"Expanding opportunities, promoting and developing educational programs to build bridges. That is In Our Own Way."

The Madison County Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival
Madison County Heritage Festival
Imagine a picturesque, southern town by the classic buildings and manicured lawns of a 150 year old college with its lofty mountains just showing the first hints of Fall. Now imagine the streets and campus filled with traditional music, crafts, and succulent food. Your imagination just won’t equal the experience you’ll have at the Madison County Heritage Festival. For over 30 years this event has been held the first Saturday in October in Mars Hill; a short 20 mile drive north of Asheville, North Carolina.

For ten years the staff of IN OUR OWN WAY has organized and managed the Heritage Festival in an effort to build community and assist local artists and craft persons in marketing handmade works from Madison County.

Heritage Day is highlighted by the performance of traditional mountain music groups, clogging, and demonstrations of local people making traditional crafts.

The Future

*To continue to help train and assist pottery students in furthering their arts education.
*To secure state of the art equipment and materials for the ducation of art students at Mars Hill College.
*To demonstrate pottery making to school children and provide them an opportunity to "throw a pot."
*To expand opportunities for the public to acquire quality pottery at reasonable prices.


Our Projects

IN OUR OWN WAY is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1982 to encourage, promote and develop educational programs that build bridges between people and communities.

PotteryHandmade Madison Pottery is one avenue in which IN OUR OWN WAY supports local arts and arts education. Individuals make and donate pottery each year for fundraising events. The proceeds from these activities are used to upgrade college studio equipment such as a computerized kiln, potter's whells, slab machine, and extruder. Each summer the Fund sponsors a talented pottery student to attend the Penland School of Crafts.


Would you like to acquire art?
Pottery is sold at the annual Madison County Heritage Festival, the first Saturday in October in Mars Hill and on the college campus. The College Book Store on Main Street and Crafts Stores such as Magic Star Quilts in Mars Hill and Bee & Thistle on Main Street in Weaverville sell Madison Pottery. Special orders or showings can be arranged by contacting IN OUR OWN WAY or Mars Hill College ceramics program at 828-689-1224.

What Has Been Accomplished?

In Our Own Way has been fortunate to have accomplished the following:
*The project has raised nearly $15,000 which has been used to purchase electric wheels, a computerized electric kiln, slab roller, extruder, and a variety of materials for the education of pottery students at Mars Hill college.
*Five talented college art majors have been able to attend the Penland School of Crafts to further their study of ceramics.
*Madison County youngsters have been exposed to pottery through active participation in hands-on demonstrations.
*The community has a greater appreciation of local arts and the role Mars Hill College plays in educating and encouraging art students to excel.

Handmade Madison Pottery

Handmade Madison Pottery is designed to give recognition to the culture and heritage of local arts and visibility to the pottery program at Mars HIll College.

Established in 1998, it is a cooperative endeavor of local artists and members of the Mars Hill College community including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the college. We also promote community service projects and foster an arts learning environment for youth.

IN OUR OWN WAY manages Handmade Madison Pottery and maintains the "Pottery Fund" for improvements to the pottery studio.