September Musings

Like myself, I suspect you have turned the page on the calendar this week and faced the realization that summer is over.

Here in the office, the first of September marks the end of our “steady, but not rushed” work on preparations for the next February’s National Arts and Crafts Conference to some serious deadlines, pressing exhibitors for booth commitments, speakers for presentation titles, businesses for ad spaces, and printers for brochures.

And this year marks yet another major milestone, as we prepare for the 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the historic Grove Park Inn overlooking Asheville.

Thirty years.

Three decades.

More than three hundred seminars and small group discussions.

And sixteen individuals who have attended every conference since 1988.

Plus dozens more who have attended ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five of our conferences.

That speaks to the staying power of the Arts and Crafts movement. That speaks to the fact that we are drawn not to a fad temporarily endorsed by celebrities, but instead to a philosophy that respects hand-craftsmanship, honest materials, durable construction, inspiration from nature, and designs void of false decoration or unnecessary ornament.

The simple life — and the rewards which come with it: serenity, less stress, time with our family, and a greater appreciation for the values in life which we cherish and respect.

I was also thinking this past week of four of my friends who recently decided to forego their period Arts and Crafts homes located in busy cities in exchange for ranch houses out in the country. I knew well how conflicted they had to have been, for I once spent twelve years restoring a 1914 Arts and Crafts house – then moved to a seventies’ rancher out in the country.

Any regrets?

Not a one.

We discovered that once you paint the walls Arts and Crafts colors, replace inappropriate carpeting with Arts and Crafts rugs, bring in Arts and Crafts furnishings, and compliment them with art pottery, metalware, textiles, and artwork, it becomes an Arts and Crafts home.

For the Arts and Crafts philosophy is internal, not external.

Until next Monday,

Tell someone today how much you appreciate the work they are doing.


Top: One of the two fireplaces in the Great Hall, where everyone loves to hang out during the Arts and Crafts Conference.

Middle: An Arts and Crafts living room.

Lower: The dining room in the same house.