HENDERSONVILLE – The best of traditional and contemporary craft is just a trail away during Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month this July in Henderson County.
Three distinct trails guide visitors through the towns of Hendersonville and Flat Rock, and into the Blue Ridge Mountain countryside, showcasing nationally renowned artists in their studios and galleries.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area launched the trails in January and is working in collaboration with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority on this initiative.
“We love the idea of showcasing these three craft trails for the month of July,” says Leslie Hartley of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. “It’s a time when the weather is nice, and people can venture out across the countryside to visit the studios. Plus, the artists are friendly and eager to welcome visitors back into their studios and galleries.”
The three trails are: Touring the Heart of Hendersonville, Wandering Flat Rock and Finding Wonders in the Outskirts. Visitors can watch a potter pull a vase from a piece of clay spinning on a wheel, see designers create timeless jewelry, or browse gallery-curated collections of pieces by regional artists.
“Hendersonville has so much to offer in the way of art,” says Beth Carden, Henderson County tourism director. “Whether you want to visit with artists and watch them work or shop for finished pieces in a gallery setting, you choose the experience.”
Renowned craft curator Anna Fariello worked to identify the best of the best for the locations on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails in Henderson County. While most galleries keep regular hours, some studios are open by appointment only, so visitors should call ahead.
“This is a great opportunity for people to come and see something different that they won’t see in other places and actually get to know the people who make the crafts,” says Rodney Leftwich of Leftwich Pottery. “There is a story behind every artist and artisan out there.”
For info about Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month in Henderson County — including maps, artist profiles and additional attractions — go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/Businesses/Craft-Trails or call (800) 828-4244. Printed map brochures are also available.