Lyle Wheeler is a chairmaker, blacksmith and all-around good ol' boy from Millers Creek, Wilkes County, NC. He has been creating utilitarian objects of art and desire since before he can remember. Working in the period of the late 1800s, his furniture is handcrafted, and bench made from native Appalachian hardwoods while his ironwork is forged from mild steel. Lyle is a professional whimmy-didler and communicates by postcard, one stamp at a time.
Best known for her colorful acrylic mixed media paintings Marion’s process involves creating layers, applied in non-traditional ways, using pouring, papers, monoprints and found collage elements. Her subjects range from vivid abstracts to semi-abstracts of landscapes, flowers and figures. Figurative works showing the face without features make Marion’s style uniquely her own. Her approach is to explore, take risks and be open to the unexpected.
Mary has been knitting for 50 years, weaving for 30 years and spinning some of her thread for 18 years. She primarily works with natural fibers, both dyed and undyed. She prefers to make everyday items that are meant to be used. She teaches both adults and children in her farmbased studio.
I was born and raised in Iredell County, North Carolina, the son of hardworking farmers. My grandparents owned the local general store selling reliable and useful products. My rural upbringing gave me an appreciation for an honest day’s work, traditional craftsmanship, and well-made everyday items. As a young boy, I felt the need to create something with my hands. Drawing and painting didn’t seem right – didn’t seem useful enough. I wanted to make something lasting … something both practical and beautiful. When I came across an article in the local newspaper about an old-time master chair maker, I knew I’d found my calling. I searched him out and talked him into teaching me the craft. After learning the basics I took that knowledge and began to create my own designs.
Since early childhood, Melody has demonstrated a remarkable artistic ability. During her middle school years, Melody’s pen and pencil self-portraits and illustrations earned her several first and second place awards at the North Florida Fair in Tallahassee, Florida. While in high school, her creativity was further encouraged and nurtured during summer art camp at Le Moyne Center for the Visual Arts.
I began crafting my one-of-a-kind handbags in 2005, mostly because of a longtime interest in repurposing castoff and throwaway items. RagBags are created from a variety of materials, including decorator fabric samples, wool sweaters, carpet pieces, books, game boards, and many other objects – even VHS videotape! Broken jewelry, vintage buttons, and other items are used as embellishments. I am totally self-taught using no patterns and I do all my sewing on a 1958 Singer Featherweight machine.