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Regional artist Chery Cratty has been painting with paper for years. Now, children can try to make their own paper at the Craft Academy at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft.

Children ages 5 and above can come with their parents to the Craft Academy’s June 7 workshop. Center for Craft staff will help them to make handmade paper for $5 a person. The activity is paired with an exhibition of Cratty’s work in the Center for Craft’s Gallery Two.

“The Craft Academy is a hands-on, family-friendly component of the Center for Craft’s exhibition program,” said academy founder Lindsey Maestri, exhibitions and program manager. “It’s designed to allow participants to engage with the exhibitions and learn how the art is created.”

The workshop takes about an hour and sessions will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families can drop in or register in advance for a time slot by calling (931) 372-3051.

“This is about learning,” said Gail Gentry, student success and promotions coordinator. “Participants learn about craft materials, processes and craft artists while they create.”

Cratty will lead a session herself and instruct children ages 10 and up about her unique method of painting with paper and porcupine quills at the Craft Academy June 21. That full-day workshop is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $25 a person.

The Craft Academy has workshops ranging from making found object rings to clay vessels planned through Aug. 16. For the full schedule, visit

“In many of these activities, participants are learning about objects they use every day. We see them have that light bulb moment,” Maestri said. “They’ve been using paper and wearing fabrics all their lives and never thought about how it was made. These objects come from something, even if they are mass produced now. It all started with the hand.”

The Center for Craft is free and open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Center for Craft is approximately six miles off Interstate 40 at exit 273, Smithville/McMinnville. Go south on state Route 56 and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Center for Craft.

For more information, visit or call (931) 372-3051.