Shelton House Membership Opening Event Features Village of Yesteryear Crafts People from the North Carolina State Fair

By Evelyn M. Coltman | Apr 28, 2013
Photo by: Beth Woody Beth Wood, one of the Village of Yesteryear crafters created her marquetry piece, "Silent Night."


In conjunction with its annual membership drive, the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts in Historic Shelton House will host craft specialists from the Village of Yesteryear from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, 49 Shelton Street, Waynesville.  Crafters will be located in the barn and on Shelton House grounds.  The house will be open for tours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Anita Pruett and fellow musicians will entertain in the afternoon.  While the event is free, donations are accepted.  Each person or family who becomes a museum member will receive a numbered ink drawing of Shelton House as well as other privileges regarding Shelton House events throughout the year.

Unlike a typical craft show in which visitors stroll by booths to view or purchase the finished product, the Village event will feature juried crafts people dressed in period clothing who will demonstrate their traditional activities, some of which have been passed through generations for hundreds of years.  Artists create an educational venue since they continuously speak to onlookers about their craft techniques, styles, and history.

The Museum has a special connection to the Village of Yesteryear since the founder of the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, Mary Cornwell of Haywood County who was also instrumental in establishing the crafts program at Haywood Community College, served as the first director of the Village organization.  The Village was founded in 1951 in connection with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture sponsored State Fair.   Designed to develop and perpetuate heritage crafts by the display and demonstration of the skills required for their production, the Village’s main objective is to serve as a working artist community which educates the public about the many types of crafts traditionally practiced in the state while simultaneously encouraging the perpetuation of these craft genres.  Village participants at the State Fair include approximately one hundred craft specialists.

The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, founded in 1977, is housed in the 1875 National Register of Historic Places Shelton House.  Founder, Mary Cornwell, visualized the museum as an outgrowth of the Village of Yesteryear.   The museum collection contains hundreds of craft items, many produced by Village of Yesteryear members, in a variety of categories.  The museum and the house will rekindle their connection during this event.

Some of the featured artists from the Village of Yesteryear include the following:

Cary Pace is a whittler (uses native woods) who has been carving for fifty years. Pace also makes earrings, fishing lures, wall art animals, and wooden feathers.

Mary Ann Silvey’s hand braided wool rugs have consistently won top awards in state competitions.    She is a niece to Haywood County’s famed rug maker and teacher, Virginia Boone.  For those who desire a unique rug, Silvey does custom designs and creates unique, one-of-a-kind braided rugs of 100 % wool in traditional or modern styles.

Sally Weber‘s work includes high relief carved platters, plates, and small dishes.  Weber also crafts clay jewelry earring and, necklaces with birds, flowers, wildlife, and people.

June Wiggins produced ceramics for thirty-five years and has made porcelain dolls since 1982.  In addition to smaller porcelain pieces, Wiggins also creates gourd art. When she is not traveling to shows, Wiggins practices her craft at Dogwood Crafters in Dillsboro.

Beth Woody will be demonstrating wood marquetry and kaleidoscope construction.  A native of Canton, Woody has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, including sculptured paper lamp shades and cold water lye soap.  Her first love is marquetry, a craft that “paints with wood” by creating intricate patterns through the use of natural colors and wood grain of many different species of wood to create pictures.

A number of craft items will be for sale, many of which are appropriate as unique Mother's Day gifts.



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