green sign for the great smoky arts and crafts community
March 29, 2013

The Gatlinburg area is well-known for its ties to the artists and crafts people of the Great Smoky Mountains. Visitors always enjoy this part of the Gatlinburg heritage. There is an eight-mile loop off Hwy 321 dedicated to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts area that offers more than 50 individual shops. Those who prefer not to drive can take the convenient Gatlinburg Trolley.

The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts area Loop is perfect for shopping for unique art and gifts, and many artisans are on hand to teach visitors about their craft. Visitors can learn about working with clay at Blue Pottery, Rocky Flats Pottery, Red Owl Pottery, Alewine Pottery, Earthworks, Gatlinburg Ceramics, Smoky Mountain Pottery, Treasures in Earthen Vessels, Judy Jones Pottery, and Greenbrier Pottery.

Many women especially enjoy seeing silversmiths at Silver Paradise or visiting with the jewelry artists at Tahiti Beads and Shishoconage Stone Art Jewelry. Candle making is on display at Lorelei’s Candle Factory, Village Candles, and More than a Candle. Soap making is the center of attention at Misty Mountain Soap Company. The fine art of basket making is the job of craftsmen at Licklog Hollow Baskets. Ogles Brooms demonstrates the unique, utilitarian art of broom making Weaving is a major part of Appalachian life. You can still find weavers making everything from wall hangings to wearable works of art. The art of quilt-making is on display at Mountain Stitches.

Visitors can learn about leather crafts at The Leather Works, Country Cobbler Leather, The Real McCoy Leather, and Smoky Mountain Leather. Gatlin County Leather offers demonstrations on Native American crafting including clothing, drums, and Poppen moccasins.

Woodworking has long been a native art of the Smoky Mountains. This fine craft is showcased at Tim Weberding Woodworking, Ownby’s Woodcraft, Whaley Handcrafts and Byrne’s Woodworkers at the Wood Whistler’s Complex. Creekside Rustic Furniture uses found wooden pieces and a completely different style than the finished wooden pieces at the Chair Shop. Make It Magic Chainsaw Arts and Crafts brings bears and other creatures to life right before your eyes. In crafters’ hands, wood is sawed and carved into benches, tables and fireplace mantles.

Glass is a favorite artist medium. Firefly Glass by Nancy Huff, Glass blowing by Jack Hess, and Baxter’s Stained Glass demonstrate different ways to make art out of glass. Talking Turkey Studios is a working studio that makes architectural stained glass and painted glass. Nationally-known artists fill their Gatlinburg studios with original paintings.