Hands-on Gatlinburg

234 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Studios throughout the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community will host classes, providing guests with the chance to learn how to make their favorite crafts from the professionals themselves. An abundance of do-it-yourself style classwork will be offered, from knitting to pastels, painting, jewelry-making, watercolor, weaving, pottery, crochet, woodworking, soap-making and much more. Festivalgoers can keep the items they make and place them alongside their other coveted works of art.

View all classes here or see the list below. 

Make a Fused Glass Spoon Rest at Firefly Glass Studio
Glass Art for Beginners

Brighten up your kitchen with a fused glass spoon rest. Decorate a 6” glass circle with bits and pieces of art glass, dichroic glass, stringers and frit to make a one-of-a-kind spoon rest that you will love. Once assembled, Nancy will fire your piece in a kiln at 1500 degrees and then in a separate firing at a lower temperature the piece will be slumped into the spoon rest shape. Once fired, the spoon rest will be shipped and ready to use in your kitchen. (The shipping cost is included in the price of the class.) Nancy has been having fun fusing glass for 14 years and wants to share the fun with you, so come out and play with glass. Book Class


Make a Dogwood Birdhouse at Cliff Dwellers
“Just for the Birds” Gourd birdhouse painting for all ages at Cliff Dwellers

Students will be furnished with a clean and drilled birdhouse gourd, ready to paint. Louise will walk you through the steps to finish your own birdhouse and answer all your gourd questions. Dogwoods just shout Spring, so let's celebrate the season with a splash of creativity and color. Louise will add the clear sealer, so you can pick them up the next day. Book Class

Jann Peitso Moonshine Watercolor Class
A watercolor experience in the tradition of the old incredible moonshine painters, storytellers, and songwriters.

You will excel in a small painting, as moonshine painters did, while listening, enrapt by the story. You will paint, deckle, choose mats, use mounting adhesives, then mat and package your original 8 x 10 “moonshine painting." A splash of moonshine in the paint water for texture and homage to the old painters…but no sippin’! Includes lots of fun, splashing the moonshine in watercolor, and receiving a Charter Member certificate of IMPS&S. Book Class


Make a Fused Glass Pendant at Firefly Glass Studio

Firefly Glass Studio is offering the opportunity to design your own piece of jewelry in fused glass. Stop by and learn how to create an eye-catching pendant from Nancy Huff, a 14-year glass fuser. Using bits and pieces of art glass, dichroic glass, and stringers you will create a piece that is unique and fun to wear. Once your design is complete, it will be fired in a kiln at 1400 degrees. It will then be shipped to you and ready for you to enjoy. The cost of shipping is included in the price of the class. Book Class


Create a Custom Candle at Lorelei Candles
Create a unique custom candle

In this class, you will experience how we create our “Lorelei Production” candles from start to finish. Students will choose one of our custom-designed candles and personalize it using our tried and true techniques. The piece will be finished with a special coating to preserve and protect the candle. The class ends with instructions on how to wick and prepare the mold for the next class. Book Class


Personalize a Snack Tray

Each participant will be guided through the process of creating two snack trays. Materials will include clay, texture creators, forms, and underglaze. All you will need to bring is a sense of adventure and creativity.

Once you complete your trays, they will be fired in the kiln to 1900 degrees. Once cooled they will be covered with an overglaze that allows the underglaze that you painted on to show through. Once dry they will go back into the kiln and be fired one last time to a temperature of 2300 degrees Please allow two weeks to complete this process. You will be notified by email when they are ready for you to pick them up at Cliff Dwellers. If you live outside the area, they can be mailed to you. Book Class


Kid's Candle Making Class
Creative Candle Making for Kids

Kids can express their creativity through candle-making. Students can paint a candle in the shape of their favorite animal. Options include a cat, dog, turtle, unicorn, and even a dinosaur! Book Class


Rug Weaver

Rug Weaving for Beginners

We will be weaving a Shaggy Chique Rug using recycled materials and weaving on a 4 harness floor loom. You will be shown how to finish the rugs, so you can take them home to complete your rug. Dressing the loom will not be covered in this class, but some terminology will be discussed. Book Class


Fused Glass Window Art

Spend some time creating a glass picture. Using bits and pieces of art glass, stringers, frit and dichroic glass, design your masterpiece on a 5” circle to be fired in a kiln at 1400 degrees.  Make an abstract design or something more detailed. Once the piece has been fired it will be shipped within a couple of weeks and ready to hang in a window for you to admire. Shipping cost is included in the price of the class. Book Class



Glitter Roxs and Gel du Solei Process to Make a Ring or Bracelet

The student will create either a bracelet or ring with snap pieces and Gel du Soleil, a UV resin that will cure under UV light in 20 minutes or in a sunny window for just a bit longer. Students will mix Glitter Rox with the UV resin to create a completed piece to take home. Since normal resin takes up to 72 hours to cure this is an easy and fun process way to create a unique piece of jewelry. Watch out, you might find a whole new world of creating. Book Class



Chair Seat Weaving

This is your chance to learn how to put a new seat on an old chair or footstool. You will learn the basics of seat weaving using seagrass on a small doll chair. 11 ¼ H x 7 ½. David is an eighth-generation East Tennessean and an avid history buff. He wants to teach you his craft so that you can bring that old family heirloom out of the attic or basement and back into the living room to enjoy. Who could be better to teach you seat weaving than a “Weaver?” Book Class

Make a Jar Candle and Gift Box

Learn to make scented soy candles. Students will learn the proper technique to melt, mix, scent, and pour soy jar candles.  While the candles are setting up, students will build a custom wooden gift box.  High-temperature wax and proper tools will be used during this class.  Ages 11-16 will need parent supervision. Book Class


Basket Weaving

Make a Small Market Basket
Basket weaving for adults

Learn to weave a Market Basket.  You will learn basic weaving techniques that can be used to make other basket styles. The completed basket will be 6” wide and 10” long.  You will learn twining, weaving and rim lashing in addition to learning to read a basket pattern.  No previous experience is needed to make this basket, just a desire to learn and have fun. Book Class


Pebble Art for Beginners

Students will learn the craft of Pebble Art. Each student will learn to design and create a framed work of art made of natural pebbles found in rivers and streams. After learning to pick the perfect frame, you will learn to sort stones, and how to select the perfect pebble for your project. You will also learn to embellish your design with sticks, weeds, and ink to produce a beautiful piece of art. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. (Limit 1 non-participating adult per minor.) Book Class



Acrylic and Canvas

Students will use pre-toned artist canvas in heather green. This is a new product that has already been primed with color, so the student can begin painting immediately. Louise will show you how to blend and paint on the medium texture of the 9” x 12” canvas. Dogwoods just shout Spring, so let's celebrate the season with a splash of creativity and color. Book Class



Porcelain Ornaments

A. Jann Peitso - Porcelain Ornaments

Students will create two Porcelain Ornaments using Alcohol inks. The completed ornaments will be thoughtfully packaged for future holiday gifting. As each ornament is original, the images will vary from these photos. Book Class


Trio of Earrings Plus Box

A Trio of Earrings plus Box

Choose from LOTS of marbled leather from Pat’s stash to create three pairs of your own lightweight earrings. Several styles to choose from: studs on sterling silver posts, dangles on sterling silver wires, mini-collages on sterling silver wires. Colorful, very unique, one-of-a-kind! If there is time and interest, you can even fashion a small origami paper box to put your treasures in. You will have Pat’s assistance and use of her tools. Join the fun! Book Class