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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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Norm Schulman

Norm Schulman

Norm Schulman photographed by Gloria Schulman

 

The craft world, Penland School, and the Penland community lost a great artist, teacher, and friend with the passing of Norm Schulman on October 4, just a few weeks short of his ninetieth birthday. Norm began teaching at Penland in 1975, and he and his wife, Gloria, have lived near the school since 1984. He was widely recognized for his diverse body of work in ceramics, his knowledge of materials and processes, and his generous teaching.

Norm received a Master’s degree from Alfred University in 1958. He began teaching at the Toledo Museum of Art and was subsequently head of glass and ceramics at Rhode Island School of Design and head of ceramics at Ohio State University. In addition to teaching workshops at Haystack and Penland, he was a visiting artist, lecturer, or guest teacher in many university programs. Norm was a Penland trustee, an advisor to the clay program, a mentor to resident artists and core students, and a steady and thoughtful presence in the community.

His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and is in the collections of the Renwick Gallery (DC), the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), the Wolfsonian (FL), the Mint Museum (NC), and the Asheville Art Museum, just to name a few. Norm was a fellow of the American Craft Council, and in 2006 he was honored with a retrospective traveling exhibition that originated at the Asheville Art Museum. At the 2007 benefit auction, he was the first person to be named a Penland School of Crafts Outstanding Artist Educator, an honor that was shared with Gloria. In 2009, he received the North Carolina Living Treasure award.

Norm said that he was always more interested in learning, experimenting, and exploring than in establishing a signature style. His 2006 retrospective exhibition included functional work, sculpture, figurative pieces, elaborately decorated vessel forms (which he sometimes called “three-dimensional paintings”), different types of clay, many kinds of glazes, and different firing methods. Following a profusion of brightly colored work, the show culminated with a sublime group of simple—perfect—vessels that had been fired in a small wood kiln he built around the time of his eightieth birthday.

 

Norm Schulmand and Gloria Schulman

Norm and Gloria at home in 2007. (Photo: Robin Dreyer)

 

Norm Schulman was a kind, straightforward man who shared his knowledge freely and looked everyone straight in the eye. His restless creative energy pushed his artistic career well into his eighth decade. He shared a long and loving marriage with the remarkable Gloria Schulman, and together they have been true builders of community. Norm will be missed for so many reasons.  -Robin Dreyer

 

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Video: Corey, Penland Studio Assistant

 

We’re excited to release this today: the third video portrait Wes Stitt created at Penland this summer starring Corey Pemberton.

Since we’re thinking about glass: we should tell you that we have a winter glass furnace build apprenticeship with a deadline coming soon. And one spot for a glass artist to join our Resident Artist program in 2015. Oh yeah, and an opportunity for intermediate/advanced level flameworkers to take an eight-week concentration this spring with current resident artist Micah Evans (applications for this workshop are due November 28).

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Core Fellows Retreat

Core fellows past and present took over the studios in early September to work, collaborate, dream, and play.
Seth Gould working on an inlay project in the metals studio.
Christina Boy with wooden puzzles.
Meredith Brickell with a few of the sticks she was cutting up and painting for a temporary installation.
'I never got to use the wood studio back in the seventies,' said potter Jon Ellenbogen. 'I'm making up for it this week.'
Marianne Dages working in letterpress.
Printed leaves made by Beth Schaible in letterpress. She didn't ink the press for this project. The images were made simply by compression.
All-star volleyball.
Meredith Brickell's installation in the door of an old chicken house near the maintenance shop.

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Video: Maleeha, Penland Student

 

 

This July, our friend and former core fellow Wes Stitt returned to Penland to create a few short videos for us. We gave him this task: go into the studios, find an interesting and willing subject, and ask the person to narrate her or his own experience of being in a Penland workshop. Wes created four visual stories, all gems, and we’re proud to premiere the first one today, featuring Penland student Maleeha El Sadr.

We’re also happy to debut the Penland Story Project, a place where readers can explore Penland through the voices of our students, instructors, visitors, and friends. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what Penland is like from the perspective of another, or if you’ve ever tried to explain the Penland experience to someone who hasn’t been here, the Penland Story Project is fine place to start.

 

 

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Dinner Plans

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This August Elisa Di Feo taught Dinner Plans, a clay workshop where students created functional porcelain tableware with culinary expression in mind. The workshop culminated with a dinner at Spruce Pine’s Knife and Fork restaurant, where chef Nate Allen cooked and served a meal that the students had considered, designed, and constructed dinnerware to hold. The evening was documented by Dot Griffith, a student in Alida Fish and Jeannie Pearce’s photography workshop, and Dot shared the photographs above with us.

About the workshop, Elisa wrote:

Our class was so interesting because it allowed each individual to consider the meal designed by Nate, make dishes based on the techniques I presented (simple molds, simple surfaces), and then eat off the dishes. With the direct parameters of The Dinner in mind, it was easy to communicate personal ideas about pottery and eating with each other, while exploring and discovering some new possibilities. The best quote came from my student Irene while in the midst of glazing some pots. She said that she wanted them to be like “super nothing.” This idea of “super nothing,” I think, comes out of suggestions to keep it simple and considered in terms of surface designs and shapes.

Participants in the class included Robert Bell, Stormie Burns, Irene De Watteville, Benjamin Friedman, Betsy Gray, Ted Gross, Maggie Johns, Adria Katz, Marsha Kitowski, studio assistant Rob Kolhouse, Will Lentz, Ann Lynch, Jodie Masterman, Claire McCarty, Elizabeth Mueller-Roemer, Nina Otterness, Laura Schofield, and Sophie Southgate.

 

 

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Photo of the week: A Silver Wire

demohiroko

Textiles student Kim Mirus chisels a small channel to inlay silver wire after watching a demonstration in the technique by Kiyoko Fujie, at left. At right is metalsmith Hiroko Yamada, longtime Penland instructor and friend, who invited Kiyoko to Penland along with a group of female metalsmiths from Japan. (We’ll have more about Hiroko’s presence at Penland this summer in a future blog post.) Kiyoko is part of the first generation of female metalsmiths to apprentice with Japanese masters.

 
 

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