Blowing Rock has a rich history of being called home by artisans and artists alike. There is something about the atmosphere that uplifts and inspires people and that includes artisans of all stripes. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Blue Ridge Craft Trail, a trail committed to preserving and promoting the distinct crafts of Western North Carolina, has a large presence in Blowing Rock because of some of the special artists and locations we have here.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
BRAHM provides cultural enrichment by promoting the arts, and Southern Appalachian heritage and history, through educational programs, exhibitions, activities, and permanent collections. Their commitment to Southern Appalachian heritage has earned them a place on the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail. They see their vision to fruition with creative programming for both adults and children, docent-led tours, art classes, square dances, and much more. Admission to their exhibits is free, and there is always something new to see!
High Country Candles
High Country Candles is a unique experience unto itself. When you enter the store you are greeted by friendly staff and artisans working to create candles that are literal works of art. This art is made to last, too- dipped in acrylic for protection and made to refill with a votive. The artists, Cyndi and Larry Zeigler, are a part of three generations involved in the crafting of the candles. They hand mix their wax, pigments, and oils before pouring them into jars, pillar molds, or smaller votive cups. They also hand carve their more ornate pieces in store as well. What you get to see them doing in store depends on what they need to make that day. High Country Candles, is located on Main St. Blowing Rock, in the Martin House.
Mountain Thread Company
Also located on Main Street in the Martin House is Mountain Thread Company. Katherine Lile, a High Country native, moved back to the area in 2015. Quilting is a huge part of her family’s heritage, and she wanted to share that with the community. She founded the Mountain Thread Company and sells high quality threads, fabrics, and notably, cotton rope. Katherine is an accomplished quilter, but has expanded her craft. She has honed her particular skills into making rope baskets that people love, and can often be found crafting them right in the store. They can be bought premade, or adventurous crafters can make the baskets themselves with the rope sewing kits found in Katherine’s store. She works to source and provide the most local products possible. Just walking in Mountain Thread Company will make you want to create a masterpiece all your own.
Bolick & Traditions Pottery
Bolick & Traditions Pottery comes by its name honestly. Pottery is a tradition in the Bolick family that lives on today. It can be traced back through the family for six generations, connected through the Owens family of Seagrove, NC. Many of the shapes have been in the family since the 19th century. Janet & Michael Calhoun continue the tradition, making functional, decorative, and folk art pottery. Janet has been making pottery since she was 5 years old, and Michael started after their marriage in 1987. They founded Bolick & Traditions Pottery in 1992, and have been sharing their heritage and passion with the world ever since.
Moses Cone Memorial Park & Southern Highland Craft Guild
Built in 1901, Moses Cone’s Gilded Era Mansion is now home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Moses Cone Manor Shop. Both the mansion and the Southern Highland Craft Guild are open seasonally. The guild features crafts from hundreds of regional artists. The first floor of the mansion is dedicated to displaying all of the art. From turned bowls to woven garments, all of the rooms are full of art to be admired. There are seasonal craft demonstrations on the front porch, where you can witness art in the making and soak up some Blue Ridge views. The mansion is nestled on 3,500 acres of land with approximately 25 miles of trails that are open to carriages, horseback riding, and hiking. Both the Manor and the Guild Shop are located on milepost 294 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.