Make no mistake about it, folks in the Smoky Mountains take their arts and crafts seriously. In fact, the Historic Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community of Gatlinburg, established in 1937, works very hard to promote the work of many of the artists in the area.
Along an eight-mile stretch in Gatlinburg, you will find an area that has been designated as a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. There are over a hundred establishments along this route that specialize in some of the most beautiful craftwork that you will ever see. Whether it be candles, stained glass, dolls, leather, or oils and watercolors, you will find something that will catch your eye here.
Some of the artisans represented in the area include:
A staple on the trail since 1983, Robert Alewine has been fascinated with his craft since he was nineteen. What started as a one-man operation has steadily grown over the years, with the company now employing three full-time potters—and even a television channel! The oil lamps there are particularly impressive.
Back Porch Gallery
Here you can find a variety of arts and crafts, ranging from stained glass (which they do a fabulous job) to even having a detailed oil painting made of your pet from a photograph. It’s definitely one of the most diverse stops along the way.
Misty Mountain Woodcrafts
Do you want to take home a piece of woodcraft straight from the mountains? If so, this stop might be well worth your time. Rodney and Diane Fincham take extraordinary care with their work, and the result is something that you’ll be proud of for years to come.
Specializing in beaded jewelry, Nancie’s Fancies is unlike any stop you will make in the area. She even makes beaded eyeglass chains, which I found to be one of the most unique products that you will find there. What started out as primarily a passionate hobby for the owner has now become one of the most popular businesses in the region. A true example of someone who “loves what they do.”
Ogle’s Broom Shop
It is exactly what it says it is—a shop devoted to brooms. They’ve been doing it for three generations. In addition to brooms, one will also find a large selection of hiking sticks and walking canes, all handmade.
The Rose Pedaler
Want to keep that rose in a permanent manner? If so, you need to check this out. They will take that rose that has a special place in your heart, and will include it in a special piece of jewelry that is sure to be just as special for years’ to come!
Friends, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to see when it comes to the Arts and Crafts district in Gatlinburg. For more information, log on to www.gatlinburgcrafts.com and find out a whole lot more!