Arts Education

Tryon Arts & Crafts School Celebrates 60 Years

Tryon Arts & Crafts School Celebrates 60 YearsTryon Arts & Crafts School is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee 60th year, but executive director Will Barclift likes to think about the school’s rebirth during the past year. “Our lineage is the Craft School movement,” says Barclift. “We are structuring as a riff on a template, part of a bigger dialogue, a louder voice, and sharing in the ways we can support our local and regional artists both through educational and teaching opportunities.”

Situated in a bucolic setting of 1.6 acres, and housing more than 10,000 square feet, the school offers classes for every level. For the newbie, come once a month for The Craft Series, which includes Friday Wine and Craft, followed by a Saturday morning class of Coffee and Craft. “It’s a make it and take it, have a cup of joe with your friends and just enjoy,” says Barclift.

For the more experienced, there are eight seasonal sessions, six weeks long, oriented around skills building and given disciplines such as clay hand building, copper textured bronze, woodcarving, silversmithing and blacksmithing. “But the most important aspect to these weekly classes is the camaraderie they build,” says Barclift. “It is one of the greatest ways we fulfill our mission. We not only provide creative opportunities for everyone but we create bonds between the students in a culture that has rapport with the community.”

Various workshops are also offered year round and can be from two days to two weeks long. Notable instructors and visiting artists this year are Rick Berman, a renowned Raku artist who will come from Atlanta in April, and Billy Salyers, the winner of the History Channel’s reality show Forged In Fire, who will teach bladesmithing six times this year.

Tryon Arts & Crafts School is located at 373 Harmon Field Road, Tryon. Learn more at, find them on Facebook or call 828.859.8323. For more information, hear our podcast on or at The Laurel of Asheville on Spotify, Apple Play, Google Play or Stitcher.

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