A Passion for Pine Needles: New Village of Yesteryear artisan shares her love of longleaf pine needle baskets

One of Heather Seaman’s core memories are trips with her family at eight-years-old to Edisto Island, South Carolina. It was on these trips she would see a lady on the side of the road making sweet grass baskets. “I think this influenced me as a child,” she said. “I was fascinated by the process even then.” Seaman was no stranger to the crafting world; her mother was a science teacher but also created macramé and flower arrangements. “I was exposed to the culture of the crafting world at a young age. I remember weekends at craft shows with my mom…

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New Craftsmen, Carlee Hawkins, enters the Village of Yesteryear with pen and ink drawings.

The Village of Yesteryear is one of the North Carolina State Fairs most popular and anticipated attractions which includes over 75 artists and crafters creating, displaying and selling time-honored handmade crafts. Each year, new craftsmen are added to expand the village and broaden the type of art that visitors can explore. This year, Gray Works joins the Village of Yesteryear with pen and ink line drawings. Artist, Carlee Hawkins, has been involved in art for just under three years and built her company after graduating from North Carolina State University in December of 2021. As a nutrition major, Hawkin’s passion…

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N.C. Nature is the Star of Artist Jay Pfeil’s Etching and Engraving Limited Edition Prints Featured at the Fair

Art has always been a significant part of Jay Pfeil’s life. She grew up with her mother as an artist who encouraged Pfeil to experiment and work with different mediums early in life. From drawing to painting to sculpting, the 72-year-old Black Mountain artist does it all. Over the last fifty years, you can find Pfeil’s art in private galleries in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.  Once a street artist on the bustling streets of San Francisco and Berkley, Pfeil has preferred the last few decades enjoying the solitude of the mountains of Western North Carolina, specializing in etching and…

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Colorful Functional Viking Art will be New Highlight in the Village of Yesteryear

Hollywood’s portrayal of fierce Viking warriors in movies and T.V. shows during the middle ages has increased the world’s fascination with these Scandinavian Norsemen in the last decade.  Vikings, with their ornate carved shields, terrorized and colonized England for more than three centuries before their demise in 1066. When you think of a Viking, you picture ruthlessness and fearlessness.  “I certainly believe Hollywood can take credit for the Viking era becoming popular in pop culture in 2022,” stated Lenior, N.C. artist Jeremy Buchholz, who created the family’s Klan Rúnda business, along with his wife, Bekah, in 2019. “We feel blessed…

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Primitive Naturalist Jeffrey Gottlieb to Showcase the Making of Cherokee Moccasins at Fair

Opening day of the N.C. State Fair is days away, and artisans participating in this year’s Village of Yesteryear exhibit are preparing to educate fair-goers in the State’s largest hands-on classroom.   Primitive Naturalist, Jeffrey Gottlieb, will be making the trip to Raleigh from Whittier, N.C., to teach the public how to make Southeastern style moccasins, the traditional footwear worn by the Cherokee, Seminole, Creek, and other Southeastern tribes. “Throughout the eleven days of the fair, I will be taking measurements of the foot, cutting out foot patterns in buckskin, and stitching the footwear with gathering pleats just like Native Americans…

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Coin-Cutter Ken Sims will Turn Foreign and U.S. Currency into Unique Jewelry Pieces at N.C. State Fair

Coin-Cut Jewelry

Artist Ken Sims began collecting coins at an early age. His hobby developed out of his love for traveling. He would return from a trip with currency in his pocket and want to keep the coins, whether shiny or dull, to remember his travels, especially foreign currency.  “I was in awe of some of the designs, “ revealed Sims, who will be a new vendor in the Village of Yesteryear at the 2022 N.C. State Fair. “I did nothing with them for a long time. I just put them in a bin, but it wasn’t until I lived in Argentina…

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Raleigh Area Enameled Jewelry Artist Hopes to Inspire Fair Visitors to Craft at any Age

Black and White necklace

You may never know when you will accidentally stumble upon your artwork when you are an artist. Linda Payne, a Fuquay-Varina resident who is very modest about her beautiful jewelry designs, will never forget that one time she stepped into a local Chinese take-out restaurant in the Raleigh area.  “I paid for my food, turned around, and noticed the woman behind me was wearing my black and white enameled earrings. I recognized my work immediately,” recalled Payne.  “She noticed that I looked at her, so I spoke and told her I designed and made the earrings she was wearing. I…

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How a Notorious Doodler Turned Her Doodling Into Functional Wood Burning Art

Martin Birdhouse with Sunflower Design by Jeanette Egan

One of the most popular exhibits at the N.C. State Fair is the Village of Yesteryear. More than 75 crafters dressed in period clothing will spend eleven-hour exciting days educating fair visitors in this “working-artist” interactive exhibit that features traditional heritage handcrafts. Jeanette Egan, who specializes in pyrography and woodburning, will make her Village of Yesteryear debut this October. “I’m in awe to be part of the Village of Yesteryear this year. This is a fabulous opportunity to be able to educate others on the art of wood burning,” said Puerto-Rican artist Jeanette Egan, a descendant of the Taino Boriken…

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Leatherwork artist Yolanda Prince joins Village of Yesteryear

Yolanda Prince has been to the N.C. State Fair twice, once with her school group and then once in 2015. This year, Prince will spend everyday at the fair as one of the craftsman in the Village of Yesteryear. “It is my first year in the Village, however, I learned my craft from the late Mike Lowe, who was a member of the Village of Yesteryear for more than 30 years,” Prince said. “I was interested in learning leatherwork and signed up for a class at the Hiddenite Crafts Center,” she said. “I was the only one that signed up…

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Beth Woody celebrates 50 years in the Village of Yesteryear

Since 1969, Beth Woody of Hillsborough has spent her time at the N.C. State Fair as part of the Village of Yesteryear. Mary Cornwell, the first superintendent of the Village of Yesteryear, invited her to participate in the Village and demonstrate how to make Christmas decorations. Since then, Woody has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, such as sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap and kaleidoscopes. Her first love is marquetry, which she was introduced 40 years ago. “I first saw marquetry from Thayer Frances, another crafter in the Village of Yesteryear. We talked about marquetry…

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