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Appalachian Center for Craft

Educator Workshops

Educator Workshops are open to 8th-12th grade educators currently teaching in Tennessee. These immersive workshops make fine craft accessible to teachers in typical 8th-12th grade classrooms. Educators will not only acquire new skills, gain valuable resources, and learn to source and prepare materials, they also gain the ability to borrow (for free) kits of tools, equipment and materials necessary to teach these workshops to 10 of their students or peers.

We will return to in-person sessions this summer. All sessions will take place on the campus of Tennessee Tech University's Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee.

This project is made possible by a grant received from the William N. Rollins Fund for the Arts and the Robert K. and Anne H. Zelle Fund for Education of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee received by Tennessee Tech University's Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee.

The program will take place the week of July 4-9 or July 11-16. A different subject will be available each of these weeks. 

  • Mission

    To empower art educators to:

    • Lead fine craft workshops in their own classrooms with provided tools, materials and equipment
    • Affordably acquire and/or create and process materials and tools
    • Align lessons to curriculum standards
    • Apply for grants and exhibit student work in their communities
    • Share this knowledge and skill with other teachers, students, and the community.

  • Workshops 

    Educators select one of the following workshops:

    • July 4-9, 2021 - Book Making, Design and History for the Classroom: Class begins with a day for making decorative papers using a range of techniques, including stencils, crayon resists, Japanese paste papers (3 types), and spraying of color. Create a swatch book from these samples and also use the papers to make each book more special. Focus on 15 to 20 different bindings and make a prototype of each before designing and creating final books. As you approach each form, learn about its history and place in the world and the cultures from which each originates. Create Japanese, Chinese, Egyptian, European and contemporary universal books. The books vary from simple to complex, making them suitable for a variety of ages and grade levels. Discuss each book's pros and cons, how books can be used to teach a wide range of subject matter and/or provide a format for information on any subject. Each book is tied to a time and place as well as being an object of containment. At the end of the week, display all the books for a group critique. Instructor: Claudia Lee is a full-time paper and book artist and educator and two-time recipient of a Master’s Grant from The Tennessee Arts Commission. Her work has been published in more than 30 books and journals and she is the author of Papermaking from Lark Books. Lee's work can be found in many private and public collections.
    • July 11-16, 2021 - Introduction to Metals for the Classroom: Chains, Texture and Patina: Learn a variety of traditional and not-so-traditional chain making techniques using colorful anodized aluminum jump rings and brass and copper wire. Gain skill texturing and stamping copper shapes and adding color with patina. Gain comfort using and learn the proper function of chain nose, flat nose and ring nose pliers as well as a variety of hammers, texturing tools and patinas. Learn tips and tricks to make chain making more understandable and accessible to a variety of skill levels. Create your choice of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more as you gain knowledge and confidence in these basic metalsmithing techniques. Instructor: Brie Flora a professional jeweler with a BFA in metalsmithing/jewelry and art education. Brie currently resides in Cookeville, Tennessee, exhibits nationally, creates a line of production and commission jewelry and has taught courses in college, high school and community settings.

  • Benefits for Educators

    While participating in the Educator Workshops, educators receive:

    • Instruction from professional artist educators
    • Directions on preparing and sourcing materials, tools and equipment
    • Knowledge to complete projects and confidently instruct their own students
    • Resources and materials lists
    • Materials, tools and equipment used to complete projects in the medium of participant's choice
    • Access to tools, equipment and materials to lead sessions for 10 students of colleagues-through an online lending library
    • Sessions on best practices in Hybrid Learning from Tennessee Tech University's art education professor
    • Ample opportunity to network and exchange ideas with colleagues

  • Registration

    Registration fees are $250 per person and include everything listed under "Benefits for Educators" above as well as room and board - 15 meals and 5 nights of lodging at the Appalachian Center for Craft. 


  • Schedule

    Workshops are scheduled July 4-9 and July 11-14.  Educators MUST be available during the entirety of the week selected. 

    High School Art Educator Workshop Schedule


    • 3 - 4:30 p.m. - check in and room assignments
    • 5-6:30 p.m. - orientation and dinner
    • 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. - first session of workshop

    Monday - Thursday:

    • 8 - 9 a.m. - breakfast
    • 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - workshop
    • 12 - 1:30 p.m. - lunch and potential group sessions for teachers
    • 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. - workshop
    • 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. - dinner
    • 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. - evening sessions including demonstrations and presentations by art faculty and alumni.


    • 8 - 9 a.m. - breakfast
    • 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - workshop 
    • 12 - 1:30 p.m. - lunch, presentation of certificates and group exhibitions/displays/critiques
    • 1:30 p.m. - check out and departure
    • 3:00 p.m. - cabins vacated

  • Requirements

     Each participating educator must:

    • Teach at a school within the state of Tennessee.
    • Complete an indemnification and release form prior to participating in the workshops. This document may be downloaded here Indemnification and Release Form
    • Agree to complete assigned projects and share them during the appropriate sessions.
    • Participate in the final exhibition and critique.
    • Complete an evaluation of the program.
    • Return all equipment and tools utilized during the sessions. Participants may keep all consumables to utilize when they teach these techniques to their students.
    • Agree to lead workshops on at least one of the processes/techniques learned to 10 of their students or peers AND take video or images of the session(s). We do not expect professional quality here, just proof that the lessons are shared.
    • Film/video/images of the session must be shared with the Appalachian Center for Craft within a week after the session is completed. Send to Gail Gentry at
    • Agree to exhibit the work produced by students/teachers who complete the workshops taught by educators.
    • Provide video or images of the exhibition to the Appalachian Center for Craft.