Monday, March 16, 2009

Grassy Creek Art Studio...Did you know about this?

We argue that Mitchell County and the surrounding areas have THE best art and craft ANYWHERE! It's true. We ran across this story about twins Mary and "Mot" in Little Switzerland who taught art and craft lessons back in the '70s. The twins, age 95, still summer in Little Switzerland. This is just one of the many stories told throughout our hills about the passing down of the love of all things handcrafted. We loved this story and thought you might also! This story was found on the Little Switzerland website at

If you wander down the Grassy Creek Falls Road toward the waterfall, you may notice a small “A” frame cabin on the right that appears as a part of the woods…sort of imbedded into the forest. It clings to the side of that mountain as it slips down to the creek where the landscape creates a set of petite falls which trip endlessly over rocks and fallen trees. It was here in the early 1970’s that Martha Wagoner and Mary Wilson offered art lessons in painting, sketch and pottery. Martha and Mary, twins now aged 95 spend their winters in Newton, NC, but still live here in Little Switzerland in the summertime. Grassy Creek Art Studio offered classes for about 6 years from 1970 to 1976. The twins offered classes in painting, pottery, weaving, metal enameling, lapidary work, wood carving, sculpting, knitting and stitchery. Martha, or Mot as we know her, is a master weaver & spinner as well as a potter. Mary is a painter and taught watercolor and acrylics painting along with some ceramics and china painting. Mot walked down the mountain from her home near Rich Knob every day and Mary walked from her home on High Ridge Road. The trail used by Mot was over the Mountain, not via the road, and is an athletic challenge for anyone, even the fit hiker. Little Switzerland has always been fertile ground for those who enjoy arts and handicrafts. You will find weaving looms in private homes here, easels and pottery wheels, and you will find numerous wood turners, blacksmiths and glass blowers. Each summer The Little Switzerland Homemakers offer an art show & sale at Geneva Hall “Uptown”. These events began with the creation of the Arts and Crafts Co-op, by the students and participants in the Grassy Creek Arts studio. Just as interesting as the studio, is the Mill that once stood adjacent to it. In 1910, our area boasted its own Grist Mill powered by the upper falls there at the studio. Local home farmers carried bags of whole corn on their backs down to the mill and had it ground for their own personal use. Today, the Wilson family has dismantled the mill piece by piece and saved the materials in hopes that one day it can be restored.

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