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Karen Casey and Arlen Custer

karen casey glass artist

Karen Casey and Arlen Custer

Karen Casey Fused Glass Designs, Durham, North Carolina

Karen Casey and Arlen Custer are Durham NC artists who have worked with glass for over 30 years. 

They love color and interesting shapes for their glass pieces. You will find fused glass jewelry, hair accessories, vases, dishes. Designs from elegant to wild!

They have specialized in fused glass for about the last 15 years. Glass pieces are cut, designed and fused in a kiln. Pieces that have a shape such as bowls and vases go in the kiln a second time to be slumped into shape.

A combination of dichroic glass and other fusible glass give their pieces a unique look and make each piece one of a kind.

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About Karen Casey

Karen is also the owner of The Artisan Market at 305 located in downtown Durham. She is excited to have a woman-owned business and appreciates Durham’s inclusive, welcoming and diverse reputation. The storefront at 305 is the home for Karen’s art as well as around 40 other local artists from across North Carolina. In addition to being an artist, Karen is a speech language pathologist with the specialty of augmentative communication.

She is incredibly grateful that her husband is also very artistic, handy and has enthusiastically joined in all her endeavors and provided hours of support.

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NC Handmade
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Frumet Raskin-Miller

Frumet Raskin-Miller

LateBloomerPottery, Durham, North Carolina

Favorite materials :
Stoneware clays
Food safe glazes/underglazes
Terra sigillata
Porcelain slips
Handmade stamps
Tools, tools and more tools

Favorite techniques:
Throwing on the pottery wheel, handbuilding and combining these techniques, to make all kinds of functional items. 
Decorating by carving, slipping, resisting, painting, stamping and more, just adds to my delight in creating.​

Favorite things to make:
A wide variety of items for the home, particularly beautiful, functional pottery used for cooking,  baking, serving, eating and drinking.
Yarn bowls and buttons for those of us who knit and crochet.

And seasonal items such as Fall leaf platters and Christmas ornaments, as well as ritual items, such as  Menorahs, Seder plates and Shabbat candle stick holders, have found their way into Frumet’s heart and hands!

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About Frumet Raskin-Miller

Frumet came to this passion relatively late in Life, after spending many years as an early childhood special educator, dance therapist and gestalt psychotherapist. 

 She began making pottery as a hobbyist in 2001, but it wasn’t until 2010, when she and her husband retired and moved to North Carolina, that she dove into the process. Soon, Frumet set up a small home studio, her “garagio,”  where she could experiment and create functional pottery.  When she had more pieces than she could store or give as gifts, Frumet ventured out into the world of craft shows, craft markets and online stores.  LateBloomerPottery was born! 

Frumet says, “It is important to me that my pottery is well-made and can stand up to the rigors of time and of use in a household.  The curve of the bowl, the softness of a rim, the size and shape of a handle, the arch of a spout, the fit of a lid, are just some of the details  that I consider as I work at my craft.  In the end, I want people to enjoy looking at, holding and using the pottery that I have made and that they have brought into their lives!”

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Pam Washer

Pam Washer at sewing machine

Pam Washer

RagBags, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

All of Pam’s bags are one-of-a-kind — made without using patterns.

They are made on a 1958 Singer Featherweight sewing machine that belonged to her husband’s grandmother. She’s made over 3,500 bags on this machine!

Most of the embellishments on Pam’s bags are also repurposed — items such as broken jewelry, vintage buttons, and various decorator tassels and trims.

Pam makes custom bags to order, using any material you might be interested in repurposing. Contact us for details on custom orders.

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About Pam Washer

Pam came to Appalachian State University from Shelby, North Carolina, in the late 1970’s, and never left! She has lived in Blowing Rock for over 35 years and started RagBags in 2005. It all began when a friend of hers wanted her to come up with something to sell in a craft sale she was having. She had never done anything like that before but she saw an article in a magazine about how to repurpose wool sweaters into handbags. She had always liked the idea of repurposing and recycling so she decided to give it a try. She sold almost every bag she made for that sale and was hooked!

Now, RagBags’ handbags are made from a variety of materials — whatever happens to find her! This includes discontinued decorator fabric samples, book covers, carpet samples, game boards, VHS tape, and many others!

Pam’s work may be seen at Monkee’s of Blowing Rock, Blue Ridge Artisan Guild gallery in Wilkesboro, Valle Country Fair in Valle Crucis, Art on the Mountain in West Jefferson, and other seasonal events.

Custom orders available. Please contact us for more information.

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Julie Ottesen

Julie Ottesen making a basket

Artisan

Belle Port Baskets, Belhaven and Traphill, North Carolina

About Julie Ottesen

Shortly after moving to North Carolina in 1987 and building her dream home on Pungo Creek, Julie became fascinated with how baskets could be crafted for a variety of purposes. After immersing herself in the basket-making traditions of the United States through the North Carolina Basket Association, she received a grant to study with Connie and Tom McColley, the renowned Weavers of Wood from West Virginia, where she learned to select her sapling tree, split the wood, hand carve the handle and make her own stakes and caning to create a basket on her own from nature. She also received a grant to study Nantucket Basketry with a very well known Nantucket artist. She also was invited to become a member of The Southern Highlands Craft Guild. Julie has now retired from basketmaking, leaving a treasure trove of unique historical treasures.

Julie has exhibited with The Raleigh Womens Fine Arts Council at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, NY; Mattamuskeet Swan Days, Mattamuskeet, NC; Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild, Elizabeth City, NC; Bank of the Arts, Craven Arts Council & Gallery, New Bern, NC; Beaufort Arts Council, Washington, NC; Yadkin Valley Craft Guild, Elkin, NC; Wilkes Art Gallery, Wtilkesboro, NC and Southern Highlands Craft Show, Asheville, NC.

The artisan's process

Julie’s specialty was Nantucket basketry. Traditionally these are wood-bottomed baskets that are painstakingly woven on wood or cane stakes around a mold. It is a labor intensive process and can take two to four months to complete. The beauty of this style basket comes from the perfection in construction, weaving and finish. Her pieces range in size and detail, from tiny 2.5” baskets to purses with woven or wooden lids and scrimshaw detailing. These heirloom quality pieces become darker and more beautiful with age.

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Cindy Long

Cindy Long at her weaving loom

Artisan

Woven by Design, Boone, North Carolina

Cindy Long’s yarns are from mills in the Carolinas, keeping remnant yarns out of the landfills.

Only plant-based fibers (no wools) are used. These wick heat away from the body instead of holding it in.

Wood buttons are sustainably made by the last wood button manufacturer in North America.

Infinity scarves can be unbuttoned and worn as a regular scarf.

Family lore has it that Cindy Long has played with string since the day she was born. Twenty years ago she saw a sign in a secondhand shop: “This funny-looking thing $50.00.” That funny-looking thing became her first loom, That is how Cindy first got hooked on weaving.

Today this weaver from North Carolina’s High Country creates unique woven pieces, many of the yarns coming from mills in the Carolinas. Cindy shares the joy of weaving through teaching and demonstrating, all while telling the stories of those fiber mills.

Each of Cindy’s pieces is one-of-a-kind. Her scarves, shawls, ponchos, and capes are “Woven by Design and Spirit Inspired.”

Cindy’s work may be seen at several galleries in the High Country, including Gallery of the Mountains at Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC; Rivercross, Valle Crucis, NC; and Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, Blowing Rock, NC. She also typically exhibits at Art in Autumn (the third Saturday in September), in Weaverville, NC, and at the Valle Country Fair (the third Saturday in October), in Valle Crucis, NC.

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