Skip to main content
Valerie Berlage Portrait

Born and raised in Western North Carolina, I helped my grand­fa­ther in his wood­work­ing shop as a child, and learned tradi­tional South­ern hand­crafts and paint­ing from my grand­moth­ers. Close ties to my family and a love of the moun­tains kept me in WNC even after earning a BFA and K‑12 teach­ing licen­sure from UNC-Asheville. After working for a local crafts­man for a number of years, I enrolled in the Profes­sional Crafts Program at Haywood Commu­nity College, and began focus­ing solely on wood­work­ing. While my art has gone through several tran­si­tions over the years, it has remained rooted in my rela­tion­ship with my loved ones, so much so that I named my studio after my two grand­moth­ers. As a real home is built piece by piece, my work is created layer by layer out of wood and paint. The memo­ries and happi­ness that stem from reflec­tion upon my family and child­hood, and that create a sense of home, are inter­preted through color, texture, and pattern. These elements are layered with geomet­ric shapes to convey a sense of depth and history, some­times a like­ness to an actual home,” but most impor­tantly, joy.

Leicester, NC
Professional Status