To look at Linda Sacra’s necklace of flameworked glass beads is to wonder about the scale of things. For a moment, it seems possible that the beads are not beads at all, but individual glistening cells—or perhaps entire swirling planets? A central air bubble trapped in those colorful whorls could as easily be a delicate nucleus as it could be a dense planetary core. Either way, the beads draw you in for a closer look and start your imagination flowing. It’s clear to see why the entire process of flameworking hooked Linda after she first tried it in 1992.
This fall, Linda will bring her love of flameworked glass to Penland for a 1-week session October 18-24. Her workshop will guide students—both complete beginners and those with experience—through the techniques she uses to achieve depth and color variation and unusual shapes in her glass beadwork. Registration is open, and space is still available to take part in the workshop.
But be careful, you might just get hooked—that’s exactly what happened to weaver and longtime Penland friend Edwina Bringle, who will be one of Linda’s students in October. Now retired after 24 years teaching weaving and textiles at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Edwina first tried flameworking at Penland’s Community Day about ten years ago. “As a weaver, I’m a colorist, and working with glass is another way to play with color,” explains Edwina. “I enjoy trying to improve my skills with flameworking. I enjoy the concentration of it.”
The Nature of Glass
Linda Sacra – Working in the flameworking studio with soda-lime glass, we will begin with basic shapes and then move on to more advanced shapes. We’ll use frits, enamels, fine silver, and etching to create surface depth and design. We’ll mix glass for a whole new palette and pull multi-color stringers and latticino for detail work. Daily demonstrations and one-on-one instruction will address the needs of students with different levels of experience. All levels. Code F02GB
Linda Sacra is a studio artist and returning Penland instructor who specializes in flameworking glass beads. Her pieces can be seen in galleries including Glassworks (NC), Sandpiper Gallery (SC), Edward Dare Gallery (SC), Watson MacRae Gallery (FL), and The Fat Cat Ltd. (NC).
Photographer Eric Swanson enjoys shooting images of artists in their studio spaces as one of his “self assignments,” so coming to Penland this summer to teach a workshop on natural light portraiture was an easy fit. He and his students spent the two weeks of session 6 making portraits on the knoll, at the Arbuckle Rodeo, and by the river, but mostly they shot in the Penland studios. The collection of images they produced, including the one above of Eric by student Elizabeth Ortiz, captures both the intense work and the playful nature of summer at Penland. View their portraits here.
“Photographic prints and books are being replaced by intangible, transient digital files made of zeros and ones – no texture, no smell, no weight. ” So writes photographer Heather F. Wetzel in her artist statement. “I prefer a slower pace, where one takes time to notice and appreciate those little and often discarded things.”
Her photographs echo her assertion, examining forgotten everyday details like a safety pin or a jar of buttons with uncommon attention. Though lacking the saturated colors and extensive post-production possible with today’s digital photography, Heather’s images are warm and arresting. It’s their simplicity and directness that draw the viewer in and envelop them in a moment that can feel timeless.
This fall, Heather will be traveling to Penland to share her expertise in historic photographic processes. Her 1-week course, scheduled for November 1-7, will focus on printing with silver and iron using cyanotype-, salt-, and albumen-printing. Space is still available in the workshop.Register here.
Printing with Silver & Iron
Heather F. Wetzel – Beginning with an introduction to digital negatives and other means of photographic contact printmaking, we’ll explore the possibilities of the cyanotype process and two closely-related silver printing processes: salt and albumen. In addition to learning how to mix chemicals, make digital negatives for optimal image making, and the practicalities of printing and toning, we’ll consider further manipulation and mark making as well as final presentation of the prints produced in this workshop. All levels. Code F03P
Heather is a studio artist who works in traditional photographic processes as well as other media such as books and hand papermaking. She is a lecturer in the art department and a book arts specialist at Logan Elm Press at Ohio State University, where she was the 2011-2012 Fergus Family Fellow in Photography.