Over Thanksgiving weekend the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild held its 43rd annual Fine Designer Craft Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The show featured a wide array of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts from North Carolina artisans and designers. The showcase was kicked off on Black Friday, providing shoppers with an alternative to the tradition of joining the hoards at the mall. Guests roamed freely perusing a huge selection of original, handmade arts and crafts created by local artists.
The Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to stimulate creativity and to recognize and promote appreciation for fine arts and crafts in the Southeast. Based out of Raleigh, the Craftsmen Guild provides its members with the opportunity to showcase their wares every year on Thanksgiving weekend. The fine crafts recognized by the Guild include handmade clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalwork, basketry, wood, works on paper, and mixed media creations.
This year the Guild presented designs of every sort. From handcrafted wooden furniture and blown glass to hand-woven scarves and one-of-a-kind jewelry, there was truly something for everyone at this showcase of creativity. Much of the work was purely decorative, some of it functional and some of it wearable, in a variety of both traditional and contemporary styles.
A place for local creators to exhibit and sell their unique works, the show also provides the opportunity for guests to interact one-on-one with the artists. Unlike at many museum and galleries, the artists are present and in their booths to discuss their work with visitors and potential buyers. By experiencing the art as well as the creative genius behind it, the public is able to build a greater appreciation for both the craft and the design process.
To celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving, this year’s Craft Show featured, for the first time, a raffle to benefit the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), an organization that provides aid to craftspeople who have been affected by natural disasters. The raffle’s earnings will help provide emergency resources to artists affected by disaster to help sustain their careers.
For more information about becoming a Guild artist or a Friend of the Guild check out their website.