Letter: Arrowmont can change lives, and it must stay in Gatlinburg

Aug. 04, 2013 @ 11:23 PM

Editor:

About nine or 10 years ago I took my first class on the potter's wheel at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg. I had never even been close to a potter's wheel before. It was not a pretty picture the first classes.

However, I wanted to so much that I kept taking classes. My husband developed Alzheimer's. I had to spend my time more and more with him. I was able to work on the potter's wheel and develop my craft at home. Pottery kept me sane and a sense of joy in the middle of difficult times.

Today, I continue to take classes at Arrowmont. Just going on campus gives me joy. I make and sell my pottery in several venues. I don't like to think where I would be today or how I would have gone through really difficult times without Arrowmont.

It seems like every six months we have to wonder if our Arrowmont will be here for us. Pi Beta Phi women had compassion for the Appalachian people so many years ago. I wish they had the same compassion for us today.

I would say to them, "How can we learn if there is no school?" I have no idea what my life would be like today if I wasn't "The Potter."

I just know that Arrowmont changed my life. My heart breaks to think it wouldn't be there for me and others who get so much joy being there. Arrowmont belongs to and in Gatlinburg.

Jean Shamblin

Sevierville