On Saturday, April 1, nearly fifteen Guild members will showcase their skills and techniques of glass and metal in the auditorium of the Center. From 10am to 4pm, these masters will be blacksmithing, glass blowing, piercing and soldering metals, knife making, bezeling, repoussé, copper etching, assembling stained glass, forging and many other manipulation processes. As a non-profit organization, the Guild provides experiential learning opportunities for the public to cultivate awareness of both handmade and craft.
Long-time member Blenko Glass Company will be participating this year with special appearance of Mr. Walter Blenko himself, current President of the company. The founder’s grandson will be located in the Folk Art Center’s lobby at the entrance of the auditorium to sign pieces made from Blenko. Patrons and customers are invited to bring their pieces from home to have him etch the glass from 10-4pm. Located in Milton, West Virginia, Blenko Glass Company has been in business since 1893.
Member Ruthie Cohen will be one of several jewelers working with precious metals as she bezels and forges them into fine adornments. Cohen is an advocate of craft education as teaches at her Mountain Metalsmiths School of Jewelry & Lapidary in Arden.
Visitors will have the opportunity to watch and learn more about two of the original craft media. Glassblower Michael Hatch of Crucible Glassworkswill be using a small kiln to exhibit the quick thought process of blown glass. While Laurie Young and Christian Arnold of Australian Art Glass will demonstrate fusing and torching glass into ornate, decorative pieces.
The Guild’s education series of events are a significant channel that members use to explain their creative process. Providing craft consumers with knowledge and the story behind their investment is an equally important part of the Guild’s mission to the buying public.
For a complete list of artists participating in Glass & Metal Day, and to learn more about Southern Highland Craft Guild programs at the Folk Art Center call 828-298-7928 or visit www.craftguild.org.
Admission to Glass & Metal Day and the Folk Art Center is free. The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in east Asheville. Headquarters to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Center also houses three galleries, a library, a craft shop and a Blue Ridge Parkway information desk and bookstore.