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Penland Down Under

Jemima Parker, Undefined (wearable) object, hand-printed calico, sewing thread, 2012


This June, Penland will turn Australian for two weeks when seventeen artists and educators from Australian National University’s School of Art in Canberra take over our fifteen studios–all during the same summer session, June 7-19, 2015.


Richard Whiteley, head of the glass at Australian National University, and Ashley Jameson Eriksmoen, ANU’s head of furniture, developed the all-Aussie session with Penland programs director Leslie Noell. Both schools share an innovative, practice-centered philosophy, and the session presents an unprecedented chance for makers to study with ANU faculty in the U.S.


Students who attend the session will work with Australian artist-educators at the height of their craft. These artists include Richard Whiteley, gold- and silversmith Simon Cottrell, textile and installation artist Jemima Parker, book and multimedia artist Nicci Haynes, and the artists listed in the teaching studios below.


“There is always an easy, open conversation between studios at Penland, and I hear from students and instructors all the time that this creative exchange across media is one of the things that, in addition to the daily focused classroom experience, makes their time at Penland even more rich, said Leslie Noell.


“Now imagine what this conversation will be like with seventeen vibrant instructors who have all known and worked together for years. (Not to mention the accents!) I expect the entire campus to crackle,” Noell said.

Ashley Eriksmoen, who ​previously ​taught at Penland​ ​and will teach woodworking during the 2015 session, sees a progressive synergy between ANU’s ​hands-on ​approach to​ teaching​ craft in the academy and Penland’s intensive workshop context.


“[ANU’s] ​undergraduate and graduate programs​ are centered on thinking through a material,” said Eriksmoen. “Our workshop discipline​​s​ involve art, craft, and design–and​ are closely aligned with those at Penland. We offer a high-caliber program Down Under. At Penland, we’ll offer it to students who wouldn’t otherwise make the antipodal journey.”

Among the Australia-based artist/educators who will be teaching during the session are:


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Simon Cottrell’s jewellery and objects have been extensively published and exhibited worldwide since 1996. He is currently a researcher and professor in the Gold and Silversmithing Workshop, School of Art, at ANU. Metalsmith magazine published an 8-page feature article on his work and practice, which can be read here.









Nicci Haynes stretches the definition of book arts to include prints, costumes and performance, video, projection, and spoken word collaboration. Her work explores the idea of the inner world being described physically. Nicci teaches in the Print Media and Drawing discipline at ANU. Nicci’s work was included in the 2014 exhibition Behind the Personal Library: Collectors Creating the Canon at the Center for Book Arts, NYC.







Jemima Parker, whose wearable work is shown at the top of this blog post, is a Canberra-based artist and screenprinter using traditional textile materials and methods, along with drawing and printmaking processes to create work that moves between disciplines and blurs boundaries of creative practice. She teaches textiles at ANU and more of her work can be seen here.





Richard Whiteley is a glass artist renowned for his restrained yet monumental cast glass sculpture. Employing mass, negative space, transparency and translucency, Richard’s work and teaching career have helped shape the current state of contemporary glass. After several years of teaching and studio-based work, he is back in Canberra as Head of the Glass Workshop at the School of Art at ANU. He also maintains his own practice from his studio in Queanbeyan.






Apply for a scholarship or assistantship by February 17.

Not applying for a scholarship? Register in our summer lottery by February 11.




All-Aussie Penland Session 2: June 7-19, 2015

Click here for full course information.

Click on the names below for websites of the artists.


Books: Nicci Haynes

Printmaking: John Pratt

Letterpress: Caren Florance

Upper Clay studio: Greg Daly

Lower Clay studio: Michael Keighery 

Painting: Ruth Waller

Glass: Nadege Desgenetez

Glass casting: Richard Whiteley

Upper metals studio: Simon Cottrell

Lower metals studio (3-D design): Gilbert Riedelbauch

Iron: Suzie Bleach & Andy Townsend

Photography: Matt Higgins & Denise Ferris

Upper textiles studio: Jemima Parker

Lower textiles studio: Valerie Kirk

Wood: Ashley Eriksmoen 


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Summer 2015 Workshops


Our Summer 2015 workshop descriptions are now online so that you can begin to plot Penland into your summer. Search by session or studio. If you are planning on applying, the summer lottery deadline is February 11.

Scholarship applications are processed differently, and this year we’ve moved to an online process, so please take a look at the new guidelines. Scholarship applications are due February 17.

The print catalogue, featuring an image by Robin Dreyer of letterpressed leaves made by former core fellow Beth Schaible (see above), will be available in the coming weeks.


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Photo of the Week: Tiny Shiny Sale


Aran Galligan’s fall metals class hosted an open house and sale on Thursday afternoon. For a few hours, the Tiny Shiny Sale turned the upper metals studio into a delightful jewelry store, and everyone was delighted.


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Photo of the Week: Unintentional Installation

materials in natural dye class at Penland School

Mixed media in Donna Brown’s natural dye class.


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Dance of the Blue Neo Glass

How it begins: a sketch on the studio floor, a plan to make this vessel in two parts.
Brian Corr and assistant Suzie Ririe shaping the body.
Assistant Nick Fruin and Pierre Bowring making the elongated stem of the vessel.
Like a pas de deux, with fire.
Bob Lamontagne with camera prepares to photograph from strange vantages.
Ready for the join. Behind Brian is Izach Hyde.
The pas de quatre in white tee shirts.
More fire, please.
Shaping the top.
Perfection is not just about control. It's also about letting go.--Black Swan.
Yes, we quoted the movie Black Swan in the last slide.
Finale: almost.
And then off to the annealer. Bravo to all.


There’s a ballet school in my neighborhood. When the sun hits the glass a certain way, the front window of the studio dims from where I view it from my car, and all I see are legs and feet, sweeping and stuttering together. Walking into the glass studio yesterday I was reminded of the feeling: catching sight of a group of bodies acting and reacting to each other as part of a plan. Students in Brian Corr’s concentration workshop moved in slow and quickening formations: standing, starting, leaning, kneeling, turning, crossing, holding and dropping and wiping off singed tools. Not a fluid dance (is there such a thing?) but a strategic and elliptical choreography as mesmerizing to me as any big-time production of Swan Lake. As Frank Sinatra played in the background, Brian’s students scuffed and stepped, keeping the object–a large, blue vessel composed of two parts to be joined–alive on the punties. Above are some shots of the moment.–Elaine Bleakney


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Video: Jon Brooks

Our last video from our summer series of video portraits made by Wes Stitt features Penland instructor Jon Brooks, who taught a workshop called Convergence: Forest Meets Muse in our wood studio this past June.

To revisit the entire series of Wes’s videos, please visit Penland Stories.


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Photo of the Week: Pin Registration!


Printmaking instructor Amanda Lee demonstrating the wonders of the pin registration system. Yeah, that sounds kind of unexciting — unless you are planning to make multicolor prints and you’d like things to line up really well, in which case you’d be as enthralled as Amanda’s students.


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