71st Southern Highland Craft Fair: Meet the Makers


Summertime in Western North Carolina is magical and attracts friends and visitors from all over — and this year the region’s most anticipated shows of fine craft, theCraft Fair of the Southern Highlands is returning for the 71st year.

Opening on Friday, July 20 at the U.S. Cellular Center, the fair is brimming with woodworking, ceramic sculptures, stunning jewelry and more from 150 makers – including five brand new makers

This year, Steve Noggle of Morganton, is the Featured Maker of 2018. Early on, his forestry degree landed him out on the coast of the Pacific Northwest as a timber cruiser, and soon after crafting fine wooden furniture. As Steve began to engineer new designs for his pieces, he discovered turning wood on lathes. In 2004, Steve juried into the Southern Highland Craft Guild as a master of woodturning. Today, each of his pieces is spun from a chunk of wet, green wood into a bowl or vessel with a satin finish that is pleasing to the eye.

This year’s first time makers include Gina Eubank, bringing hand-wrought fine jewelry to the Lower Arena Floor, Joel Hunnicut, who will have wood-turned vessels on the upper concourse floor, Margie and Lonnie Johnson, who are bringing nature-inspired ceramic sculpture to the lower arena floor alongside Joseph Rodes who will be displaying his one-of-a-kind jewelry. Joanna White will also be on the upper concourse floor with her silk painting and batiked fiber wearables.

Carla and Greg Filippelli will be outside of the U.S. Cellular Center weaving colorful, large-scale basketry. The Filippellis have been basket makers and weavers since the early 1980s and Guild members since 1983.

“We delight in creating fluid, organic shapes that reflect our love of the natural world,” said Carla. “We are really looking forward to creating a big splash of color while we demonstrate the mysterious and fluid weaving technique known as random weave, that has become our signature look for two decades.”
Other members will be demonstrating their craft processes at the Fair include:
  • Bill Lee, throwing ceramic vessels on the arena floor
  • Cindi Lemkau, embroidery and applique on heirloom boxes on the arena floor
  • Lorraine Cathey, needle felting on the concourse floor
  • Charlie Patricolo, doll making on the concourse floor
  • Judy Brater, ceramic hand building on the concourse floor
  • Asheville Quilt Guild, quilting on the arena floor

The craft fair hours run from Friday-Saturday, July 20-21 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The fair continues on Sunday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The U.S. Cellular Center is located at 87 Haywood St. in Asheville.

Admission is $8, or $12 for a weekend pass. Children 12 and younger are free. Visit https://www.southernhighlandguild.org/ for more information.


About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.