The Smoky Mountain region is renowned for its natural splendor, rich cultural heritage, outdoor adventures, countless attractions and more! . But did you know that the Smokies is also home to one of the largest independent artisans’ organizations in the country? Thanks to the organization’s gathering of talent over the past eighty years, the Smokies has become a hub for creative individuals and their handcrafted works. For many artisans in the area, the skills and knowledge of their craft have been passed down through multiple generations, preserving techniques and styles that are unique to the region. You can purchase these one-of-a-kind creations along an eight-mile loop, known as the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, just outside of Gatlinburg. This community serves as the basecamp for over 100 exceptional artisans and crafters today. As you shop for treasures, you may notice artisans hard at work, but they are typically happy to discuss their work and passion with onlookers. However, once a year, the Hands On Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Weekend provides patrons with the opportunity to explore or refine their crafting skills with the help of skilled craftsmen.
From May 5th to May 7th, more than 30 workshops will be held in over a dozen studios in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. These one-of-a-kind classes are tailored towards both experienced as well as rookie crafters hoping to learn from the best in their craft. During the immersive three-day event, you will have the opportunity to create your very own Smoky Mountain masterpiece to take home with you as the ultimate souvenir while also gathering valuable crafting tips and tricks. It’s important to note that each workshop requires a general admission fee and that seating is limited, so it’s recommended to sign up ahead of time. However, there is no limit on how many classes you can participate in, as long as you are available to attend.
The typical workshop structure will be an intimate one, with classes averaging around five students per course, and the largest attendance number being twelve. Although most workshops cater to older crafters with an age requirement of fourteen, some courses do allow younger crafters to participate (we’ll touch on a couple of examples here in a bit). With limited seats in each class, the expert teachers can provide thorough instruction and guidance, making each session feel like a mini-apprenticeship. You’ll learn creative tricks-of-the-trade directly from the professionals, while exploring your own artistic expression. At the end of each workshop, you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for the craft and a handmade treasure. The only challenging part of Hands-On Gatlinburg is deciding which classes to sign up for!
Classes – At A Glance
From painting to basketed weaving to jewelry making and so much more – below is an excerpt from the myriad of classes you can attend!
Act fast if you haven’t already enrolled in your preferred classes. Some classes have already reached their maximum capacity and will continue to do so. However, if you missed your chance to register for one of your chosen programs, be sure to check back online or contact the instructor for any last-minute cancellations. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t attend a particular course; there are still plenty of other great options to choose from!
A Smoky Mountain Paradise
Still searching for the perfect Smoky Mountain retreat to unwind and rest your head after a full day of learning, creating and making new memories? Then it’s time to book with Parkside Resort and reserve a cozy yet luxurious Smoky Mountain cabin for your upcoming trip! From quaint cottages perfect for one, to sprawling lodges capable of hosting dozens, your ideal slice of Smoky Mountain paradise awaits you here at Parkside.