Penland School of Crafts
is a national center for craft education located
in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Penland's focus on excellence,
its long history, and its inspiring, retreat setting have made it
a model of experiential education. The school offers workshops in
books and paper, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, metals,
photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, wood, and other media. Penland
sponsors artist residencies, a gallery and visitors center, and
community education programs.
Each year approximately 1200 people come to Penland
for instruction and another 14,000 pass through as visitors. Penland
has no standing faculty; its instructors include full-time studio
artists as well as teachers from colleges and universities. Students
live at Penland and take only one class at a time allowing them
to learn by total immersion--the ideas and information gained in
a two-week session might take a year to absorb and process.
The school has also become the focal point for a lively community of
craft artists, thanks in part to the resident program which has
encouraged many artists to settle in the area. The student experience
is greatly enhanced by the presence of so many nearby studios.
Students come from all walks of life. They range from 18 to 80+ years of age
and from absolute beginners to professional craftspeople. Some see
Penland as a productive retreat, some as a source of inspiration
for their personal creative lives, and others as a place to exchange
vital information about material, technique, and process. What brings
them all together is a love of materials and making, and the often
transformative experience of working with intensity and focus in
a supportive community atmosphere.
Penland School began out of a strong belief in a few simple values. Penland's founder, Lucy Morgan
summarized these as "the joy of creative occupation and a certain
togetherness-working with one another in creating the good and the
beautiful." For more than seventy-five years, these principles have
guided a remarkable institution which has had a pervasive influence
on American craft and touched the lives of thousands of individuals.
Penland School of Crafts is a nonprofit, tax-exempt