Don't Cut Bluff

It takes action all over the place to consciously decide what our future becomes. Voting and campaigning is just one way to use our energy to make change, or resist it.

Three years ago the state of North Carolina tried to sell the wilderness in the Bluff Mountain Area and the community rallied to protect it. It worked, and birthed the Bluff Mountain Music Festival and later the Arts Council.

I know some of this because as I set out to write this article a woman came into the shop looking for a mason jar t shirt and noticed the stickers I have sitting out stating "Don't Cut Bluff". She noted she remembered those, like they were something old fashioned and I had the opportunity to share the article Elizabeth Sauls shared with Phil Cheney who printed the bumper stickers and shared them with me about the current need for action again.

So it goes with this era, we have to sculpt it ourselves again and again and prevent backward steps from being taken.

Let's protect Bluff Mountain! Again! Spread the word!

Send comments to: US Forest Service at

Please use "Don't Cut Bluff" at beginning or end

Lots of wilderness would be broken forever including Native Brook Trout, endangered Salamanders, and 11 Pillizted Woodpeckers, If the land was clear cut for short-term gain.




October 24, 2014

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Events › Friends › Travels ›

LEAF Festival

I had a great time attending Lake Eden Arts Festival this beautiful fall.

Phil Cheney was invited to perform live painting, and I was lucky to take up the offer to attend as a guest!

He had a well crafted setup, and luckily several golf carts helped us out here and there.

Phil invited me to paint some as well. I made the rookie mistake of starting with a blank canvas...















But I really like what came out:


Light Don!!


We listened to some beautiful music while painting, my favorites were  Les Cafetaras, The Revelers and Shannon Whitworth


Shannon and a friend

It's always wonderful to be around community. This festival is so clearly dear. Like a ittle utopia that is really happening.






August 01, 2014


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Art Family

I just love this picture because it encompasses the meaning of life to me.



& Question Everything backwards.

These two families are both made up of artists and hard workers, and their dedication to a rich and creative lifestyle is healing the world bit by bit.
Thank you to all you amazing families out there making children a loved and inspired priority!


I got your back!



GaLoobe de Jamune: Enchanted King of HOONs!

GaLoobe de Jamune is the Enchanted King of All HOONs.

His name is derived from a mispronunciation, by my Ultra-Creative Friend, Jason Krekel, of the delightful Indian Dessert, Gulab Jamun (deep-fried dumplings of evaporated milk, dipped in sweet syrup). The HOONs are tiny Woodland Creatures Who live in the Forest of Endless Anon, quite far away from here. They were once very Famous Vaudevillian Performers but the Limelight proved to be too bright and They moved to the forest to escape the hubbub. GaLoobe’s Nepalese cousin LooLab de Mahone was appointed as the Nepalese Ambassador to Suriname in the Caribbean but after several years in that position, He went Native and wandered off into the Hills. As the HOONs began to multiply, seemingly appearing out of thin air, their tiny Huts growing in number on the forest floor, where bubbles of yellow-green light popped on and off in the gentle breeze, the charismatic GaLoobe de Jamune, who spent most of His time ordering flowers for All the Lovely Daughters of Farmers and Peasants in the Hills and Valleys surrounding their forest home, was awarded the highest title of King, and has dutifully held that position to this day, having long-since gone Native. Interestingly enough, one of the favorite desserts of the HOONs, whose full name is the HOONs of Yore, is Gulab Jamun topped with pistachio sprinkles. They also enjoy Tiramisu, an Italian layered dessert. 

The HOONs’ Ancestral Home, like many of Us in this part of the World, was far away, across the Sea and high in the misty Mountains, which separate Europe and Asia. They traveled on currents of air, in vessels that floated and with an amazing amount of luck, landed on the East Coast of what We now call North America. GaLoobe de Jamune has been featured in many of my paintings and drawings and even a cover of a Weekly Newspaper. He is now available again in a new painting, entitled “GaLoobe de Jamune: Enchanted King of All HOONs” which will hang at Rhetorical Factory in West Asheville (444 Haywood Road). The HOONs have appeared out of my dreams, each one with a found-object head, such as a tribal mask or a face appearing in the shadows, attached to a stuffed animal body, or sometimes a bird or even an insect body. They are often dancing and making BIG Parties. They hardly ever let themselves be seen and are depicted mainly in my paintings and described inside the Lore (that’s L.O.R.E., by the way). GaLoobe’s personal lighter-than-air device is a simple canoe, or gondola, sometimes seen as electric blue, is shown here in the daylight as simple, wood-colored brown. He is wearing his Royal Tunic with the HeArt Emblem on his chest, love and compassion exuding from Him in all directions, as He floats before a glowing orb. Painted in Acrylic on a REclaimed piece of wood and framed in Gold!

Working at Rhetorical Factory

Before I tell you about how I feel working at Rhetorical Factory,  I have to share with you a little bit of myself prior to Rhetorical Factory.  I moved to Asheville 3 years ago from living only blocks away from Time Square, NY City.  I have been a freelance portrait and magazine photographer for 15 years. I was hired to photograph numerous personalities, many interesting people and my work has been published in dozen of different countries. Then my daughter Lulu was born!  I took a break from work to raise Lulu.   Now my daughter is 9.  We are in a new environment, if I decided to return to being a commercial photographer, I would have to establish myself all over again and spend a lot of time on promotion which was not my favorite. I appreciated the art of photography but deep inside I love working with my hands even more.  During my years of working as a photographer, I  neglected all my other interest such as drawing and painting. After a short time in Asheville, I reestablish my love for painting again and  I acquire even more skills such as sewing, playing the violin, crochet  collecting feathers and making them in hair accessories and the list goes on.


In the meantime, I know I need to return to work but I will not settle on any job just to pay my bills. I want a position that I can learn and grow but also allow me to be my own individual rather than a sheep and drown in boredom.
Last Christmas, I met Bethany at her old studio on Lyman st for a Holiday Cards making party. I was immediately captivated by her drive and ambitions.  I said to myself that I can learn a lot from this vivacious individual.  Within minutes of meeting her, I inquired if she needs a part time worker and told her that I am really good at using the X-acto knife as one of my many skills.  Over a month passed, I got a email from Bethany to get together for coffee.  I was running late and had to leave my house in pajamas. Turned out it was not a coffee date but a job interview.  How comical and wonderful that I was hired in my pajamas. 
Now I have worked at Rhetorical Factory the past 4 months.  Mostly, I help Bethany in production.  There is never a dull moment. I am working with my hands and learning something new everyday.  Bethany always reminds me  that my inputs and presence are valued.  Sometimes I don’t even want to leave after my shift is over. This is indeed my perfect job, not to mention that I am big on recycling.


At Rhetorical Factory we sell Joanne's headbands and an ever-changing collection of her work!

May 09, 2014


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Thanks You Phil Cheney!

I have so much respect and gratitude for my friend Phil Cheney

Phil recognized this vision and hung in there throughout it's fruition, making a huge difference with not only a ton of work but constant encouragement. 
It was hard to be patient with myself over the last year, and difficult to always keep my head up looking forward to what would come of all the distracting strife with simple permits, but he was there to remind me how great it would be. He was so right. Having a person be so dedicated while really expecting nothing but to be involved, showed me time and time again that this thing is real. If someone like Phil Cheney is inspired, you know it's got to at least have potential!

Phil's art is for sale here at Rhetorical Factory. It is the only gallery besides his studio that can boast a collection of any kind. I hope you'll consider supporting this man and his carefully honed art form. His use of color will transform your home and probably your life.




January 14, 2014

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Events › Friends ›

The Samovar Arts Lounge

The transformation of Cheney Graphics into the Samovar Arts Lounge was an inevitable and daunting feat. For 15 years the studio has been the home of artist Phil Cheney IV and Cheney Graphics run by and with Phil Cheney III. It was a long time dream to create a gallery within the shop, a place for events and to display and sell some of Asheville’s best art.

Of course items have a way of accumulating in a 4,000 square foot space, and the dark walls and ceilings left vast areas unseen, keeping the space occupied. Robert Seven, another for-runner for Asheville’s art scene, and close friend of the Phils, decided to clear some space and make his own workshop among some of the untouched areas. Robert’s involvement and eye for environment was the major catalyst to the transformation of the space in the Riverside Business Park. Phil Cheney and R7 set a date for the revealing of the new gallery to take place just before the holidays, and left themselves about 2 months to make it happen.

The items collected went into Illusionary walls built by Phil Cheney IV. He used recycled wood and screws to make thick walls with shelves that could be accessed when necessary and with art hung on them most of the time.


Rob 7 painted the floor gray and walls and ceiling white with help from the rest of the team (including of course Phil and myself and Justin Thompson of Watershed and Southern Raft Supply). I helped clean and organize a work area, and sorted the ink for the screen printing machines by color.

My clothes got completely covered with the paint, which I appreciated. I absolutely adore working with color, especially sorting it!

The openings turned out to be so much more than I expected. The final transformation had taken place over night, and when I arrived to set up Rhetorical Factory clothes among 6 other artists, I knew it was a place I had never been before.

Twinkle lights were in place, Rob’s DJ Booth was in full swing, there were already guests in the lounge and art was all around! We had our very own area with dressing room accommodations, and amazing art back grounds by Phil Cheney. The rest of the walls were filled with art from many more artists, by Robert 7 featuring his spectacular “Rondelles” which are mostly recycled. By Phil who had a great range of paintings and drawings available, with some work dating back to 2000. Justyn Thompson had prints and paintings, Intergalactic Hobo had beautiful leather work, Beth Broccoliway brought Imports from her recent world tour, and there were retro lino cut prints and other spooky art by Jason Krekel.

 French Broad River Baby! (sold)

The people who came out were close friends and supporters of the arts. There was a beautiful offering of snacks and warm cocktails, lots of interesting people to meet and lots of exchange. I was really glad they planned for two nights, and cannot wait for the next event on January 31st!

Check out this Article in the Citizen Times, the Samovar Arts Lounge Facebook Page, and email for an appointment to see the Arts!

August 30, 2013


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Making it Happen

At Rhetorical Factory, we treasure the community of artists and makers and other fine souls who collaborate with us and support us. We wanted to take a moment to mention two of these people who have contributed their talents to our vision recently. We appreciate them so.

As we prepared for our Lease Signing Party, it was important to us that our invitations reflected our vision and values. Betsy from The Smiling Eye studio (our neighbor in Riverview Station) helped us hand print the invitations, so that each one was unique.


Another talented friend, Keen Zero, recently installed tiles (including our logo!) in front of our flagship store space at 444 Haywood Road. As you may know, masterful tile saw skills cutting curves is especially challenging. He did some amazing work. We are so thrilled! We're also pleased that we were able to get the tiles from WNC Ceramic Tile, a great company in Asheville.

As we move forward with preparing to open the store, we will continue to showcase our wonderful community.



April 17, 2013


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The Way of the Future

So far April has been just dandy. We left the Doo-Nanny on a roll, stopped off in Atlanta to do a little shopping and get some inspiration, then arrived back in Asheville with Spring in our eyes and a growing To-Do list.

The Doo-Nanny art festival is a world all it’s own, and it rejuvenated me greatly to be there again. I have literally been dreaming about it from the I first went last year, and have about 8 of 15 nights since. Not because it’s the craziest party with the trendiest bands, not for any reasons that can be explained only after dark. It’s what happens in the daylight for several weeks before and after the Doo that gets into my psyche. It gets under my skin because it’s the way of the future as well as the very distant past. Community. And Art. And Simplicity. These two completely human, universal qualities that each person carries around inside are expressed and given priority there- and for many it is an every day occurrence. A lifestyle.

My background did not put me where I am in my life, or to the Doo. Eye did. Making the decision to follow my passions and risk everything for my heart brought me there and here. I want you to be inspired by the magic being cultivated through the priorities of Art, Community and Simplicity. And I want you to bring a little into your own life as well as the lives of the people you adore.

I believe the truth can be found through following those 3 principles:

Simplicity -
How many ingredients are there? How much does it need to be justified? What’s the story - drama or simplicity?

Community -
Who is it good for me, her or everyone? Being selfless can be a wonderful method for looking out for ourselves - because when you think of the greater good you make an investment that helps everyone - and everyone is your foundation.

Art -
Art is the pinnacle. It’s a continually fresh connection life itself. Without it we are so lost - going through the motions without landmarks of expression. At every moment we should add some art to what we do a tiny change in the way we say something, a painting on the back of a stop sign, creative architecture and one of a kind recycled clothing... where ever you can make your art mark please, do. It’s a language of simplicity and community that helps us express what even we cannot understand. And despite what you’ve been lead to believe there are no standards and you are an Artist.

Remember, the Doo is in YOU. Find it there first.

Recycled Fashion in the Woods Recycled Fashion in the Woods

The Bugle Amazing Trading Amazing TradingGreat friend, Inspired Art maker feeler doer extraordinaire c.m.l.

Great friend, Inspired Art maker feeler doer extraordinaire c.m.l.

May 25, 2012


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Woah, May!

Woo! Hand to Hand Market in Greensboro, Big Love Fest, French Broad River Fest, wardrobe assistant for  Jack White: May has been a blast and a half here to say the least!

Rhetorical Factory is proud to announce that Civic Threads in Greensboro, NC will be selling our upcycled skirts, check them out they are a great store with integrity.

Thanks for looking this way, and make sure to check watch this blog catch us out on the streets!

recycled fashion from asheville