Sunday, September 26, 2010

Arrowmont- chapter 3

Well, I'm taking a little aside from what actually went on in class and including some photos this week of the surprisingly good aquarium that is literally across the street from Arrowmont.  Don't let the fact that the aquarium is a Ripley's Believe or Not franchise discourage you because it's accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is really quite impressive.  They stay open until 11pm so it's easy to walk on over after slides one evening if you've decided to take a break from working late in the studio and check out the denizens of the deep.  I went with Chad Alice Hagen, felt and fiber artist extraordinaire, who was also teaching that week.  If I hadn't been teaching myself, I'd have wanted to take both the fiber and bead classes that were being offered on the other side of the hall!  Next week, I will show you what we worked on in class and what the studios looked like but for now, enjoy these piscine pics!


A Sawfish- amazing creature!

Sawfish mouth and gills- looks like eyes but they're not

Jaws music, please

Squid couple

Random fish but such a clear shot even through the thick glass, I couldn't resist including it

There were lots of fish....

Chad Alice Hagen in the Penguin Pod- This was neat. You crawled through a tunnel and popped right up
in the midst of the penguins and they weren't disturbed in the least,although there were idiots ahead of us
banging on the plexiglass to try and get the penguins to do something.
Sometimes I wonder who really belongs in the cage.....
Penguin Feet- I don't know why this picture is so small....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arrowmont- chapter 2

Here are some more shots of Arrowmont and of Gatlinburg, which is a very odd town. It is just a little ways down the road from the super tacky tourist strip in Sieverville, where you can find Dollywood and other like ilk, but it is also right at the entrance to the Smoky Mountains National Park so there's basically one main strip that's super tacky and it's completely surrounded by these beautiful mountains. Gatlinburg gets about 10 million visitors a year but there are only 3,500 residents in the town. Arrowmont is situated just off that main road but once you round the drive, you'd hardly know all that stuff was there apart from the occasional noise that filters through the trees. It's an interesting mix. There's the appeal of feeling secluded (I missed getting to see the black bear wander through campus one morning) while on the grounds of the school but you can walk down the drive and be immersed in a full on carnival-like tourist strip complete with cheesy arcades, festival food (all the homemade fudge you can eat), shopping (as long as mostly what you want to buy are purses or imitation Japanese swords), etc. When I was trying to explain it to my husband I compared it to Venice Beach in CA but without the body builders or ocean and with more permanent architecture. It's really quite an experience. But of course, it's only an interesting diversion for the real reason to be there, which is Arrowmont. Blogger has decided it doesn't want to upload any more photos for this post for some reason so I'll have to post more later. Enjoy!

Stuart House- another of the older structures on campus

Looking over the ceramics kilns into town. The Aquarium is that blue thing in the distance.

The main strip in Gatlinburg- wish I'd taken more photos! This one is soooo tame!

Yes- free moonshine tastings. Yes, I had some.

This is the Ogle Cabin, the oldest cabin that was built in the area in 1807.
The furnishings are as close to period as they could get (ignore the modern
conveniences for the volunteer who sits the place- very nice lady and very

The other side of the cabin

The Salt and Pepper Museum that, alas, I did not have time to go into before I had to leave

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Well, thanks to Mary Chuduk, I had the privilege to teach at Arrowmont in August. It was absolutely wonderful!!! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, Arrowmont is an arts and crafts school in Gatlinburg, TN that was originally founded in 1912 as a settlement school for rural farm kids to get an education. The school was dedicated as a year-round arts facility in 1968 although summers at the school had been devoted to arts and crafts workshops for many years prior. Today, it is one of the premiere locations to take week+ long intensive workshops in many media: painting/ drawing, wood, clay, photography, metals and enameling, glass fusing, paper, book and fiber arts. To view their website, click here

For Arrowmont, I developed a class on painting enamels, something that is not widely taught but a technique I've been experimenting with for a while now. I went looking for a photo of the main sample I made but by golly, I must not have take one so that image will have to wait for next time. For now, here are some photos of Arrowmont and one of the countryside. I'll post more later. Enjoy!

On the way to Arrowmont- the beautiful east TN scenery

This is the house I stayed in- Staff House

Inside the lounge between the sleeping quarters and the cafeteria at Staff House

Patio off the Library and our studios

View down the driveway at Arrowmont. The main building is on the left

The Red Barn, one of the oldest buildings on campus

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mesa Arts Center Shindig Tonight!

The Mesa Arts Center is having their big season kick-off tonight from 6-10. There will be performances, the gallery will be open and there will be art demonstrations all over. I will be working in the enameling studio so come on by to chat or ask questions. A good time will be had by all! :-)