Here are a few of the handmade eggs that showed up for our annual Easter egg hunt. It’s possible that a few of them are still out there…
Instructor Dan Estabrook and student Cynthia Cukiernik discussing the fine points of exposing black-and-white film. (On a fine spring day.)
Instructor Andy Dohner demonstrating the use of collars, a component of blacksmithing joinery. “This doesn’t look like much, me just holding it like this,” Andy said, “but there’s a lot going on here.”
Let’s just take a closer look at what’s going on here (not the least of which is Andy’s stylin’ safety glasses).
Students in Cynthia Bringle’s fall clay workshop have been making a lot of mugs. So today they had a mug lottery. You pay $10 and pull a number out of a bowl. Then you look through all the mugs on the desk and find the one that has your number; that’s your new mug. Cynthia and the class are encouraging everyone to take their mugs when they go to the coffee house so they can cut down on paper cup consumption. This is staff member Yolanda Walker finding her mug. As it happened the guy at the wheel behind her made one with her number on it.
Penland’s 2015 community open house was a lovely, lively event. More than 350 visitors and 150 volunteers braved the ice and the cold on February 28 and worked together in Penland’s studios to make enameled buttons, clay pots, glass vessels and beads, rebus mobiles, black and white photographs, wooden train whistles, steel garden stakes, letterpress printed books, woven samples, and more. Here are a few pictures of the fun. Join us for next year’s open house on March 5.
This is what the studio of Penland resident artist Micah Evans looked like last week. Normally Micah works by himself, but he was hosting a collaborative work week with Japanese flameworkers Akihisa Izume (left) and Takao Miyake (center). This involved two torches brought from Japan and a lot of red and green hoses for propane and oxygen. Micah’s studio motto is “hustle!” and, despite the room being almost quiet (except for Phish playing at a low volume), it was clear that there was calm but intense hustle — and some high-level work — going on.
Akihisa and Takao were both working with a technique that involves making patterns on the top of a domed piece of glass tube and then transforming the top of the dome into a disk that encases the pattern between two layers of clear glass. Akihisa was using thin glass cane to make patterns of white lines.
Takao was creating designs by applying thousands of tiny, colored glass dots. Here he’s working on a piece that Akihisa had already partially covered with a twill-like pattern of diagonal lines.
This is the last step of the process, in which the patterned dome is shrunk, flattened, and encased in clear glass. Although I watched Takao do this, I have no idea how he made this happen.
The finished disks are generally made into into jewelry or large marbles. But this week, Micah was incorporating them into his existing glass designs. Here’s one of Takao’s disks that’s now part of a glass yo-yo. (This was all done freehand.)
This yo-yo was made around one of Akihisa’s pieces.
This is the collaborative disk that Takao is working on in the pictures above.
As if that wasn’t enough, they made this off-the-hook three-way collaboration — a large bottle that houses a chameleon skeleton sculpted by Akihisa and has a stopper topped with one of Takao’s disks. (This picture was swiped from Takao’s Instagram feed.)
Thanks to Micah, Takao, and Akihisa for letting me invade their quiet hustle and take these pictures (after I got my jaw off of my chest). -Robin Dreyer
Micah Evans on Instagram: @micahglass
Takao Miyake on Instagram: @takaomiyake
Akihisa Izumi on Instagram: @a_k_i_o
Winter resident Wyatt Sievers with a large bowl he’s been working on in the wood studio. The bowl started as a section from a downed tree. Wyatt rough-turned the piece in his shop in Kentucky and brought it with him to finish the turning at Penland. Right now, he’s keeping in a plastic bag to slow the drying and keep cracking and checking to a minimum. There’s more sanding to be done, then finishing, and he’s thinking about covering the rim with copper leaf. Whatever he does, we know it’s going to look good.