Campus & Studio Tour
Hambidge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a rural historic district. The campus includes 9 artist studios, a working grist mill, an old weave shed turned into a gallery, a modern pottery facility, an anagama pottery kiln and a number of other buildings and structures (see below for more information). Accommodations are intentionally simple. Each studio has its own charm and character with separate work and sleeping areas as well as a kitchen, outfitted for basic cooking, and bath. Studios are heated and linens, quilts, comforters and other necessary items are provided. The structures themselves are out of view from each other and while the campus spans 600 acres, each studio is only a short hike to Lucinda’s Rock House, where dinners are served and Wi-Fi is available.
Below is specific information and images regarding Hambidge structures.
Lucinda’s Rock House
This magnificent structure is the first building you see when arriving at Hambidge. It was constructed by the Latimer family in 1920 after the property was purchased from the Rabun Colony Club in 1918 and later rented by Mary Hambidge in 1934. Until 1940 it was used as both a residence and weaving studio. Today it serves as the common space for artists in residence, providing gathering spaces, a dining area, internet access and Wi-Fi hotspot, laundry facilities and a kitchen. It is named for Lucinda Bunnen, who generously funded a number of renovations as well as regular Hambidge programming.
Built in 1940, this was the first new structure added to the property by Mary Hambidge. The building was designed in 1939 by the famous Atlanta architectural firm, Hentz, Adler and Shutze. It housed the Weavers of Rabun and allowed increased weaving production for the Rabun Studios shop in New York. Today it is used for administrative offices and a gallery/exhibition space.
This studio was built in the early 1990s by Atlanta artist Carlyn Fisher as a gift to the Hambidge Center. It is one of the larger visual arts studios (approximately 900 square feet) and features high ceilings and great light. It can accommodate large canvases and drawings and some types of sculptural work.
Located on the edge of a meadow, this structure was built in 1940 as a residence for the farm manager’s parents. Later it was used as a guesthouse and renovated in 1968. It now serves as a studio (approximately 1,500 square feet) mainly for writers and artists working in medium to small format.
Cove Studio (formerly Son Studio)
Built in the mid-1950s as a one-room studio for an artist friend of Mary Hambidge, this studio was enlarged in the late 1960s with a bath, small kitchen and bedroom. It now serves as a workspace (approximately 500 square feet) for writers, musicians (with digital equipment) and artists working in small formats.
In 1966 this studio was constructed by and for Mary’s young friend, Elliot Wigginton, who founded the Foxfire publications that chronicled Appalachian mountain life and preserved many of the local crafts and customs. As Wigginton once said, the Foxfire magazine was born at the kitchen table in this studio. It is primarily a residence (approximately 900 square feet with a fireplace and large deck) for writers and artists working in small formats.
Carlyn Fisher provided funding for this studio that was built in 1997. Designed by her grandson and named in honor of her sister, Brena Frey, this studio (approximately 1,100 square feet) is used primarily by artists working in large format and musicians using it as a production studio.
This structure was the original outdoor kitchen and dining space for the Hambidge House and it also served as a place for community dances for people in Betty’s Creek Valley in the 1920s. In the 1970s it became a pottery studio and more recently the space has been renovated thanks to Margaret and Kin Patterson and contains attractive living quarters and an open air studio for potters, artists and writers. The living space is approximately 250 square feet and the open-air studio approximately 600 square feet. Adjacent to the studio is a large Anagama kiln built in the early 1990s by Ben Owen III.
Marie Mellinger was a local naturalist who for almost five decades generously gave Hambidge and Rabun County the benefit of her vast knowledge of the natural world. This studio was built in 1984 and named in honor of her. The studio (approximately 750 square feet) comfortably houses writers, poets, musicians (with digital equipment) and artists working in small to medium format.
This structure was originally built in 1942 as a performance studio and a space for classes and workshops. The lower bays, now enclosed with doors, originally housed a Ford “woodie” (a classic car with wood panels) and various other pieces of farm equipment. Some remodeling was done around 1968 and today the studio (approximately 1,300 square feet) houses visual artists, dancers and composers and contains a beautifully rebuilt, turn-of-the-century, Steinway grand piano.
This house borders the Hambidge property and is on indefinite loan from Hambidge patron Dr. Patrick. Though often used to accommodate dance and music groups or other collaborators, writers and individuals working in small formats are also housed here. Residents appreciate the country setting and the koi pond out back.
Antinori Pottery Studio
Ron and Susan Antinori generously donated this state-of-the-art ceramic facility. Built in 2003, it provides ample space for ceramic workshops as well as individual potters. The large well-lit space (approximately 2,000 square feet) houses a kiln room with both gas and electric kilns, and a separate area for glaze mixing and storage. Adjacent to the structure is an outdoor gas kiln and facilities for raku work.
One of the original structures built as part of the Rabun Colony Club, it dates from around 1915. This log house began as a simple "dog-trot" cabin, two living spaces joined by a covered porch, and was chosen by Mary Hambidge to be her residence. Today the executive director uses the house.
This large porch connected to Lucinda’s Rock House was donated/constructed in the early 1980s by Lewis S. Reeves and Reeves Hardware. It is used for summer dining, meetings, lectures and various presentations.
Barker’s Creek Mill
Mary Hambidge built this working gristmill in the late 1930s for the use of the local farmers. It replaced a nineteenth century mill that had been farther upstream. Today it is still operated by Hambidge on the first weekend of every month, stone-grinding cornmeal and grits to sell, and by appointment to provide milling services to area farmers. The “miller’s due” (that portion given to the miller) is still collected and sold to visitors, and it’s also used in the Hambidge kitchen to add something unique to residents’ meals.