Jewelry students of all skill levels learned to create wire-wrapped adornments: pendants, earrings, rings and bracelets. Many students chose to enfold precious stones in gold or sterling silver.

When drawing in only black and white, shades play a huge role in the definition of objects. So for the drawing class, this was definitely an area of focus. On a clear sunny morning, students had the opportunity to head outdoors and experience how light influences areas of brightness and shade in nature. The sun exuded its rays over trees and flowers, and also the surroundings behind them, to show how things can be made apparent even by the lightness of the background.

Raw focus and constant steadiness are vital for the beginning Glass Bead student.  Using a searing flame to shape and mold the beads, they make designs and patterns on the tiny, morphous canvases.


The woodworking studio was put into use this week for a class in Shaker Boxes, which are small lidded boxes. Though the work is tedious (here a student inserts several minuscule screws into the bent wood) the results are exponentially satisfying.

In the Mosaics class, students placed colorful pieces of tile onto panels, and arranged them into vibrant designs and images. The finished products were to be used for purposes varying from home display to tabletop usage to gifts.

In the Broom Making class, it’s all about technique. Students learn to weave a myriad of styles of brooms, such as the cobweb and turkey wing, in many different ways. To make the fruit of their effort even more worth it, those partaking in the class also go out and collect the gnarled wooden branches that they sand and finish for the broom handles.

The Surface Design class had a blast experimenting with their creative chi this week. The students took a bland piece of fabric and used different coloring techniques to generate patterns and designs. Some turned out looking expressive and earthy in tone, while others resembled closely a kaleidoscope. Many of the students are quilters and fiber artists and will incorporate these creative fabrics into their own works.

In the new and recently opened Clay Spencer Blacksmith Shop, 3 father and son pairs worked together and individually to acquire new smithing skills.


Bluegrass Banjo is as essential to Appalachian culture as hot dogs are to baseball games, so this class was filled to the brim. Even those who like to take songs slow and steady found themselves jamming out with others.

Written By: Taylor, Summer Intern from Murphy High School