Celebration of Craft held tomorrow

The Appalachian Center for Craft’s 11th annual Celebration of Craft is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “This is a free event and the only local opportunity to do all these activities in one place,” said Workshop and Event Coordinator Gail Gentry.

Narrated studio demonstrations of blacksmithing, ceramics, weaving, fabric dyeing, glassblowing, fine metals, and woodworking will be lead by faculty, resident artists, students, and alumni.

Two bands will play at this year’s event: Gypsy Pompe, a contemporary jazz swing band, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sheep Trick, regional blues and bluegrass band, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Weather permitting, they will both perform outside.

“We have always had music as part of the Celebration of Craft,” Gentry said.

There will be hands-on crafts for children, including photograms, stamped and dyed cotton scarves and tiny-tot necklaces.

Those in attendance will be given the opportunity to support Habitat for Humanity and Cookeville’s Cooking on the Square event by building a bowl that will then be glazed and fired. Bowls made will be used and sold at the event on Oct. 30.

“While the community supports us,” said Gentry “we can support the community.”

Many items will be for sale at the Celebration of Craft. Friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft of Tennessee sponsors the event, and the proceeds support the educational outreach program at the Craft Center.

FACCT’s silent auction will feature a variety of works on which to bid. Bidding will begin at half the retail value. All items were donated by Craft Center and regional artists. Auction proceeds support the art outreach program, as do purchases of celebration t-shirts, aprons, tote bags, and marble silk scarves.

There will also be a 10 percent discount at The Gallery this day only. Tech employees receive an extra 10 percent off with their Eagle Card. The Visual Art Society, Tech’s student art organization, is having its annual fine craft sale featuring new student work during the celebration as well.

The Craft Center’s educational outreach program was started 15 years ago by Ilene Qualls in part with funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission. It encompasses more than 3,500 students in the Upper Cumberland area each year.

Hands on Art, also known as Craft Experience for Elementary School Students, brings sixth graders to the Craft Center on Fridays in the fall. They see demonstrations and do hands-on projects with clay, enameling on copper and paper marbling.

Focus on Fine Craft Program brings students from grades seven through 12 to the Craft Center on Fridays in the spring. They pick one of seven intensive three-and-a-half-hour workshops: wheel thrown ceramics, glass etching and sandblasting, copper fabrication, glass bead making, enameling on copper, woodturning, and Japanese shibori/tie-dye.

The Celebration of Craft also provides more than $17,000 annually for student

workers and artists in residence.

For more information about the Celebration of Craft or the educational outreach program, call Gentry at (931) 372-3051 or visit http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter.