Skip holiday shopping stress for the Craft Center's Holiday Festival, Nov. 28-30

Skip the malls, the traffic and the same old gift options and visit the annual Holiday Festival at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft instead.

Not only is the event a unique holiday experience, but it’s also the perfect place to bring the family to enjoy daily craft demonstrations and exhibitions showcasing the work of local and regional Craft Center-affiliated artists.

Set for the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving, the event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 28-30.

You can shop for gifts for everyone on your list and for any budget while listening to live acoustic guitarist Rob Ring, and you can stop by the on-site restaurant at the Craft Center, the walkway café, for hearty soups, piled-high deli sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade gelato and ice cream.

“The Holiday Festival at the Craft Center is an excellent opportunity to welcome the season,” said Gail Looper, gallery manager at the Appalachian Center for Craft. “We are looking forward to another wonderful weekend of craft demonstrations, world-class exhibitions, one-of-a-kind gifts, live music and more.”

Demonstrations by Craft Center and other regional artists will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the festival.

Friday’s scheduled craft demonstrations include felting, woodturning, chair making, book arts, basket weaving and double-walled ceramic teapots.

Craft demonstrations scheduled for Saturday include glassblowing, pine needle basket making, spinning wool, woodturning, weaving, basket weaving and book arts.

And Sunday’s demonstrations will include purse making, woodworking, wooden bowl carving, weaving, woodturning, bird carving and white oak basketry.

The showcase exhibitions for the 2008 festival will include work by Craft Center alumni, faculty, artists in residence, students and others.

“I’m excited about the exhibition planned for Gallery One because it highlights the new work of our advanced students in the metals program and features jewelry, sculpture and decorative ironwork,” said Sarah McClary, artist in residence in the Craft Center’s exhibitions program and TTU graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree concentration in metals.

The range of contemporary craft available for purchase in The Gallery features the work of more than 100 regional artists and includes a variety of handmade furniture, blown glass work, jewelry, pottery, turned wood vessels, scarves, candles, ornaments, books and craft supplies.

“Shopping in The Gallery during the Holiday Festival, and throughout the year, is the perfect way to find handcrafted, unique gifts for the people on your list or find something special for yourself or your home,” said Jane Dudney Roberts, promotions and development manager at the Craft Center. “And for shoppers who just can’t decide what to get friends and family, we can help you out with our Craft Center gift cards.”

TTU employees with a valid Eagle Card identification receive a 10 percent discount for purchases in the Craft Center’s gallery during the festival and throughout the year.

If you can’t get to the Holiday Festival the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Craft Center’s gallery and exhibitions are open daily until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

The Craft Center is located approximately six miles from Interstate 40 at Exit 273 (Smithville/McMinnville). Go south on Highway 56 and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Craft Center.

For more information about the Holiday Festival, contact Gail Looper at 931/372-3051, e-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or go online to the Craft Center web site at www.tntech.edu/craftcenter.

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