Tiles and Tenons Galore: The National Arts and Crafts Conference Demonstrators

by Kate Nixon


The New York Times called it “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts Collectors” – and as the National Arts and Crafts Conference returns to the Grove Park Inn in February of 2020, the conference will offer plenty of up-close educational opportunities to learn the finer details of the Arts and Crafts pieces we love.

One of these opportunities, which is completely free for conference attendees and is included with general admission into the exhibitor shows, is the yearly conference demonstration: a free up-close educational opportunity for collectors and Arts and Crafts enthusiasts of all experience levels to enjoy and learn from.  Every year, we bring in artisans at the top of their field with decades of experience, ready to reveal the processes and educate the public on your favorite Arts and Crafts style art and furniture.


Peg Morar – “The Making of An Arts and Crafts Tile”

Tile by Peg Morar Studio. Photo courtesy of Peg Morar.


If you’ve ever wanted to learn how a tile is made, “The Making of An Arts and Crafts Tile” might be the thing you need. Peg Morar of Asheville’s own Peg Morar Studio will be on hand to present her process in 20-minute sessions. A return conference demonstrator and a ceramic artist with more than 40 years of experience in tile making and public art, Peg is well known in the Asheville area as a potter and in Atlanta, GA for her sculpting abilities.

Peg will reveal the process of tilemaking in her demonstration “The Making of An Arts and Crafts Tile,” bringing her decades of expertise to the conference as she’ll show the basics of tile making, meant for observers of all experience ranges. As an experienced teacher, she creates an easy-to-understand process of tile carving and designing, showing a tile mold in different staging and showing examples of glazed and non-glazed pieces with her standard blue and green glazes.


David Van Epps – “Mortise and Tenon Joinery”

Line drawing of mortise and tenon joint. Drawn by Pearson Scott Foresman. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


A collector and woodworker for more than 50 years, David Van Epps of Northwoods Restoration will return to the Grove Park Inn to teach attendees about the finer details of Arts and Crafts furniture.

For 2020, David will teach attendees about mortise and tenon joinery and will bring plenty of examples to show. Known as the strongest joint in woodworking, a mortise and tenon joint connects adjoining two pieces of wood or other material through a mortise hole and a tenon tongue. David’s informal demonstration will be designed for Arts and Crafts woodworkers as well as collectors with furniture that have mortise and tenon joinery. Attendees can expect to learn about the 12 different varieties of mortise and tenon joinery, their different uses, the advantages and disadvantages of each, how to identify false tenons – and of course, David will answer any questions you may have during these informal sessions.


Please visit the website of the National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows at www.arts-craftsconference.com for updated information on the conference.