Each year, the Borderless Arts Teapot Diplomat Visual Arts program has a few special projects where they learn about some element of their community and how the arts are connected to that element.

In 2023, one of our focused topics was on mining. Participants learned about the process of mining and the many benefits that miners have brought to our lives. They learned about gems and minerals and clays that are used by artists. During this process they made mineral mosaics and other pieces of art. However, what struck the group is the teapot lantern. These small lanterns were what was used by early miners on their helmets. They were the only light they had has they tunneled miles under the earth. These little lights reflected back to the name of our visual arts program.

Under the artistic direction of Carlos Calderon, the participants made their own larger version of these lamps out of goal and other minerals. Two special lamps were made for the Mining Museum in Grundy County TN to select between as a gift to honor TN Miners.