Appalachian Craft Center

Appalachian Craft Center: Highlighting the Region's Finest Potters and Woodworkers
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Discover the beauty of local pottery and woodwork at the Appalachian Craft Center, which brings a variety of stunning works to Asheville's downtown district and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. This lovely store allows you to support a thriving local community of artisans while enjoying the fruits of their labor.

- The Local Expert Team

For nearly four decades, the Appalachian Craft Center has brought the beauty of traditional crafts to the heart of Asheville. The store’s main objective is — and has always been — to help local potters continue their craft and uphold a valuable local tradition. This lofty mission is accomplished by providing the region’s best artisans with a convenient retail outlet, which serves not only to sell top items, but also to increase awareness of local crafts among residents and tourists alike. The store’s intricate and colorful pottery takes many forms, including mugs, bakeware, and occasionally, even birdhouses. Many items reflect classic Appalachian aesthetics while still fitting Asheville’s contemporary vibes.

Since the original store opened, the Appalachian Craft Center has moved beyond its initial focus of local pottery to include several other regional crafts and items of interest. Today, the store’s second area of emphasis involves unique items crafted from wood. These products draw attention to the many beautiful hardwoods of the region, including basswood, black walnut, cherry, maple, and oak. From furniture to cutting boards and even utensils, each item is created by a talented artisan — and each tells a unique story. Visitors are especially fond of the store’s flock of handcrafted birds, which are carved from basswood to reflect the region’s top species.

In addition to wood products and pottery, the Appalachian Craft Center stocks glass items from the Blenko Glass Company, books from a variety of local authors, locally designed jewelry, and gorgeous etchings. Several delicacies can also be found in the store, although these may rotate occasionally based on seasonal availability. Favorites include honey, jam, jelly, and apple butter. Most of these items come in simple Mason jars, adorned with labels highlighting their Appalachian origin. Whether you’re on the hunt for a gift or simply want a treat to enjoy on your own, the goodies offered at the Appalachian Craft Center are sure to satisfy.

Although best known for its flagship location, the Appalachian Craft Center actually maintains two separate shops in Asheville. The first — known simply as Appalachian Crafts — is conveniently situated on Spruce Street in the downtown district. Typically referred to as Appalachian Too, the second location is located inside the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. Both stores are worth visiting. If, however, you’re limited to evening shopping, you’ll definitely want to hit up Appalachian Too. While this hotel store carries similar items to those display in the flagship location, it also features a small selection of hotel necessities. For sheer selection and proximity to other cute shops, however, the original Appalachian Crafts may be your best bet.

No matter which location you check out, you will be pleased by the beautiful selection the Appalachian Craft Center’s experts have worked so hard to cultivate. One quick glance at the shop’s broad array of designs, and you will realize that traditional craftsmanship is alive and well in Asheville.

Insider Tips:
– There’s no need to worry about transporting your favorite purchase home; the staff members at the Appalachian Craft Center are happy to assist you with shipping. Typically, most items are shipped via FedEx. In select cases, USPS may be called upon for small trinkets. Refunds or store credit may be available for items damaged while shipping.
– Don’t be alarmed if the packaging for your shipment initially looks a bit odd; the store primarily uses repurposed and recycled materials in an effort to remain as eco-friendly as possible.
– The Appalachian Craft Center regularly participates in Asheville’s Art in the Park. This popular summer series brings the region’s finest artisans to Pack Square Park. Stop by to check out the Appalachian Crafts booth and to learn more about the art scene in Asheville.
– They offer glass-blowing demonstrations on Fridays.