Area Museum Association
The Eighth Annual Heritage Days at the Depot
Presenting traditions of the past to preserve their legacy for future generations
October 6, 2012 (Saturday)
Heritage Days at the Depot
October 6, 2012
On the greenspace surrounding the
Historic Belton Train Depot
Ever wanted to make a Gullah grass doll? Interested in honing a hunting knife? How about making paper? These skills and more await you when you visit Heritage Days at the Depot this year as part of the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival.
“We’ve got a great line up of artisans and historical interpreters this year,” stated BAMA volunteer Alison Darby.
Fifteen heritage skills artisans will surround the Historic Depot from 10 AM – 5 PM Saturday. Visitors can try their hands at beading Native American pouches, crafting a bamboo fly rod, producing a brick, dying Indigo, making paper out of kudzu, learning to play the harmonica, forming a tin cookie cutter, carving a box turkey call, pounding out a knife blade, hollowing out a gourd, mock firing a Civil War cannon, whittling a spoon, fashioning a Gullah grass doll, chiseling a monument, and learning primitive survival skills such as firemaking.
“Heritage Days at the Depot offers festival attendees a chance to see history re-created before their eyes. Preserving these culturally significant folk crafts and skills enriches our perspectives and makes us aware of the skills and traditions of our forefathers,” said Festival Director David Jones.
Over 2000 students will attend education days on Thursday and Friday. They will rotate among the presenters and receive hands-on instruction in the various crafts and skills.
Heritage Days at the Depot is made possible to visitors and student groups with generous funding from the City of Belton Hospitality Fund, Walmart Foundation, Bi-Lo Foundation, Timken Charitable Trust, Target Community Foundation, Anderson County, the National Endowment for the Arts, the SC Arts Commission, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC, Senator Billy O’Dell, Representative Mike Gambrell, Sam’s Club, Ingles, and Belton Metal Corporation.
This event encourages, promotes, conserves, and honors the traditional art forms and heritage skills that make our state distinct. The overall aim of Heritage Days at the Depot is to foster in our community a greater understanding of, appreciation for, and interest in the traditional arts and skills of our forefathers.
Heritage Days at the Depot has been designated a “Certified South Carolina Arts and AgriCulture Event” by the SC Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the SC Arts Commission.
For more information, contact Alison Darby at 864-958-5264 or Shirah Heller at the museum, 864-338-7400.
Heritage Days at the Depot Presenters
Tent 1: Primitive Skills/Firemaker – Bob Perry
Strike a spark and breathe it into life as was done in early times. The flint and steel method, where hot sparks are struck from a piece of steel or iron onto suitable tinder and fanned into flames, was used by most primitive cultures. With good materials and a bit of practice, fire making with flint and steel is quick and reliable. Bob Perry will teach guests how to make their own fire using this time tested method.
Tent 2: Joda Snipes, Carver
Joda Snipes, by his own admission, can’t draw a lick but can carve anything. A self-taught carver, he bought some tools, watched master craftsmen carve their pieces, and then went home and did the same thing. He now carves bowls, spoons, walking sticks, and vases and woodland sculptures. He enjoys sharing his love of carving with young children, who he finds are willing learners who aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
Tent 3: David Gillespie, Monument Carver
Up until about a hundred years ago stones were cut by hand with a chisel and mallet. Now, most are mass-produced and chiseled by lasers. David Gillespie is endeavoring to bring back slate stones to our church yards with his interest and skill in this almost lost art. A well crafted tombstone or stately monument needs an artist with a steady and sure hand, a sense of symmetry and style, and a strength and skill not found just anywhere. Tombstone carver David Gillespie demonstrates these characteristics as he wields hand tools to create classic forms and beautiful tributes to the common man.
Tent 4: Renee Gillespie, Fiber Artist
Renee Gillespie is very proficient in spinning wool, cotton, flax, Alpaca, Angora, and even dog and cat hair. She enjoys growing flax, heirloom cotton, and plants for the purpose of spinning and dying. Renee has been dyeing with Indigo for several years now, using 18th century techniques. Clothes lines full of deep blue cloth and blue fingernails are common sights around the home during the hot summer months. Enjoy learning about South Carolina’s first cash crop while dipping homespun cloth into vats of blue dye.
Tent 5: Folk Musicians – Marshall Goers and Lucy Allen
Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers combine blues, bluegrass, Celtic, old-time, and folk music with stirring songwriting and performance skills for a memorable music experience. Their soulful performances deliver sometimes stirring, sometimes amusing, moments of truth, recognition and celebration. Both have released solo albums and their most recent collaboration is the jacket Won't See Tadpoles Covered in Fur, which includes songs for children of all ages. Come sing and play along with these skilled performers.
Tent 6: Tinsmith – Fred Brandes
A veteran presenter at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Fred Brandes has honed his skills as a tinsmith through years of practice. The tinsmithing tradition dates back to 1720 in America, and many products were made from this light metal: cake stamps, pill boxes, milk pails, basins, cake and pie pans, chandeliers, and teapots. Brandes will teach guests how to make heirloom cookie cutters.
Tent 7: Cherokee Beader
Our Cherokee beader interprets Native American culture through the demonstration of the traditional skill of Cherokee beading. Her beadwork appears in museums across the country and she has been recognized as a master in this craft. Her works include Native American jewelry, moccasins, sashes, bandolier bags, belts, and knee bands. She is one of the few native artisans who have renewed interest in the old forms and patterns and has been demonstrating and creating her artwork for over a quarter century.
Tent 8: Bob Harwell, Turkey Call Maker
In the tradition of legendary SC turkey call maker Neil Cost (2002 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner), Bob Harwell fashions box calls from poplar, Honduras mahogany, butternut, and bald cypress to create that perfect pitch that will attract a Tom or Hen in the field. A self-taught turkey call maker, Bob has been practicing his craft for eleven years now and produces calls that are as much artwork as utilitarian item. Because each block of wood is different, each call becomes a one-of-a-kind heirloom, and an exquisite example of pride, craftsmanship, and quality.
Tent 9: Nancy Basket, Paper Maker
Although best known for her work with the Cherokee skill of pine needle basketry, Nancy Basket has also discovered the artistic use of the "notorious" kudzu as the raw source for papermaking. She harvests the kudzu, processes and dyes it, all by hand. She produces unique and lively kudzu paper depicting traditional quilt patterns as well as the designs and stories that reflect her Native American heritage. Each visitor help with the process and make a sample of paper.
Tent 10: Bamboo Fly Rod Maker – Doug Hall
Bamboo cane truly is an amazing natural building material because it is resilient, tough, strong, flexible, malleable and very easy to work with. Because of these qualities, cane has been the used to make fly fishing rods over the centuries. Doug Hall will take visitors through the process of preparing the raw cane to making a finished piece of art that will assist any angler in catching the biggest fish in a mountain stream.
Tent 11: Gourd Artist – Millie Chaplin
Ms. Chaplin learned about the importance of gourds to the early pioneers during her preparation for the “Child’s Life in Pioneer Days” program, which she designed to educate children about how the pioneers used available resources to survive and thrive in the 18th and 19th centuries. Millie has challenged herself to teach people to carry on the old traditions and she has taught hundreds of children and adults to make decorative gourds for many uses, just as their ancestors did.
Tent 12: Bunny Rodrigues, Gullah Grass Doll Maker
Bunny, along with her husband Andrew, are unofficial ambassadors of the Gullah culture, helping to preserve its traditions and inform the public of its contributions to our culture. She will be demonstrating the traditional Gullah grass doll making practice while helping visitors make their own unique version of this timeless craft.
Tent 13: Civil War Artilleryman – Jim Cevasco
Although a native New Yorker, Jim Cevasco has been entranced by the Civil War soldier’s life since he was five years old when he witnessed his first cannon fire. Upon moving to South Carolina in the 1980’s, he became involved with a re-enactor’s group called the Palmetto Light Artillery. He has participated in several re-enactments of the War Between the States as a Southern cannoneer with this group. Come witness firsthand the difficult yet sometimes exciting life of the cannoneer.
Tent 14: Bladesmith – Jason Knight
Bladesmith Jason Knight has taken his craft to the level of fine art. His knives are all handmade from the finest materials available. Since 2001 he has been featured in national and international magazines and has conducted knifemaking classes in the United States and Nicaragua. In June of 2007, Jason became South Carolina’s first and only Master Bladesmith and attendees will learn first-hand why he is considered a master in this craft.
Tent 15: Brickmaker – Rick Owens
In Colonial America during the 18th century, bricks were commonly used in the construction of homes and other buildings. Making bricks, however, was an arduous, time-consuming process that required numerous steps, many workers, and an array of tools in order to transform mire and clay into building blocks. Rick Owens learned to make bricks at Colonial Williamsburg and has since conducted programs at Roper Mountain Science Center, Historic Brattonsville, Middleton Gardens, Drayton Hall Plantation, and Ashtabula. Visitors will be able to make their own bricks during the festival.
Heritage Days at the Depot
Preserving our Heritage for Future Generations
Belton Area Museum Association
100 N. Main Street
Belton, SC 29627
Contact Alison Darby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-958-5264 for more information.
2012 Heritage Days Presenters
For more information, contact: