Brad Earnhardt, Classical Guitar

Performance & Instruction – Room 16


Brad began his studies at the North Carolina School of the Arts for high school and college in Winston-Salem. There, he studied under Larry Almeida and Aaron Shearer. He continued on with graduate school at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying under David Tanenbaum and the University of Arizona under Thomas Patterson. While in music school he had master classes and private lessons with some of the world’s most renowned artists including:  Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, David Russell, Bruce Holzman, Oscar Gighlia, David Leisner, Dusan Bogdonavic, Scott Tennant and Ricardo Cobo. Brad has performed in solo and ensemble concerts for guitar societies and other organizations across the country as well as performed on PBS with tenor Cornelius Young. Brad moved to Asheville, NC, in 1995 where he performs around the western North Carolina region and at the Biltmore House regularly.  He is currently the president of the Asheville Classical Guitar Society.

Brad’s teaching is largely based on Aaron Shearer’s methodology (having had five years of pedagogy with him at NCSA) which consists of solid technique, reading music, music theory with the ultimate goal being performance.

Samantha Sabine

Fiber Arts – Rooms 24 & 25


Samantha Sabine got into the fiber arts 5 years ago after a difficult move away from family and friends, teaching herself to crochet after a long hunt for the perfect pair of…(drum roll please!)… slippers. It was a rough road to start, having dabbled in brief amounts of knitting at the ripe age of 6, and not picking it back up for the next 20 years, it had to be similar, right? Nope. Nada. Not EVEN close. She started with a simple basic shape… a rectangle. Well, it ended up with a weird warp and kind of curved to the right, and happened to be made from green yarn. These days, this testament to a rough starts hangs on her Christmas tree as “The Christmas Pickle” and the term “Practice makes pickles” can be heard each time a learning experience error happens. Fast forward 5 years, her crochet is much better (thanks youtube!), she has taught herself to knit (again, but better), dabbled in weaving, whirled a drop spindle, spun on a wheel, and found out her true love in fiber.. is to dye it.

Almost 3 years ago, after yet another move, and a desire to expand her creative skills into new fiber areas, she looked into dyeing yarn and other materials for her projects as a way to learn a process from start to finish. At the same time, her favorite yarn retailer was also uprooting and looking for a new place from which to grow their business, settled in Charlotte, and put out the call for local dyers. It was a match! Fast forward to now, Samantha is a full time dye artist for Expression Fiber Arts, still expanding her skill set, always thinking of new colors, combinations, applications, and enjoying every minute of it.

Spies Design

Jewelry – Room 10


Klaus found his love for jewelry in his early teens and was fascinated by all the possibilities to create beautiful things. Growing up in Europe, he was touched by the masterworks of the goldsmithing tradition almost as old as mankind. After traveling extensively, and pursuing his craft in Berlin, Germany, he moved to Chicago, IL in 1999 and started Spies Design. In 2008 he moved to Asheville where he now has a studio and showroom in the city’s lively downtown. During the last 20 years, he has experimented with all kinds of techniques, but the learning process in the art of goldsmithing never ends. Aside from creating new collections, he is always experimenting with new materials and methods.

Creating jewelry as a way to express himself, Klaus gets his ideas by observing his surroundings wherever he is: in nature by looking at the patterns of plants or animals, in the cities by watching the people, in dreams by listening to his inner voice. He uses a wide variety of goldsmithing techniques like chasing, fabricating, wax carving, casting etc. Over the years he has developed my own style, aiming for perfection in craftsmanship while still breaking the rules of joyless, classical, industrialized jewelry.

Erica Stankwytch Bailey

Jewelry – Room 9


Erica’s work is both organic and architectural, and is created from the visual fragments of a life of collecting images. She inspects the world in great detail and has always collected shells, seedpods, stones and interesting organic elements. Her studio often resembles a laboratory with trays of specimens lined in rows. The walls and pages of her sketchbook are covered with myriad images of her world from nano-photography of plant life to the expansiveness of the Grand Canyon. In designing, making and living she sees a strong relevance for the smallest things within the larger context; the seed that becomes a plant, the jewelry on the wearer, our planet within the universe. She uses a variety of techniques in an effort to create pieces that are tactile and invoke in the wearer a sense of personal attachment.

Valeria Watson

Mixed Media – Room 4


Valeria lives in Asheville, North Carolina, city of hopes, dreams and delusions. Awakening from delusions that harm self and others is the central core, motive, power, blessing and message of her work. She creates healing environments. Matrices of higher dimensions intersecting with our own flat land experience. She is a Priestess of Osun and a minister, and uses her art and performance to infuse love and healing energy into the very fiber of the process and objects.

The indigenous Adire Indigo of the Yoruba and Kenyan and Moroccan textiles ripple through my work. She traveled to the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, to visit the renowned El Anatsui after first seeing the beauty of his work in Berlin in 2010 in the citywide installation ‘Who Knows Tomorrow.’ His monumental works were draped on a major museum in the city. She shall ever be convinced of the fact that size does matter. Seeing his monumental works changed her forever.

His studio had the distinct air of a zen monastery. She got to see how he worked with locals who would come to work for the day and be paid for the work done, free agents. When she asked how she could do monumental work, he said, “join your smaller works together.” And thus she now joins her work as a costumer, painter, performer in one interior space, seeking to be the “El Anatsui of interior space.”

Zander Stefani

Painting and Illustration – Room 3


Zander Stefani has always been an emotional being; ever since his childhood he has sought out expression as a way to dilute the intensity of existence. Zander was born in Toronto, CA and spent the first five years of his life in the mountains of Vermont. From that point forward he moved around the east coast with his family. He ended up in coastal Connecticut where he spent the majority of his schooling years. He was lucky enough to travel around Europe at quite a young age which opened his eyes to the grander possibilities of this life. He went to Savannah College of Art and Design where he got his BFA in painting and illustration. He is currently living and working in Asheville, NC.

Zander’s work displays the unfolding story of his spiritual journey. Each piece unlocks an additional component of a never ending narrative. His work has intertwining tones of otherworldliness and street style, bringing to light the palpable connection between the pure expression of graffiti and the intense meditation of spirituality. Inspired by his idealized view of the world around him, Zander will never give up the fight to bring harmony and love alongside him wherever he goes. He believes there are no limits to what can be created and looks forward to exploring infinite possibilities in this lifetime.

Laura Wood

Jewelry – Room 2


Laura Wood is a full time jewelry artist living in Asheville, North Carolina. Her newly relocated studio is in the Refinery Creator Space in the downtown South Slope District. Her work has been selected for many exhibitions throughout the United States, including The Contemporary Jewelry Show at the Penland Gallery (NC), Shift: Makers that Define, Expand, and Contradict the Field of Art Jewelry at the Grunwald Gallery (IN), and the Lydon Emerging Artist Exhibition (LEAP) at the Society for Contemporary Craft (PA) and most recently as a 2015 SNAG Emerging Jewelry Artist at the annual Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design Expo (SOFA) in Chicago, Illinois. Her work can be found in select galleries in the United States and in the permanent collections of the Gregg Museum of Art at North Carolina State University and The Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin. Publications include, 500 Paper Objects (Lark Crafts, 2013), Behind the Brooch (Shiffer Publishing, 2014), American Craft (2012), and Metalsmith (2014).