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Spring into Iron with LeeAnn Mitchell!

LeeAnn Mitchell
LeeAnn Mitchell and her studio assistant Richard Shrader


In this class, students will be encouraged to work on as many pieces of sculpture as possible. Everyone in the class will do a What does that thing do, anyway? project, which will be due at the end of the session. We will work from drawings and in-progress critiques to keep everyone on track.


What does that thing do, anyway?

Make a piece of sculpture that has at least two gears, one lever and does something! (Pulleys and cams count as gears.) It’s time to pay attention to the mechanized world – take a look at machines, toys, bicycles, etc. Should you use found parts or make your own? Should you use electricity or wind or water or a hand crank? Decisions, decisions! And hey, what does that thing do, anyway?


Other than this one assigned project, the class will be totally open as we explore the nature of metal and the myriad ways in which it can be manipulated. While the emphasis of this class is on metals, other media are welcome and encouraged.

I love teaching at Penland because I always learn from my students. My studio assistant Richard Shrader is a master woodworker and well on this way to becoming a great blacksmith. He is exactly one week older than I am, so we are both nice Libras! I think we will make an excellent team.

We are also fortunate to have Ian Schneller as a visiting artist. He will present a lecture, work with students, and talk about his experience getting an MFA and following his dream, creating a successful business and school.


LeeAnn Mitchell – Mostly Metal: March 10 – May 2, 2013 in the Iron studio

This class will focus on learning the language of sculpture through a variety of metalworking techniques. Students will learn the basics of forging, welding, and general metal fabrication skills and are welcome to incorporate mixed media and alternative materials into finished pieces. There will be a strong emphasis on the aesthetics and language of sculpture in both group and individual critiques. Whether you choose steel, bronze, aluminum, or iron, you will learn to speak through metal. This class is open to all levels.


LeeAnn Mitchell "Subtle Mutations"
(L to R) LeeAnn Mitchell, “Subtle Mutations: New Farmington Flora for Nancy Jo,“ 2011, cast and fabricated iron, “Subtle Mutations: Altered Skyline for Greg & Kay,” 2012, cast and fabricated bronze


LeeAnn Mitchell‘s work has been included in over one hundred exhibitions with solo shows at the Memphis Center for Contemporary Art, Zoller Gallery at Pennsylvania State University, and the William J. Thompson Gallery at the University of Georgia. She has shown her installations, sculptures, and paintings throughout the United States. Recent group exhibitions include ARTPRIZE, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Iron: Forged, Tempered, Quenched at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, Texas.

She served as the Public Art Assistant for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games Cultural Olympiad in 1996, was the Associate Curator for the University of Tennessee Sculpture Tour in Knoxville, Tennessee from 1987-1993 and has served as an independent curator for the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. From 1999-2006 she served as Central Office Executive Director for the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America.

She is President and CEO  of LeeAnn Mitchell Arts, a professional company dedicated to managing individuals, projects, and organizations in the arts and crafts, with a particular focus in metal. LeeAnn works and resides in Farmington, Georgia with her husband and fellow sculptor Jim Buonaccorsi and their dog Sparky Jones.


Interested? You can click here for more information about this and Penland’s other spring concentration workshops.