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Holiday Gift Guide for Local, Handmade Gifts

Celebrate the Craft Traditions of Western North Carolina

The holiday season is upon us, and we’re unwrapping the handmade treasures of Western North Carolina! Discover gift-giving inspiration — and the perfect gift — with this guide. From sparkling glass ornaments to unforgettable memories made during a hands-on glass blowing class, you’ll find the right gift for someone special.

This list offers just a sampling of the types of amazing art you can find along the new Blue Ridge Craft Trails. The Blue Ridge Craft Trails is a drivable trail in Western North Carolina, highlighting more than 300 artists, galleries and arts organizations. The Craft Trails is an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, a nonprofit organization working to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the North Carolina mountains and foothills.
 

Unique Gifts


 


Turtle Island Pottery
Old Fort, NC
 
Maggie and Freeman Jones use mud to create their functional and decorative stoneware pottery. Turtle Island Pottery is known for its long-running line of functional stoneware distinct for its opaque white glaze and hand-brushed decorations of blue flowers, green and yellow accents, and dragonflies.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Hunting Boy Wood Carving
Robbinsville, NC
 
For more than 30 years, Billy Welch has carried on Cherokee craft forms, particularly woodcarving. With work in the Smithsonian Museum, Billy is especially known for carving clan masks. He also makes pottery, reed flutes and beadwork.
 
Where to Buy

 

Hard to Shop For


 


Mica Fine Contemporary Craft
Bakersville, NC
 
This cooperative gallery showcases an array of work from local artists. Choose from numerous media including functional pottery, fused glass wall pieces, paper weights, plates, ceramic sculpture, jewelry, fiber art, hand printed cards, and more.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Foundation Woodworks
Asheville, NC
 
Located in Asheville’s historic River Arts District, the Foundation Woodworks gallery and demonstration space features works from over 50 local and regional artists and woodworkers. Work for sale includes furniture, sculpture, jewelry, wood turnings, kitchen items, wall art, and more.
 
Where to Buy

 

Holiday Ornaments


 


Grovewood Gallery
Asheville, NC
 
From menorahs to glass ornaments, you’re sure to find holiday treasures at this historic gallery located beside the famed Grove Park Inn in Asheville. It offers works by over 400 artists and craftspeople, including artisan-made jewelry, textiles, pottery, glass, and much more.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Cat Jarosz Pottery
Leicester, NC
 
Cat Jarosz’s line of high temperature stoneware is designed with the strongest clay she can find for fully functional, everyday use. Her signature style of work also includes her line of colorful ornaments.
 
Where to Buy

 


Crucible Glassworks
Weaverville, NC
 
Crucible Glassworks provides a little something for everyone interested in hand-blown glass. Michael Hatch’s signature works feature marble patterns, face jugs, and sculptural figures such as bears. You’ll also find ornaments, one-of-a-kind sculptures, vases, bowls, paperweights and bar ware.
 
Where to Buy
 

 

Stocking Stuffers


 


Dogwood Crafters
Dillsboro, NC
 
Dogwood Crafters showcases handmade treasures created by regional artisans who continue old-time Appalachian craft traditions. Choose from unique Christmas decorations and novelty birdhouses to small gifts such as corn shuck dolls and handmade soaps.
 
Where to Buy  
 

High Country Candles
Blowing Rock, NC
 
Three generations of craft artists are involved in producing the candles at High Country Candles. They offer a wide range of scented candles, pillars, and votives, all made in-store. They have more than 70 different fragrances that compliment every season, occasion, and mood. Their signature hand-carved candles are unique and ornate and can be custom made and refilled.
 
Where to Buy

 

 

Off the Beaded Path
Forest City, NC
 
Artist Kelly Dale has been beading for more than 20 years. Her work features original and elaborate bead designs for ornaments, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and more. She also offers workshops for those looking for a craft experience.
 
Where to Buy

 

Three Crows Metalwork
Sparta, NC
 
This family of artists has a deep love and respect for the natural environment and the natural artistry of the earth serves as a constant source of inspiration. Many of their designs are filled with mountain scenes, rivers, sunrises, sunsets, birds and flowers. One-of-a-kind hand-crafted jewelry is available for purchase including a variety of sterling cuff bracelets, pendants, chains, and rings with and without precious and/or semi-precious gemstones. Custom orders are also welcomed.
 
Where to Buy

 

For the Cook


 


Paul Eisenhauer, Woodworker
Burnsville, NC
 
Woodworker Paul Eisenhauer shapes and sculpts wood from logs and branches. He carves bowls and spoons, and draws inspiration from the natural world around him, blending flowing organic forms with traditional functional designs. Most of his wood is local, coming from generous friends and neighbors.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Shira Forge
Sylva, NC
 
Visitors to Matthew Shirey’s shop with ridgetop views will experience a working forge. It’s where he creates knives, axes, hatchets, frying pans and more. One unique product line is Matthew’s Kephart knife, designed from the notes and writings of iconic outdoorsman, Horace Kephart.
 
Where to Buy

 

Getaway Experiences


 


Ronda Cassada Basketry
Asheville, NC
 
As a native of Western North Carolina, Ronda Cassada derives great pride in sharing the time-honored tradition of basket weaving with others. Each class is structured for a beginner to have an enjoyable learning experience in a group setting. Participants follow along with a simple pattern, measure, and cut their own weaving splints, then weave a basket accordingly. All participants leave with a completed basket.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Moon Girl Glass
Marshall, NC
 
Kristen Muñoz creates colorful and unique glasswork using traditional glassblowing and flameworking techniques. Her work showcases the movement and flow of the glassmaking process. Kristen offers classes in multiple styles of glasswork.
 
Where to Buy

 

For Children


 


Market on Oak
Spruce Pine, NC
 
Market on Oak is a non-profit sales outlet for North Carolina craft featuring more than 120 craftspeople and artists. Find North Carolina craft in the gallery including children’s clothing, toys and more. This shop was created as part of the nationally-known Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree shop.
 
Where to Buy  
 
 

 

For the Musician


 


Beard Instruments
Rutherfordton, NC
 
Richard Beard’s maker’s mark on his guitars, mandolins, and octave mandolins is an inlaid star. His instruments are surely heavenly! He also specializes in Appalachian dulcimers built in the traditional NC hourglass shape. All these instruments are of his own design and, as a professional musician, he’s able to critique and modify them to improve their sound and playability.
 
Where to Buy  
 

Capozzoli Guitar Company
Sugar Grove, NC
 
like slimmer neck profiles, new body shapes, and handmade pickups to create timeless instruments that are familiar and new. Capozzoli Guitars offers a wide range of stock models and a myriad of custom options.
 
Where to Buy