisans. A gift of something hand-crafted says a lot about YOU. So conserve gas, think globally, shop locally.