Gallery and Trails Closed for Corona Virus. Wildflower Hikes Cancelled.

So sorry, but for everyone’s safety, we feel this is necessary. When the pandemic is under control, please come see us! Take care and practice social distancing. We will get through these strange times if we listen to the CDC and health scientists and follow their advice.

Weather, Trails, and Art!

Well, we had a lovely snow this morning, though it melted by afternoon. More is predicted tonight and Saturday looks like a cold, windy day. But the sun will be shining! The gallery will be open and we’ll push up the thermometer so it will be warm inside for shopping or just hanging out in the library that extra day of February winter.

With March 1, the weather looks sunny, temperature up to the 60’s! So if you are suffering from cabin fever, come out and walk one of our new trails. Patrick has been building trails lately, and though they are not yet on our maps, they are marked and cleared. Hemlock Grove Trail, which borders Hick’s Creek, has been extended with an easy circular trail following along the beautiful rapidly flowing creek. If you have hiked up Kodai Trail (the main trail to Moonshadow) before, there is a surprise awaiting you just above the sawmill. A giant ancient oak crashed down, blocking the trail completely. Johnny has cleared it, creating a beautiful tree tunnel over the trail. Quite a perfect photo opportunity! The kids will love scampering over and under it.

Don’t forget, the annual Wildflower Hikes are coming up on March 28 and April 11. Patrick has opened up several beautiful new trails for the shorter, moderate hike. They have absolutely spectacular views of the rocky talus slope and the bluffs above the creek. We are anxiously awaiting the earliest blooms. I’ve already seen golden ragwort, hepatica, and violets peeking their buds out. We are expecting bloodroot soon.

I’m ready to head back to my studio to begin the springtime flowers series of mugs and tumblers as i have shows coming up. Hope to have a 2nd wood firing in April, so there’s lots to do. Patrick is madly creating new fantastic art for his upcoming shows. More on the shows next week, but in the meantime, the Gallery is still packed with great and exciting art. Love ya’ll to come see us! Carol.

Snow’s Over–Sun’s Out and Trails are Ready for Forest Lovers, Sunday, Feb. 9, 11am to 4 pm.

Valentine’s Day is coming so come find a present for your loved one! We have a fine new selection of flame-work heart necklaces made by Asha Ironwood for just $20, in every color. For the beer drinker, we have mugs with hops vines impressed in the clay, as well as many more mugs, with local flowers and leaves from our forest (and the name of the plants on the bottom) for coffee, tea, cold drinks, wine, or even good Tennessee whiskey. Patrick has a large selection of amazing sculptures, along with pendants and kaleidoscopes for everyone to enjoy. Carol has the beautiful work now on display from the first wood-firing in the kiln we built and fired using scrap wood from our forest and saw mill. Wood firing produces unique colors and pattern from the ash and fire itself, and cannot be duplicated. Each piece is a treasure. Ten percent of our sales goes to the educational programs of Sequatchie Valley Institute, a non-profit organization, encouraging sustainable living and understanding of our ecosystem.

Our trails are available with self-guiding booklets to make you more acquainted with the ecosystem, plants, trees, geology, and even history of 300 acres of untouched 100 year old forest on the side of the beautiful Sequatchie Valley. You will also to able to see our solar-powered homes that are sustainably built of rocks and lumber, all hand-crafted by our family and friends.

Some come to visit and find peace along the fast -flowing creek and streams as the flood recedes. The trails are easy to moderate, and, in case you tire along the way, there are easy round-trips to enjoy. Or you may simply wish to find a warm limestone rock to sit and watch the stream rush by.

We are easy to find, between the charming small towns of Whitwell and Dunlap, just off the main road. You can find a number of very nice restaurants in both towns, including the Dunlap Restaurant, featuring great breakfasts with the best southern biscuits and gravy and fabulous country ham, Andy’s Pizzas, and The Cookie Jar, famous for its pies. El Metate is a favorite for Mexican food.

Gallery and Trails Open Feb. 1 and 2–Celebrate Ground Hog Day With Us on Sunny Sunday!

Yes, I’m afraid the bad news is that there will be lots of sun to frighten our groundhogs. The good news is that there will be lots of sunshine with 60 degrees of lovely spring-like weather. So take advantage and try out our trails! Hick’s Creek is running clear and beautiful and the trails are clear and ready for walking. We are expanding the Hemlock Grove Trail so you will be able to walk further upstream along the creek.

Lots has happened since the Holiday Reception. Carol has been recovering from knee replacement and is already hiking the trails. Her nature-based pottery is practical and unique. The Gallery is replete with new work from Patrick and Nature of Reaction. This is a good time to see his unique sculptures before he packs up for springtime shows. We have new work from Asha Ironwood whose lampworking is beautiful. Michelle’s watercolors can bring the beauty of the nature around us into your home. We will provide some small refreshments for you, cheese and crackers no doubt, along with some fresh herbal tea collected from our gardens and forest.

It’s just 2 weeks until Valentine’s Day and we have a choice of ideas for your loved ones. Asha’s heart necklaces in all the colors of the rainbow make very special gifts.

Along the trail.

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If you missed the Reception, you must come by to see the exciting work from our first firing in the Alpenglow Wood Fired Kiln. This beautiful kiln was built by Carol and Johnny with help from Patrick and many others, using mainly recycled and salvaged brick. We fired the kiln with the help of the family and especially Loren Howard, our wonderful potter friend who understands all the complex technical details of firing with wood. The firing took over 24 straight hours of tossing in wood every 5-8 minutes plus controlling air flow, dampers, and chimney. The wood all came from the forest around us, from trees that have died or fallen and scrap from our sawmill which also only cuts sustainably harvested trees from our 300 acres of forest. We had to wait 4 days for cooling before we could open the sealed kiln and see the results, which are stunning. You can see the results here in the Gallery now. We are now planning a second firing in March, and you, yes you, are invited to come help out! Details upcoming.

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As if that isn’t enough excitement for Spring, it will soon be time for our yearly Sequatchie Valley Wildflower Hikes, scheduled for March 28 and April 11. Save the date!

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Holiday Reception Coming December 14!

Cross the creek to experience the Gallery and studios located in the magical heart of the Sequatchie Valley, featuring NEW WORK by Carol Kimmons, Patrick Ironwood, Michelle Kimmons, and more.

Enjoy a visual feast of art made here in our studios featuring ceramics, flameworked glass, metal ornaments and sculptures, kaleidoscopes, and paintings, all unique gift ideas.  Watch our artists painting, working glass, and making pottery. Sample local mead, hot spiced cider, and Sequatchie Cove cheeses as you relax in the Gallery library with SVI’s favorite books on the good life–a cozy place to chat with the artists.  Kids welcome!

While you are here, hike on over two miles of marked forest nature trails and Arboretum Trail, through 350 acres protected by the Land Trust of Tennessee. Dress for adventure!

SVI is located at 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN, off Hwy 28 between Dunlap and Whitwell, just 45 minutes from Chattanooga.

Website:;  liquidambargallery.SVI; Sequatchie Valley Institute

For more Info, contact: 404-698-5444;

Proceeds from the Gallery help support the educational programs of SVI.

SVI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization promoting

education and research in sustainable green living, ecology, and art.

Lovely Weather for Hiking Today! Open Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 pm Central Time

And lots of new stuff in the gallery. We will be closing the gallery on the 29th for our Fall craft shows, reopening for the Holiday Reception on Dec. 14, so if you are looking for some fabulous art made by local artists in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley, come to see us this weekend or next. It’s also a great time for hiking, as the temperatures are finally below the 90’s! The Glade is full of flowers now, goldenrod, lobelia, ageratum, and more, attracting out valuable pollinators and birds. Lots of muscadines are hanging on the vines in our vineyard, and are free for the picking as we have already put up over 35 qts of juice and more jam. Although we will be closing in 2 weeks, you may also give us a call if you want to come by another time for a hike or visit and we may be able to arrange it. Michelle’s paintings and our books will still be available, along with a selection of Patrick’s kaleidoscopes and Carol’s unique pieces. You will enjoy the autumn forest and the arboretum as the leaves begin to change.

Gallery and Trails Open September 7-8, 10-5pm

We are a bit piled up at the Gallery right now, with Patrick just back from a successful and fun weekend at DragonCon in Atlanta, and Carol and Johnny preparing to go to the Native Plants Symposium at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, with our stock of lovely tiles and functional ware impressed with the native plants from our forest and fields. However, we still have lots of lovely work in the gallery, including the pieces that just came from the last kiln firing in preparation for the Native Plants show, as well as a new batch of beer mugs decorated with hops vines. We won’t pack them till Monday, just so you will have a chance to grab your favorite this weekend.

We want to show you part of the process for producing the tiles.

Gallery and Trails Open Saturday and Sunday August 31-September 1.

We just opened a kiln load with beautiful results!

Loading the kiln last week.
Johnny’s puzzle!
A beautiful firing with mugs galore! And with impressions from our summer forests and fields.
Still warm from the kiln. Get ’em while they are hot!
Tiles, dishes, pendants , and spoons.
Johnny is busy now fitting the tiles onto beautiful wood framing.

Time to get some great art along with outdoor exercise and forest relaxation on our Nature Trails, so drop by this weekend. Let us know if you want to come by on Labor Day, otherwise we will be closed. Call or text Carol at 404 698 5444. We will be closing the Gallery and Nature Trails in October for our Fall Art shows, so be sure to come see us soon while we have everything on display. We will reopen for our Holiday Reception in December.

Open this Weekend August 17-18!

We will be busy glazing for a firing, but we have lots of pottery, paintings, and Patrick’s amazing sculptures and kaleidoscopes in the gallery. We will have icy herbal tea available for visitors. The easy trails are open for hiking. Guides to the trails are available online at, with printed copies here at the gallery. We provide bamboo hiking poles as well as insect repellent! So come watch the glazing process or just hang out in the cool gallery. The library has lots of great books and magazines to enjoy. Come on, y’all and bring the kids and dogs (on leash, please), and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the trail. Be prepared for forest trails, so wear good hiking shoes and jeans.

by Carol
Sculpture by Patrick.

Yes, we are open this weekend.

Consensus was reached this week to put off our wood kiln firing until the weather improves! That will happen much later, in fact, the 2nd weekend of Oct. We will keep you posted. In the meanwhile, the gallery is open and so are our lovely nature trails. So come see our newest treasures, in our sweet and COOL hideaway. The artists are working hard all weekend to produce more! Don’t forget, the gallery is open most weekends. Check here, or give us a call for more information.

Nature Trails and Gallery Open This Weekend, June 29-30, 10 am to 5 pm Central Time.

Plan to come out and take a stroll along our easy well-marked trails this lovely hot weekend. Then enjoy the cool relaxing gallery with an iced drink. We are planning a Wood Firing July 12-14, so the Gallery won’t be open that weekend as we will be busy shoving wood. Call for more information. 404 698 5444

Liquidambar Art Gallery and Sequatchie Valley Institute Nature Trails Open Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26 10-5 Central Time

Trails and Gallery will be open all weekend, so have a quiet Memorial Day here in the forest, no traffic, just the trees and the art. The woods are spectacular now, fully dressed in their summer best. The rainfall has given us large and elegant leaves, forest flowers, butterflies, and nesting birds. We listen to the symphony of bird calls in the morning and frogs in the evening, along with the wind in the swaying trees. Sadly, the creek is no longer flowing as the trees have sucked up all the water, but the trails are still beautiful. Come and see us and find peace along the trails.

Coming up soon is our annual Food for Life program. This year sees a shorter single day program based on vegan foods on June 8. Tickets are on sale now! See for more information.

Food for Life – Vegan Edition

Going vegan is not by any means the only way to health, though many do find benefit. If you are curious to learn more about this lifestyle (or if you just wish to enjoy a full meal and wonderful company in a nature reserve), then come on out and join us on June 8!

A hearty meal will be provided that will include locally-sourced ingredients from here in the Sequatchie Valley and from Hamilton County.

There will also be a Vegan Chili Contest, so bring your best creation for your chance to win a prize!

Follow the link below and register online to snag an Early Bird discount on your ticket!…

Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day!

… and what better way to celebrate than a forest walk through the protected woods and nature trails of Sequatchie Valley Institute! The Gallery can also provide unique presents for your wonderful mother. There is no charge to drop by and visit, walk on the trails, and have a picnic by the creek.

All mothers (and fathers too) get a lovely glass of Patrick’s homemade wine to celebrate.

Lots of fabulous art, all made locally by S.V.I. staff and friends, is there to look at and possibly find that perfect piece to give a special someone or take home. Carol and Patrick are both busy making new pieces daily, so feel free to come by and see how it’s done.

Open 10-5 Saturday and Sunday.

Gallery and Trails Open May 4-5–Come See Us!

The Gallery looks lovely and Patrick has filled his shelves with amazing new sculptures, jewelry, and kaleidoscopes. Carol is busy finishing off a new batch of pottery, almost ready for the kiln.

The trails are ready for easy walks, hiking, and running, with the trees now weighted down with fresh new leaves. A more beautiful place to spend a few hours of peace and quiet would be hard to find. The trails are a good place for the kids to run off their extra spring energy. Let us know in advance and we might have some fresh organic garden greens for sale, also.

Open today for walks and gallery visits.

The creek is running, trees are green, and summer flowers are beginning to bloom. Come for a forest walk on this cool and beautiful weekend.
The gallery is open and full of lovely new art.

The entrance to S.V.I. and the Gallery today.

Spring Wildflower Hike Saturday April 6-Gallery Closed, will reopen Sunday April 7

Be sure to come to the hike — the woods are full of blooms, both redbuds and dogwoods in their glory. You may also visit the Gallery before and after the hike today. See you here!

Plan to park at Gallery. Shuttles are available to the Trail Head and Tours.

10:30 Central: Arrive for tour of area

12:30 Central: Arrive for hikes

The First Spring Wildflower Hike at Sequatchie Valley Institute is Saturday, March 30. Gallery and Trails Open 10-5 Sunday March 31.

The Gallery will be also be open during registration for the Hike, about 10 am, and after the short hike whenever we get back, probably about 3 pm! The flowers are in full bloom, so be sure to plan for the hike. For more information, call Carol at (404) 698-5444. Carol has new mugs and small tumblers in the Gallery with impressed early spring flowers. Patrick also has new work and kaleidoscopes on display now.

Follow the link below to learn more about what we do
here at Sequatchie Valley Institute!

Click here to visit the main S.V.I. Website.

Gallery and Trails Open on this First Springtime Weekend

Yes, we will be open, and from 10-5 CDT for the spring and summer. Patrick is back with his beautiful kaleidoscopes and more. Carol has a number of new tumblers with the first spring flowers impressed on them. Don’t forget, the Sequatchie Valley Institute Wildflower Hikes are coming up, Mar 30, April 6 and 13. Plants are already in bloom, so come this weekend for a preview of the beauty in store for us this year.

Weekend Events for the Artists of the Gallery and Upcoming Wildflower Events

Patrick will be at this prestigious show Friday, Sat., and Sun. Mar. 15-17 in Atlanta:
Carol and Johnny Kimmons will be at the Plant Natives Symposium Saturday, Mar. 16, at the University Center, UTC, 2nd floor, where Carol will be showing her new tumblers, just out of the kiln, with the earliest wildflowers now blooming impressed on them. If I have time I’ll post pics of these (as soon as I get them out of the kiln) on the Liquidambar Gallery at SVI Facebook page.
The Gallery will be open Sunday, Mar. 17, closed Saturday Mar. 16.

Already blooming: Bloodroot, toothwort, spurred violets, sedges, hepatica, and more. every day. Maples are almost finished, buds bursting on the trees. The woods along the trails are thick with Little Brown Jug (wild ginger) and Cranefly Orchid leaves.

Come out to the Gallery Sunday and
Carol will give you a short hike and preview of
what’s there now and what’s to come!

Our first Spring Wildflower Hike is coming up soon, March 30!
Make your plans now.

Gallery and Trails Open Mar 9-10-Wildflowers Along Trail

Yes, despite the cold spell, the wildflowers are beginning to appear. Come and see them–even if you have to wear a raincoat and boots! Carol will be glad to give you an introduction to these fabulous native ephemerals on a short walk along the creek. Ephemeral means they don’t last long–so come check the earliest ones out. The Gallery will be open with plenty of lovely art.

We will be closed next Saturday, March 16, as Carol and Johnny will be at the Plant Natives Symposium at the UTC student center, talking to people about Sequatchie Valley Institute, our Spring Wildflower Hikes, and the Gallery, as well as selling art with native plant themes.

Come Quick! It’s Not Raining or Snowing Today!

Yes, we are open this weekend. You will need to park at the road and walk across the roaring Hick’s Creek on our lovely bridge to get to the Gallery and the Trails which are all available. Currently cleaning up the Arboretum Trail from the winter leaves but it is still OK.

There is a map of the Arboretum Trail on the Sequatchie Valley Institute website, along with Maps of the Kodai Trail and Hemlock Grove Trail. If you walk slowly, you will discover the earliest native wildflowers peeking out of the leaves with their blooms just opening.

The Gallery continues to have fabulous art, both functional and decorative, for purchase. You’ll find the mysterious and unique work by Patrick Ironwood, including his astonishing kaleidoscopes. You will also find functional pottery, botanical wall hangings, and bird feeders by Carol Kimmons and Appalachia-inspired paintings by Michelle Kimmons.

Wildflower Hikes are coming up soon, on March 30, April 6 and 13. More information on this is upcoming. Watch the Sequatchie Valley Institute Facebook page for updated information on times, etc. Carol will show her pottery that is based on our native plants at the Plant Natives 2019 Symposium at the University Center, UTC on March 16.

Friday & Saturday, March 15 & 16, 2019
University Center, University of Chattanooga

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones presents its eighth annual Plant Natives 2019! weekend of activities.  The theme for the weekend of events is “Partnering with Nature.”

The free Native Plant Marketplace & Expo on Saturday offers the opportunity to purchase native plants from four different regional nurseries.  Other interesting vendors and related organizations will also be present at the Expo.

Gallery and Trails Open Today and Sunday, Jan. 5-6.

We are open for the new year most weekends, from 11-4 Central Time. This is the time to enjoy the creek and the forests without the little biters and poison ivy! Our art selection is excellent, so plan to make the beautiful drive over the mountain to this exquisite rural valley and find peace in our quiet woodlands.

Gallery closed this weekend, Dec. 29-30. Trails and Gallery reopen Jan. 5-6.

The mysterious art of Patrick Ironwood will be on full display when we reopen, and the trails are now clear of leaves. We expect good weather and the creek will be running nicely.

Patrick at work in his studio. Come visit him and learn how he makes his kaleidoscopes and sculptures.

Open till Christmas!

But call/contact us for times before coming out. We are here today and will probably be around all weekend, when we expect better weather, with sunshine on Saturday. With all this rain, the creek will be running strongly along the Hemlock Grove Trail.

Patrick Ironwood will be at North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia this Friday-Sunday, so visit him there to experience his eerie and spectacular art. You are sure to find the perfect gift for that special person.

Christmas Market
Lower Level of the North Point Mall
8am – 8pm, Friday Dec 21 – Sunday Dec 23

Come out for a weekend of shopping, food and great Christmas fun. Visit with unique artists with great gift ideas.

Are You Ready for Christmas?

If you missed the Holiday Reception, Liquidambar Gallery will be open off-and-on ’til Christmas, along with the trails. Message Carol Kimmons or Patrick Ironwood to find out specific times. We’d love to see you!

Last Away Show of the Year for Carol Kimmons this Weekend, Dec. 8-9 and the Gallery Holiday Opening Reception December 15

The weather outside is frightful, but all you brave art-lovin’ fiends come on out to the once a year Holiday Tour in the Sewanee/Monteagle area!

TNCraftS_StudioTour_2018 .PDF

As Carol’s studio is too far away for the tour, she will be exhibiting at the cozy American Legion Hall in downtown Sewanee, just across the street from The Blue Chair and Shenanigans (both great restaurants), along with 6 other excellent artists.  And you can enjoy touring the adjoining University of the South campus, with its beautiful cathedral modeled after the Notre Dame in Paris and classic architecture with structures built from native stone.

You may also wish to attend Sewanee’s 59th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols which will be celebrated at three services in All Saints’ Chapel, two on Dec. 8 (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and one on Dec. 9 (4 p.m.). All tickets have been reserved. However, walk-up tickets may be available on the day of the service at Convocation Hall.

For full details, visit the Lessons and Carols website.

Upcoming EventS

Sewanee, TN

A tour of artists’ studios, galleries and holiday open houses
DATES: Saturday, December 8, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Member Reception 5:30 pm)
Sunday, December 9, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Please note these dates which coordinate with the 2018 Festival of Lessons and Carols in Sewanee.

Carol has just this minute opened her Kiln with her new and unique bird feeders and vases.  We will put pictures on here asap–watch for them.  She also has some new mugs with rather controversial recent political quotes…no more said!  You’ll just have to see them.  These will be at Sewanee tomorrow, Dec. 8, and here at home on Dec. 15, when we will be celebrating our annual Holiday Reception. Please join us for fun and great art!

Holiday Reception Poster R2.jpg

Michelle, Patrick, Johnny and Carol will be here to share their creativity with you, and the trails will be open for hiking, or just wandering alongside the babbling creek and clambering over the limestone rocks.

There is so much to see in our forests in the winter, with the golden birch leaves still clinging to the trees and the forest floor dappled with Little Brown Jug (also known as Wild Ginger due to its lovely scent), purple orchid leaves gathering solar energy for their blooms next July, Christmas Ferns and Ebony Spleenwort, Ground Pine (a mysterious plant dating back millions of years to the first of the chlorophyll-laden land plants), Green Brier (with leaves and berries to sustain the deer, wintering birds, and turkeys), Crossvine climbing the trees awaiting golden blooms in early spring (ask us why it’s called crossvine), Hepatica hidden in limestone crevices, and our evergreens, including Redcedar, whose berries flavor gin, Shortleaf, White, and Virginia pines, and Hemlocks (not yet stricken with the dreaded Adelgid). You may want to gather some of the tiny hemlock cones, which make lovely Holiday decoration.

Don’t know these plants yet?  Try out our Pipsissewa Arboretum Trail, with over 100 plants identified!

Don’t wanna walk?  Well, our warm inviting gallery library will be replete with our own homemade wines, Sequatchie Cove Cheeses, Johnny’s famous fudge, and Carol’s steaming hot spiced muscadine apple cider.  The annual Holiday Reception at Liquidambar Art Gallery is a free event and is fun for all!

Happy Holidays!

Gallery closed until end of October. Stay tuned to learn about our ongoing events!

This weekend, Oct. 12-14,  Patrick will be in Nashville, at the Fall TeNNESSEE CRAFT Fair.

On October 20-21, Carol will be at the 2018 41ST ANNUAL Ketner’s Mill Country Arts FaiR event.

On October 19-21, Patrick will be at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at downtown Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. Filling both the concourse and arena levels of the venue, makers exhibit a variety of craft ranging from contemporary to traditional in works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry.

71stANNIVERSARY  |  JULY 20 – 22  OCTOBER 19 – 21, 2018

Friday through Saturday, 10:00 to 6:00pm + Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00pm
US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street | Downtown Asheville, NC
General Admission, $8.00 and Children under 12 free.




Cross the creek to find original art, made right here by the creek, all at the Winter Gallery and studios located in the magical heart of the Sequatchie Valley, featuring NEW WORK by Carol Kimmons, Patrick Ironwood, and Michelle Kimmons.

 Enjoy a visual feast of art  featuring ceramics, flame-worked glass, metal ornaments and sculptures, kaleidoscopes, and paintings, all unique gift ideas.  Watch our artists painting, working glass, and making pottery. Sample local mead, hot spiced cider, and Sequatchie Cove cheeses as you relax in the Gallery library with S.V.I.’s favorite books on the good life–a cozy place to chat with the artists.  Kids welcome!

 While you are here, hike on our marked nature trails and Arboretum, through 350 acres protected by the Land Trust of Tennessee. Dress for adventure!

S.V.I. can be found at 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN, off Hwy 28 between Dunlap and Whitwell, just 45 minutes from Chattanooga.


For more Info, please do contact us.

Proceeds from the Gallery help support the educational programs of S.V.I., a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization promoting education and research in sustainable green living, ecology, and art.


Gallery and Trails Open Sat-Sunday Sept. 22-23.

Yes, it will finally be cooling down this weekend, as fall arrives.  Fall Art & Craft fairs are coming up, and we will be closed on several upcoming weekends, beginning Oct. 6-7 with Carol at the John C. Campbell Fall Festival, near Murphy, NC.  So come check out the art before the shows.

Try our easy, well-marked nature trails. There are ripe muscadines to pick & enjoy at the end!

Gallery and Trails Open This Weekend!

Patrick and Carol will be in their studios at the Gallery producing new works this weekend.

Temperatures will be a bit lower, so it will be good hiking.  There are lots of muscadines ripening at the Moonshadow vineyard, so plan to do some picking and snacking on the trail.

All books are currently 50% off! We have books on natural building (building with cob, for instance), cooking, fermentation processes, and gardening for children.

Come Enjoy the Green, Green Forest before the leaves begin to fall! Open this Weekend, 10-5 CDT.

We have new art from Patrick, Carol, and Michelle, so come see us, and hike our easy nature trails and Arboretum.  Patrick is away  August 30 – September 3  at the 32nd Annual Dragon Con, Dragon Con and next weekend at Yellow Daisy 50th annual Yellow Daisy Festival September 6-9, 2018 Yellow Daisy Festival voted one of the top arts & crafts shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event, and winner of multiple awards by the Southeast Festival and Events Association.

However, if you can’t make it to Atlanta, Patrick still has plenty of his astonishing art work, handmade glass jewelry, and kaleidoscopes in the Gallery.  Carol will be headed out to shows in October, so come by and get a first chance at her new work, including beer mugs with hops vine imprints.

Dr. Ashley has had an excellent health column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press for several years and is now leaving us.  We wanted to share his final comments on his hope for a healthier society.  Look for the full article in the August 31st edition.

*A healthy society should have open spaces for its people to hike, walk, saunter, or just sit reading a book or taking time to watch the sunset.

*A healthy society has compassion for its individual members and a reverence to the Earth that harbors them.

Here at S.V.I., we hold these truths to be self-evident and endeavor to provide a place for everyone to be a part of a healthy and peaceful life.

Come hike, or if you prefer AC, just sit in our Gallery library and relax or play the old piano!  Home-grown herbal tea is always a possibility.

Gallery and Nature Trails Open this Weekend, August 4-5, 10-5!

Come see us and check out the Gallery with lots of new mugs, including Carol’s special 12 oz beer mugs with impressions of the hops vines growing outside the Gallery!  Patrick’s kaleidoscopes and sculptures can keep you engrossed and astonished.  Michelle’s watercolors will make your dark corners alight with joys.  The giant hemlocks along the quiet Hemlock Grove Trail can bring you peace and “forest bathing”, the best solution for the week’s stresses over work and politics.  And the kids need to get outside as they begin to cope with a new school year.  See you soon!!

Trails and Gallery Open July 28-29 — Shiitake Mushrooms available!


Yes, we do have Shiitake mushrooms!

A huge flush on our oak logs just appeared after last week’s rain.

They are $9/lb, Saturday only.


Carol just opened the kiln with a lovely firing — lots of beer mugs with hops vine impressions, pendants, fairy dishes, and more!


Patrick has kaleidoscopes and his stunning metal art displayed, along with Michelle’s watercolors.  Temps will be cooler and the trails are lovely now with the trees growing madly.  Hemlock Grove Trail is lovely as our stately hemlocks are still healthy.

We will be open from 10-5am (CST), Saturday and Sunday.

Gallery and Trails Open July 7-8.

We will be open for visitors from 10-5 this weekend, so come on out!  i hope to get a firing in soon.  Patrick has some amazing new work also.  Everyone welcome!

Gallery and Trails Open June 30-July 1, 10-5 Central Time

Yes, we are open again!  Patrick now has a permanent exhibit in the Gallery with his amazing Nature of Reaction work.  We also have new watercolors by Michelle, and lots of my lovely nature-based pottery.  There may even be a bottle of muscadine wine or iced herbal tea available!

The creek is flowing beautifully, so the kids can wade or swim-be prepared for wet feet.  Of course, you can cross the footbridge if you want to stay dry.  The forest is as green as it will ever be, lovely, dark and deep.  Sourwoods are blooming along with the upcoming summer wildflowers along the trails, and hickory nuts are falling. There will be a number of branches down after this stormy week. Let us know if you want to take the Arboretum Trail, as it is a bit overgrown in places-we will be clearing it soon.

After our lovely, refreshing Florida beach trip, I will finally be getting back into my studio, and hope to finish glazing the spring mugs.  Lots of hops beer mugs will be coming out of the kiln next week. Act quickly if you wish to reserve one.  They go fast!

Patrick will be leaving for the Ashville, NC Southern Highlands Craft Fair July 20, and after that he will be headed out for a Colorado tour, where he will be presenting at multiple shows.  More info for our Western folks on those shows next week.

We hope to see you before then. Don’t worry, we’ll have the AC turned on so you can relax in the library.

From Carol, your friendly neighborhood potter.

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
71th A N N I V E R S A R Y   |  J U L Y   20 – 22  &  O C T O B E R   19 – 21,  2018
Friday through Saturday, 10:00 to 6:00 pm + Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00pm
US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street | Downtown Asheville, NC

Gallery Closed June 8-10 for Annual Food for Life Conference!

June Dates for Gallery and Trails

June 8-10:  20th Annual Food for Life Conference at S.V.I.
Gallery & trails open exclusively to conference
participants.  Come and join us!

You can register online at SVIONLINE.ORG today! Go ahead and contact us!

FFL Flyer 2018 Albertus Bold - current

For the full schedule, download ffl schedule 2018 2

June 16-17, and June 22:  Staff holiday.  S.V.I, Gallery, and Trails closed.  Sorry about that!

June 23, June 30, July 1:  Gallery and Trails reopen with sunburned but rested artists, full of renewed, re-created ideas and projects.

If you just have to visit us at another time, call or email to arrange a time in advance.  Call 423 949 5922; or Contact Us here.

Gallery and Trails open May 26-28 for Memorial Day shopping, 10-5 each day

Also  free okra seedlings ready for transplanting!  We just planted way too many in flats, and have lots left.  Lots of art, too, and the creek is still running.

Indian Pink

The beautiful Indian Pinks are
now blooming in the woods.
So come on by!

And remember:

Food for Life  is coming up June 8-10.  The complete schedule will be on Facebook early next week.  We have a remarkable lineup of speakers and workshop leaders this year, and the event caters to families with a great program for the kids.  Rustic camping and fabulous meals cooked in the outdoor kitchen are included in the fees, and we have Dark Sky visibility of our heavenly neighbors.

Gallery closed Saturday, May 19th, and open Sunday, May 20, 10-5pm Central time

Feel free to come out and hike our trails, picnic, play in the creek, and check out the gallery Sunday.  Patrick is at the Renaissance Fair in Franklin, Tennessee, all weekends through Memorial Day. The Gallery will be open on most weekends.

Check out the website here, Facebook, or call us at (423)949-5922/4598 for details on when we are open.

And don’t forget that Food for Life is coming up June 8-10!

Gallery and Trails Open This Weekend, May 5-6

Yes, we are open!  Come between showers Saturday or make it Sunday, with lovely weather predicted.  The creek is still running so bring your suit if you crave some water sports! Unfortunately, Patrick’s work won’t be on show as he is at the Renaissance Fair near Nashville this month.  But fortunately, you can see his work there!

For more information about the Renaissance Fair, click here.

At the fair last year:

Lots of pottery available, and new watercolors by Michelle.  So come on by!

April Showers bring the flowers… So come to the Spring Wildflower Hike and bring your raincoat!

The woods are beautiful, filled with clouds of white dogwood blooms, pink redbuds, and every possible shade of green and yellow.  All the spring flowers are now blooming, including buckeyes, mayapples, rue anemone, blue phlox, several species of trillium and violets, pawpaws, giant chickweed, phacelia, and more!  These spring ephemerals will soon be gone until next year, so this will be your last chance to admire their beauty.  The creek is bubbling, with crystal clear waters bouncing over the stones.  We WILL have the Wildflower Hike, and hopefully the rain will hold off till evening.

The gallery will be open from 10am-5pm (CST), Saturday & Sunday and will be warm and dry!  You are always welcome to look over our excellent book selection in addition to the fascinating art of Patrick, Carol, and Michelle.

The Wildflower Hike will be our last S.V.I. event until Food for Life on June 8-10, but the gallery will be open each weekend from 10am-5pm with hiking and picnicking available for all.  It’s a great place for kids.  Our home school group loves to hike the trails.

Wine in the Woods, the S.V.I. Fundraiser, is Saturday, April 7! The Gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday 10-5.

The Sequatchie Valley Institute
cordially invites you to
Wine in the Woods!

April 7, 2018

Tours 3:00pm (CST) – Tasting 5:00-11:00

Explore the magic and novelty of life while tasting experimental wines, meads, elixirs, and other oddities from our cellar, cave, and apothecary.

Take a guided tour on land protected by the Land Trust of TN through our Permaculture landscape, hand-crafted solar structures, and Pipsissewa Arboretum Trail. Then, settle into a relaxed evening of delicious and exotic specialties, including non-alcoholic naturally-flavored carbonated drinks, house-made with fresh spring water.  Be entertained by live music with Nexus and a visually stunning light display by Tree Dimensional.

Bring a tent, flashlight, and bedding and enjoy a night under the stars. You may wish to bring your own favorite party food to share. Children are welcome!

The tax-deductible minimum donation for Wine in the Woods is $25/person and $40/family.

You may also visit the Liquidambar Art Gallery, where you will discover pottery, paintings, glass work, and sculptures created by local artists.

Sequatchie Valley Institute is located at 1233 Cartwright Loop Whitwell, TN 37397, between Dunlap and Whitwell just 45 minutes from Chattanooga.

Contact us via landline: (423) 949-5922/4598 Cell: (770) 241-3958 or (404) 406 1246  We’re on Facebook!

S.V.I. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization promoting education and research in sustainable green living and forest ecology, with nature trails, a 100-plant arboretum, a retreat center, tours for kids and adults, and Liquidambar Art Gallery featuring local artists.

This is your chance to see the new display of Patrick’s Future Archaeology sculptures and kaleidoscopes before he leaves for the spring art shows.

Carol has plenty of beautiful mugs as well as plates, bowls, and bottles available.

We now have a new selection of Michelle’s place-based watercolors.

Wildflowers are blooming all around the parking area, if you don’t want to hike!  And don’t forget — the second Wildflower Hike is April 14, if you missed this one.


Gallery and Trails Open by Appointment only this weekend, Feb. 3-4

We will be around, but may not be at the Gallery all day this weekend, so please give us a call before you come (or after you arrive).  We will meet you!  Call us at (423)949-5922/ cell 678 982 2445.

Gallery and Trails Open Saturday-Sunday January 20-21.


Yes, we are open again, from 11-4pm Central Time Sat. and Sun.  If you missed the Holiday Reception, come and see our new exhibits.

Patrick has lots of amazing sculptures and kaleidoscopes to help you make it through what seems an endless cold winter.

Carol has many mugs, dishes, and wall tiles still available, but they won’t last long, so come check them out!  Michelle’s paintings bring nature to your walls on these dim and gray days.

The trails are clear of leaves and easy to follow.  The weather will be beautiful this weekend and the woods provide distant views never seen in summer, as well as running creeks and babbling brooks. More cold weather may come soon, so cure your cabin fever and bring the kids and your boots for tree hugging and forest healing!

Liquidambar Art Gallery at SVI Holiday Opening Reception December 23, 11am to 7pm CST. Everyone Welcome!

Holiday Opening Reception      Sat. Dec. 23, 11-7 CST  

Cross the creek to experience the Gallery and studios located in the magical heart of the Sequatchie Valley, featuring NEW WORK by Carol Kimmons, Patrick Ironwood, Asha Ironwood, and Michelle Kimmons.

 Enjoy a visual feast of art made here in our studios featuring ceramics, flame-worked glass, metal ornaments and sculptures, kaleidoscopes, and paintings, all unique gift ideas.  Watch our artists painting, working glass, and making pottery. Sample local mead, hot spiced cider, and Sequatchie Cove cheeses as you relax in the Gallery library with S.V.I.’s favorite books on the good life–a cozy place to chat with the artists.  Kids welcome!

 While you are here, hike on our marked nature trails and Arboretum, through 350 acres protected by the Land Trust of Tennessee. Dress for adventure! Weather permitting, there will be a Solstice Bonfire afterwards.

S.V.I. can be found at 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN, off Hwy 28 between Dunlap and Whitwell, just 45 minutes from Chattanooga.


For more Info, please do contact us.

Proceeds from the Gallery help support the educational programs of S.V.I., a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization promoting education and research in sustainable green living, ecology, and art.


Gallery closed sept. 23-24. last open dates for Fall Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Total Eclipse.  Hurricane.  Hurricane.  Earthquake. What next?  Wine in the Woods! The annual FUNd raiser for Sequatchie Valley Institute, on November 11.  Put it on your calendar.  Music, Art, Wine, Mead, Beer and Bliss.  Don’t miss it. Watch Facebook Sequatchie Valley Institute and this website for more information.

Other upcoming dates for our artists are listed below.



Liquidambar Annual Holiday Reception and Solstice Celebration
December 23, 2017



  • TN Craft Southeast Exhibition  

    Oct. 6-25  at Chattanooga Workspace 302 W 6th Street

October 6, 2017 5:30-8:30 pm  Reception at Chattanooga Workspace 302 W 6th Street including hors d’oeuvres and wine.


October 7, 2017 — October 8, 2017

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults $5; Ages 12 – 17, $3; under 12, free.

Golden fall sunlight and brightly colored leaves provide a scenic backdrop for the John C. Campbell Folk School‘s Fall Festival. This treasured annual celebration of Appalachian culture, held on the Folk School’s Brasstown, North Carolina campus, heralds its 43rd anniversary in October.

Visit over 240 fine craft exhibitors tucked along the school’s winding wooded paths. Watch more than 40 artisans demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts. Fill your ears with bluegrass, gospel, folk, and Celtic music on both days. Tap your toes to clogging, Morris, and Garland dance performances.  Children will enjoy the pony rides, petting the alpacas, and visiting the animals at the Humane Society’s pet adoption booth.



  • Ketner’s Mill Country Arts Fair

Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT

Sunday, October 22, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT


Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Sequatchie Valley Institute


  •  Foothills Craft Guild Annual Show

Nov. 17-19, 2017



  • Tennessee Craft – South Holiday Tour


A tour of artists’ studios, galleries and holiday open houses

DATES: Saturday, December 2, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, December 3, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm


  • Liquidambar Annual Holiday Reception and Solstice Celebration

At Sequatchie Valley Institute

1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN 37397

December 23, 2017



New Work from the Eclipse Firing!

The kiln reached 2175 degrees at the same time we were watching the eclipse!  And the mugs, dishes, tiles, mud daubers, leaf dishes, and more truly eclipsed previous firings.  I’m increasing my supply for the fall craft fairs–don’t forget, the Gallery will be closed from October 2 until December, when we will have the super yearly Gallery Reception and Solstice Event, on December 23, complete with wine, mead, and Sequatchie Cove Creamery cheeses.

In the meantime, come and check out our new work.  i will try to get some photos up on the web tomorrow.  Right now, Johnny is finishing up the beautiful cherry wood backings for some very lovely tiles.  He will be working tomorrow also, and i will be making yet more mugs.

Patrick is back and will be here to tell you all about how he makes the kaleidoscopes and electroformed sculptures, but he will be leaving next week for Dragon Con in Atlanta.

We will be open at 10 am Saturday and Sunday, for the Gallery and the Nature Trails, but on Saturday we will be closing early, about 3 pm, to attend the Southern Brewers Festival in Chattanooga.  We will again be open till 5 on Sunday.

Southern Brewers Festival

Trails and Gallery open this weekend and for the eclipse.

I’ll be firing the kiln this week, so should have even more pottery out next week, some very pretty bloodroot dishes and more hops beer mugs.  They sell fast!  if you want to avoid the eclipse crowds you are welcome to visit.  The native grasses glade, a short hike along the Hemlock Grove Trail, will be a good place to observe the eclipse.  The gallery will be open before and after the eclipse, but not during!  We will be out watching it.

Open today!

You may not see another beautiful cool and clear day like this for a month, so come to the gallery and take an easy nature hike with the kids.  Kaleidoscopes and mugs are here now, along with Michelle’s watercolors and more.

Try Forest Bathing to Reduce your Stress and Improve your Health

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of our evolutionary history was spent in natural environments. Our bodies are simply adapted to being in nature. But today we are spending most of our lives indoors – you know it – tethered to our devices. Well, now a practice that started in Japan that’s aimed at reconnecting us with nature is beginning to take off here in the U.S. It is known as forest bathing. As NPR’s Allison Aubrey reports, there’s growing evidence its benefits may be just what the doctor ordered.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: It turns out there’s actually a certified forest bathing guide right here in Washington, D.C. Her name is Melanie Choukas-Bradley. I met up with her on a lush jungley (ph) island in the Potomac River.

MELANIE CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: I’m totally in love with this island.

AUBREY: It’s just a footbridge away from the busyness and noise of the nation’s capital.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: This is our challenge here. We’re right under the Reagan National flight path.

AUBREY: As we step on the trail, everything on this island is green and blooming.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: So this is the place where we’re really going to begin our forest bathing.

AUBREY: Along the narrow trail, we pass under a canopy of pawpaws, then black walnut trees. And we get a little shower of ripe mulberries.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: Aren’t they beautiful just looking up at the black against the green and the red?

AUBREY: Now, given the term forest bathing, I thought we might be taking a dip in the water, so I’ve packed my swimsuit. But it turns out my interpretation was way too literal.


AUBREY: Melanie gathers us in a circle and invites us to immerse ourselves in what she calls the pleasures of presence.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: If you’d like to close your eyes and just breathe this wonderful cool air, just breathe. Just breathe.

AUBREY: So now I’m beginning to get it. Forest bathing is sort of like a cross between a hike and a meditation class, except there’s no destination. The aim here is to slow down and immerse yourself in the forest, tune into its sights, its smells, its textures.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: And when you feel ready, open your eyes and imagine you’re seeing the world for the very first time.

AUBREY: Suddenly the green looks a lot greener, and I start to see things I hadn’t noticed before – the flutter of birds, the ripple of the water, the swaying of the trees.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: I can hear some summer insects and a bird up in a tree nearby.

AUBREY: As we walk on, Melanie stops us at a bush. I would have just passed by.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: If you want to just come scratch this twig of this spice bush and smell it, it’s very yummy.

AUBREY: To me, it smells like cinnamon or bay leaf. It’s warm and earthy.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: Isn’t that nice?



AUBREY: There’s a whole world of fragrance in the forest. Think of the smell of pine and cedar trees.

CHOUKAS-BRADLEY: There’s been a lot of research about the healthy volatile compounds that trees release and how good they are for our own health.

AUBREY: Now I should point out that when my editors asked me to do a story about forest bathing, I did a little eye roll. It sounded so hokey to me. But it’s turned out to be a pretty powerful experience, and I wanted to know if it’s really doing something good for my health.

PHILIP BARR: As a matter of fact, medical researchers in Japan have specifically studied forest bathing and demonstrated several benefits to our health.

AUBREY: That’s Philip Barr. He’s the lead physician at the integrative medicine center at Duke University. He reviewed the studies for us, and he says they document a range of effects.

BARR: From lowering blood pressure and heart rate, lowering stress hormones, raising immunity and in general allowing the whole body to be in a more relaxed, healing state.

AUBREY: Barr says he thinks a lot of his patients could benefit from forest bathing, especially people dealing with a lot of stress.

BARR: Absolutely forest bathing could be considered a form of medicine.

AUBREY: And as I just discovered, the National Park Service has already rolled out its park prescription program. The aim is to help health care providers get their patients out into nature.

GREENE: Allison Aubrey’s voice there. She was reporting. And she is fresh off her forest bathing experience in our studios. Hey, Allison.

AUBREY: (Laughter) Oh, still feeling so relaxed. Hey there, David.

GREENE: Still feeling mellow. You sound mellow. Am I allowed to be depressed that someone has to fill out a…

AUBREY: (Laughter).

GREENE: …Prescription to go out into nature? I mean is that where we’ve come?

AUBREY: I hear you, David. I think Henry David Thoreau might be turning over in his grave (laughter), right?

GREENE: Yeah, I’d say so.

AUBREY: I think it’s this idea that a retreat to nature gives us stillness and calm. It’s age old. We all already know it, right? I think that, as you mentioned in the introduction to the story, we are tethered to our devices. I mean many of us are just so disconnected from the natural world that I think we may need help or a little nudge just to learn how to hang out. I think that’s the point of having a guide in forest bathing. It might be why it’s taking off. You know, just like you have a yoga teacher to do yoga, a guide in the forest can help people slow down enough to really immerse themselves in the natural environment.

GREENE: So but let’s be clear here, Allison. I could actually get forest bathing on my health care plan potentially.

AUBREY: Well, not yet, but the founders of this movement hope that that’s coming. I mean if you think about the toll of stress in our lives – one recent study estimated that workplace stress is linked to about $150 billion in health care costs a year. So if something as simple as being in nature is a good antidote to stress, health care providers might want to think about this.

GREENE: No disrespect to forest bathers, but couldn’t I just go take a walk?

AUBREY: (Laughter) Good question. I mean I think any kind of exercise can help with stress relief. It’s very well-documented. But the Japanese scientists studied this in a really clever way I think. What they did is they had people walk in an urban area in Tokyo for a few hours. And then a week later, they had them walk in the forest. Now, both of these walks required the same amount of physical activity, but what they found is that the forest environment led to more significant drops in stress hormones and blood pressure. And so that kind of gives you a sense of the scope.

GREENE: What else – you did mention I mean speaking about the difference between city and forest – there are these compounds that the trees give off that can really be good for us.

AUBREY: Yeah, you know, it sounds a little wacky, but trees have these essential oils that give off fragrances – so, you know, those cedar and pine smells. And they also have all these other compounds that they release into the air. And when we breathe them in, it turns out there may be some benefit to us as well. I’d say it’s still pretty speculative. But one of the Japanese studies found that just breathing in this forest air compared to what they called blank air actually led to a small decrease in blood pressure on its own.

GREENE: Blank air being like what we’re breathing in right now in an office you’re saying.

AUBREY: That’s what I’m assuming, sort of…


AUBREY: …Blank air, office air.

GREENE: Well, sad that we’re both breathing blank air…

AUBREY: (Laughter).

GREENE: …Today. We should get out and do some forest bathing.

AUBREY: Here’s to breathing more forest air and less blank air.

GREENE: There you go. NPR’s Allison Aubrey. Thanks, Allison.

AUBREY: Thanks, David.

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

December 12-13 Virtual Exhibit for Liquidambar Gallery, with sales through Etsy. Note 20% off this weekend only! Lucky for all of us, a rainy weekend to sit inside by the fire and relax. Although it would have been nicer to share our mead, hot spiced cider, and Sequatchie Cove cheeses with all of you, as in years past, and, let’s hope, in the future. Stay well and wear that mask!
Carol Kimmons
Asha Ironwood
Patrick Ironwood
Michelle Kimmons