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Clay Goes Big

Nick Schwartz torching the top of a coil-built pot

The spring clay concentration has been busy preparing pieces for their first firing, and they haven’t been holding back on the scale or the drama. Here, instructor Nick Schwartz uses a torch to stiffen the most recent layer of clay on a sizeable pot he’s building. Below, two more large pots look on. They were collaborations between Nick and local potter Courtney Martin, whose signature geometric resist patterns you can see painted on both pieces.

And here, a fun and gratuitous flame close-up, just because:

closeup of a torch and wet clay pot

 

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Summer 2017 Workshop Catalog

Penland summer 2017 catalog cover with portraits of Penland students, instructors, staff, etc

We’re thrilled to present the Summer 2017 workshop catalog! It includes information about our ninety-seven unique summer workshops, including favorites like wood-fired pottery and letterpress and special offerings like bicycle building and leather inlay. Some workshops are for beginners, some are aimed at intermediate and advanced artists, most are open to students of all levels, and each is taught by knowledgeable artist-instructors. The front and back covers capture the range of our broad Penland community in a series of Penland portraits by resident artist Mercedes Jelinek. Read more about her photographs and all of this summer’s great offerings right here in the catalog.

 

Registration for summer workshops is open now, and everyone who registers by 5 PM on February 11 will be entered into the early registration lottery. Scholarships are available for all workshops. Apply for scholarships by February 17.

 

We are currently working on uploading full course information to our website. Look for it online by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.

 

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Spring Concentrations and Scholarships

Fall workshops may have just ended, but it won’t be too long before concentrations are back in session for Spring 2017! We have a great lineup of artist-instructors coming to Penland to teach everything from casting iron and glass to atmospheric firing techniques for clay during Penland’s unique 8-week workshop format. Scholarships are available for all concentrations. Scholarship applications are due November 28, 2016.

Below is a preview of what’s in store this March 12-May 5, 2017. For complete course descriptions, see the Spring Concentration page.

 

instructor work

Instructor work from left to right: Nick Schwartz (clay), Remy Louis Hanemann (iron), Anne Covell (letterpress), Dean Allison (glass).

 

Clay
Nick Schwartz will lead students in an exploration of “Painting with Fire,” including wood and gas firings and the possibilities of salt and soda in the kiln. John Dix will join as guest instructor for two weeks.

Glass
Penland resident artist Dean Allison will share his expertise in glass casting and mold making. Students will gain new abilities to work with glass in a range of ways to express their artistic visions.

Iron
Remy Louis Hanemann will guide students through the process of building a complete iron foundry at Penland. As they go, students will learn skills such as plasma cutting and welding, making two-part molds, and, finally, conducting an iron pour.

Letterpress & Books
In her workshop “Image as Narrative,” Anne Covell’s students will first explore alternative printing techniques to create images and then bind them into traditional and sculptural books.

Metals
David Jones will give his students a wide-ranging education in metal fabrication for jewelry or small sculpture. Students will learn techniques from sawing, soldering, and stamping to forging and forming.

Textiles
In “Weaving: A Dialogue,” Tommye McClure Scanlin and Bhakti Ziek will share their expertise in tapestry and jacquard weaving as students create images on the loom.

Wood
Jack Mauch will lead students in an in-depth exploration of woodworking techniques for furniture and sculpture with an emphasis on shape and going beyond rectilinear forms.

 

instructor work

Instructor work from left to right: David Jones (metals), Tommye McClure Scanlin (weaving), Bhakti Ziek (weaving), Jack Mauch (wood).

 

Each of our spring concentrations are open to students of all levels. Enrollment is open now, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is November 28, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.

 

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Melissa Draws

artist melissa stern in the Penland drawing and painting studio

Instructor Melissa Stern working in the Penland drawing and painting studio during her one-week workshop titled Every Picture Tells a Story: Drawing, Collage, and Storytelling.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: The Thread Between

jessica-stitching

On a crisp and sunny afternoon, there may be nowhere on campus that gets better light than the weaving studio in Lily Loom. This fall, it is home to Rachel Meginnes’s concentration The Thread Between. Students in the workshop are learning to deepen their studio practices and develop a serious body of work through exercises with textiles, readings, writing assignments, discussions, presentations, and individual consultations. Here, studio assistant Jessica Green works on a cross stitch sample (above), and instructor Rachel Meginnes talks with studio assistant Marie Fornaro about her sewn paper samples (below).

 

rachel-and-marie

 

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Analogue Social Media | November 6-12, 2016

Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the "Our Town—Together Heroic" project

Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

It can be a bit mind-boggling how much information we communicate digitally these days, from online news outlets and blogs to the social media profiles that announce the engagements of friends, the arrival of new babies, or simply what we had for dinner last night. When done right, social media can be a powerful tool for connection, for communicating a message, for sharing ideas and triggering inspiration. But it’s not the only way we can accomplish these goals.

For a week this fall, social media will go analogue with Bryce McCloud of Nasheville’s letterpress/public art studio Isle of Printing. As Bryce elaborates in his course description, “This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community.”

 

A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of "Our Town"

A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of “Our Town”

To really understand what this week will be about, it helps to have glimpsed some of the pieces that Bryce and his team have put together. Take, for example, his yearlong Our Town public portraiture project, which encouraged thousands of Nashville residents to create self portraits using stamps. In exchange for their finished portraits, each person got to take home a letterpress print of someone else’s portrait. “We want people to look at this as a conversation that they’re having with each other, not through words, but through pictures,” Bryce explains. “A big part of this project was to get people to actively look and actively be engaged with the world.”

The Our Town project didn’t stop there, either. Instead, Bryce and his co-conspirators turned the project into a large-scale demonstration of the creative process and how a team—or a city—can come together to create. They constructed giant stamps and used them piece by piece to print enormous portraits in public spaces like the downtown library and Nashville’s Riverfront Park (image above).

 

can-wall

A few views of the ever-changing Can Wall at Pinewood Social

Another recent project was the Can Wall at Pinewood Social, a popular Nashville restaurant/bowling alley/hangout spot. “The mural is made of thousands of quart cans which can be viewed up close as products or far away as pixels in a larger design,” Bryce explains. Every month, the cans get rearranged into a new image or pattern. “We wanted the world to be an active participant in the project AND we wanted the art to feel alive,” he says. “Change is inevitable and that is the point.”

 

barista-parlor

The mural at Barista Parlor

Or, there’s the “optically/digitally enhanced” letterpress mural adorning the main wall of Nashville’s Barista Parlor. It’s an image of a sailing ship made up of individually-printed square letterpress plates, but Bryce says it’s also a reflection of how we see the world around us today: “beginning with a real ship painted by an artist which was photographed and turned into a picture on a computer which I reengineered as a plate on a press to assemble onto a wall in my city for people to see in person which they then share on the internet for others to see. Here to there and back again.”

The human interaction and the call for engagement is central in each of these projects and, in fact, to all of Bryce’s art projects at Isle of Printing. As he explains to visitors on his website, “We specialize in making the unusual happen and thrive on giving novelty a place at or above the mundane… We truly believe in the power of public art and positive thought.”

We certainly can’t tell you what a week of Analogue Social Media at Penland this fall will look like, but we’re pretty sure what it will feel like: teamwork, exploration, experimentation, and lots of good vibes. The workshop runs November 6-12, 2016. Register now.

 

The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the "Our Town—Together Heroic"

The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

Analogue Social Media

Bryce McCloud
—This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community. Like playful scientists we’ll create socially-driven printmaking experiments, imagine ways to involve people outside of our studio, and then use the community at Penland as our testing ground. We’ll brainstorm and refine ideas that may be realized during the session or at other times and places. We’ll cover relief printmaking skills and discuss other tactics for engaging the public with your work when you head home. Printmaking or letterpress experience will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code F03L

Studio/public artist, founder of Isle of Printing, a letterpress and fabrication shop (Nashville); teaching: Watkins College of Art (TN), Brighton College of Art (UK); public art: Our Town Nashville (TN), Pinewood Social (TN), Invasion UK (Brighton, UK), South by Southwest (TX).

isleofprinting.com

REGISTER NOW

 

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CERCA Y LEJOS: Cristina Córdova at the Penland Gallery

Cristina Cordova at Penland Gallery

Cristina Córdova, La persistencia del verdor, ceramic, resin, metal, paper, glass, plastic, wood; background image of Mount Britton, Puerto Rico, by Harvey Barrison; figure: 69 x 24 x19 inches; background: 100 x 144 inches.

 

The work of ceramic sculptor Cristina Córdova has always been concerned with the human form: the figure and the face, gesture and expression. Her show at the Penland Gallery—her first solo exhibition in the U.S. since 2011—presents two- and three-dimensional images of her family members along with elements that evoke her native Puerto Rico. Titled CERCA Y LEJOS, the exhibition runs through November 20 with an opening reception on Saturday, October 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

At the center of the exhibition are two life-size, standing ceramic figures: one depicts her husband and the other depicts one of their daughters. The figures stand in front of wall-sized photographs of Puerto Rico that were taken from Internet sources and are presented as photo mosaics. Along with these dioramas are five large portraits of members of Córdova’s family. Drawn on paper using clay slip and other materials, the oversized faces look directly and unflinchingly at the viewer. The show’s title means “near and far” and refers to the proximity of the artist’s family and the distance of her homeland.

 

paloma

Cristina Córdova, Corazón, clay, charcoal, and mixed media on acid-free cardboard, 82 x 60 inches

 

In talking about this work, Córdova notes that for her it represents a turn toward naturalism. “My work has been described in the past as having to do with surrealism and religious iconography. In this more overtly personal work, I am using images of real places and modeling real individuals.” Penland Gallery director Kathryn Gremley says of the show, “For an artist whose work is both sensory and confrontational, the opportunity to work with an entire exhibition space is ideal: she can move fluidly from wall to floor, she can study the light and create works accordingly, she can force perspective and create narrative groupings without regard to conventional gallery norms.” Taken as a whole, the exhibition creates a form of silent theater that illuminates one artist’s exploration of her personal and cultural identity.

Córdova, who grew up in Puerto Rico and now lives and works near Penland School of Crafts in Mitchell County, North Carolina, has an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University in New York. She has received a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship, a Virginia A. Groot Foundation grant, and the prestigious United States Artists fellowship. Her work is in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico and was recently featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly magazine. She was a Penland resident artist from 2002-2005 and has taught at the school several times.

 

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