Gatlinburg, TN – Fall brings gorgeous lush colors, cooler weather, pumpkin spice and football – but best of all, it brings the 41st Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair to the Smoky Mountains.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center will host the top craftsmen all across the country from Oct. 6-23. The fair is recognized as one of the Top 20 events in the southeastern United States by the Southeast Tourism Society.
A unique characteristic of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is the fact that artisans not only make their art available for viewing and sale, but also demonstrate their special talents and skills.
One such craft person is potter David Howard, who discovered his interest in clay while taking pottery electives as an undergraduate at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. Twenty years later his hobby has turned into a full time vocation. Howard’s work is primarily traditional and functional folk pottery reminiscent of the 1800’s. Dishes, bowls, cups, plates, lamps and other fine pieces are all microwave and dishwasher safe. All of Howard’s pieces are finished with a lead-free glaze. "One of the greatest joys I have is when someone tells me they use my coffee mug every day," added Howard.
Another craftsman who is very familiar with the success and popularity of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is Charles Adams, of Troy, Alabama. Adams has expertly created a unique collection of stained glass works, including windows, doors, clocks, tiffany style lamps, kaleidoscopes, sun catchers and perhaps his specialty – stained glass angels. Charles has been participating in the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair for over 18 years.
Randy McGovern, a wildlife artist from Acworth, Georgia, was spotted by his fourth grade teacher as a potential artist and advised his parents to send him to art lessons. Working in a precise realistic style in oils, McGovern feels compelled to portray animals in their most noble character. "I love to create moods through the use of light sources and rich colors," McGovern said.
He is best known for his ability to hide a number of hidden creatures in each of his paintings.
Other craftsmen who be attending this fall’s fair are: Fritz and Penny Simonecht, Lakeland, Fla. – sculptured leather; Gary McCoy, Gatlinburg, Tenn. – hand-tooled leather belts; Sharon Evans, Madisonville, Tenn. – hand-painted feathers and leaves; Kelly Madsden, Sevierville, Tenn. – chainsaw carver; Brandy and Jason Ward, Gatlinburg – raku pottery; Jeffrey Jobe, Thomasville, NC – silversmith; Penny Ogle, Gatlinburg – children’s tents; and Robert Alewine, Gatlinburg – pottery.
Fair promoters take great pride in the quality level of the show which is assured by each exhibitor being juried for quality and unusual skill.
There’s even free live country, bluegrass and gospel music at the event: The Dennis Lee Band will perform at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.Thursday through Saturday and at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
The fair is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, which is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $7; children 12 and under are admitted free.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center is located at Traffic Light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg.