Crafts. New artists at the Toe River December Studio Tour

Crafts. New artists at the Toe River December Studio Tour
Yareah Magazine
Josh Cote–mixed media

Josh Cote–mixed media

Crafts. For over 20 years, the TRAC Studio Tours have encouraged artist participation. Each tour features over 100 artists and galleries. This year there are 109 artists in 58 studios. It’s a self-jurying event, open to any artist with a studio or showing in a studio in the two county area. And this holiday tour on December 4-6, continues that tradition with 18 new artists.

Amber Marshall–glass

Amber Marshall–glass

Judy Smith (#92) moved to her own studio this year and invited Barbara McGuire as a guest artist. Barbara has conducted several polymer jewelry and encaustic workshops at the ARC in Spruce Pine and will definitely complement Judy’s photography. In the same area, Kate Miller (landscape collage and pottery) and Jody Ochs (sculptural jewelry) will share a studio with Selena Glass and Metal (#52). Deana Blanchard and Chuck Young always have some interesting artists in their space. John and Kerstin Davis (#89A and B) are opening own their studios on 197S. They are new to the tour, but both—John with beautiful pieces in wood and Kerstin and her encaustics—are TRAC gift shop and gallery artists. In Celo, Jem Klein has joined the tour in his woodworking studio (#91). He specializes in wood jewelry and handmade flutes. Oh, the music he creates.

Richard Ritter–glass

Richard Ritter–glass

In and around Bakersville, discover the potters John Ransmeier and Molly Walter who will be guest artists with Terry Gess’ pottery studio (#25). Amanda Lee’s Aloro Linens will join John Geci’s studio (#24) with new glass artist on the tour, Corey Pemberton. For more glass, visit Richard Ritter and Jan Williams’ studio (#93) and Amber Marshall and Mike Hayes showing with another new artist, Greg Fidler, in his glass studio (#90). Josh Coté (#88) makes woven wire sculptures in his studio once occupied by Ken Sedberry in Loafer’s Glory. And Mary Ruth Webb will have her ceramic sculpture and beaded jewelry at Judson Guérard’s glass studio (#28). Last among the new artists is Nita Forde who will offer up her beautiful fabric accessories at Nick and Lisa Joerling’s ceramics studio (#34) near Penland. These artists, all professionals in their art, use different mediums as varied as their locations— from glass to clay to fiber to metal to jewelry and wood.

Whether you are looking for something to wear, to look through, serve on or serve to, or just to set on the porch for viewing on those brisk winter mornings, you’ll find these new artists worth the extra curve in the road. The Holiday Studio Tour, always the first weekend in December, hits in 2015 on December 4-6. On Friday, hours are noon to 4PM followed by a reception at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery (269 Oak Avenue). The tour continues Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 5PM. It’s free—all you need is the Tour Guide (available at all participating venues, including both TRAC Galleries); then follow the red arrowed tour signs.

An exhibition of participant work will be on display at the Spruce Pine Gallery from November 28 through December 31. Gallery hours are 10:30AM to 5PM, Monday through Saturday. For more information, please call 828-682-7215 or 828-765-0520 and visit the website,

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