Not far from the birthplace of David Crockett is what’s known as the Mother School of Tennessee. Washington College Academy has been sitting on the same sprawling campus since 1780. Over the centuries both the school and the land around it have gone through many transformations. Through it all, “the college” as it is known locally has been a center of learning and community.
The Board of Trustees for Washington College Academy have voted to offer the public the chance to walk this historic campus once again and to participate in the next chapter of this storied and beloved institution.
The Washington College Academy School for Arts & Crafts will offer a slate of three new classes where students may learn new forms of expression from master artisans.
“We want to be able to offer something you can’t get anywhere else,” said Heather Jones, WCA trustee.“We are getting this new program off the ground and everyone is working very hard to provide a great learning experience for students.”
Beginning Saturdays in May, the initial slate of classes for the new program will include:
Ikebana Oriental Flower Arranging
This is not your grandmother’s flower-arranging class. Ikebana is a traditional Asian art form dating back to the 7th century. It involves the placement of individual flowers, branches, and leaves in specially chosen vessels designed to showcase off the arrangement.
“Like most visual art, Ikebana is about balance and flow,” said George Blanks, instructor for the course. “The arrangements can be simple and elegant or complex and visually stunning. It is a fascinating art form. Each session students are going to take home something very special.”
The class will consist of four three-hour sessions each Saturday, beginning June 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Pence-Graybeal Building. Tuition is $260 which includes all the flowers and all materials except for containers for the arrangements and clippers, which students must provide.
Blanks began practicing the art when he lived in Taiwan, Taipei taking lessons for more than a decade and says Ikebana is enjoyed by men and women, young and old alike.
Jewelry and Metalwork for Beginners
Have a great idea for a piece of jewelry or a small personal art object that can be made out of metal? This class will instruct participants in techniques for making belt buckles, rings, bracelets, dog tags, and other decorative items out of metal.
“Once you understand how design and craft simple objects, then all it takes is practice to create more complex and elaborate items,” said Dwight Bennett, master metalworker and instructor for the class. “We’ll learn how to cut copper and brass sheet, elemental 3D forming, piercing designs through metal, surface embellishing, small tool making, riveting, twisting wire, making chain, silver soldering, and how to mount stones or found objects.”
The class will consist of four three-hour sessions on Saturdays beginning June 2 1 to 4 p.m. in the Pence-Graybeal Building. Tuition is $260 which includes all materials, but students may need to purchase a starter kit of tools, which the instructor will have pre-arranged through supply companies.
Bennett, who lives in California, holds an MFA in metalsmithing and plans a series of more advanced courses for interested metalworking artisans.
Creative Soldering for Stained Glass
If you work with glass at all in your art, you need to consider taking this one-day workshop on creative soldering. Richard Donoho, stained glass artist, will instruct participants on how to take their soldering work to the next level — creating decorative objects, patterns, and designs with a soldering iron.
“Details like these add a new creative level to your work with glass,” said Donoho, who owns the Artistry In Glass studio in Limestone. “You’re going to learn how to add depth and decoration to your stained-glass pieces.”
The one-day workshop will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 16 at the Pence-Graybeal building. Tuition is $140. Materials will be provided. Students will need to supply your tools. A list of tools will be provided when you register for classes.
Washington College Academy is a non-profit educational institution in Limestone, Tenn. Established in 1780 and first chartered in 1795. For more information about these and other classes at Washington College Academy, visit WashingtonCollegeAcademy.org, email email@example.com, or call (423) 257-5151.