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One Image, One Story

 
I had the pleasure of working with the Penland core fellows this fall. We met one night each week in the living room of Morgan, the home they share on campus. The purpose of our seminar was to explore writing. They wrote a letter to a stranger. They wrote stories about objects. They wrote about themselves. They wrote (and rewrote) their artist statements. Our final writing exercise involved creating a slideshow using just one image. I pitched it to them like this: ‘If you could tell a story about yourself or your work using one image, which would you choose?’ There was one more rule: the stories they wrote had to start with a sentence that began: ‘I love…’ Here is how some of them fielded the assignment.–Elaine Bleakney

 

angela

 

I love my eyes.

This is a not a picture of my eyes. This is a picture of the way I see.

I see the world in compositions, framed forms and patterns and textures. I find solace, wonder, and inspiration in the unceasing beauty of the world.  There is nothing more rejuvenating for me than to spend time reconnecting to the delights of seeing.

I try to share the way I see through my work.  It feels like a small but important gesture to be able to translate the beauty that is inherent all around us into objects and spaces.  My view is but one of ten thousand ways of seeing the world, and feels at the same time deeply personal and deeply connected.
Angela Eastman

 
 

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jamie

 

I love making things using my hands. The act of making has always excited me; I have always felt an inherent need to be making. Not only do I love to make things by hand but I enjoy seeing others make, create, and exist in a world where the handmade is valued. I feel the world we live in is devaluing the handmade in its attempt to make things easier, faster, and more efficient so that we can “do more.” Within this we are losing our valuing of the small scale and “slow” production of goods, music, poetry, theater, and self-expression. I worry this trend will continue. Having a specific set of hand skills is crucial to my happiness. I love being able to share these skills with others, passing along a tradition of making in a world where making is no longer a necessity but a choice. It is important to remember these things as we proceed.
Jamie Karolich

 
 

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josh

Joshua Kovarik 
[To view drawings by Josh, click on the image above.]

 
 

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45 Moscow Woods Road

 

I love this place.

This is the home that I grew up in, but this is not the only reason that I love it.

I love the knowledge that over this house’s lifetime I was just one of the many children who got to climb that tree, and swing from that branch.

I love seeing the history, and knowing that I am a part of something deeper and older.

I love the feeling of your bones settling when you’ve found this place.

A restlessness you don’t notice until it’s gone.
Emily Rogstad

 
 

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will

 
I love scars. I have a lot: on my feet, my legs, back, face, arms, and more on and around my hands than anywhere else.  My hands see a lot of action.

I was given a writing prompt once that began, “My hands _______.”  I responded by describing the things that have happened to my hands as a maker. My hands have been cut, scraped, burned, broken, and scarred.

The scar in this photo is from a surgery I had after over a year of working in the studio with a fractured wrist.  The scar reminds me of the consequence of pushing through discomfort and pain. It reminds me to be aware and protective of my body. It’s my body’s memory of that time.

There is no recollection of a story more genuine than one your body doesn’t allow you to forget.
Will Lentz

 
 

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srb

 

I Love Taking Chances

The woman in the center of this image is me, twenty-two years old in Seattle for the first time. I was asked to roadie for some close friends on their six-week tour taking them to the West Coast; prior to this I had never been past Nebraska. I had quit my job, left my college classes behind, jumped in a van, and set forth for an adventure. I saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, rode a ferry, raged in L.A., and met some truly, incredible people. On the left is my dearest friend Lexi. On my other shoulder is Jakes. Jakes would become the reason that Lexi, our friend Pete, and I would move to Seattle three months later. Lexi and Jakes were, and continue to be, a force to be reckoned with.

As I move toward the end of my core fellowship at Penland, I’ve been thinking a lot about change and how often it involves a certain amount of risk. If I hadn’t moved to Seattle, I wouldn’t have taken a night class and met my instructor Sarah Loertscher, who introduced me to Penland. I wouldn’t have had this incredible chance.
Sarah Rachel Brown

 
 

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meghanbymercedesjelinek

 
I love my hands.

As a child, I remember the day that my mother called me and my brother and sister into the kitchen. She rolled blue ink onto our hands and set a piece of paper in front of each of us. Pressing down onto that crisp white paper, we left behind the imprint of our fingers outstretched and the small space unchanged by the slight rise of our palms. To us at the time, it was just a matter of having blue hands for the rest of the day. However, she had also done this when we were babies, and to her it was a quiet documentation of our growth. I found them years later and remember the feeling of disbelief that these small blue handprints belonged to me.

If anyone has ever asked you, “What part of yourself could you never live without?” I would never want to imagine losing my hands. They are the interpreters of my life. Through touching, handling and feeling, they assess, reevaluate, maintain and discard. In my life as a maker my hands are the biggest tool at my disposal. Like work horses silently enduring the constant summoning of my mind, they are the steadfast companions accomplishing my tasks.

I learn best by watching, taking in information and knowledge with my eyes. My hands decipher what I see and remember these moments of instruction. Since I began blacksmithing I have continually been surprised that they seemingly have always known what to do. Although my hands started out small, they are significant. In their wrinkles and scars is the story of my life. This history moves through them in all the work that I create.
Meghan Martin

 

Image of Meghan’s hands by Penland resident artist Mercedes Jelinek.

 
 

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An Unconventional Gift

Jim Adams and Laurie McIntosh, courtesy of The State.

Jim Adams and Laurie McIntosh

Blacksmith and sculptor Jim Adams and mixed media artist Laurie McIntosh took collaboration to another level after meeting at Penland last winter. This fall, they put on Penland Connections, a show of their works at Gallery 80808 in Columbia, South Carolina. (The show closes tomorrow, for those in the area.) In recognition of their memorable Penland experience, Adams and McIntosh decided to do something out of the ordinary: donate a portion of their earnings from gallery sales to Penland’s work-study scholarship program.

“[Penland] is not like any art place I’ve ever been,” said McIntosh in a radio interview with the South Carolina Business Review. “You eat, sleep, everything is art. Every time I’ve ever been [to Penland] has been a complete milestone in my career.”

Almost half of Penland’s students receive financial assistance. Penland’s work-study scholarships serve as a major vehicle in bringing students from diverse economic backgrounds and locations to our studios–a fact not lost on Adams and McIntosh. Students and instructors donate some works they have made during their session at seasonal work-study scholarship auctions. Monies raised go back to the work-study program. The next Penland work-study scholarship auction is Thursday, November 13, beginning at 8:00 pm in the Northlight building.

Thank you to Jim and Laurie for their unconventional gift. To find out more about Penland’s work-study program and how to create a scholarship, go here.

Interested in a scholarship to Penland? Our scholarship deadline for spring 2015 concentration workshops is November 28.

Photograph courtesy of The State newspaper.

 
 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Core Show Slideshow

Penland School of Crafts Core Fellows

Penland’s 2014 Core Fellows at the opening of their wonderful exhibition at Northlight on October 10. Click here for a slideshow with pictures from the opening and a few pieces by each person.

The core fellows (left to right) are Joshua Kovarik, Jamie Karolich, Emily Rogstad, Sarah Rachel Brown, Will Lentz, Tyler Stoll, Meghan Martin, Angela Eastman, Audrey Bell.

 

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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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