Woodfin couple to show works at Craft Fair

by Dryridgeinn on July 7, 2014

For the past five years, Erin and Jason Janow have worked in side-by-side basement studios in their Woodfin home.

The two are separated by a staircase and doorway. Jason, a jewelry designer and metalsmith, will pop over during his lunch break, Erin says, to stand and eat while she continues to form clay handles for her mugs, for instance.

Other times, Erin will pause during pottery production to be a jewelry model; Jason will ask her to try on a necklace to make sure it hangs just right.

They work with and by each other, encouraging and supporting along the way. But in this year’s 67th annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, opening July 17, the duo will debut their first true collaborative work: A honeypot.

“I think some of our most memorable work will be our collaborative work,” said Jason, who has been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 2007.

Handmade by Erin, the honeypot is a sweet, stout jar with a lid. It’s available in a variety of colors, with a minimalist carving pattern resembling plant life. And Jason’s contribution? A delicate metal honey bee resting on the surface.

The Janows will again be side-by-side at their booths for the semi-annual craft fair, a event that draws some 20,000 visitors downtown each year, according to the guild.

Almost 200 juried artists from the Southern Highland Craft Guild will be selling works of clay, metal, wood, jewelry, fiber, paper, natural materials, leather and mixed media. Styles range from traditional to contemporary craft.

Founded in 1930, the prestigious guild has a membership of more than 900 craftspeople from a nine-state region. Based in Asheville, membership extends to Kentucky, Tennessee, the Virginias, the Carolinas, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama.

Clay artist Erin juried into the guild in January, making this craft fair her first as a vendor. Jason says he’s done at least a dozen fairs.

Erin said she is honored to be a part of the guild family — and its legacy of quality art.

“It’s been around for such a long time; it’s just such a neat group to be a part of,” she said.

Erin began creating pottery while at Indiana University, where she earned a degree in studio art and art history. She next moved to Asheville, and worked for seven years for Weaverville’s Magnum Pottery before launching her own business.

Erin said she likes that pottery is functional — that people use her platters, cups, teapots and serving bowls at their homes.

“I just really love cooking, eating and having friends over,” she said. “I want to make pots that people want to do that with.”

Jason made his first necklace for himself as a teen, after he couldn’t find a piece to buy that he liked. The necklace was made of carved beads, shark teeth and leather.

“It started as a form of self expression,” he said. Soon after, his friends wanted necklaces. “I took a hobby and made it an occupation.”

Today, Janow creates earrings, necklaces and rings with fine metals and stones. Often, the pieces reference the natural world, like his earrings shaped as twigs.

He made it an occupation almost a decade later. After working in carpentry and construction for years, Jason went back to school metalsmithing and jewelry design, graduating from Haywood Community College in 2004.

IF YOU GO

What: The 67th annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

July 17-19 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 20.

Where: US Cellular Center,

87 Haywood St., downtown Asheville.

Admission: Adults $8,

younger than 12 free.

Group discounts available.

Learn more: Visit www.craftguild.org or

call 298-7928.

Entertainment Schedule

July 18

11 a.m. – Ric Ledford & Reems Creek Incident.

1 p.m. – Cane Creek Bluegrass Band.

3 p.m. – Hot Duck Soup

July 19

11 a.m. – Southern Crescent Bluegrass.

1 p.m. – Split Rail.

3 p.m. – Carol Rifkin and Friends.

July 20

11 a.m. – Mountain Friends.

1 p.m. – Buncombe Turnpike.

3 p.m. – Moore Brothers Band.

Also look out for craft demonstrations throughout the show from these artists:

• Rita deMaintenon: heritage lace.

• Carla Fillipelli: creative basketry.

• Ronnie McMahan: woodcarving.

• Lenny Moore: blacksmithing.

• Sandra Rowland: sunprinting.

• Arts for Life: children’s activities.

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