Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (21) View all

Western Carolina University

Craft Revival

Allanstand Cottage Industries display

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mountain craftsmen formed the cornerstone of a revived interest in things handmade to create a movement known as the Craft Revival. During the Revival, North Carolina makers shaped clay, in turn shaping the attitudes and values that contribute to today’s appreciation of the handmade object. Makers wove cotton, linen, and wool, weaving a sense of community that contributes to a strong sense of place. Craftsmen hammered metal, forging partnerships to effect change. Artisans worked with wood, building a regional economy based on individual talent and entrepreneurship. Craft Revival activities emphasized quality, individuality, and workmanship. These values remain evident in a 21st-century region that is both dynamic and progressive. Although craftsmen left few written records, their stories survive in samples of their work, accounts of their sales, and newspaper clippings celebrating their talents.