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The Glass Horn Salute

volunteers blowing Sally Prasch's glass horns

The centerpieces at this year’s 30th Annual Penland Benefit Auction were not simply festive and uniquethey were also fully functional! Glass artist Sally Prasch constructed over forty elaborate glass horns, each with a glass rainstick to accompany it. In this photo, a group of auction volunteers gives some horns a celebratory toot that could be heard all across campus.

Lots more photos are now up from auction weekend. View the entire auction slideshow here.

 

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A Tradition of Innovation

KT Hancock at Penland

Student KT Hancock working in the Penland iron studio. Photograph by Mike Belleme for WNC Magazine.

 

WNC magazine’s current issue contains an excellent story, titled A Tradition of Innovation, that presents an illustrated overview of Penland School. You can read the article on the WNC website. Here’s a teaser:

The more time one spends at Penland, the more one understands the sense of connectivity and pulse of mystery that’s hard to define to an outsider. Though almost everyone who visits can agree there is a certain magic to the place. “There’s a removal from the day-to-day that happens when you have to drive up and up and up, and then up some more into the mountains, and you come around a corner and there’s that valley with the studios behind it,” says Steve Miller, another trustee who runs the MFA program in book arts at the University of Alabama and has taught at Penland 14 times. “That remove, that temple at the top of the mountain phenomenon—it moves me every time.”

Thanks to writer Brian Barth (who is a relative of Penland’s founder Lucy Morgan) and photographer Mike Belleme for their fine work on this piece.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Canoes of Bamboo and Plastic

Tom Huang skinning a canoe

Instructor Tom Huang and his assistant, Reed Hansuld, putting the skin on a canoe outside the wood studio. The ribs of the canoe were cut from plywood, the shell was made from strips of split bamboo. The skin they are applying is recycled grocery bags laminated with spray adhesive. They applied 6 or 8 layers of plastic to each canoe. The class built five canoes using this method.

 

Bamboo canoe on the water

It sounds a bit sketchy, and the boats were intended to be somewhat ephemeral. But when they put them on the water, they behaved just like canoes.

 

Bamboo canoes on the water

Here’s the flotilla (plus one dog) on its way down the Toe River.

 

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The Auction Catalog!

Penland Benefit Auction Catalog

You can now access the whole catalog for the Penland School of Crafts 30th Annual Benefit Auction online: right here. The work on the cover is by the remarkable Susan Taylor Glasgow (it’s sewn glass). Inside the catalog you’ll find pictures of more than 200 pieces in all media.

No matter where you are, you can place absentee bids on any of the auction pieces (complete information is here). This is a good thing, because the auction is more-or-less sold out. If you were thinking of attending the auction, please contact contact Jackie Head at 828-765-2359 x 112 or auction@penland.org to see if there are any seats left.

 

Sally Prasch auction centerpieces

Whether you make it to the auction or not, you can still appreciate these great centerpieces made just for the event by glass artist Sally Prasch. Each table will be decorated with a glass horn and a glass rainstick (both are functional). At some point during the auction, we’re going to blow all the horns and make a loud sound.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: 4th of July Parade

The following blog post is a photo slideshow. We recommend viewing it in an Internet browser.

The head of the parade
Local kids and a friendly (?) dragon
Upper Clay takes home the "most subtle" award
Printmaking spirit
The iron studio enlisted the help of a tractor for their float
The iron studio dolphin made an aerial parade appearance!
Projects in Process
Float 13 bringing the heat
Party in the USA
How many glass students can you fit on one truck?
The glassblowers brought their studio right to us
Party tricks from glass instructor Ché Rhodes
Team Miley and their "most patriotic" trophy
A little ice cream to round out the celebrations!

Penland spirit in full force at this year’s Independence Day celebration. Our studios and local community celebrated a bit early with crazy/crafty costumes, banners, handmade trophies, ice cream, and, of course, fireworks!

 

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Ribbon Cutting!

ribbon cutting at Penland

On June 4, Penland had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-opened Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation Studio, which is the building that now houses our book arts and drawing/painting studios. Among the many folks cutting the ribbon were representatives of the Penland board, the Penland staff, G.E.M. Constructors (who built the building), the committee of artists who consulted on the studio spaces, and the Phillips Family.

 

 

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Photo of the Week: New Studios!!

DPBstudio

This building, which is almost finished, will house new studios for drawing, painting, and book arts. It shares a roofline with the letterpress and print building (to the right). The construction crew is working on their final punch list and Penland staff are starting to move equipment in. It’s going to be a beautiful place to work. (And yes, we are planning to move that power pole out of the view.)

 

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