77th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands

Journey of the Spirit, Rachelle Davis

Rachelle Davis has always loved jewelry. As a young child in Indiana, she had a habit of finding the secret key to her mother’s jewelry box and frosting herself in adornments. Later, as a teen, she recalls wearing so much jewelry to school that peers started calling her Mrs. T,” referencing the bling-heavy style of ’80s TV star Mr. T. But it wasn’t until the mid-’90s, when Davis happened upon a metalsmithing class while studying mechanical engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, that she realized she could make jewelry with her own two hands. I took metals every year the rest of college to keep my sanity with all those engineering courses,” says Davis, who began metalsmithing full time shortly after college. Today, she makes adornments in her home studio near Asheville. Her pendant necklaces are especially striking, incorporating hand-sawed designs on the back as well as hidden engravings. These etchings are concealed by the stone and range from words like love” and explore” to tiny smiley faces. To me, the hidden engraving is kind of like a prayer within the piece,” says Davis. A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, she will peddle her pieces at the 77th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands this July. Visitors can expect more than 100 juried artisans working in traditional and contemporary crafts. Admission is $12.

77th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands: July 18-21, 10am-5pm

Harrah’s Cherokee Center / 87 Haywood St., Asheville / southernhighlandguild.org

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