The artisans of Alexandria, Virginia are devoted to safeguarding the region's traditional crafts and techniques, such as quilting, spinning, soap making, weaving, woodworking, and ceramics. These crafts have been passed down from generation to generation in many cultures around the world, and by supporting them we can help to protect cultural heritage and promote sustainable practices. For instance, the use of wood furnaces in the production of ceramics can reduce the energy needed to ignite the furnace and create unique textures and colors. At Qualla Arts, members create baskets, carvings, jewelry, and other pieces using techniques that have been passed down for centuries.
Many of these artisans have achieved national acclaim with their work being featured in galleries such as the Smithsonian and abroad. The RIVERS TO RIDGES CRAFT ROUTE in Dickenson and Buchanan Counties offers visitors a glimpse into the rich artisanal tradition of quilt-making, carving, canning, music, and dance. Artisanal preservation and traditional craftsmanship play an important role in sustainable living, preserving culture, and promoting quality and durability. In Smyth County, craft festivals, farmers' markets, and wineries showcase artisans who are passionate about their work and rooted in mountain traditions. By visiting these places we can gain an understanding of how tradition, art, and simplicity are intertwined. The GILES ART AND ADVENTURE TRAIL in Giles County is home to artisans who create unique pieces through carving, molding, fusing, painting, and quilting. The lifestyle of these artisan communities allows us to appreciate a world where tradition is still alive. Iris is the founder and designer of Delruby who works with Nepalese artisans to create stunning hand-woven blankets and shawls.
Many of these artisans live in modest homes built with locally sourced materials such as clay, straw or bamboo. The WOVEN CRAFT TRAIL OF MOUNTAINS AND RIVER BENDS in Grayson County is a great place to refresh your spirit while exploring the area's highest peaks. Here you will find artisans who are inspired by their culture to create masterpieces that reflect their rich heritage. The LONESOME PINE CRAFT TRAIL in Wise County and Norton is home to many talented artisans who capture the beauty of Virginia's mountains, seascapes, pastures and forests on virtually any media of your choice. Artisans often collaborate with each other which helps foster an enabling environment. Finally, the FLOYD COUNTY ROUTE is the largest artisan community in Southwest Virginia. Here you will find artisans specializing in pottery, weaving, carpentry, metalwork and many other skills.
Take home a piece of their work to remember your visit!Preserving traditional crafts and techniques is essential for maintaining cultural heritage while promoting sustainable practices. By supporting local artisans we can help ensure that these crafts are passed down from generation to generation. Visiting places like Qualla Arts or the RIVERS TO RIDGES CRAFT ROUTE can give us a glimpse into the rich artisanal tradition of quilt-making, carving, canning, music, and dance. We can also explore the GILES ART AND ADVENTURE TRAIL or WOVEN CRAFT TRAIL OF MOUNTAINS AND RIVER BENDS to appreciate how tradition is still alive.
The LONESOME PINE CRAFT TRAIL or FLOYD COUNTY ROUTE offer visitors a chance to take home a piece of their work as a reminder of their visit.