By | November 2, 2019
Tina Phelps of Good Enough Place showcases her pen and ink artwork. Photo credit: Jenna Bailey
Rutherford County, NC – October 30, 2019 – As people become increasingly dependent on technology as their source for nearly everything, from news and communication to even grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments, the artisans of the Rutherford County Farmers Market explain why learning the art of anything handmade is both important and rewarding for a culture forgetting how to create something from scratch.

In addition to the diverse assortment of meats and produce available on Saturdays at the Rutherfordton County Farmers Market, the artisans of Rutherford County showcase their talents through the handiwork on display. Homemade soaps, knitted goods, jewelry, arts and crafts, and more tell the story of the time, craftsmanship and skill behind each artist.

Tina Phelps of Good Enough Place specializes in watercolor, and pen and ink artwork. She emphasizes why learning trade crafts is important and beneficial for people in a technology-rich world.

“Art is important because it allows us to access our emotions,” explains Phelps. “In an increasingly technology-dominated world, we also become more isolated both from other peoples’ emotions and our own. Dance, music, sculpture, poetry, painting and other fine arts open up our capacity to feel.”

While the interest in trades seems to have dropped significantly, Danielle Jones of Jones Family Farm, whose family produces a wide selection of farm goods, arts and crafts, is starting to notice a positive change in the trend.

“Thankfully, in recent years, many young people have started showing an interest in getting back to the roots of handcrafted goods. Our trades were at risk of being totally steamrolled by technology and we find it so important and therapeutic to get our hands dirty, use our creativity, and really get back to what’s real, what’s unique, and what cannot be made by a machine.”

Jones – a potter who has spent over 30 years specializing in unique, hand-built ceramic beads that are crafted into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces – explains what makes a homemade product more rewarding than something commercially sourced:

“Handmade has character. Handmade is a one-off, special creation. The craftsmanship of a handmade piece is unlike anything a machine can emulate. Handmade is detailed, cared for from start to finish, and it’s totally unique,” said Jones.

The Rutherford County Farmers Market features several types of arts and crafts giving shoppers many unique items to peruse according to General Manager David Hislop.

“Western North Carolina has a long-standing heritage of handmade, artisanal crafts. We are proud to support a variety of local artisans, whose products are created from scratch. Shopping for locally-made goods is an excellent way to support the local economy, plus they are one of a kind,” said Hislop.

In addition to the uniqueness of handmade items, Linda Bond of Wild Heart Herb Farm shares the health benefits of homemade products. A soap-maker for 15 years, Bond makes salves, healing oils and therapy pillows from the herbs she grows on her farm. She is also a breast cancer survivor who discovered the health benefits of Kombucha through her own use of the product when she started brewing her own.

“I have had breast cancer and when I learned about Kombucha, I was determined to give it a try in my battle against cancer,” shared Bond. “It has helped me in so many ways that I never expected. Being a soap maker, I decided to use it to make soap. I was thrilled to hear the wonderful reviews I got from my customers. One of my customers sent me photos of how my Kombucha soap had smoothed her acne scars and how pleased this made her feel.”

Linda Bond with her collection of homemade soaps from Wild Heart Herb Farm. Photo credit: Jenna Bailey
For anyone looking to learn an art, craft or trade, Phelps encourages people to begin by taking classes and trying several things until they find something that interests them.

“When you find the craft that speaks to you, find a master in the craft. Your teachers give you skills, and with practice you will learn to speak through your art,” said Phelps.

Phelps offers additional tips for people interested in the arts specifically:

“Draw every day, even if you like to work in pottery, glass, or sculpture, because by drawing what you see you become more observant. Practice every day. At first you may not think much of your results. But if you enjoy the process, that is all that matters. Don’t let critics or that critic in your head discourage you.”

About the Rutherford County Farmers Market
Learn more about the unique and handmade arts and crafts and the craftspeople behind the creations at every Saturday at the Rutherford County Farmers Market May through October at 172 Park Square in Forest City, NC. These talented artisans and farmers will also be showcasing their goods at the Rutherford County Farmers Market Winter Market on the first and third Saturdays in November through March from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The Winter Market is located inside Main Street Market on 211 N. Main Street in Rutherfordton, NC. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/rutherfordmarket. To sign up to be a vendor, please contact 828-287-6011 or email rutherfordfarmersmarket@gmail.com.