We stopped by the Appalachian Center for Craft one foggy July evening on the way back from The SeatWeavers’ Guild Gathering in Arkansas. It is part of Tennessee Tech University and located in the cozy mountains of Smithville, Tn. It looked like summer camp…until you walked inside the buildings. And then it was craft nerd heaven! Craft Nerd University! (maybe they should change the name?)
I’d found out about Tennessee Tech University’s Craft Program at the American Craft Council Show a couple of years ago. One of my chair gurus (whom I have never actually met) was a resident there, the amazing Sophie Glenn. She makes chairs…wait for it….out of metal…that look so much like wooden chairs that you have to knock on them to believe. AND…she even incorporates woven metal seats on them. (Praise be to the chair gods.) It’s really fun to follow her process on Instagram. She is now at Mississippi State University in Starkvegas.
We had the opportunity to drop by during their break, so the campus was relatively empty, including empty of Sophie (wah waaahhh), but we met Lydia Johnson, a ceramicist, who was finishing her residency there. Lydia was kind enough to oblige us with a tour. We were so impressed with the glass studio, the massive wood studio, all the studios really, and the campus in general. And we learned that one of my chair gurus and Southern Highland Craft Guild colleagues, Tim Hintz, has connections to the school! Good times. We were thrilled to be invited to teach (per Sophie’s recommendation, thanks!) this summer.
The class is called Seat Weaving with Color & Pattern and is happening June 5-7, 2020. Begin with a chair that has four rails at the seat and is in good repair. Use dyed reed and shaker tape to create a chair seat with vibrant colors and fun patterns. Complete 2-4 projects during the weekend and gain the ability to confidently complete a chair weaving project at home. All levels welcome, must have moderate hand and shoulder strength. BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) or we an provide one for you with advanced notice.
$350; Additional materials fee payable to instructor includes- tool kit with 2 spring clamps and reed snips ($10); plain splint reed ($20/chair); dyed splint reed ($35/chair); 1 or 2 colors Shaker tape ($50/chair). MUST pre-order from instructors. Sign up with Tennessee Tech/Appalachian Center for Craft. Discounts are available!Share this article...