Get out of the house, into the studio at summer Craft Center workshops

Spend a week at Tennessee Tech University's Appalachian Center for Craft this summer while enjoying a creative and fulfilling learning experience in a stunning natural environment overlooking Center Hill Lake near Smithville. Work in professionally equipped studios including blacksmithing, clay, fibers, glass, metals, wood, and watercolor; there are classes suitable for beginners to professional studio artists.

The five-day craft workshops, Monday-Friday, are offered throughout June and July each summer and are a perfect get-a-way from the office, the house and the couch. The summer workshop season at the Craft Center starts June 2 and ends August 1. Each week on Monday, a new session of five-day workshops begins for a total of eight weeks of class options. Advanced reservations are required.

"We offer up to 50 different workshops each summer at the Craft Center," said Gail Gentry, workshop and event coordinator. "Each year people come from across the region and the nation to experience our unique "craft vacation" environment.

"There are two discount opportunities for folks to take advantage of, first the 10 percent discount of the workshop fee for people 55 and over, which is only during the first week of the season, June 2-6," explained Gentry. "And a 50 percent discount of the workshop fee for TTU employees and students if they register within the month prior to a class. This discount is available all summer."

Summer 2008 workshops include sculptural and functional ironwork in the blacksmithing studio; wheel throwing, handbuilding and figurative sculpture in ceramics; book making, tapestry weaving, paper marbling, surface design on fabric, papermaking and sculptural basketry in fibers; jewelry making, inlay, raising and fabrication in metalsmithing; glass beadmaking, flame-worked glass, stained glass and glass blowing, and painting on glass; woodturning, chair making, cabinet making, and more.

Detailed workshop descriptions are online at the Craft Center's web site www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/ or you can print a copy of the catalog in PDF format.

"The five-day classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and are great for commuters, plus we offer room and board onsite for those who want to immerse themselves in the studio community, enjoy beautiful Center Hill Lake, our hiking trails, and take advantage of late afternoon craft demonstrations and slide presentations by our visiting summer workshop instructors," said Gentry.

The Craft Center's workshop instructors, experts in their fields, come from across the United States and abroad each summer to teach intensive, studio classes. Their personal work represents a wide range of functional and conceptual fine craft in blacksmithing, clay, glass, metal, fibers, wood and mixed media.

In addition to the workshop classes, an exhibition featuring a variety of work by visiting summer faculty will be on display May 19 through Aug. 4 in Gallery One of the Craft Center. The Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is conveniently located approximately six miles from Interstate 40 at Exit 273 (Smithville /McMinnville). Go south on Hwy. 56; turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Craft Center. For more information call 615.597.6801 or 931.372.3051 or visit www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/ .

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