The DIY craze has certainly caught on over the past few years. People are spending less time at the store and more time online, searching for ways to do-it-themselves when it comes to decorating their home, finding gifts for friends, or buying specialty items for their little ones. Nothing is quite as special or as memorable as those beautiful items your own two hands have made!
This year, Gatlinburg wants to help expand and inspire your DIY efforts with its Hands On Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Weekend! From April 8 through April 10, you’ll have the chance to attend workshops and craft a piece of beautiful artwork under the guidance of some of the Smoky Mountains’ best craftsmen and artisans.
Hosted by the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, Hands On Gatlinburg is an exciting event on the schedule for 2016 that provides locals and visitors alike with the unique opportunity to not only see Smoky Mountain art, but to make it themselves! More than 15 studios will offer over 40 different classes during the course of this craft-filled weekend. These classes will feature professional craftsmen who have spent years and even decades perfecting their art.
These professionals are now taking time out of their schedule to teach their craft to you. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make jewelry, how to paint with pastels, how to knit or weave, how to make pottery and soap and so much more, this is the weekend you’ve been waiting for! Hands On Gatlinburg will provide you with the chance of a lifetime to learn a new skill and take home your very own piece handcrafted art.
Your take-home crafts make for perfect display items in your home—now you’ll really have a story for how that pot or vase or painting ended up in your living room. Or you can give away your handcrafted treasure as a Mother’s Day gift, Father’s Day gift, anniversary gift, or birthday present. What better way to let someone know you care than by making a gift that’s uniquely theirs? Hands On Gatlinburg is the perfect place to get a jump on holiday shopping and have fun in the process!
Workshops and Classes
Like we said, Hands On Gatlinburg is providing more than 40 different class over the course of one weekend in April. You’ll have the chance to learn a variety of crafts and take home your handcrafted art. For an idea of the types of classes that will be offered April 8 through April 10 by the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, see our list below:
- Learn to knit a soap sack at Rocky Flats Pottery & Soap.
- Learn the art of spice blending at Thistle Dew.
- Learn to weave a wooden stool with fourth-generation furniture maker Randy Ogle.
- Learn how to create a pastel landscape at Art Studio of the Smokies.
- Learn how to make a basket necklace, how to marble your own silk scarf, and how to make a basic bowl from clay at The Cliff Dwellers Gallery.
- Learn the art of woodcarving with Otto Preske.
- Learn how to make your own bath products, including bath salts, teas, and oils at Misty Mountain Soap Company.
- Learn how to hand-sew your own personal leather medicine bag at Gatlin County Leather.
These are just a few of the exciting opportunities you’ll have at the Hands On Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Weekend. You will need to buy tickets for the classes you are interested in, and you can do that by visiting the Hands on Gatlinburg website and clicking the link that says “Get tickets” beside the classes you are interested in.
Be sure to try at least one arts and crafts class while you’re in the Smokies. This is a great opportunity for small groups of friends and even kids. But keep in mind that some classes have age restrictions and are limited to a certain number of participants. See the website for more details.
About the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is actually the largest group of independent artisans in North America. They are located just 3 miles from downtown Gatlinburg on an historic 8-mile loop that’s been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Even if you don’t come to town for the Hands On Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Weekend, you can always visit the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community on this trail. The shops here, which feature the work of more than 120 artists and craftsmen, are open throughout the year, and you are welcome to browse their crafts and buy your favorite pieces to take home!
Facts at a Glance
What: Hands On Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Weekend
When: April 8–April 10, 2016
Where: Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community