Stone Memorial High School (SMHS) students participated in the Friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft of Tennessee’s (FACCT’s) Focus on Fine Craft Program in Smithville,TN on Oct. 12. Students participated in 3 1/2 hour long workshops in the following classes: blacksmithing,copper wire jewelry, Itajme (fabric dying), glass bead making, glass etching,woodturning, and wheel throwing taught by artists in residence and college students from the Appalachian Center for Craft.
Craft Center artists guided students as they designed and completed hands-on art projects and learned about basic history, terms, materials, tools and equipment. Each student creates a one of a kind artwork to take home.
"Students cherish the artworks they create at the Craft Center field trips. We've had many students from the past tell us how they still have their clay project from 15 years ago. It's such a special day that they will never forget," says Educational Outreach Coordinator Breanna Kincaid. "Stone Memorial High School students had a great knowledge of art terms and are trained well in drawing. We were amazed at their skill and ability levels. Dale Safdie, art teacher at Stone Memorial, has been diligent in bringing her students to the field trip annually. It is something the students look forward to each year," Kincaid said.
It is a unique opportunity for students to work outside the classroom and gain skills not always taught in the curriculum. Students learn to “think outside the box” see many new applications for math and science, as well as the rich history of fine craft in our state and world. One student in glass etching said, "This was a fun and didactic experience and I appreciate the opportunity!" Some of the SMHS students expressed interest in attending the school for college and were given college packages. The field trip program often recruits students for the BFA program.
Students toured the facility of the Appalachian Center for Craft, which is a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech University. Most of the artists at the Craft Center are working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics, fibers, glass, wood, or metals. In addition to educational outreach, the BFA degree programs and the craft certificate, the center also offers a variety of workshops for the public.
The Focus on Fine Craft program has been benefitting for 10 years and continues to provide a unique field trip opportunity to students. This program is funded under an agreement with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessee General Assembly, the William N. Rollins Fund for the Arts of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Wal-Mart, and the Highland Rim Chapter of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists.
“The community’s support of this program is exemplary!” said Noreen Grisolano, FACCT treasurer. “This support has allowed us to bring quality arts experiences into the lives of over 24,000 area students over the past decade, and we are grateful!”
The Appalachian Center for Craft also offers adult workshops, mini workshops and an upcoming Holiday Festival over Thanksgiving weekend. Beginning Friday, Nov. 23-25, the Craft Center and Friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft will be hosting a weekend of demonstrating, shopping, music and workshops. For more information visit http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/holiday/ or call the Craft Center at 931-372-3052.