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The Big Crafty returns for two days of creativity and community

Find one-of-a-kind wares at one of locals’ favorite indie arts and crafts festivals.

People looking at a table filled with colorful ceramics from artist Daniel Garver.

Explore stellar ceramics, like these from Daniel Garver.

Photo via The Big Crafty

Since Brandy Bourne and Justin Rabuck started The Big Crafty in 2008, it has connected artists and the community. Now in the festival’s 17th year, they’ve got it down to a fine art.

This weekend, you’ll find more than 180 artists, both local and visiting, spanning two floors to show off their creative wares from whimsical Lucite earrings to forest-inspired ceramics.

Paint by numbers

Of the participating artists at The Big Crafty, 35% describe themselves as just getting started, and 65% rely on art as their primary income.

The event’s average artist sales came in at $3,595 in 2023, contributing to a whopping $14 million in artist sales since the first Big Crafty 16 years ago.

Green Girl Studio's booth of pendants, jewelry, dolls, and figurines on display.

Green Girl Studios has a striking selection of jewelry, pendants, dolls, and figurines on display.

Photo via The Big Crafty

The artist’s eye

“It’s all about the art and the maker, which is not the case with a lot of other shows that also often feature live music, food trucks, breweries, and other entertainment,” said Ashley Howe of Urban Earth Ceramics. “While that can be a fun experience for the maker, all this extra fanfare creates a watered-down/distracted experience,” Howe added. “Big Crafty has got it right — people know why they are coming to the event: to support local artists and find one-of-a-kind handmade items.”

Michelle and Rose of Haha Bonbon said, “The Big Crafty brings artists together in such a friendly approachable environment. No other show has so many artists who support each other. You really feel as though you are part of a bigger thing than just a craft show.”

The big picture

The event will be held at Harrah’s Cherokee Center on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 from 12 to 6 p.m. — entry for Saturday is $10, and Sunday is free.

After this weekend’s fun wraps up, you can put The Big Crafty’s winter festival on your calendar, returning to the same venue on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8. Pssst... it’s a great place to buy holiday gifts.

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