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Joseph Pintz: Ceramics | May 23 – June 22, 2014

Joseph Pintz: Ceramics opens today at the Penland Gallery. “Stubborn physicality” is a phrase Pintz uses to describe his tableware. Recently, his surfaces have brought elements of the ethereal to this physicality, evoking arid skies and desert colors.

 

 

 

In an age of ever-increasing speed, the dinner table is the perfect place to savor – to spend time, to share food and vessels made with integrity and purpose. I sincerely hope that such sustenance allows us to develop a deeper relationship to making and to each other. —Joseph Pintz

 

 

All works included in Joseph Pintz: Ceramics are viewable and available for purchase online at the Penland Gallery.

 


 
 

Joseph Pintz’s functional and sculptural ceramic work explores the role that domestic objects play in fulfilling our physical and emotional needs. Inspired by his Midwestern roots, Pintz creates mundane forms based on utilitarian vessels and other implements associated with the hand. In the process, the dense meaning of these objects is transferred into clay. Pintz earned his BA in anthropology and urban studies at Northwestern University.  After receiving his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he was a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation. He has received the NCECA Emerging Artist Award as well as the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. He is  on research leave from the University of Missouri while working at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program. He is teaching a handbuilding workshop in the Penland clay studio, May 25-June 6.

 
 

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The Half-Remembered Object

 

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Michael Rossi, Mass Effect, 2013, forged steel, 5′  overall, longest 34″ Image from rossimetaldesign.com

 

I’m standing in the Penland Gallery, looking at the forged steel objects in Mike Rossi’s Mass Effect,—eleven of them—hanging. They look like tools. They’re tools? They’re rusted and somehow shifting in their surfaces—evoking human use in their gallery-ready context. Names for each object form in my mind: Key to the Secret Wall. Golden Hornshoe. Deep Pincer. Reading left to right, I flunk each thing with my imagined names, and wonder, if I could steal just one, which one would I slip into my bag?

 

[Ed. note: Penland School of Crafts does not condone stealing art or sentences about stealing art.]

 

“I wanted it to look like the nicest tool rack ever made,” says Rossi half-jokingly as we talk about Mass Effect. Each piece was forged out of his desire to push the boundaries of forging: the objects were made without grinding, filing or welding. Rossi used only a power hammer, the anvil, and a rod the size of the one resting on top of the upper right corner of the work—1 x 5 inches. (“Mass effect,” then, refers to each object being forged without a loss of material–each has the same mass and volume.) Within this premise, Rossi proceeded in an effort to work without certainty—to play call and response with steel.

 

This call and response, for Rossi, produces objects “half-remembered, half-forgotten, mash-ups of other objects I’ve seen.” There are references to forms he encountered in childhood—from books or from his youth in Michigan—“plumb bobs, garden tools, marine hardware.” It’s a bit like Proust’s adult narrator in Remembrance of Things Past, slipping into reverie when the form of the shell-shaped cookie from his childhood dissolves in his tea. Except, in this case, we have a blacksmith, working toward an endlessly dissolving form.

 

And standing in front of each object in Mass Effect, the viewer is invited into the forged space where things have been drawn from the unconscious. Remember being a child, thunderstruck by the appearance of some beautiful and mundane thing? Like the shapes, the rusted surfaces of the objects in Mass Effect (“planished,” Mike emails me later, “struck lightly to achieve a more uniform surface”) gesture toward the recurring astonishment of first perceptions—those moments when the child sees oneself suddenly apart from things in the world, and wants, more than anything, to catch the foreign object. Having time to dive into this way of making has helped Rossi sharpen his way of seeing for client-driven, architectural commissions. “I pay attention differently,” he says, “[making sculpture] increases my ability to observe the world.”

 

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Mike Rossi and students in his spring 2014 Concentration at Penland. Photo by Robin Dreyer.

 

The ways Rossi involves intuition, memory, and play into object making resonates with his teaching style, too, as the students in his Penland iron concentration this spring experienced firsthand. One of his workshop assignments involved forge objects for an EDC—an everyday carry—based on what each student would take in a small pack on her or his person in order to live. A survivalist’s game, but Rossi opened up the assignment, inviting his students to create an EDC for a fictional dream character if they chose, and several of them did.

 

“There are so many places to learn cutting, welding—but by learning forging, you get a versatility with the material,” Rossi says. “You engage with the material in a different way. I want my students to have this versatility and the knowledge that blacksmithing has a place in the world today.” ”We’re still in an iron age,” he adds. “It’s the silent foundation that underlies everything.”

 

We’re wrapping up our conversation. It’s morning in the Penland Coffee House, the place is filling up, Crystal’s throwing a booming hello out to someone she loves, and Rossi’s headed back up to the iron studio. I ask a throw-away question, “Anything else you’d like to add?” He looks at me evenly, earnestly. “I want to make thoughtful objects,” he says.–Elaine Bleakney

 
 

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A walk in the woods with Eleanor Annand

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Eleanor Annand, detail from “Isolate,” scribed and abraded drawing on paper (see below for image of the whole work).

 

An artist goes for a walk in the woods. One foot, and then another. It’s a form of precision. “You walk with a reasonable, natural rhythm; let it be natural, just as with the breath,” says the Buddhist meditation master and scholar Chögyam Trungpa, describing the practice of walking meditation. The artist walks. She observes her weight, her step, its repetition. She looks at the world around her and notices, also, the interior.

 

This is one way to think about artist Eleanor Annand’s recent body of work, completed at a time when she was researching meditation and walking—and taking many walks and hikes herself. A former Penland core fellow, Annand now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and sustains a busy life as a full-time graphic designer. And so, to the dreamy image of an artist walking in the woods, we have to add another image to the story of Annand’s process: the artist wakes up early, goes down to her basement with her tea—and creates before the workday begins. “I don’t binge on creative time,” she says. “I prefer more of a slow and steady approach. A couple of quiet hours in the morning are ideal.”

 

Annand’s current work, on view until May 11 at the Penland Gallery, is made up of paintings on steel and works on paper. The steel pieces are coated with approximately four layers of enamel spray paint. The paper, coated with ten to twelve layers of paint on top of a layer of gesso. After the coated field is dry, Ele uses a scribe to make her low-relief mark. Marks, we should say—Annand’s works are often tidal surges of mark making (and abraded marks)–a discipline attached to the precise and generative act of seeing that can be experienced in meditation.

 

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Eleanor Annand, “Isolate”

 

But Annand does not expect you to approach her painting and be enlightened. (Neither does she expect this as an end-result of her own process.) On this point she is clear-eyed. “I see most things in life as grey,” she says, “not black and white. These works aren’t about an incident but about the general emotion I carry from something.” Annand pauses and takes a sip of chai between thoughts. “There is not an answer in my work, but an acceptance. Not a wanting.”

 

How did Annand, trained in graphic design and letterpress, arrive at this steady point as an artist? Annand took her first workshop—in weaving—at Penland while still in college. Later, after working in graphic design for several years with clients like IBM, Annand took a break from professional life to get back into her hands by taking a fall 2009 workshop in Penland’s print studio. At this point, she applied for and received the two-year Penland core fellowship.

 

This was 2010. Annand’s first eight-week workshop as a core fellow was with printmaker Phil Sanders. “All of my work was figurative at the time,” she remembers. Sanders would open the workshop with an hour or two for individual drawing time, and he would orbit the room, witnessing. She recalls him pointing to a moment of abstraction in one of her figurative drawings, and saying something to the effect of ‘I think you’re more interested in what’s happening here.’ He was right—Annand’s work has moved, over the years, toward the abstract. “I still won’t commit myself to letting go of the figures,” she says. “I think that they are moving toward a different part of what I make, in illustration.”

 

To pay attention to what you’re doing—this is the most important thing I learned from Penland, adds Annand. To pay attention leads to true expression. Having a healthy sense of self-awareness has led me to make work I believe is authentic and honest.

 

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Eleanor Annand, “Pyre,” painting on steel

 

Our conversation wanders back to walking, how the rhythm of walking sharpens and creates an attention to the rich periphery. She mentions her painting, “Pyre” (above).

 

“It’s not like I walked into the woods and found a pyre and decided to recreate it,” Annand smiles. “It’s about introspection, and making honest marks. I’m sure that something on my walks, some kind of distraction, helped bring the form inside.”–Elaine Bleakney

 

 

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Eleanor Annand at the Penland Gallery | April 4 – May 11, 2014

Penland Gallery’s first Focus exhibition of the year opens Friday, April 4, with Eleanor Annand: Drawing and Painting. Working on steel and paper, Annand makes paintings and drawings where the mystery of emotional experience is dispatched and–in keen marks scribed into layers of paint–intensely explored.

 

Eleanor Annand, Pyre,
Pyre, painting on steel, 36 x 30 x 1.5 in.

 

 

My process requires focus, time and presence, three things that in today’s world are not easy to come by. The works in this exhibition employ the use of repetition as a means to clear my mind and allow for focus. My intent is to translate complex emotions into marks on paper and steel that communicate raw honesty. Some of the pieces also use simplified symbols to reinforce these emotions. I believe, that though we do not encounter the same things in life, we do share similar experiences. These common themes create connections we can use to find deeper understanding in one another. In this work I am offering my honesty and rawness of emotion as an extended hand to my audience.–Eleanor Annand

 

Eleanor Annand, Pyre, detail
Pyre, detail

 

All works included in Eleanor Annand: Drawing and Painting are viewable and available for purchase online at the Penland Gallery.

 

Eleanor Annand, Failed Logic,
Failed Logic, painting on steel, 24 x 24 x 1.5 in.

 

eleanorannandEleanor Annand grew up on the southern tip of the coast of North Carolina. She received her Bachelors of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University where she focused on typography and letterpress. After a range of design and letterpress experience from IBM to Yee-Haw Industries, between North Carolina and Colorado, she landed in the Core Fellowship program at Penland School of Crafts. In the Core program Eleanor investigated printed, drawn, carved, and painted lines on paper, metal and enamel. In 2012 she relocated to Asheville, NC where works as an artist and designer. Her work is on display at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville and Light Art + Design in Chapel Hill, NC.

 
 

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Focus on: Martina Lantin

 

Fall brings a new exhibition of earthenware by Martina Lantin to the Penland Gallery and Visitors Center. The show runs until October 27.

 

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Mug (L) – Thrown and altered earthenware, slip line and blush, 4.5 x 3 x 3.25, ” Mug (R) – Thrown and altered earthenware, blue and chrome bow line, 4.25 x 3.5 x 3.5″

Lantin creates ceramic tableware from earthenware clay, which she likes to call “chocolate porcelain.” Her unique forms are made by wheelthrowing combined with off-the-wheel alterations. Her pieces, she says, are meant for everyday use. Most of Lantin’s work is made in multiple parts and pieced together leaving some of the seams visible. A thin layer of white slip serves to accentuate the construction methods and to invite an exploration of the making process. “I seek to evoke nostalgia in the future by making pots that are reverberations of the past,” she says. “I draw inspiration from early English porcelain and cream ware. I provoke a tension between the elegant handling of the material and the rugged connotations of the clay body.”

 

Martina Lantin, Focus Gallery installation of plates, 2013
Martina Lantin, Focus Gallery installation of plates, 2013

 

Born in Montreal, Canada, Martina Lantin received her Bachelor of Art from Earlham College and her Master of Fine Art from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. She has been an artist in residence at Baltimore Clayworks and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft in Gatlinburg, TN. She has taught workshops at Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont. Currently, she is a professor at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. Her work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and shown in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions. She has also published articles in Studio Potter and Pottery Making Illustrated.

 

Martina Lantin at Penland.

Along with this special exhibition of works by Martina Lantin, the Penland Gallery has a sales area featuring work in all media by artists affiliated with Penland School of Crafts. Located on the Penland School campus, just off Penland Road in Mitchell County, the gallery is open 10 – 5, Tuesday through Saturday; 12 – 5 on Sunday; closed on Mondays. The gallery also offers tours of the Penland campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information call 828-765-6211 or visit www.penland.org/gallery.

 

 

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Christmas in July: the 2013 Penland Ornament

2013 Penland School of Crafts Ornament of the Year
Created by Stacey Lane

 

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This is the 5th in our series of annual Penland School of Crafts ornaments. We hope that each of these ornaments will capture and share the spirit of creativity that lives within the school’s community of artists and friends. So far we have had two ceramic ornaments, one glass, and one book. This year we are proud to offer the perfect ornament to represent our small metals studios!

Stacey Lane is a studio jeweler living in Bakersville, North Carolina. In addition to creating a beautiful collection of jewelry, she also works for Penland School as the Manager of Community Collaboration.  She shares her life and home with husband/potter Michael Kline, two daughters, and assorted chickens and pets.

“I have a small studio in North Carolina where I create one-of-a-kind jewelry and production work. I make custom pieces for clients incorporating their stones, metal, and personal imagery and show my work in galleries.

“I have always loved making things and thinking about art. I studied Art History at the University of Georgia in Athens. While there, I took a jewelry course with Gary Noffke and was hooked. After college, my metals education continued at Arrowmont and Penland School of Crafts. I moved to Penland in 1997 to be the metals studio coordinator, and I am still here! I now work part-time at Penland as Manager of Community Collaboration, which provides perfect balance to my studio days. I love making jewelry and continue to find magic in converting wax to metal. When I began to make my living in jewelry, I started to pay closer attention to material sources and didn’t like what I found. I looked for ways to continue working while feeling good about the process and materials, and it has been quite a journey.

“I hope that my work conveys a sense of humor, warmth and elegance. I believe in jewelry’s potential to be symbolic, sentimental, superfluous, necessary, and even hopeful. In much of my jewelry, I use the remarkable lost-wax casting process. It enables me to transform soft, pliable wax into intricate metal objects. It also makes recycling metal a natural part of the process. I leave marks on my pieces that emphasize that they are made by hands. I work primarily in silver and gold, but have been using jeweler’s bronze more lately. I am inspired by Dutch still life paintings, children’s book illustrations, poetry, ancient jewelry, food garnishes, animals, and shiny things.”

Click here to visit Stacey’s website.

If you are a fan of Stacey’s jewelry, you will immediately recognize her signature use of cast elements, pearls, and semi-precious stones.

 

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The bird ornament is cast bronze, champagne pearls, and a faceted red drop stone.

 

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The floral bud ornament is cast bronze, white pearls, and a faceted drop jade stone.

The ornament is approximately 4-1/4 inches high by 1-1/2 inches wide x 1/4 inches deep. They cost $50 each, plus tax (when applicable), which includes gift box packaging.
Shipping is via USPS, $5.80 for one ornament (shipping cost adjusted for more than one).
To order: Please call the gallery at 828-765-6211 or email penlandgallery@penland.org. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. You may also purchase an ornament in person at the Penland Gallery.

Click here to visit the Penland Gallery website.

 

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Focus on: Marlene True

Marlene True, "Victorian Bloom 1 and 2;" steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate
Marlene True, “Victorian Bloom 1 and 2;” steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate

 

The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center is proud to present its third Focus exhibition of the year, a new collection of jewelry in metals and mixed-media by Marlene True, metalsmith, educator, and executive director of Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC. On view now in the Focus Gallery, this show will run through Sunday, July 28th.

 

Marlene True, "Blossom Earrings;" steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate
Marlene True, “Blossom Earrings;” steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate

 

“I became enamored with using tin cans in my work after seeing a presentation by Bobby Hansson, author of The Fine Art of the Tin Can, and what I thought might be a just another material to use in my work became an obsession. I now have over 1,500 tin cans in my collection and find the process of collecting and learning about their use and history fascinating. Tin cans are not made of tin but of steel with a thin layer of tin and lithographed images, colors, and text. Those elements are excellent for use in jewelry to create narrative, to add color or make a statement. The steel is great for fabrication and it is possible to make larger pieces without excessive weight, as it is much lighter than silver or gold.

“On a recent trip to Seattle, I acquired a salesman’s sample board of jewelry components from London that date to 1930. Those elements reference Victorian ornamentation and decorative ironwork. Inspired by those motifs, I selected a couple of them and began designing and altering the shapes in steel to create settings for the colorful bits that become the focal point in the pieces. On the steel settings I use patina and heat treatments to create the dark surface and plating with 24k gold to create a rich contrast for the colorful tin. I enjoy the process of transforming this material beyond its original use from containment to ornamentation.

“Meshing repurposed materials with an undercurrent of past to the present is an act of redemption for both memory and material in the process of making.”

-Marlene True

 

Marlene True, "Victorian Blossom Necklace;" steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate
Marlene True, “Victorian Blossom Necklace;” steel, lithographed steel, 24k gold plate

 

Click here to visit Marlene True’s website, where you can see more of her work.

Click here to visit the Penland Gallery website.

Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space devoted primarily to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it presents a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons.

Click here for more information about the Focus Gallery.