Springscene is a celebration of creativity at Appalachian Spring, from the people who make it work: our buyers, craftspeople, store staff and office. The creative lifestyles of our cherished customers and the dedicated people who work here go beyond using and appreciating the unique creations of our artists. Our “scene” is about celebrating all of this–the pottery used to serve a special meal, the scarves or jewelry that you reach for when going out on the town or dressing for a day in the office, the wine glass in which you enjoy your favorite Cabernet and the vase that makes the perfect accent to your décor. Join us as we explore how these objects come alive, the people behind the craft and the special events and activities that enchant us in the neighborhoods surrounding our stores and the city that first inspired a young couple in the mid 60’s to take a chance.
Polly and David moved to the DC area from West Virginia and North Carolina respectively, both regions rich in American handcraft. Getting to know their new home town, they found no venue in or around the Nation’s Capital offering the American craft that they had taken for granted in their youth. While walking around Georgetown one day, Polly noticed an empty storefront and decided to solve that problem. In 1968, she and David opened the first Appalachian Spring store in that very storefront.
Their plan to bring high quality American handcrafted items to the Nation’s Capital became a reality. Knowing that people from around the globe travel to Washington, DC, they wanted to showcase the work of talented craftspeople living and working in this country. When the store first opened it offered handmade objects from the Appalachian states, hence the name Appalachian Spring.
Over time, and working as a team, Polly and David found beautiful handmade objects in other parts of our country, and added them to their merchandise mix. Today Appalachian Spring features work from American craftspeople from all over the country as well as a few select artists from other parts of the world. The collection is as unique and as diverse as the people of America.
Every artist represented in Appalachian Spring has a distinctive perspective. We work with wood turners who source their wood from local landfills and turn it into breathtakingly beautiful turned wood serving bowls for your dinner table, a community recycling used glass into a symphony of colorful place settings and serving pieces, an artist who draws on her years of studying textile techniques to produce extraordinary contemporary fashion scarves , potters interning at the EnergyXchange in North Carolina who use green energy to fire their kilns, an amazing array of handmade kaleidoscope artists continuing a history of creating a whimsical and sophisticated art form that showcases the marriage of refracted light and color and artists who pass down their craft from generation to generation. Today we are proud to carry work from several second-generation artists.
Things have changed a lot since 1968. We are in the age of technology and we recognize that our customers are not just walking into our stores; folks from all over the world visit our website. In the tradition of our stores we offer our hospitality, stories, insight and additional information on the world of Appalachian Spring via our blog. You will hear a number of different voices on Springscene, as we have an assortment of friends and colleagues writing on a variety of topics. Each person brings their own idiosyncratic perspective and writing style. We hope you will delight in learning more about our artists, our lovely wares and our stores. Enjoy our celebration of creativity and join us in crafting our blog by emailing your comments, compliments and queries to the authors.