Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 3, 2013

Morganton, N.C., highlights outdoors, plus wine, ale and art

(Continued)

Check out the original community map on the brewery wall. Chemist-brew masters who want people to remember.

Apple picking in Morganton benefits from chemistry too. “U Pick” happens at Apple Hill Orchard, where farmer-owner Harley Prewitt says this: “Chemistry unheard of in the 1960s guides us today. Unimaginable then are the tools we have now.”

This apple-picking traveler wanted to know about pesticides. Prewitt says 13.3 ounces is enough to care for his 22 acres.

Chemistry at Apple Hill Orchard seems to influence the size of the trees. Prewitt describes Apple Hill this way: “ Smaller trees, controlled to 14 feet for easy picking. We are almost a pedestrian orchard.”

Pottery relies on science with the art, and Morganton has potters with active studios.

Hamilton Williams shares practical chemistry: “Stoneware offers usability being stronger than earthenware, and the beauty of things is enhanced by using them every day. Williams adds the details easily as he shapes vessels on his wheel in the downtown studio he calls ClayWorks.

It’s hard to know how to title Dean Curfman, founder of Oak Hill Iron in Morganton.

“We’re not your typical blacksmith. We open your imagination,” he says of the 25-acre design and production campus where he lives with his interior designer wife, Lynn Curfman.

“This is part art. What we try to do as artists is incorporate items of nature and create illusion in our work,” Dean says.

Oak Hill Iron’s galleries offer functional hand-forged sinks, bedsteads, fireplace screens, light fixtures, decorative tables, stove vent covers and much more. 

Most days visitors get lucky asking for a peek in the shop where the forging happens—that means moving metal, so anticipate heat.

Call ahead for the “Trailhead of Western North Carolina” guide for specific maps with bicycle, auto and motorcycle routes, and details for trails about wine and ale, history, art and oh so many outdoor walking and hiking options.

Christine Tibbetts covers travel destinations for the CNHI News Service. Follow her at www.TibbettsTravel.com

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