It’s All in the Details: our 2019 Conference Demonstrators

by Kate Nixon


Every year at the National Arts & Crafts Conference, in addition to seminars, small group discussions, book clubs, and other extracurricular activities, we offer demonstrations free of charge for the public to view, featuring artisan professionals at the top of their field. This year, longtime conference demonstrator David Van Epps returns to show his expertise in his many years of furniture crafting, and a new face from an Asheville favorite business – Jennifer Pearson of Frugal Framer – comes to the Grove Park Inn to teach us tips for framing your favorite works of art.


Picture Courtesy of

David Van Epps – “Pegs, Corbels, and Tenons: Arts & Crafts Furniture Details”

Each demonstration will illustrate trim features characteristic of Arts & Crafts furniture and point out those that are unique to one of the recognized masters of the period.  Photos and knock-down samples will be used to illustrate the demonstrated features.   Successive sessions will be devoted to different features allowing participants to learn something new each time.  There will be time in for your questions and discussion of your own special interests.

A longtime demonstrator and supporter of the National Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, David has been a collector and builder of Arts & Crafts furniture for more than fifty years.  While he has built a great many pieces in the styles of several of the Arts & Craft masters, his particular passion, both in his collection and in the shop is the furniture of Charles Limbert, especially Limbert’s Ebon—Oak collection. (He even wrote an article about his specialty – read it here.)  He has also spent countless hours researching the specific construction techniques of each of the masters in an effort to identify what techniques and design features they tend to have in common and which ones are unique to a particular master.


Picture courtesy of


Jennifer Pearson of Frugal Framer  – “Tips for Framing: Art, Textiles & More

In a 2017 article for Capital At Play, Jennifer Pearson wrote several anecdotes about supporting local artists and helping to preserve family pictures, heirlooms, and works of art  – a memorable story she wrote about framing a painting of a customer’s great-aunt, who it turns out had a history all her own. Eva Sacks Lebby was a nurse in the army at the start of World War 2, travelling from South Carolina to North Africa to Italy – and during her time in Italy, her portrait was created. Upon hearing the story of Lebby, Pearson was compelled to preserve the memory of her portrait for her customer, noting how important it was to frame the painting as an homage to Lebby’s legacy. “Eva’s niece conveyed to me that her aunt was a strong female presence in her life, and that preserving and displaying the painting is a way to pay homage to Eva’s life and influence,” said Pearson in the article.

Frugal Framer has been framing art, memorabilia and customers’ unique artifacts since 1975. A sincere sensitivity to customers’ aesthetic ideas, the ability to respond with creative solutions and framing with archival materials and methods of conservation are an important part of Frugal Framer’s dedication to the craft. Jennifer and David Pearson, owners of Frugal Framer will bring their ideas and expertise to the National Arts & Crafts Conference as they present and discuss framing techniques for antique prints, fine art and works on canvas.


Final fitting of Eva Sacks Lebby artwork. Picture courtesy of


Interested in Attending the Demos during the Conference?

The Demos are free and anyone attending the shows – Conference Events Pass holder or ticket paying general public – can attend. The demonstrations will be held in the Taft Room (located in the 8th floor Vanderbilt Wing) in the Contemporary Craftsfirms Show past the exhibitors.

For more information on general admission prices and for updated demo times and locations, check back with the National Arts and Crafts Conference website at


Article has been updated 11/07/18 to better reflect the description of both Frugal Framer and the nature of the framing demonstration.