>I am officially in trouble. The autumn rush has slowed down and I found myself with some free time this afternoon. My oldest daughter’s birthday is over Thanksgiving weekend so I thought to myself it would be a good time to check out some of the unique stores and boutiques here in Asheville. It was pouring with rain so I decided to start small with the Grove Arcade.
(Spoiler alert–Sarah stop reading!)
Big mistake! No sooner had I walked in the door than my eye was caught by some beautiful hand-embroidered boots in The Jazzy Giraffe. Owner, Donna Wright, has collected designer quality one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories in her store which just beg to be purchased. By now I wasn’t sure whether I was shopping for Sarah or for me, so I decided to put the shoes on back burner and moved on to Mountain Made. Mountain Made, “celebrating contemporary mountain arts” has a wide variety of jewelry, pottery and unusual artwork from local artists.
Charlie Brown is an 8th generation master potter and his two sons are following in his footsteps. His work is displayed in the Smithsonian and other museums. Fortunately for the less well-endowed of us, Mountain Made has a variety of his works, ranging from the whimsical and small to truly magnificent.
If pottery is not your thing, Jason Probstein is a glassblower who uses Corning Pyrex glass to blow his glasses and bowls. Interestingly, the use of pyrex results in a product that is light and airy. I found myself repeatedly lifting them up just to experience the unexpected delicacy.
I found earrings of all sorts, including real flowers and leaves encased in the thinnest layer of plastic, almost transluscent with the light shining through the beautiful color. There are handmade books and journals, cards and Christmas ornaments. It was a wealth of artwork and I collected as many of the artisans cards as I could, thoroughly intending to go to their workshops. (I told you I am in trouble).
Across the hall from Mountain Made is Tic-n-Time, a specialty clock store for those who like clocks which tick and bong. Jeff Bailey sells grandfather clocks with German works which have been placed in American-made casings. I laughed to see some of the more unusual shapes and was especially delighted by the clock which must have served as the inspiration for the clock-butler (what was his name?) in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Over the melodious chiming of the hour, Jeff shared with me the name of a local clock repairman so that I may finally be able to get my grandmother’s mantel-clock repaired. My grandparents are from North and South Carolina and I love the thought that after more than 100 years and a trip around the world the clock is returning to its rightful home.
All in all it was a delightful way to spend a rainy afternoon. There is a special happiness which comes from having found just the right present for someone. I console myself that my husband probably won’t read this and I am safe to shop another day!