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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Growing up in the Village of Yesteryear

Instead of having visions of sugar plums, Emily Fleenor and Sara Gatilogo dreamed of making corn shuck dolls and painting eggshells throughout their childhood. Fleenor and Gatilogo are the granddaughters of Jim Trantham, an instrument maker in the Village of Yesteryear who served as director for many years. At a young age, the kids and their father, Doug, formed a family band using Trantham’s handmade banjos, guitars and ancient instruments such as dulcimers. Their booth in the Village featured these items for sale, along with CDs they had made of their music. When the girls were seven or eight years…

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Craftsman and craftswoman of the year named in Village of Yesteryear

A fine-art painter and a porcelain-art maker were honored as the craftsman and craftswoman of the year in the Village of Yesteryear at the N.C. State Fair. Walter Creech, a painter and water-colorist from Saxaphaw, and Gay Lord, who works with porcelain, of Orlando, received the honors. “This award is given to one man and one woman each year,” Village of Yesteryear Director Pam Earp said. “All the members of the village vote for who they view as most dedicated to their craft and the village’s mission of demonstration and education.” Creech has been a member of the Village of…

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What’s New at the Village of Yesteryear

  Last year the Village of Yesteryear celebrated it’s 65th birthday at the N.C. State Fair.  And, like many of us, the Village of Yesteryear just gets better with age. It’s a great place to shop for unique, one-of-kind gifts for yourself, or Christmas presents, and to learn a little about heritage crafts and their importance. More than 100 working artists will demonstrate their crafts in the Holshouser Building near Heritage Circle. Crafters include potters, quilters, bowl makers, painters and more.  This year the village welcomes five new craftsmen including a wood turner who makes beautiful hollow Christmas ornaments, a…

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Happy 65th Birthday, Village of Yesteryear

For as long as most people can remember, the Village of Yesteryear has been housed in the circular building with the white roof adjacent to Heritage Circle. It’s within the walls of the Holshouser Building that you not only observe working artists demonstrating heritage crafts, but purchase the art for yourself. For all 65 years, the mission of the Village of Yesteryear has remained the same: Teaching heritage craftsmanship, demonstrating skills and educating the public. Mary Cornwell, a former extension agent for Cherokee and Haywood counties, was the Village of Yesteryear’s first director and served for 38 years. Below is her account of…

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The Village of Yesteryear comes together

Since 1951, the Village of Yesteryear has been part of the N.C. State Fair, showcasing heritage crafts by local artisans. Inside the Holshouser Building, the village is taking shape as craftsmen work to set up their booths. Some craftsmen, such as Duane Raver, have been in the Village of Yesteryear for many years. Raver has been in the Village for the past 32 years showing his wildlife art. Raver was an artist for and editor of the Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine for 20 years. Raver is undeniably talented, and we’re grateful to have him in the Village again this year.  …

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