In 1974 a group of craftspeople in the Toe River Valley found they needed an attractive local market for their creativity. They decided to work cooperatively to sell their crafts and establish a setting where neighbors and travelers could see their work displayed. The shop itself was built, in that cooperative spirit, on land owned by the Celo Community. Friends and neighbors pitched in to build, and in August of 1974 Toe River Crafts opened with the work of a few founding members.
The finely crafted objects the artists produced reflected an intimate knowledge of media such as Clay, Wood, Textiles, Fibers, Glass, Papers, and Metals, and they demonstrated great skills in two-dimensional artwork such as Photography, Water Color, and Needle Work. The work of the artists has been and will always be unique and one-of-a-kind.
The craft shop has seen its share of adventures since it's opening. In 1977 the South Toe River flooded the valley and the shop right along with it. Pottery floated around the shop and the outhouse had to be retrieved from down the road. Then, as now, the members banded together to clean and restore the beloved building that is a fixture in the valley today.
Several of the original members are still active in the shop today, as a new generation begins to join and energize the shop.
Shop under construction. 1974
John V. Morgan and Rob Grenell help with the construction. You can still find some of John's work at the Craft Shop today! 1974
Inside the Craft Shop.
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