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Table in a Day!

Penland’s Table in a Day participants with their (mostly) finished creations.

 

The process of designing and making an object can be a slow and laborious one. Good craft takes time. But once a year in the Penland wood studio, time is in very short supply. For the annual Table in a Day Challenge, now in its third year, wood studio residents have only one day to craft a table from start to finish. Pre-planning and sketching are allowed, but all the cutting and construction must happen between 9 AM and 9 PM.

This year, ten seasoned furniture designers rose to the challenge. Armed with donuts, pump-up tunes, and designs (or not), they quickly spread out around the studio and got to work cutting, planing, jointing, and gluing. Meanwhile, up in Baltimore, Penland session 7 instructor Sarah Marriage was taking part remotely, hard at work on her own speed-table.

 

man shaping a wooden table leg
Core fellow Kyle Kulchar shapes a leg for his table (the black one in the center, above).

 

With this much focus and intensity, pieces take shape quickly. By early afternoon, tabletops had been glued up, legs had been shaped, and the energy was palpable. A few hours later, the parts were starting to come together into three-dimensional forms that looked an awful lot like furniture. By 8:45 PM, the artists were in a final flurry of activity brushing paint, wiping finish, and laying the final boards into place. Somehow by 9 PM (or just a few minutes after), a collection of furniture stood where there had only been open floor at the beginning of the day.

 

two women woodworking
Left: Studio coordinator Ellie Richards adding color to her design. Right: Winter residency studio assistant Christina Boy finishing her table as it nears 9 o’clock.

 

As impressive as the participants’ speed and skill was the variety in the pieces they made. The tables ranged in scale from chihuahua-sized to large enough to seat six for dinner. Some highlighted the grain and natural color of the wood, while others employed bright paint and striking textures. Angela St. Vrain, a winter resident, used a piece of blown and slumped glass she’d made as a tabletop; studio coordinator Ellie Richards covered a whole face of her table with quotes she collected from protest posters at the Women’s Marches over the weekend. The legs on winter resident Zoe Alexa’s table were solidly joined at various non-right angles, and core fellow Elmar Fujita mixed and matched a pair of turned legs with two straight, square ones.

 

woman building a table
Core fellow Elmar Fujita attaching the legs to her Table in a Day creation.

 

All told, it was a day full up with some of the best the studio can bring: camaraderie, creativity, costumes, big skill, and lots of energy. Just don’t ask them to do it again tomorrow.

See more photos from Table in a Day in the slideshow below. (If you are reading this post as an email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.)

 

Intrepid woodworkers about to start at 8:59 AM.
Game faces
Four hours in and going strong!
Ellie inscribing quotes onto one face of her table.
Morgan putting together the pieces (in costume, of course).
Zoe had to work during the middle of the day, but she still made a mini table!
Bob at the table saw
Angela creating the glass and wood top for her table
Resident artist Annie Evelyn chose to make a 12-hour valet stand, which is sort of like a little table combined with a chair and a coat rack.
Yes, Elmar is rocking a wig.
Ellie with the finished word panel for the side of her table.
A 12-hour time limit doesn't mean you can skimp on sanding!
Paint paint paint
Finishing up in the final minutes.
The finished tables!
Not bad for 12 hours, eh?

 

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Photo of the Week: The Final Northlight Auction

Penland scholarship auction

Last night we celebrated the end of fall concentrations in the traditional way—by coming together with friends and community members for an end-of-session scholarship auction. Last night’s was a rousing one, thanks to the incredible work donated by Penland’s students, instructors, residents, staff, and more and the generous bidding of the audience members. At the end of it all, we had raised an astonishing $24,000+ towards Penland’s scholarship funds!

To make the evening even more special was the fact that last night’s auction was the final one to take place in this space. Starting in December, demolitions will begin on the Northlight building, including Gorelick Social Hall and the photo and paper studios. In their place we will build a new Northlight complex that will include social gathering spaces and upgraded studios.

Thank you to everyone who donated, bid, volunteered, and attended to make this final auction a fitting sendoff for our well-loved Northlight. We look forward to welcoming you all into the new building soon for many more years of good art, good friends, and good fun.

 

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Resident Rock Stars

Penland’s resident artists spend three years living on campus and working as self-supporting artists in their field. Their time at Penland is designed as an opportunity for them to deepen their studio practice, push technical and conceptual boundaries, or explore entirely new directions in their work.

We’re continually amazed by the pieces that come out of each of the resident studios at The Barns, and we’re proud to have such talented artists calling Penland home. Recently, three residents were recognized for their outstanding work with prestigious (and, in our opinion, well-deserved) fellowships.

 

Annie Evelyn, "The Scotty," collaboration with Scotty Albrecht
Annie Evelyn, “The Scotty,” aluminum, collaboration with Scotty Albrecht

Annie Evelyn
Furniture designer Annie Evelyn was just awarded the 2016 John D. Mineck Fellowship by the Society of Arts and Crafts. The $25,000 award is presented “to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist… who demonstrates skill and commitment to their craft.” Annie plans to use the award to purchase tools to outfit her shop post-Penland. She envisions the space as a well-equipped communal studio that will also serve as a venue for community workshops, exhibitions, and events. “Annie’s spirit of community, generosity, and mentorship shined in her application, and will serve her well as she leaves the Penland community and establishes her studio,” the Society of Arts and Crafts stated. Annie is known for her explorations into hard/soft surfaces and applying traditional upholstery techniques to materials like wood, concrete, and metal.

 

 

Andrew Hayes, "Dure," steel, book pages, paint
Andrew Hayes, “Dure,” steel, book pages, paint

Andrew Hayes
Andrew Hayes was honored as one of seventeen recipients of $10,000 Artist Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council for 2017. The fellows are chosen every two years from a talented pool of choreographers and visual, craft, and film/video artists. The Arts Council describes Andrew’s singular book and steel sculptures as “improbable objects of beauty.” They elaborate: “Formally, his sculpture has the spare elegance of mid-century modernism, each one an icon of untold meaning. But as much as his work may recall past styles and forms, it also boldly writes its own history and engages the viewer on its own terms.”

 

 

Jaydan Moore, "Ends," found silver-plated platters
Jaydan Moore, “Ends,” found silver-plated platters

Jaydan Moore
Jaydan Moore was also awarded one of this year’s North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowships. He works in metals, primarily with found silver-plated platters and other serviceware that he carefully deconstructs, recombines, and reassembles into new forms. As the Arts Council explains, these pieces “gain a protean quality as they transition to the next stage in their evolution, one that honors their past purpose and history and, at the same time, looks forward to the possibility of something unexpected.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Penland resident artists will hold an open studio tomorrow, October 21 at The Barns. Come by between 7-9 PM to meet the residents, see their spaces, and get a feel for their recent work.

 

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NINE – A Core Show Slideshow

Penland core fellows
Penland’s core fellows at this year’s core show. Left to right: Left to right: Daniel Garver, Eleanor Anderson, Alex McClay, Thomas Campbell, Morgan Hill, Elmar Fujita, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, Bryan Parnham

The 2016 core show was another festival of inspiration, innovation, ideas, and other wonderful things that may or may not start with i. Thanks to our nine core fellows for their beautiful work and for the care and thought they put into sharing it with us. And thanks to the many others who helped with the show, the special dinner, the glittered limo van, handcrafted presents, deserts, organizing the reception, and many other tasks that add up to the core show being one of the high points of every Penland year. Special thanks to Jerry Jackson for final tweaking of the whole show.

Click here for a slideshow from the event, with a few examples of each person’s work.

 

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NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition

nine-small

 

Every year, the annual core show is a highlight of fall at Penland. It’s a remarkable event: nine core fellows come together to put on an exhibition, and they do all the parts themselves, from creating the work and designing publicity materials to preparing the space and curating the pieces within it.

This year’s show is titled NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition. The work will span the range of Penland’s studios, from weaving and wooden furniture to objects in clay and concrete. In many ways, it’s a visual chronicle of one year in the lives of nine emerging artists—their ideas and explorations, their time, their energy, their passion.

Please join us on Friday, October 7th at 8 PM in Northlight to celebrate our core fellows as artists and as vital members of the Penland community. NINE will also be open for viewing October 8 and 9 from noon-6 PM and October 10 from 4-6 PM.

While the pieces below are just a small sampling of what will be up during the exhibition, they are absolutely representative of the creativity and skill that will be on display.

 

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Enameled metal tea set by Rachel Kedinger

 

garver16c
Linen and wool ikat dyed tapestry by Daniel Garver, 50 x 35 inches

 

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Maple and walnut entry table by Kyle Kulchar

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Highlights of the 2016 Benefit Auction

 

With concentrations set to start this Sunday, we’re working on wrapping up the last details of summer so we can turn our attention to the fall ahead. But we certainly can’t move on to a new season without mentioning one of the big highlights of every Penland summer: the Annual Benefit Auction!

This year’s was a rousing success, and we owe that success to the hard work and support of so many of you in the Penland community—from our 263 contributing artists and 216 volunteers to the 161 newcomers who joined us this year for their very first auction weekend. Through art sales, ticket sales, gifts, sponsorships, and more, you helped us to raise over $698,000 of income for Penland programs, including $141,810 of Fund-a-Need support for Penland’s new Northlight building. We are beyond grateful. As Kari Rinn said during her art talk over auction weekend, “Just a few days at Penland creates an impact that can be felt for years or even a lifetime.” Your support means Penland can continue to serve as an inspiring and vibrant community for artists well into the future. Thank you.

Auction weekend is also a time to recognize those in our community who have made a particularly lasting and cherished impact on Penland students. This year, we couldn’t have chosen a more deserving soul than Paulus Berensohn to name as our 2016 Outstanding Artist Educator. Paulus is an embodiment of the generosity and creative discovery that make Penland so special, and it was an honor and a joy to celebrate him as an instructor, neighbor, and friend. The tribute to Paulus below was presented under the tent on August 12.

 

 

We hope you can carry forward this summer’s spirit of creativity and celebration into the season ahead. If you need a little help, might we suggest taking a peek at the pictures from the auction photo booth below for inspiration?

Auction Weekend Photo Booth
Volunteer Party Photo Booth

 

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Remembering Jane Hatcher

jane

This Saturday, we’ll celebrate the life of Penland’s dear friend and close neighbor Jane Hatcher, who died last month at age 77 after a long and courageous struggle with vascular dementia. Jane and her partner, Mary Anglin, lived for decades just around the corner from Penland. She was a frequent visitor to the school–a person we saw often at the coffee shop and show-and-tell and occasionally as a student or yoga instructor. Jane was caring, funny, energetic, and enthusiastic: about life, about creative work, about other people, about nature, her home, and whatever she was learning at that moment. Any day that included a conversation with Jane was a better day.

Mary wrote these words about her partner:

“Born in Columbus, Georgia, Jane had a successful career as an educator before moving to North Carolina in the 1970s to take courses in clay and participate in the Resident Artist Program at Penland. In addition to her career as a studio potter and a teacher in Penland’s clay program and through the “artist in the schools” program, she worked for many years as a massage therapist and practitioner/ teacher of yoga. Above all, she was an ardent student of life; a reader of poetry, literature, philosophy, and systems of healing; an artist who continued making work throughout her life; and friend to all she knew.”

There will be a short ceremony on the knoll at Penland at 2:00 PM on Saturday, September 17. This will be followed by a reception at The Pines, with a slideshow and a display of Jane’s work, including some pots and paintings made in the last few years. The reception will be catered but anyone who wishes to is welcome to bring food to the celebration. Please come a few minutes early to find parking.

The family has suggested that memorial gifts be made to Hospice of Yancey County (856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714), the Jane M. Hatcher Scholarship at Penland School (PO Box 37 Penland, NC 28765), or  Memory Care (100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803.