Teaching Roster

Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University

Contact Name: Gail Gentry

Address:

1560 Craft Center Drive
Smithville, Tennessee 38505
United States

Email: Click to email

Phone: (931) 372-3051

Artistic Disciplines:

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Virtual Programming:

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Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft (Craft Center) opened in December of 1979. The campus is located in Smithville, Tennessee, and is nestled atop a 500-acre wooded peninsula on Center Hill Lake. Within the College of Fine Arts and part of the School of Art, Craft and Design, the Craft Center offers a nationally accredited bachelor of fine arts degree in clay, fibers, glass, metals and wood. Additional degrees in painting, art education and design are offered on TTU’s main campus in Cookeville, Tennessee. The Craft Center’s public programming includes a fine craft gallery, craft exhibitions, two annual open-house events (Celebration in the spring and the Holiday Festival in the fall), artist residencies, and programs for high school students and teachers.

During a typical year, the Focus on Fine Craft Program for High School Students presents opportunities for students to participate in hands-on craft activities during Fridays in the professionally equipped studios on the Craft Center’s campus in Smithville. Professional artists present eight (8) different workshops from which each student may select. The Center provides all equipment, tools and materials needed for project(s). Students learn the history, background, techniques and tools for each activity and may tailor each piece to their individual aesthetic. Teachers may select arrival and departure times allowing approximately four (4) hours for their visit.

The Summer High School Art Intensive allows high school teachers to select two of their students to accompany them for a week of intensive study in one of the Craft Center’s studios. Students participate alongside their teachers in two hands-on workshops, one each morning of the week and one each afternoon. Evenings are spend rotating to four other hands-on activities so that everyone experiences each medium available including blacksmithing, clay, fibers, glass, metals and wood. Craft Center artists-in-residence and other professional artists from the community lead activities. All materials, tools, equipment, a basic kit of art materials, room and board are included for this program.

High School Educator Workshops occur at various times throughout the year and offer educators opportunities to immerse themselves in new media and techniques. The goal of this program is to empower art educators to lead fine craft activities in their own classrooms, affordably acquire materials, borrow tools from the Craft Center’s educator lending library, align lessons to curriculum standards, apply for grands and exhibit student work, and to share this knowledge and skill with other teachers, students and/or the community. Professional artists lead workshops in the studios at the Craft Center. Artists provide resource lists for materials; preparation and planning for materials, tools and classroom set up; in-depth skill development with demonstrations and time for hands-on application of techniques; tips for presenting activities to students in classroom settings; alignment of standards; and ideas for exhibition venues and grant applications.

The Craft Center has adapted Educator Workshops and the Focus on Fine Craft Program for virtual availability. The Focus on Fine Craft Program is currently open as “Virtual Artist Residencies for the High School Classroom,” is described below and available for a Tennessee Arts Commission Student Ticket Subsidy grant.

Artist Work Samples


Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Virtual Artist Residencies for the High School Classroom

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

Register for an artist to visit your classroom virtually. The Appalachian Center for Craft will mail tools and materials to you for your students and, on a mutually agreed upon date and time, a professional artist will Zoom into your classroom to teach a workshop! All workshops are suitable for high school students and are taught by professional artists from Tennessee Tech’s Appalachian Center for Craft (part of the School of Art, Craft and Design). Media and topics vary and more will be added throughout the year. Check back for updates!

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Focus on Fine Craft - Glass Bead Making

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

This is one of eight options within the Focus on Fine Craft Program. Typically up to 80 students participate in eight different workshops requiring 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours on one Friday. In this workshop, students, 8th-12th grade, will learn how to safely create glass beads of various colors utilizing an oxygen/propane torch, mandrels, glass rod, rake, tweezers, pick, mashers, and other assorted tools. Students will learn how to make a symmetrical round bead first. Students will then learn a variety of decorative techniques including making stringers, forming dots, reducing colors, stripes, swirls, and raking. Students will select and utilize the appropriate techniques to create beads of their own design. They will learn the reasons for annealing glass. They leave with several beads of assorted colors. ($20 per student)

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Focus on Fine Craft Program - Copper Fabrication

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

This is one of eight options in the Focus on Fine Craft Program. Typically up to 80 students participate in eight different workshops requiring 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours on one Friday. During this workshop, students, 8th-12th grade will learn to safely use tools including hammers, stamps, files, jewelry saws and the rolling mill to create texture and patterns on copper. They will learn to drill holes, use files, and how to add color to the pieces with various methods of patination. Students will design and create a layered pendant or pendants. They will make decisions about design, appropriate tool usage and color based upon information received in this workshop. Students will leave the studio with at least two completed textured and patinaed copper pendants. ($20 per student)

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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