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Jenni Sorkin, 2016 Resident Writer

jenni sorkin and book

In addition to the talented artists on campus as students and instructors right now, we are lucky to have Jenni Sorkin at Penland. Jenni is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and our 2016 Andrew Glasgow Resident Writer. Like everyone else here, Jenni is spending her time at Penland deeply engrossed in craft. Specifically, she will be working on an essay about abstraction and textiles which will be published in the catalog for the exhibition Boundary Markers: Outlier Artists and the Contemporary Mainstream. The exhibition is set to open at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 2018.

Just last month, Jenni’s book Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community was published by the University of Chicago Press. The book investigates the influences of ceramics on the “artistic avant-garde” during the second half of the 20th century. It highlights three women—Marguerite Wildenhain, Mary Caroline (M. C.) Richards, and Susan Peterson—each one a ceramic artist “whose careers throughout the mid-twentieth century expand and enrich our current understanding of what socially engaged artistic practice is today.”

Jenni will present a talk based on Live Form on Sunday, August 21 at 8:15 PM in Northlight. The event is free, and all are welcome and encouraged to join.

Read more about Jenni and the Andrew Glasgow Writers Residency here.

 

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Photo of the Week: Gravity Casting

casting-1

Juvana Soliven casting bronze using the awesome power of gravity in this session’s metals workshop taught by Suzanne Pugh. Suzanne decided to focus the workshop on gravity casting rather than centrifugal or vacuum casting because it’s cheaper to set up in a home studio and also opens the possibility of making larger-scale work.

 

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Fall Workshops and Scholarships

Summers at Penland can be seasons of frenetic energy, while winters here have a more independent, reflective mood. Between them, springs and falls are seasons of sustained inquiry, exploration, and growth. The 8-week concentrations that take place during these times combine the length of a college term with the intensity of fully-immersive workshop education. For artists looking to make great strides in their work or dive deeply into new techniques, Penland concentrations are an unmatched opportunity. The application deadline for fall scholarships is August 1, 2016.

 

images of instructor work

Left to right: Birdie Boone, Matt Repsher, Claire Kelly, Jay Burnham-Kidwell

 

This fall, we are thrilled to be offering an exceptional lineup of concentrations led by skilled artist-instructors in a range of media:

Clay
Birdie Boone and Matt Repsher will lead students in their “pot-centric” workshop to develop wheelthrown and handbuilt pieces with stronger connections between form and surface.

Glass
In “The Cane Ladder,” Claire Kelly and her students will dive deep into glassblowing techniques, covering cane and murrine as well as sculpting, hot and cold assemblies, and cold work.

Iron
Blacksmith Jay Burnham-Kidwell will take students through eight weeks of fire and iron: forging, bending, splitting, punching, welding, finishing, and more.

Metals
In Kristina Glick’s workshop “Counterbalance: Enameling, Electroforming & Found Objects,” students will use liquid enamels on metal to produce finished pieces of jewelry, wall panels, and other exquisite objects.

Print
Georgia Deal will lead her students in an exciting mix of monoprinting and hand papermaking to develop layered prints and rich visual vocabularies.

Textiles
Recent resident artist Rachel Meginnes will teach “The Thread Between,” a workshop focused on textiles and artistic development that will include weaving and surface exercises as well as readings, writing, and group discussions.

Wood
In “Books, Relics, Curiosities,” Daniel Essig will lead students in an exploration of wood and bookbinding techniques to create book-based sculptures.

 

images of instructor work

Left to right: Kristina Glick, Georgia Deal, Rachel Meginnes, Daniel Essig

 

Each of our fall concentrations are open to students of all levels, and scholarships are available for every concentration. The deadline to apply for a fall concentration scholarship is August 1, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.

Join us for eight weeks of creative energy and artistic growth this fall!

 

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Photo of the Week: Watering Can!

Nick Fruin in the Penland glass studio

Penland glass studio coordinator Nick Fruin finishing up a demo for Kenny Pieper’s glass workshop. The piece is in the form of a watering can. Here, let’s get a better look:

 

Nick Fruin at the Penland glass studio

 

 

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Photo of the Week: A Few (Hundred) Books!

Books students pose with the books they made

Let’s hear it for everyone in “Bindings in Paper,” Anna Embree’s session 1 class. In under two weeks, this crew not only learned a number of new binding and stitching techniques, they also made 212 books by hand. Yes, 212. Up close, each one has its own special details, from paste paper covers and decoratively-stitched bindings to coordinating cases and block printed details. But don’t worry that their suitcases will be too heavy on the way home: the class is donating twenty-two of its creations to the scholarship auction tonight to help future students come to a Penland session!

 

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Fall and Spring Workshop Listings

catalog cover showing a man painting a sign

We’re thrilled to announce our workshop lineup for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017! Whether it’s an eight-week concentration in crafting sculptural wood furniture or a one-week intensive on kinetic metal jewelry, there’s lots to choose from in each of our studios. Browse through all the course descriptions to find your next creative challenge.

Registration is open now, and scholarships are available for all fall and spring concentrations. Printed catalogs will be in the mail shortly.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Raising Day!

The timber framing class posing on the frame they raised

Penland’s eight-week concentrations are known for being intense and immersive workshops that leave students with new ideas, new skills, and new friends. This spring’s timber framing concentration was all that, but it also left a permanent mark on the Penland campus. In just eight weeks, the class, led by instructor Raivo Vihman and studio assistant Tom Shields, raised a full timber frame that will become the permanent home of a historical display just behind the Craft House. It took weeks of work to prepare the beams and fit them all together, but the raising took place in just one exhilarating day! Here’s to teamwork, cranes, and careful planning.

 

The first two walls of the frame going up

The two long walls of the structure were assembled on the ground before being raised into place.

 

Lowering a beam into place

A crane helps lower the first cross beam into position. Nice hard hats, all!

 

pounding a peg into place

The raising called for big pegs and big mallets. Unlike standard dimensional lumber frames, the timber frame isn’t held together with metal screws and braces.

 

The frame before the roof beams

With each new beam, the frame took on more and more of its final shape.

 

Thank you, timber framers, for this gorgeous structure! It will be a cherished part of campus for years and years to come.

 

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