WALT COTTINGHAM 2022 FEATURED ARTIST BOOTH #110
Where are you from / where do you live now / what brought you to the southern highland region? Born in Valdosta, Georgia, but have been in the Appalachians part of every year of my life—in summers at first as my father was a camp director, full time since I was seven. Mostly in Greenville, SC, and Hendersonville, NC.
What is your favorite part about living in the southern highlands? Lots of favorite parts, but lets say the natural world. Four seasons, lots of beauty, great mountain scenery. I hike on the mountain where I live virtually every day and it’s a true part of who I am. Had an interesting bear encounter just last week. I also find wood for my work while out hiking in the mountains.
Tell us something unique about your process / what makes your work unique among artists in your same discipline? Probably that everything I make is virtually found or recycled. Much of the wood I use, for example, is from fallen trees which I have logged and processed. I have taken down old barns and sheds and reused wooden and metal elements from them. I have carried a saw for miles to cut a burl off a fallen tree. There are endless stories involved in the search for materials.
How long have you been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild? What is your favorite part of being a Guild member? I’ve been a member since 2005. It is one of the great honors of my life. I have made so many wonderful friends in the Guild, all people who have remarkable talent and vision. I love the sharing of ideas and experiences and even materials. A number of Guild friends have given me pieces of wood they found which I have used in projects. I love the people. I should also note that it is not only the members I refer to, but the hired staff. Across the board people have been friendly, supportive, and excellent to work with.
What can visitors expect to find at your booth? Are you working on anything specific to reveal at the Craft Fair this Summer? (New work?)