Jude Stuecker

JUDE STUECKER, Fiber (2004)


I have served on Fair Committee and Membership Committee.

5 year volunteer with Read to Succeed, a literacy program in Asheville city schools.

I have been a guild member since 2004 and have participated in every fair since joining.  I have also participated in Fiber Day and have demonstrated at the Folk Art Center.


The Guild of the future should have a robust membership that inspires and mentors young makers and plays an active role in our region’s prolific crafts scene.  I see us as leaders of the crafts movement — recognized and honored for our strong heritage, rich with knowledge and experience.  I see us connecting to the community through workshops, educational opportunities, a new museum, successful retail shops, and bustling craft fairs.

We have such an inspiring history!  I think we’re at a point in time where people are really interested in learning how this area developed as a crafts center, where tourists want to learn about that history and even take a class to experience it, and to buy something beautiful to take home.  I think that the more people learn about our history and our connection to the craft schools and to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the more people will want to interact and participate.

There are so many talented young crafters in this area, and we definitely need to find a way to bring them into the guild.  We need to be more connected to area organizations like the center for craft, regional craft schools and area colleges, and also to enhance member benefits to appeal to a younger audience.  I think offering workshops and classes could also be a great way to connect with a younger crowd, and a continued focus on growing our social media presence. 

The addition of a craft museum would be amazing.  I see it more of an all-encompassing craft center that houses our extensive collection, curates shows for higher-end craft, offers retail space for our members to sell their work, hosts classes and workshops for tourists (or locals) to take a three hour workshop, is a place where people can grab lunch and listen to some local “mountain” music, hosts special events, and provides educational experiences.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

I also want to see an influx of new members who bring new vision and enthusiasm to our guild.

Finally, I would like to see our presence grown in the areas outside of Asheville with member gatherings, events, and the possibility of retail opportunities.


More than anything, serving on committees has helped me understand just how important it is to participate and volunteer for the guild.  It connects us with each other, strengthens our understanding of how the Guild works, and allows us to see the possibilities of what the Guild can become!  It’s so awesome to be a part of something as long-lasting and dynamic as the Guild – to be a part of this one moment in the Guild’s history and help shape its future.  I’ve served on Fair and Membership committees, and I hope to continue on others in the future. 

The best part about serving on the board for these last three years has been the new connection I feel to other members and staff… a place of “fitting-in” and appreciation for our community.  It feels good to be a part of a team, and to work on things that are bigger than my every-day world. 




Membership Committee 2010-15;  Ad hoc committees to reinstate Allanstand name 2017, to research group insurance possibilities 2011. Served as staff on Education and programing committees 94-98

Wholesale buyer & in-house potter at Mark of the Potter, RoadScholar Coordinator for Lake Junaluska

I have participated in many Fairs & Events as staff and as a Guild member and interviewed and documented elder Guild members.


Craftspeople can exist without the Guild; the Guild cannot exist without Craftspeople. Our continuance relies on engaging younger craftspeople and reconnecting with craftspeople outside of Asheville and North Carolina to strengthen & diversify our membership.

The Guild’s origin story is one of our best marketing tools. Beginning in the 1800s, continuing thru the post war era and back to the land movement, through the transition to college trained & fine arts-oriented membership, the Guild embodies the continuance of the American Craft Movement. I am excited to see a museum space for the Permanent Collection in our near future. The craft objects displayed will be a unique teaching tool representing a broad spectrum of social, political and economic changes in the Southern Appalachians.

Most of the young potters I work with have developed their own marketing strategies with on-line sales and limited wholesale to galleries. I would like for the Guild to ask these new and creative craftspeople what we could offer beyond 2 local fairs, and 3 local shops & and on-line presence that they would find of value. Perhaps we would gain insight on how to increase our services and value to existing and potential members.

I wish for a wonderful well trafficked museum space, a continually expanding on-line shop, & the Guild co-sponsoring retail craft fairs and educational events in partnership with craft and educational organizations across our nine states.


I began with the Guild as retail staff, became Allanstand assistant manager, then Education Coordinator responsible for demonstration schedules, workshops for children and adults, school tours and the two upstairs exhibition spaces along with working with Janet Wiseman interviewing and documenting older Guild members. Served as staff on Education and programing committees 94-98 and organized the first few years of the After Fair receptions. After graduating from HCC in 2003 I became a Guild member and served on Ad hoc committees to reinstate Allanstand name 2017, & to research group insurance possibilities 2011. Outside of the Guild I have worked at New Morning Gallery as Consignment and Office manager, RoadScholar Coordinator for Lake Junaluska and currently Wholesale buyer & in-house potter at Mark of the Potter.

Earlier in life I was sure I knew the answers to most questions. Now, thanks to working closely with craftspeople and elders I am more inclined to see a variety of possible outcomes. I now understand that people can experience the same events and circumstances with differing interpretations. I think this gives me the ability to see and work for the greater good.

Ray Jones Headshot (3)

RAY JONES, Wood (1991)


Standards, Fair, Programs, Standards Study, Permanent Collection

Former board member: Handmade in America, Carolina Mountain Woodturners

I have participated in each July and October Craft fair since I joined the Guild in 1991


I have been honored to serve on the Board for the past three years. Before that, I served on Standards , Collections, Programs and Fair Committees. I bring to the Board the experience of making a living at my craft, woodworking/box-making, for 39 years. I have participated in every July and October fair since I joined the Guild in 1991, and numerous other art shows throughout the country, including some of the biggest and best (and some of the smallest and worst). While serving on the Board I have helped make difficult decisions and have worked with the other Board members to guide our Guild through unprecedented times. My particular efforts have been centered around open communication between the Board and members at large as administrator of the Guild’s Facebook Member’s Forum. I have also served as Board rep to the Standards committee.


Going forward, challenges to the Guild are: working through the remainder of the Covid-19 pandemic, remaining relevant in whatever the new “normal” is, increasing our membership while maintaining our standards of excellence, increasing the number of younger members and appealing to a younger, more digitally inclined audience. I don’t have miracle answers to these issues, but I am willing to work with the rest of the Board to get us there.

ABILITY Expand Zan Barnes




online store subcomittee

Standards (current)

Digital Media officer for the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival

I have participated in both fairs each year since I was accepted, I have done demos at the Folk Art Center and participated in clay day.  I have taught workshops at the Village Potters and am teaching at John C Campbell Folk School.

I also participate in a variety of national juried art fairs and exhibitions each year


I am lucky to have grown up in the shadow of this guild surrounded by long standing members and have a deep affection for this organizations and appreciation for its

deep history and impact in the region.  My greatest goal for the future of the Guild is to keep it as vibrant an organization when I retire as when I joined.  There is no singular clear path to this goal because as we move forward, we have to remain flexible and aware of the greater crafts landscape around us.  Rigid adherence to an older model to success does not serve our organization as we continue to grow and work to engage with new buyers and prospective membership.

I would like to see us build a much stronger network of relationships with other professional arts organizations.  Not only other guilds but also professional organizations that focus on any of our many represented media.  NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) is a wonderfully varied organization serving a broad range of individuals, galleries, teaching centers, and businesses that is just one example of a large audience we aren’t engaged with that is already involved in the same arena and is a possible treasure trove of customers already invested in the arts.  All of our represented medias have similar organizations that I feel would be a valuable jumping off point to expanding our national reputation and significance as well as reach younger prospective members.

ABILITY Expand Matt Tommey

MATT TOMMEY, Natural Materials (2011)


I served on the Ad Hoc Marketing committee Designer Vignettes a couple of years ago.

I’ve served on the boards of the River Arts District, the National Basketry Organization,

and Western Carolina Rescue Ministries. Since 2009 I’ve hosted national and

international conferences for artists, written 5 books and lead an online subscription-based artist mentoring program with over 2000 members from around the world. I have a popular podcast called “The Thriving Christian Artist” which has over 7500 downloads

per week where I teach on the intersection of faith, art and business.


The future of the Guild will be determined by its ability to be a valuable resource to its members and the community at large. The primary focus of

the Guild should be helping artists to thrive financially, artistically and in community with other artists. All other philanthropic endeavors while

important and necessary, should be secondary to this focus. When artists are thriving, they want to give back, educate others and promote the benefits of an organization that brings them incredible value. To that end, the Guild should be focused on empowering artists to thrive in their own businesses, creating opportunities for them to sell and promote their work both online and in person, and become a vital advocate for artists and the art community in the regions it serves.

The guild can engage with new markets and buyers by embracing current and emerging technology, advertising platforms, sales opportunities and strategic partnerships with influencers (individuals and organizations) who are already doing business with our ideal customers.

1) Move the Guild Fairs out of downtown into a more accessible and desirable location more aligned with our ideal clients.

2) Develop a comprehensive online strategy for sales and branding that tells the story of the guild artists in order to engage the marketplace and build sales.

3) Create strategic partnerships within the WNC region (and other viable regions we serve) in order to advocate for artists and build potential sales/promotion venues for artists ie: shows, referrals, community talks, partnerships, etc.


Yes, as long as every option for moving forward is on the table and we can all agree that history and tradition are there to inform and inspire, not to control.

Kelsey Schissel



Annual Meeting Committee and current Chair for Membership Committee

I demonstrate at the FAC once or twice a year and have participated in both the Guild shows since 2013

Regardless of whether or not I am elected I intend to work on building the value of the guild for its members.  I am currently Membership Chair and really enjoy working on this Committee.  One of our 1st projects is creating a membership drive for prospective applicants.   

We [all members] have really great ideas of how to help the guild grow and reach potential members.  I will solicit membership for those ideas and work with the different committees to help accomplish those goals.


I would like to see the Guild become more prestigious in the eyes of fellow artists/makers/crafters and galleries/retail locations.  I would help to accomplish this through marketing and branding of the Guild to galleries and educational centers.   

Basically, we need to become more relevant to a younger generation by understanding how they engage with art/craft, what drives them, what influences them in their decisions.

I want a self-guided artist trail so that we can visit each other’s studios and galleries as well as for tourists to visit our galleries.

I want to see membership grow.

I want more member involvement outside of the Asheville area.   


Currently I am Chair for Marketing and I have gained more insight from this position than any other.  As all committee members do, I have a lot of energy and commitment to see the Guild grow.  I think that one of the things that is holding us back, at this time, is communication about what the different committees are working on.  I think we would benefit from a project manager who can coordinate with all the committees independently of the BOT to help us all move forward.

I love working on group projects and succeeding as a whole.  We are all in this together!