Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Betsy Carr studied art at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and graduated in 2004.  She developed a love for silversmithing at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN in 2007.  Combining silversmithing and collage, her company, found*ling, was born. 

Betsy is inspired by objects handed down through generations-things like haphazard fabric combinations in old quilts, spidery handwriting, faded paper, and quirky old folk sayings. She keeps her eyes and ears wide open for such treasures from her studio at 15B Domino Lane.

image courtesy of Jennifer Callahan

Thank you, Harvest Records!

Thank you, Harvest Records, for your donation!  Harvest Records is also generously providing a 10% discount  to those of you who are in the neighborhood for the event.  

Thank you, West End Bakery!

The West End Bakery will be donating cookies to the West Asheville Open Studios event!  You'll find them to nibble on in the studios.  Thank you, West End Bakery!

And, thank you, The Admiral!!

image by Melissa Robinson
Thanks to The Admiral for their donation of a $25 gift certificate to be included in our raffle this weekend, June 9-10th.  The raffle will be happening at The Drygoods Shop.  Tickets are 1 for $3 or 2 for $5.

Thank you, The Hop!

The kind folks at The Hop donated a gift certificate for an 8" ice cream cake to include in our fund raising raffle. Thank you, so much!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thanks WALK!

WALK on Haywood Street donated a gift certificate to West Asheville Open Studios.  Thank you!!  We'll be including this item, along with other donated and handcrafted items, in our raffle.  The raffle proceeds will benefit future West Asheville Open Studios events.  Tickets will be one for $3 or two for $5.  The raffle will be happening at The Dry Goods Shop on Haywood Rd.

Mimi Strang

Mimi Strang's studio has been at 15A Domino Lane since 2004.  She's trained in ceramics and for years did architectural tile work.  She's currently focusing on sculptural work in welded steel.

7 Ton Letterpress Collective

7 Ton Letterpress Collective (http://www.7tonletterpress.com/) is a little studio in West Asheville devoted to letterpress printing, books, graphic design, calligraphy, paper goods, invitations & shenanigans. The collective includes four artists and friends: Bridget Elmer of Flatbed Splendor (http://flatbedsplendor.com/), Beth Schaible of Quill & Arrow Press (http://www.bethschaible.com/), Kelly Kelbel of Tiny Story Factory (http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinystoryfactory?ref=ss_profile), and Ele Annand of Two Step Press (http://eleanorannand.com/twosteppress/greetingcards/).

Bridget Elmer is an artist, bookmaker and letterpress printer. She is the sole proprietor of Flatbed Splendor, the co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts, and serves as a teaching artist at a variety of institutions including Asheville BookWorks, Penland School of Crafts and Ox-Bow.

Beth Schaible of Quill & Arrow Press is a letterpress printer, calligrapher, and bookbinder. 
She studied graphic design at Shepherd University and was a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts.

Kelly Kelbel is a neophyte printer, zinemaker, and community builder in the early stages of exploring the merging of letterpress with critical theory but really she just wants to print a poster for your show or sleeves for your vinyl. In the meantime, she makes simple cards for folks to engage in interpersonal communication in the hand-written form.

Eleanor Annand is an artist and designer. The uniqueness of one persons mark to the next, the expressive qualities of line and the development of visual history are at the root of her work. She create prints, drawings and books that tell the story of her line. 

Thank you Desoto Lounge!

Desoto Lounge is a little slice of big city bar tucked into West Asheville. We offer a full bar with a heavy contingent of local beers on tap. The kitchen puts out scratch made food until one in the morning. Desoto Lounge has a game room in the back featuring a ping pong table, foosball and pinball machines. And don't miss the secret patio in the back!

The folks at Desoto Lounge made a cash donation to the West Asheville Open Studios.  Thank you!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you Short Street Cakes!

We are so grateful to Jodi Rhoden and Short Street Cakes for providing cakes for the West Asheville Open Studios both days, in the studios.  I can say from personal experience (probably too much personal experience) that these are going to be yummy.

Short Street Cakes is a family-owned Cake Shop located at 225 Haywood Road in West Asheville.  Their cakes are 100% natural and make from scratch, and represent the very best in the classic tradition of Southern Cakes.

Stop by and have a slice!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dustin Spagnola

Dustin Spagnola is a contemporary visual artist who has shown and created work in NYC, Miami, New Orleans, Richmond, Atlanta, Washington, DC  and in his home, Asheville, NC.  

His work is often political in nature and eschews corporate advertising and graffiti culture alike. He created the meme, bush holding the obama mask, which circled the planet via the internet. 

Here's a recent article on Dustin's new work in the Mountain Express.  Dustin's studio is at 474 Haywood Rd, Suite 120.

Amber Mahler of Mani Designs

In Amber's words:

I’m a California girl living in North Carolina. I learned to use my hands as a metalsmith/jeweler in craft school in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Learning a craft gave me a wholeness in a new way and offered a path to follow. 

Karl Blossfeldt’s black and white photographs of plants and seedpods inspire me. The intelligence of shapes is endlessly fascinating and seems to point to the plant’s consciousness.

Years ago, my favorite poet told me that I must learn the names of the flowers, rivers and trees in my surroundings if I was ever to write good poetry. Those words sank in and indirectly led me to this work of studying plants. I think there is poetry in my work, it comes from continued observation and the premise that beauty has meaning.


The seedpods, flowers, buds and twigs in my botanical series are collected from my walks in the woods near my home. They are lost wax cast silver and gold originals of the actual flowers and branches that I gathered.  This commitment to "live casting" insures that I must continually forage for or grow in my garden new material to be cast.  

The beauty of the lost wax technique is that each casting is entirely unique. By pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible with this process, I have captured very detailed organic matter, I think not yet seen before in metal. Each season, sprung from the live castings, I offer a number of new and limited edition production items.

I use plants as my source because of the natural beauty inherent in all plant life- the perfect repeating patterns and intelligence of shapes.  I attempt to reveal the inner workings of the plant, so that this inner, often hidden, beauty may be transmitted to the wearer.

Amber's studio, Mani Designs, is located at 15B Domino Lane.

Robin Vanvalkenburgh of Runny Bunny

Robin Vanvalkenburgh of Runny Bunny has lived and worked as a ceramic artist in Asheville since 1997.  She graduated from Kansas State ceramic arts program where she studied under Yoshiro Ikeda.  She studied under Mark Burns as a freshman at the University of Arizona in 1983, and he has remained a major influence in her work over the years.  

Robin currently as work available in seven different countries.  She did a short artist series run for Urban Outfitters in 2010 and is currently working on a line for DKE toys which will be out this summer.  

She makes the runny bunny figures in her West Asheville home and finishes them at Flash Studios, 307 Waynesville Avenue, in West Asheville.  Robin will be at Flash Studios for both days of the stroll, June 9th & 10th, with work and laughter.

You can learn more about Robin at her websiteher blog, and shop at her etsy site.

We'll be introducing you to more of our artists over the coming days and weeks as we get ready for our very first West Asheville Studio Stroll!