The Small Works exhibit returns to the Haywood Handmade Gallery in downtown Waynesville this holiday season, featuring handmade ornaments and wall art under 12 inches created by more than 45 artists in mediums of all types — including ceramics, photography, quilting, woodburning and more.

The Haywood County Arts Council will host an opening reception for the exhibit from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in conjunction with the Art After Dark gallery stroll in downtown Waynesville. The reception will include live holiday music by John and Judi Harwood and demonstrations by artists Debbie Mills and Barbara Brook. Refreshments and sweets will be provided.

“I am inspired by the joy of this special season,” said artist Mary Mellinger, whose work includes delightful colored pencil and ink. “I try to capture its incredible magic visually, for all to enjoy and savor.”

Jacob Hoke, a professional craft student at Haywood Community College is displaying jewelry pieces in jasper, turquoise and agate in this collection.

“While my focus is primarily on metalsmithing, my roots in jewelry trace back to stones and wire,” Hoke said. “I still love the intricacies of wire-wrapping as a meditative practice, especially when working with large stones. I love the natural patterns in stones and the bright colors that emerge when they are cut and polished.”

Art is all about colors for artist Karen Stockwell, who is an exhibiting intricate bead embroidery work.

“I’ve always been a visual, tactile person and find my muse with colors and textures — any colors — hot salsa reds and oranges and yellows; cool glacier colors of turquoise, grays and blues; vibrant sunset colors, soothing sunrise pearl colors,” said Stockwell.

The gallery is decorated for the holidays, with the tree in the window filled with handmade ornaments and the new exhibit on the walls.

The HCAC Small Works exhibit runs through Dec. 31 at the Haywood Handmade Gallery, 86 N. Main St., Waynesville. The gallery is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sundays.