Crafting Futures: Exploring the Vibrant Community of Haywood Community College's Professional Crafts Program

Crafting Futures: Exploring the Vibrant Community of Haywood Community College's Professional Crafts Program

In the heart of Western North Carolina, the echoes of traditional craftsmanship resonate through the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing the perfect home for Haywood Community College (HCC). HCC's Professional Crafts Program. This learning mecca stands as a beacon for artisans seeking to hone their skills and embark on a journey of creativity and entrepreneurship.

Episode 30 of ArtsvilleUSA’s podcast sheds light on the essence of this program, featuring a captivating conversation with textile artist and instructor Amy Putansu and woodworking instructor Brian Wurst. Together, they unravel the intricacies of HCC's Professional Crafts Program, painting a vivid picture of its accessible nature and profound impact on both students and the broader craft community.

Episode 30 on HCC with Amy Putansu and Brian Wurst

At the core of HCC's program lies a commitment to fostering fine craftsmanship alongside entrepreneurial acumen. From clay to fiber art, jewelry to woodworking, students are immersed in a curriculum that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation. What sets this program apart is not just its emphasis on technical mastery but also its holistic approach to nurturing the next generation of artisans.

Brian Wurst, an esteemed woodworking instructor, shares insights into what makes HCC's program unique. His journey from student to teacher mirrors the program's ethos of continuous learning and growth. With a deep-rooted passion for woodworking and a dedication to passing on his skills, Brian embodies the spirit of craftsmanship that defines HCC.

Amy Putansu, a distinguished textile artist, provides a glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of HCC's community. She highlights the accessible application process and the diverse backgrounds of students who flock to HCC to pursue their creative passions. Amy's own journey as an artist underscores the program's transformative potential, equipping students with the tools they need to thrive in an ever-evolving craft landscape.

As Amy and Brian reflect on the future of craft in America, they envision a tapestry woven with threads of tradition and innovation. They celebrate the enduring legacy of Western NC's craft history while embracing fresh, contemporary perspectives that push the boundaries of what is possible. Through their anecdotes and insights, they illustrate the symbiotic relationship between craft making and economic development, showcasing the pivotal role artisans play in shaping local communities.

Central to HCC's program is the integration of entrepreneurship into artistic practice. Brian and Amy share anecdotes of how they've navigated the intersection of creativity and commerce, offering valuable lessons for aspiring artisans. Their humorous tales, including Louise's misadventures at the annual Penland School of Craft auction, underscore the camaraderie and joy that permeate HCC's community.