Archive | February, 2014

Helene Lumia

 

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If you were at Penland during the fifth session, Summer 2012, it was hard to miss Helene Lumia (seen here on the left). She was in Beth Lipman and Leo Tecocsky’s hot glass workshop. Her roommate at Penland, Anne Fiala, and others have written to let us know that Helene is now entering life as a quadriplegic after a cyst on her spine was removed this summer. According to Anne, Helene’s family is working to renovate Helene’s home to make it workable, and to bring Helene back to Buffalo, NY, from Atlanta, GA, where Helene received surgeries and is in treatment. Helene and her family are in need of financial help. Please visit the fundraising page Helene’s friends and family have set up here.

 

Also, here is Anne Fiala’s post about Helene.

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Kiln to Table

 

Tableware by Jospeh Pintz. Photo by Mark LaFavor for American Craft.

Tableware by Jospeh Pintz. Photo by Mark LaFavor for American Craft.

 

Four ceramists and Penland instructors are featured in American Craft ‘s focus on tableware this month. The feature is now online and celebrates, through short interviews, different approaches ceramists have to making functional pieces for the table. Check out responses from:

 

Jason Bige Burnett (teaching at Penland in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015)
Heather Mae Erickson (teaching at Penland, Summer 2014)
Joseph Pintz (teaching at Penland, Summer 2014)
Tara Wilson (taught at Penland, Fall 2009)

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Winter Studio Visit: David Eichelberger

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Okay, we couldn’t resist. This is resident artist David Eichelberger’s daughter, Louisa. It was a snow day and schools were closed in Mitchell County when we stepped into David’s studio for a visit. David and his wife, ceramist Elisa Di Feo, had turned on Alice in Wonderland for Louisa and her sister, Mena. The adults were attempting to get some work done.

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“It’s a bread and butter product line,” David noted, walking us through the cups, bowls, platters, and other ware he’s made in preparation for the New York International Gift Fair. The pieces are cast from molds, and then fired, and then glazed, and then fired again. Then David (or Elisa, who is helping the endeavor along), applies a laserprint decal to each piece. Finally, the pieces are fired again. Iron oxide from the printer toner interacts with the glaze. “The glaze under the image gets slightly molten, and it captures the iron oxide,” says David.
eichelbergerpenland4 The resulting images on the vessels are casual and arresting: a fishhook, a frying pan. A turtle. A platter of turtles. Weird lures: a chair, a dead bird, an anatomically correct heart. “[The images] are everyday,” he says, “with a built-in plot. The user brings a story to it.” The drawings–the way they are drawn–evoke graphic novels, too. The objects feel removed from a panel, an “everyday” scene. Holding one of David’s cups, the image loses its primacy immediately to the feeling of the shape.

 

Meanwhile, in Alice in Wonderland, the March Hare looks at his watch and shouts, “I’m late! I’m late!” pulling the story into the next chapter.

 

The next chapter, for David (who completes his residency at Penland soon) is to remain in the area for awhile. Both he and Elisa have been adjunct instructors in Boone, and will stay on through Penland’s benefit auction, with David teaching an eight-week handbuilding workshop at Penland this spring and Elisa teaching at Penland in the summer.

 

eichelbergerpenland3 Both David and Elisa have worked a tricky balance the last three years: having a second child, creating their own work (David in residence, Elisa grabbing time in other studios), and working collaboratively on David’s pieces for the first time this winter. (“It’s Elisa’s turn next, David says, about the possibility of doing future residencies.) Their bread-and-butter studio collaboration will extend outward, too: David and Elisa plan to invite other clay artists, starting with Michael Klein, to make limited edition vessels with decals.

 

It’s not snowing steadily yet. Elisa has gone back to applying decals to pieces, and the girls are almost done with Alice. It’s the old Disney version, where the cups and saucers on the Mad Hatter’s table are stacked, falling, sloshing with tea: cracked, tossed, and bitten. Total chaos. The vessels in David’s studio are miraculously unscathed. As the March Hare’s watch is sunk in a cup, a heart on one of David’s cups flies a kite.

 

Photographs by Robin Dreyer; writing by Elaine Bleakney

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Moving Day

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Today, core fellows Molly Kite Spadone and Liz Koerner were packing up work they had shown in Gorelick Hall this week. Molly had left her boots near the door, pointing in. They’d just finished moving out of Morgan, their home for the last two years.

Zee Boudreaux, Mike Krupiarz, and Rachel Mauser: are you packed up already, too?

Goodbyes are hard and too easily cheapened in writing. So let’s look at Molly’s good, mud-loved boots.

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Daguerreotype to Digital: Penland, Photography, & the Triangle

Penland School is well-known for its intensive workshops in clay, glass, metals, and other materials traditionally associated with the word “craft.” Penland, however, defines that term quite broadly, and has long offered classes in so-called “fine art” media such as drawing, painting, and printmaking, along with everyone’s favorite unclassifiable medium: photography. The school is currently in the process of planning and raising funds for a new photography studio and, as part of that effort, is involved in an unusual partnership in North Carolina’s Triangle area: an exhibition/auction of work by Penland-affiliated photographers at Chapel Hill’s Cassilhaus, the home and gallery of architect and community activist Ellen Cassilly and AV systems designer, documentary film producer, and arts entrepreneur Frank Konhaus.

 

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David Spear, Juana Paloma, Mexico. Gelatin silver print, 18 x 18 inches
1998

 

Titled An Expansive Vision: Photographers Working for Penland’s Future, the exhibition, which is on view at Cassilhaus until the auction on March 2 and is also available online, features work by 35 photographers who have donated photographs (framed and ready to hang) in support of Penland’s new studio. The photographs vary widely in style, from documentary to nonrepresentational with many stops in between. The methods used to produce the images could almost form a history of photographic technology: several nineteenth century processes are represented along with black-and-white darkroom prints, traditional color processes, and up-to-date archival inkjet prints.

 

JW Cassilhaus Exterior SE View Twighlight MR

 

Cassilhaus (seen above) is an unusual venue—a beautiful private home (located in a wooded area just north of Chapel Hill) that incorporates a gallery and a separate apartment that supports an artist residency. “Ellen and I have a long-time connection to Penland,” explains Frank Konhaus. “We have taken several fantastic workshops over the years and have volunteered for the benefit auction. Penland is a rare place the excels in teaching darkroom and alternative photo processes alongside current digital techniques. We are passionate photography collectors and have developed a vibrant artist residency and exhibition program at our home in Chapel Hill. It seemed like a natural fit for us to mount an exhibition and auction here of work by Penland-connected photographers to help support the future of Penland photography program.”

That future will be grounded in a beautiful new studio designed by Ratio Architects of Raleigh. The conceptual design was led by architect Louis Cherry working closely with Penland staff members and a design committee that included five photographers with close ties to Penland’s workshop program. The goal for the new studio is to allow Penland to teach any kind of photography that has ever existed. It will be a flexible space that will support nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century technologies: from daguerreotypes to digital. The design has now been completed by a team from Ratio led by Jesse Green. It will be part of a two-building complex that also includes a paper-making studio and a large social hall, and the project will include a landscape plan by Walt Havener of Surface 678 in Durham.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing, and all proceeds from the Cassilhaus auction will support the new photography studio. The photographs in the auction can be viewed on this page, which also has information about absentee bidding, viewing the exhibition by appointment, and making reservations for the auction on March 2. Seating for the event is quite limited and it is likely to fill, but there’s room for an unlimited number of absentee bidders. An absentee bid form allows bidders to name their highest bid for any photographs they are interested in. Bids will be placed for them (up to their stated maximum) by Penland staff members during the live auction.

 

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Community Open House

Our studios will be ready for action on Saturday, March 1, when we host our annual community open house. Everyone is welcome to take part in free activities in clay, iron, glass, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. There will be a special paste painting activity, as well as postcard-making in the school store. The Penland coffee house will be serving up special fare, and we’ll have information about our summer workshops and Kids Camp, too.

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More information about this year’s open house can be found here.
 
 

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Environmental Portraiture with Mark Tucker | April 20 – 26, 2014

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Great face on this young skateboarder today. Late afternoon soft diffused light on the Venice Boardwalk.

Mark Tucker, February 2014

 

This spring, Mark Tucker will teach a workshop exploring how to find and harness light outside of the studio in service of the great faces of the world.

 

Mark Tucker
Environmental Portraiture
In the photo studio
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best approach. In this workshop we’ll learn to make strong portraits using available light. We’ll find the best light, and if it’s not perfect, we’ll modify it with reflectors and fill cards. A field trip to a nearby town will help students learn to approach strangers and to quickly find the best angle and light for a portrait. We’ll learn the emotive difference between hard and soft light and how to use various light sources to achieve the mood you are after. This is a digital photography workshop, which will include enhancing your portraits with basic adjustments in Lightroom/Photoshop. All levels. Code S03P

 

Register here for this workshop

 

Mark Tucker is a portrait and advertising photographer. His clients have included Amtrak, Jack Daniels, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Harper Collins, Penguin Books, Alabama Tourism, Colonial Williamsburg, and many others. He is represented by MergeLeft Reps (NY). He documents his portrait-making adventures on Instagram and Tumblr.

 
 

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