Off campus

Spring Workshops at the Appalachian Center for Craft.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is hosting a series of craft-based workshops to teach students various skills through Zoom beginning March 20.

The ACC is the campus for the College of Fine Arts at Tech located in Smithville, TN. “We offer several programs, including five of the concentrations within the School of Art, Craft and Design—clay, fibers, glass, metals and wood,” Gail Gentry, manager for the ACC, said.  The ACC also offers workshops and certification programs. 

The workshops are online due to COVID-19, but the ACC and instructors are taking new steps to make sure people get as much out of the workshops as possible.

“Foremost, we have learned how resilient we all are, as well as how creativity allows us to come up with solutions,” Gentry said.  “We have also learned (through the pandemic) that adversity often times leads to wonderful innovations that benefit us in ways that we could not imagine.”

All the workshops are conducted over Zoom and students can register online. Registration fees range from $35 to $60, and students have the option to buy the materials for the course and have them shipped to the students’ homes. A list of materials is posted on the website and if students already own the materials, they can opt out of purchasing them. 

The ACC workshops offered this spring include Create a Decorative, Lidded Box, Decorative Clay Masks, Copper Book Marks, Coffee Mugs for Beginners, Indigo Dyeing at Home and Small Case Bound Books: One Soft Cover and One Hard Cover. “These workshops will be one or two days in length on the weekends to keep them accessible to more people,” Gentry said. 

The instructors for the workshops are a combination of artists-in-residence at the ACC and artists from the community. One of the instructors is Kevin Dotson, a resident metals artist at the ACC. Dotson is the instructor for the Cooper Book Marks workshop.

“Getting involved in these workshops, any craft-based workshops is not only extremely important for our students, but it is important for our community as well,” Dotson said. “Crafts are the building blocks of our society and should be more readily available and encouraged to anyone who wants to explore them, whether it is through higher education, trade schools and even online workshops.”

The ACC workshops are available in spring, summer and fall semesters and serve a variety of experience levels. To learn more and register for a workshop, go to