Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tennessee Treasures

AppleJack and I visited the Governor's home on December 6.  The home and decorations were lovely.  As an added bonus, Conservation Hall which is adjacent to the home was also open and decorated.  A section of Conservation Hall showcases Tennessee craftsmen.  Below are examples of their work.

When I first saw these, I thought they were shells in a bowl.  Upon closer examination I realized they are tiny pottery bowls.  Some of the bowls were as big as a quarter some were as small as a dime.  They were amazing!

Cannon County Tennessee is famous for their white oak baskets.  To make a good basket, you need good wood.  It often takes several hours to select the correct white oak tree for the ribs of the basket.  After the tree has been selected it is cut down and split using an axe, wedge and a maul.  The basket making process is done entirely by hand using a few simple tools:  a knife, a fro and a maul.  The tree is processed into the basis of the basket:  ribs, splints and handle.  It takes several hours to make a good basket by best estimates twenty or more hours depending on the size and complexity.  Residents of Cannon County started making these baskets during the depression and used them for every day purposes:  eggs, market, cotton.  These baskets are highly prized and are a true work of art.

Andy Roderick, a 62 year old diorama artist  lives life on a small scale.  He has built about 60 dioramas in 1:18 scale. His dioramas sell for $200-$3,000 and can take anywhere from one day to 200 hours to complete.  He considers his masterpiece to be an abandoned filling station from Route 66.  No detail in his replicas is overlooked.

Some people see junk and trash, others see art.  The flag was made from the copper gutters of the mansion.  The governor's home was renovated in 2010 and the governor's wife saved the gutters and had them made into this flag.  The boat was made from a tree which had fallen during a thunder storm. 

Oh to be gifted with such talent!


  1. Betty - I live almost around the corner from the Mansion, but never saw
    those intriguing "bowls" What great stocking stuffers...Oh the giftedness of Tennesseans ... Blessed Christmas to you and yours.

  2. It was so interesting to see all the Tennessee crafts. Living out here, we see Native baskets, etc. but not the kind of crafts you see in your area. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ok, that's a treat indeed! I love seeing the craftwork of talented artisans. Wow! So wonderful!

  4. wow! great treasures here!
    thanks for sharing!

  5. great post as usual Betty ! really enjoyed seeing all the treasures - hope the magic of Christmas is with you - Mel

  6. I love the old "filling station" building. That really is a work of art.