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Fall Craft Week

Work with your hands and create beautiful handmade works of art.

October 1 - 6, 2017

Come create with your hands, gain proficiency in an art form, and enjoy the community of other artists during a fall week in the mountains.

Years ago M. C. Richards, renowned potter, came to Black Mountain College to teach poetry but ended up with her hands in clay. In her book Centering she defines the word “craft”:

“…Craft, as you may know, comes from the German word Kraft, meaning power or strength. We can’t fake craft. It lies in the act.”1

The idea wasn’t totally new. In fact, the Arts and Crafts Movement, which found real fruition in these mountains, had already introduced the idea of “craft” into an increasingly industrialized culture:

“They sought to provide an alternative code to the harshness of late nineteenth-century industrialism, to foster spiritual harmony through the work process…(by encouraging) individualism, the creation of hand-made goods in place of machine uniformity, and a reappraisal of design materials.”2

The Fall Craft Week is our quest here at Montreat Conference Center to celebrate the profound idea of “craft” in a world where technology dominates and where people mainly use their hands to operate smart phones and computers. Our goal is to bring people together as a community of artists to work with our hands with beautiful and natural materials. Mark your calendars now, and plan to join this community of artists as we create our own craft!

Class Offerings

  • Book Arts, Louise Cecil
  • (Re)discover Clay: Let’s Make Pots! Becky Garrity
  • Fabric Exploration with a Purpose, Leslie McCarthy
  • A Woodworking Smorgasbord, Howard Moore and Dick Porter
  • Dia de los Muertos, Marilyn Werst
  • Stained Glass, Roger Maness

Click on the WORKSHOPS tab above for class details. For more information on program fees and accommodations for this event, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

A Day With Nick Joerling

Montreat Conference CenterIf you are registering for Fall Craft Week, consider coming early for A Day With Nick Joerling,” a beloved and famous potter, on October 1st, 10:00 am-3:00 pm for $50. Fee includes lunch. (requires separate registration)

Can’t make it to Fall Craft week? How about coming for just one day? Register for A Day With Nick Joerling!” 

1 M.C. Richards, Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person (Wesleyan University Press: Middleton, Connecticut, 1969) p. 12.
2 Elizabeth Coming and Wendy Kaplan, The Arts and Crafts Movement (Thames and Hudson: London, 2004) p. 9.
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Comprehensive Rates

Comprehensive rates below include program fee of $245, room in Assembly Inn, meals in the Galax Dining Room (Sunday supper through Friday breakfast), plus a $5 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Some rooms have private baths, and some rooms have connecting baths. This rate does not include the materials fee. After August 20, these rates will increase by $25 per person.

  • Double, Private Bath:  $1,281 ($640.50 pp) – plus materials fee
  • Double, Shared Bath:  $1,221 ($610.50 pp) – plus materials fee
  • Single, Private Bath: $890.50 – plus materials fee
  • Single, Shared Bath: $830.50 – plus materials fee

Commuter Rate

Rate below includes program fee of $245 plus a $5 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district.  This rate does not include the materials fee.

  • On or before August 20: $250 per person (plus materials fee)
  • After August 20: $275 per person (plus materials fee)

Optional meal packages for the Galax Dining Room may be requested when you register online. (These additional charges will be added separately by the registrar.)

  • $140.50 per person for Sunday supper through Friday breakfast
  • $38.00 per person for lunches only (Monday through Thursday)

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by August 20 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after August 20 but on or before September 24 will receive a 50% refund of the program fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds (including materials fee) will be issued after September 24. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

Questions about registration? Email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org.

Class Instructors

Montreat Conference CenterLouise Cecil – I love making handmade books – the materials, the activity of construction, and the promise of using them. I took a book arts class with Susan King twenty years ago and fell in love with bookmaking: all the materials, paper, scissors, glue, thread, and all the different kinds of books one can make. (I wanted to quit my day job… I didn’t.)

Montreat Conference CenterBecky Garrity – Clay has called me back time and again. In the 70’s, I studied sculpture and ceramics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. In the 80’s, I happened into a 2-year pottery apprenticeship in Okinawa, Japan. In the 90’s, after many years as a student of pottery, I finally shifted from my chosen profession of graphic design to potter. I have been making and selling pots and teaching pottery ever since. See more at garritypottery.com.

Montreat Conference CenterRoger Maness – Although Roger is officially “retired” from church ministry, he is anything but retired. He has shifted his time and energy to a large non-profit youth sports ministry. In his limited spare time, he continues to enjoy teaching others the “how-to” of creating with stained glass. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.


Montreat Conference CenterLeslie McCarthy, owner of Making Ends Meet, Inc and Funky Fibers & Furniture, has a passion for all things fabric and fibers. She recently added ‘fire’ to her list as she studied at the Painting With Fire Studio, earning her certification to teach the amazing art. From dying to painting, gluing to building, her classes are never boring and you never know what she has in mind for the next one!

Montreat Conference CenterHoward Moore is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in mathematics and retired from Sonoco Products Company as director of corporate compensation and benefits. He has been a woodcarver for over 60 years and enjoys puzzles, origami, photography, and making dulcimers and ukuleles. Howard has taught wood-working classes with Dick Porter for over 30 years.

Montreat Conference CenterDick Porter is a retired pantyhose maker from Hanes Hosiery Corporation and now lives in Hartsville, SC. He has taught dulcimer making with Howard Moore for over 40 years. In that time they have helped students make over 600 dulcimers. Dick and his wife, Brenda, are involved in Living Waters for the World projects in the Dominican Republic.

Montreat Conference CenterMarilyn Werst – I live in Louisville, KY with my husband, John. We have two grown daughters. I have spent most of my adult life doing youth work in the Episcopal church in some form. I love working with young people and thinking up crazy program ideas (like an alien beauty pageant). I did not think I was an artist. I joined the rubber stamp art movement around twenty years ago and loved the way I felt when I began to create cards and other little paper art items. As I began to take workshops around the country, I branched out into other mediums and discovered assemblage (three dimensional found object art) made my heart sing. I also found an excellent mentor in Michael deMeng. I am fortunate to be able to take many of his workshops. I go to Mexico every year for the Day of the Dead with Michael and other like minded artists. My art is heavily influenced by this amazing holiday and the people of Mexico.

Conference Director

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones is the year-round director of arts ministry at Montreat. She is a graduate of Eckerd College (’77), Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (’82), and Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC, where she earned her DMin in arts and theology, under the guidance of Catherine Kapikian. She is a teaching elder and member of St. Andrew Presbytery, and splits her time between Greenville, MS, and Montreat, NC. She and her husband, Mike Caulfield have two adult children, Sally and Doug.

Fall Classes

Please choose one class (and one alternate) for the entire week. Any materials fees for your class are in addition to the program fee or comprehensive rates. We assign classes on a first-come, first-served basis. We reserve the right to cancel a class based on projected attendance.

1. Book Arts With Louise Cecil (This workshop is FULL – Contact the registrar to be added to the waiting list)
In this class we will concentrate on making blank books which can be used as sketchbooks, journals, diaries, or logs. We will make three or four different book structures including accordion, coptic, sewing on tapes, and victorian albums as time allows. If you have any favorite paper or supplies please bring them. (Favorite images may be turned into book covers or inside pages).

  • Class limited to 5 participants
  • Materials Fee: $45

2. (Re)discover Clay: Let’s Make Pots! Becky Garrity (This workshop is FULL – Contact the registrar to be added to the waiting list)
Join us in this beautiful, well-appointed studio by the creek. Move to a new level or simply get started! We will dig into the basics of wheelwork and hand building. Clay is a medium that can thrill your senses and access creativity that you don’t yet know you have. Experience the miracle of starting and completing pottery work in just one week!

  • Class limited to 12 participants
  • Materials fee: $45

3. Fabric Exploration with a Purpose, Leslie McCarthy
We will immerse ourselves in fabric exploration this week with techniques such as ice dyeing, cut-away designs, fabric painting, fabric manipulation (both by hand and machine) techniques and whatever else we create along the way! You will end up with enough fabric for you to create a finished ottoman this week, as well as throw pillows, or you can just take it with you for future projects. Sewing machine and basic sewing techniques required.

  • Class limited to 12 participants
  • Materials Fee: $55.00 which includes dyes, paints 5 yards of fabric, random fabrics and threads for general-use wooden ottoman base and use of patterns, stencils and other supplies. Other supplies will be available for sale depending on what you choose to concentrate on for the week.

4. A Woodworking Smorgasbord, Howard Moore and Richard (“Dick”) Porter
Join Dick and Howard for a fun-filled week making a cornhole set, shaker boxes, carved wooden spoons, and small wearable crosses. The week will include the use of a scroll saw, band saw, drill press, chop saw, Jewelers saw, Kreg joiner, carving knives and gouges, drills, and belt sanders. Woods used will range from plywood to fine woods such as mahogany, cherry, walnut, maple, Sycamore, Rosewood and basswood.

  • Class limited to 12 participants
  • Materials Fee: $60

5. Dia de los Muertos, Marilyn Werst
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that focuses on family and friends honoring, remembering, and praying for those who have died. It is both a joyous and somber holiday. In this class, you can remember a loved one or loved ones by creating a piece of art. You can choose to create a nicho (colorful dioramas) or an ofrenda (or offerings that are little altars) for a particular someone you want to remember, or you can create a piece of art that is in the style of Mexican folk art and not dedicated to an individual. We will spend a good part of one day shopping at antique stores and thrift stores to find objects to use and transform for our art. You will learn how to paint on a variety of surfaces, how to use two-part epoxy clay to transform old toys or build your own artifacts, how to use patinas to age your work, and how to make a crackle finish. We will use dremels and drills and heat guns. You can bring items or photos that you would like to incorporate in your art. Please bring something to house your art like a wooden box, old jewelry box, small platform, or shelf. Bring an apron and be ready to have some grand fun.

  • Class limited to 16 participants
  • Materials Fee: $25

6. Stained Glass With Roger Maness
Whether learning the basics or improving your skills, join us to build your own beautiful stained glass creations. If a beginner, you will learn to cut glass, apply lead or foil, and to solder in order to create one or more one-dimensional pieces. If you have prior experience, you will be able to create more intricate pieces, including larger panels, or three-dimensional pieces like boxes or kaleidoscopes. Everyone will leave with beautiful pieces, the fun of creative expression, and the resources to continue at home if you wish.

  • Class limited to 10 participants
  • Materials Fee: $60

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