Your best bet for crafts is to steer towards the South End arts and antiques district flanking South Elm Street in Greensboro and the Downtown Arts District hugging Trade Street in Winston-Salem. For holiday craft shopping in High Point, you’ll have to be a bit more intentional and pick a particular retail establishment to visit.
There are more potters working in the Triad than would be possible to mention everyone in this space. Between functional and purely artistic modes, the number of styles is virtually unlimited. For fine pottery, check out Greenhill in Greensboro or Piedmont Craftsmen in Winston-Salem. Also in Greensboro, Molly Lithgo and Jim Rientjes curate a selection of fellow potters at Earthworks Gallery. Gordon Jones sells his wheel-thrown pottery and raku-fired wares from Earthbound Arts, the gallery he operates with his wife Lucy Duncan in Winston-Salem’s arts district. NC Authentic Goods is the go-to for pottery in High Point.
For glassware, both functional and artistic, see the redoubtable Piedmont Craftsmen, which is also an emporium of leather goods, metalwork and woodcraft from North Carolina and beyond.
Craft soap is generally a fabulous gift if you’re looking for something inexpensive that will almost certainly be appreciated. Like anything craft made, a locally produced soap typically has a more exquisite fragrance than its mass-produced counterpart, and often makes creative use of ingredients ranging from lavender to charcoal. Wild Rituals in Winston-Salem and Peacehaven Farm in Whitsett both make soap that is available at Design Archives, while Donna’s Delights, made in Climax, retails at NC Authentic Goods. Lucy Dunham at Earthbound Arts also makes natural herbal soaps and other bath products.
You can always hit up Yankee Candle Co. at the mall, but if you want to keep your dollars local, visit the factory store at David Oreck Candle Co. on Highway 29 just outside of Greensboro. Or find their goods at NC Authentic Goods. If you’re looking for a more small-scale effort, check out Lucy Duncan’s beeswax candles at Earthbound Arts in Winston-Salem — is there anything she doesn’t do?
Madcap Cottage, the High Point design lab, gets the bold-faced treatment here because they employ local artisans to make their colorful print handbags, in addition to collecting and sourcing decorative objects from around the world. For locally made handbags in Winston-Salem, check out Paul Kwiatowski’s denim and canvas wares under the wax+cloth moniker.
High Point woodworker Sara Bailey sells her fandom-inspired pieces through Sir Octopus Designs. There’s a Totoro recipe box and Legend of Zelda ring box, not to mention key chains celebrating Sherlock Holmes, Pac-man and “Game of Thrones.” Find her on Etsy.
Retail (bricks and mortar, online):
David Oreck Candle Co. (3500 Highway 29 N., GSO, 336.375.1144; shop.pureaircandles.com)
Design Archives (342 S. Elm St., GSO, 336.272.1800; 636 W. Fourth St., W-S, 336.602.2452; shopdesignarchives.com)
Earthbound Arts (610 N. Trade St., W-S, 336.773.1043; earthboundarts.com)
Earthworks Gallery (500 S. Elm St., GSO, 336.275.1202; earthworkspotterygallery.com)
Greenhill (200 N. Davie St., GSO, 336.333.7460; greenhillnc.org)
Madcap Cottage (128 Church Ave., HP, 917.318.0006; madcapcottage.com)
NC Authentic Goods (1701-D N. Main St., HP, 336.870.5026, authenticncgoods.com)
Sir Octopus Designs (etsy.com/shop/siroctopusdesigns)