Today and tomorrow, just 3 miles up the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 382) from the entry near Asheville's route 240 and not far from our Asheville bed and breakfast, at the Folk Art Center is celebrating it's 31st annual Heritage Weekend. The events include clog dancing and music plus demonstrations of Appalachian crafts of all kinds. And ever see a sheep shearing...for real? Well, you can see how it's done! That is, after the border collies 'cut' the sheep out of the herd.
Do you have any caned seats on your dining chairs at home? Well, if you do...and even if you don't... you may be very interested to see a chair caner actually do that, too. And as for the rest of the chair...legs, arms, back and all...chair makers will be there, too. Many of these skills have been passed from generation to generation in these mountains. So the current makers learned their skills throughout their whole lifetime.
And back to the shorn sheep: what happens to the wool? Well, watch the wool being dyed with natural flowers and minerals. Then see how the wool is carded and then spun into thread. See a loom working to create the fabrics that folks have worn for many years. Or ask the beekeepers how they dress to approach their beehives to see what the bees are doing. Watch quilts being constructed or a whittler making toys for the kids.It's like stepping into the old-time mountains all over again...a real connection to the rich mountain heritage of the area where Asheville is located. I hope you can come!