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August 21, 2017

Buckhorn Neighbors: Buie Pottery

One of the oft-asked questions from our guests is where we got the charming little pottery lamps on our tables in the dining room.  

We get many compliments on our decor, incluiding our pottery lamps.

These pottery lamps add to our table scape.  

These lamps were created by one of our neighbors in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, Buie Pottery.  Buie began throwing pottery when she was only 17 and has been enjoying “slinging mud” every since!  She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Tennessee.  She opened her studio and gallery in 1986.  Her stoneware pieces are colorful, functional, and very attractive.  http://www.buiepottery.com

Each of these handmade pottery lamps is different.

These lamps were created at Buie Pottery.

A Primer on Pottery

It is one of the oldest human art forms.  Some pieces have been identified as being from the pre-Neolithic period.  Ancient vessels and figurines have been recovered from all over the world:  China, Russia, Japan, Sub Saharan Africa, and South America.  Pottery is durable, so shards and pieces have survived long after other materials have broken down.  By examining these objects, archeologists learn much about the daily life of a particular culture.  

Creating Pottery

Before the objects are formed, the clay must be kneaded to ensure that water is evenly distributed throughout the object.  Then air trapped within the clay is removed.  Then objects are formed from the prepared clay by hand-forming or by throwing on a potter’s wheel.  The clay can also be molded or machine-shaped.  The object is then heated to high temperatures in a kiln to remove the water.  The resulting object is hard and strong.  

Pieces may be decorated before, or after, firing.  Some of the main means of decoration are painting, glazing or carving.  Colored clays or other additives may be worked into the clay to create different textures and effects.  

Watching a potter at work is fascinating.  We encourage you to stop by one of the local artisan studios on the Arts & Crafts Loop the next time you visit us.

 

July 10, 2017

Arts & Crafts of the Smokies

The Arts & Crafts Community was established in 1937.

More than 100 artisans can be found in the Arts & Crafts Community.

The Buckhorn Inn is fortunate to be located in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.  Established in 1937, this community is the largest group of independent artists in North America.  The 8-mile loop features more than 100 shops.  There visitors can watch the artisans at work and browse their creations.  Many of the artists specialize in traditional Appalachian arts.  You may pronounce it “Ap-pa-LATCH-a” as many locals do, or “Ap-pa-LAY-cha” as is the case  in many other parts of the country.  Regardless, it is the birthplace of many unique arts and crafts.  

Background of Arts & Crafts in the Smokies

The people of the Smoky Mountains have been described as self-sufficient, creative, and inspired by the natural beauty around them.  Practical items used everyday have taken on the role of folk art by virtue of the excellent craftsmanship and elegance of design.  Folk art typically is defined as works that are artistic but also have practical use.  Crafts, on the other hand, are items usually produced for a practical use but are decorated.  Sometimes solely practical items become objects of art by being repurposed.  
Examples might be jugs used for decoration or rugs used as wall hangings.    Traditional Smoky Mountain arts & crafts include painting, woodworking, and weaving.  This area also features glassblowing, basket weaving, and metal working.  The community has shops focusing on pottery, leathercraft, and broom making.  Many of the artists in our community are second- and third-generation artisans.  They use traditional methods that have been passed down to them.  These traditional pieces are finding a resurgence of popularity.  Many collectors appreciate the timeless quality of uniquely handcrafted works.  They look forward to handing down these treasures to future generations.  

The Gatlinburg Convention center will host the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Thanksgiving Show from November 21-26.  The Holiday Show will be held from November 27-December 3.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Arts & Crafts shows are right around the corner.

Be sure to visit the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts shows.

For more information on the shows please visit http://www.GatlinburgCrafts.com  Please watch this blog as we feature some of our artistic neighbors!