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Photo of the Week: This Is a Wonderful Thing

core reunion at Penland

We’re having a great week at Penland. It’s our first-ever core retreat (and reunion) — an open-studio week for current and former core fellows. You can look for a few blog posts from the week and we’ve turned our Instagram feed over to former core fellow Rachel Garceau. Check the Instagram hashtag #penlandcoreretreat.

Interested in becoming a Penland core fellow? Learn more about this two-year program in craft here. We have four fellowships available beginning in 2015, and applications are due next month: October 15, 2014.


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Photo of the week: A Silver Wire


Textiles student Kim Mirus chisels a small channel to inlay silver wire after watching a demonstration in the technique by Kiyoko Fujie, at left. At right is metalsmith Hiroko Yamada, longtime Penland instructor and friend, who invited Kiyoko to Penland along with a group of female metalsmiths from Japan. (We’ll have more about Hiroko’s presence at Penland this summer in a future blog post.) Kiyoko is part of the first generation of female metalsmiths to apprentice with Japanese masters.


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Photo of the week: One from the Auction

julie elkins at the Penland benefit auction

Our annual benefit auction was last weekend, and it’s impossible to represent with one picture. So instead of attempting that, we’re just posting a favorite picture. This is volunteer Julie Elkins in her elaborately decorated auction T-shirt carefully transporting one of the 192 water-filled glass globes that made up Pablo Soto’s beautiful auction centerpieces (4 globes per table). The auction was great and we’ll post a report in a few days when we have firm numbers. If you want to see more auction pictures, there is an album here.


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Photo of the Week: Footloose

Watch out world. Jessica Brommer’s students have stepped out in the hand-welted shoes they made and they are awesome.

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Photo of the Week: Early Riser



Even here we can forget to stop, look, and see where we are. Thank you for the reminder.


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Photo of the Week: It’s Like a Rainbow

Mary Zicafoose and tapestry class

Mary Zicafoose and her tapestry class with the yarn they spent much of this week dyeing. Now, it’s on to the looms!


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Photo of the Week: Dit-Dah

rachael garceau installation at Penland

This is artist, former core fellow, and now Penland yoga instructor Rachel Garceau, putting together a ceramic installation outside the Pines. Made from slipcast porcelain, the piece is modular and variable, and Rachel has installed several versions in different places. The pattern represents the dots and dashes of Morse code. In this case, she’s spelling the words, “I can’t just limit it to a note.”

This phrase was said to her by instructor Dolph Smith, who was telling her that he’d been asked to write a sentence or two about Penland. He had a lot to say on the subject, so instead he sent a page or two along with the explanation, “I can’t just limit it to a note.”

Among Dolph’s many skills and interests is Morse code. He was trained by the Army, which stationed him as a signal interceptor in Berlin during the early days of the cold war. “Morse code is almost like handwriting,” he explained, “so we could identify individual operators, write down what they were transmitting, and also triangulate their locations. It’s all very archaic by today’s standards but it was interesting work.”

So, in honor of their shared affection for Penland and Morse code, Rachel used Dolph’s words for this installation.

Here’s a recording of Dolph speaking the phrase in dits and dahs.

For those of you who are completely puzzled by all of this, here is an explanation of Morse code.

-Robin Dreyer



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