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Explore Shibori with Carol LeBaron

Carol LeBaron in her studio

The Japanese art of shibori, or shaped resist dyeing, is as old as it is varied. Since the first known example of the technique in the 8th century, artists have used shibori methods to produce patterns of miniature dots and bold lines, sharp angles and soft curves. Shibori has traditionally been done with indigo dye on natural fibers such as silk and hemp. And the intricate patterns it produces often echo the natural world as wellfrom the driving diagonal lines of a rainstorm to the rippling patterns on the surface of a lake to the delicate symmetry of a spider’s web.

Textile artist Carol LeBaron’s work is, at first glance, a far cry from the indigo and white designs that many people associate with shibori. But she is one in a long line of artists using and reinterpreting these techniques. Much of her current work draws from itajime shibori, a method of folding and clamping to produce pattern on cloth. And her imagery, like many traditional shibori patterns, also reflects nature. Her fabrics are rich with colordeep greens and saturated reds outline leaf shapes, while bright golds and oranges suggest dappled sunlight filtering through a forest canopy. As Carol explains, each piece “elicits the specificity of a particular time of day, weather, or place.” She describes her work as “a combination of contemporary aesthetic, modern technology, and ancient techniques.


textile piece by Carol LeBaron

A detail from “Taming the Forest,” a large installation piece Carol made using her clamped resist technique.


This fall, Carol will bring her knowledge of those techniques to Penland when she teaches “Explore Shibori: Acid Dyes” from October 18-24. Like Carol’s work, the one-week course will use traditional shibori methods as a jumping-off point to create new layers of pattern and color on cloth. Students of all levels will get the chance to put their own spin on techniques that have captivated artists for centuries. Space is still available to take part in Explore Shibori. Register here.


Explore Shibori: Acid Dyes

This workshop will explore the limitless possibilities inherent in acid dyes. We’ll begin with simple immersion techniques, creating a base and adding layers with direct application. We’ll explore shibori techniques in the hot acid dye pot, which can cause wool and silk to hold the shape when dried. This week will be an investigation that will result in a rich assortment of samples and many techniques and ideas to follow up in your own work. All levels. Code F02TA

Carol LeBaron is a studio artist who has taught at Haystack (ME), Arrowmont (TN), Campbell Folk School (NC), Peters Valley (NJ), and East Tennessee State University. Her textile work has been exhibited at the Nashville Airport, the Textile Museum (DC), and the International Shibori Symposium (Hong Kong) and has been included in publications such as Surface Design Journal, Fiberarts Design Book Seven, and 1000 Textiles (Lark Books).


Spring Growth by Carol LeBaron

“Spring Growth,” resist-dyed wool, acid dye, hand stitched, 48 x 96”


October 4 – 10  |  October 18 – 24  |  November 1 – 7


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The Nature of Glass with Linda Sacra

blue and clear glass bead necklace by Linda Sacra

“Moons of Triton” flameworked necklace by Linda Sacra


To look at Linda Sacra’s necklace of flameworked glass beads is to wonder about the scale of things. For a moment, it seems possible that the beads are not beads at all, but individual glistening cellsor perhaps entire swirling planets? A central air bubble trapped in those colorful whorls could as easily be a delicate nucleus as it could be a dense planetary core. Either way, the beads draw you in for a closer look and start your imagination flowing. It’s clear to see why the entire process of flameworking hooked Linda after she first tried it in 1992.


seashore beads by Linda Sacra

Linda lives near the ocean, and many of her beads mimic seashells and other treasures in miniature.


This fall, Linda will bring her love of flameworked glass to Penland for a 1-week session October 18-24. Her workshop will guide studentsboth complete beginners and those with experiencethrough the techniques she uses to achieve depth and color variation and unusual shapes in her glass beadwork. Registration is open, and space is still available to take part in the workshop.

But be careful, you might just get hookedthat’s exactly what happened to weaver and longtime Penland friend Edwina Bringle, who will be one of Linda’s students in October. Now retired after 24 years teaching weaving and textiles at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Edwina first tried flameworking at Penland’s Community Day about ten years ago. “As a weaver, I’m a colorist, and working with glass is another way to play with color,” explains Edwina. “I enjoy trying to improve my skills with flameworking. I enjoy the concentration of it.”


Edwina Bringle flameworking

Edwina Bringle concentrating on a project in the Penland flameworking studio


The Nature of Glass

Linda Sacra – Working in the flameworking studio with soda-lime glass, we will begin with basic shapes and then move on to more advanced shapes. We’ll use frits, enamels, fine silver, and etching to create surface depth and design. We’ll mix glass for a whole new palette and pull multi-color stringers and latticino for detail work. Daily demonstrations and one-on-one instruction will address the needs of students with different levels of experience. All levels. Code F02GB

Linda Sacra is a studio artist and returning Penland instructor who specializes in flameworking glass beads. Her pieces can be seen in galleries including Glassworks (NC), Sandpiper Gallery (SC), Edward Dare Gallery (SC), Watson MacRae Gallery (FL), and The Fat Cat Ltd. (NC).


October 4 – 10  |  October 18 – 24  |  November 1 – 7



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Penland Portraits

Eric_20150814©Elizabeth Ortiz

Photographer Eric Swanson enjoys shooting images of artists in their studio spaces as one of his “self assignments,” so coming to Penland this summer to teach a workshop on natural light portraiture was an easy fit. He and his students spent the two weeks of session 6 making portraits on the knoll, at the Arbuckle Rodeo, and by the river, but mostly they shot in the Penland studios. The collection of images they produced, including the one above of Eric by student Elizabeth Ortiz, captures both the intense work and the playful nature of summer at Penland. View their portraits here.


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Printing with Silver & Iron | Fall Workshop with Heather F. Wetzel

black and white portrait of Heather F. Wetzel

Heather describes this self-portrait, taken in 2003, as “the beginning of [her] journey in wet-plate collodion and historic photographic processes.”


“Photographic prints and books are being replaced by intangible, transient digital files made of zeros and ones – no texture, no smell, no weight. ” So writes photographer Heather F. Wetzel in her artist statement. “I prefer a slower pace, where one takes time to notice and appreciate those little and often discarded things.”

Her photographs echo her assertion, examining forgotten everyday details like a safety pin or a jar of buttons with uncommon attention. Though lacking the saturated colors and extensive post-production possible with today’s digital photography, Heather’s images are warm and arresting. It’s their simplicity and directness that draw the viewer in and envelop them in a moment that can feel timeless.


portrait of a broken cup by Heather F. Wetzel

An image from Heather’s series of found-item photographs entitled “Lost. Broken. Found. Fixed.”


This fall, Heather will be traveling to Penland to share her expertise in historic photographic processes. Her 1-week course, scheduled for November 1-7, will focus on printing with silver and iron using cyanotype-, salt-, and albumen-printing. Space is still available in the workshop. Register here.


Printing with Silver & Iron

Heather F. Wetzel – Beginning with an introduction to digital negatives and other means of photographic contact printmaking, we’ll explore the possibilities of the cyanotype process and two closely-related silver printing processes: salt and albumen. In addition to learning how to mix chemicals, make digital negatives for optimal image making, and the practicalities of printing and toning, we’ll consider further manipulation and mark making as well as final presentation of the prints produced in this workshop. All levels. Code F03P

Heather is a studio artist who works in traditional photographic processes as well as other media such as books and hand papermaking. She is a lecturer in the art department and a book arts specialist at Logan Elm Press at Ohio State University, where she was the 2011-2012 Fergus Family Fellow in Photography.



Salvage series by Heather F. Wetzel

Ferrotypes from Heather’s series “Salvage.” The prints are made using the tops and bottoms of recycled cans.


Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 4.17.35 PM

An image from “Notion,” a series of hand-tinted, gold-toned salt prints exploring the ideas of domesticity and women’s work.


October 4 – 10  |  October 18 – 24  |  November 1 – 7


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Paper & Place with Ann Marie Kennedy

handmade paper by Ann Marie Kennedy

Quick sketches and idea development, stencils and 3D sculpture, oversized letterpress posters and archival photo prints: paper can play an integral role in each. It is one of the most fundamental materials we use here at Penland. But how many people have taken the leap from using paper to create art to making paper as art?

Ann Marie Kennedy is certainly in that second group. Her handmade papers are delicate and speak of place, combining the immediacy of mixed media with the nostalgia of a photograph. She uses natural materials like seeds and leavesoften combined with textiles or clothingto paint pictures of her landscapes not on paper, but within it. From October 4-10 this fall, her landscape will be Penland as she shares her craft with students. Space is still available to take part in the workshop and learn the art of papermaking for yourself. Register here.


Paper & Place

Ann Marie Kennedy – Students in this workshop will create art made from paper pulp, incorporating natural materials that will become part of the content of their work. Linen, flax, and abaca pulps will provide a neutral palette for mineral colors, natural dyes, and plant and seed textures. As students gain proficiency in making sheets of paper, engaging with the rich natural environment of Penland will allow them to create works that reflect the colors, shapes, and textures of the changing seasons. We’ll cover sheet forming, using a deckle box, processing plants for paper making, wet collage, and creating simple sculptural forms. All levels. Code F01PM

Ann Marie Kennedy is on the faculty at Wake Technical Community College. She has been a resident at Penland, the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, and the Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) and has received a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship. Her exhibitions include the Cantor Art Gallery at Holy Cross College (MA), the Visual Art Exchange (NC), and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.


handmade paper

“Disorder” by Ann Marie Kennedy. Abaca paper with lasercut paper and plants, 16 x 20″


handmade paper

“Abide” by Ann Marie Kennedy. Flax paper with embedded clothing and flowers, 16 x 20″


When Ann Marie describes her work, she explains, “I combine natural and domestic elements to create narratives about connections to the landscape. These pieces are often a direct response to place, incorporating materials gathered directly from site.” And that’s good news for her students this fall, since Penland in October presents a pretty inspiring landscape. Come immortalize it in paper and take a little piece of Penland home with you.


October 4 – 10  |  October 18 – 24  |  November 1 – 7


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The Northwind Hammer

hammer and other blacksmithing tools

The Northwind Hammer in the California shop of David Browne, its first recipient. Image: David Browne


“The Northwind brings change. Sometimes a dramatic storm, a swirl of luminescent clouds, or a sensation that precipitates an uneasy ambiance in the valley. Colossal gusts, howling, trees bending, everything moving and swaying. The birds and insects disappear. Slowly…it fades. Vitality is restored and a pleasant stillness remains. Every grace of nature resurfaces. This is the natural phenomena that inspired ‘Northwind’. I’ve created a hammer to exemplify the inhale, expansion, and release of the wind.” —Brent Bailey


Just like the north wind, blacksmith Brent Bailey’s handmade hammer is traveling and shifting and altering its surroundings. It moves from place to place, from artist to artist. First California, then on to Virginia and Tennessee and Texas. At each location, the hammer stays for a couple weeks, inspiring its current owner’s work in some way. It is an opportunity, a cue to think differently or try something new. And then it moves on. Twelve different artists will each incorporate the hammer into their forges before it ultimately makes its way back to Brent in California.


Andy Dohner and the Northwind Hammer

Andy Dohner holding the Northwind Hammer


This spring, the Northwind Hammer made a visit to Andy Dohner. At the time, Andy was in the Penland iron studio teaching our spring 2015 concentration. He and his students, like the blacksmiths before them, assimilated the Northwind Hammer into their studio work. It was both a tool in their creative process and the inspiration for that process. As Andy commented, “The concept we are using with the Northwind is one hammer, eleven students. Together we are working on a sculpture of an astrolabe.”


the spring 2015 iron students

Andy and his students in the Penland iron studio this spring


The astrolabe is an ancient tool, one which captures the changing positions of the sun and stars in the sky. Just like the north wind, it brings to mind time and travel and strips bare our sense of constancy. And, just like the Northwind Hammer, the astrolabe is a relatively simple tool which opens up new doors for those who use it. How appropriate, then, that Andy and his class selected this subject as the focus of their work. Their completed sculpture combines the nested circles and rule of an astrolabe with the simplicity of the hammer itself.


metal astrolabe sculpture

The finished astrolabe sculpture created by Andy and his class


The sculpture may be finished, but the Northwind Hammer’s journey is not. From Penland, it traveled on to Jim Masterson at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Tennessee. Next, it made stops in California, Detroit, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Massachusetts, collecting stories and each artist’s touchmark along the way. In these places, the projects the hammer was a part of were as varied as its locations, from sculptural metal feathers to a railing recreation to a patterned table frame.

The Northwind Hammer has one last stop before it returns home to its creator. Its final location and artist are still unknown, but one thing is already certain: the Northwind Hammer altered the creations of the blacksmiths who received it, and they, in turn, altered it. As Brent reflected, the work of each artist “imparts and impregnates their essence into the steel.”

To read more about the hammer and follow its journey, visit Brent Bailey’s Northwind page.



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Printers in the Making | Fall Concentration with Phil Sanders

Phil Sanders working in a print shop

“Printmaking in and of itself is a very simple idea,” says Phil Sanders. “It’s the transfer of one image from one surface to another.” But this simple definition belies the true complexity and range of options available to the skilled printmakerlayers of ink and paper, levels of opacity, a myriad of textures and techniques. And if one thing is for sure, it’s that Phil Sanders is a skilled printmaker. Lucky for us, he’ll be coming to Penland this fall to teach an 8-week concentration on the ins and outs of his trade, including etching, aquatint, drypoint, and more. The course, as he says, “is a rare occasion to get an intaglio apprenticeship-style immersion.”

Space is still open in this print concentration, and some work-study scholarships are still available. Register here.


Printers in the Making

Phil Sanders – As a printer and a printmaker, I understand the difficulty of switching between “printer brain” and “artist brain.” The pull between “how to do” and “what to do” can leave you lost in the middle. Consider this class a technical apprenticeship combined with the creative space to experiment with your artistic voice. We’ll demystify all intaglio processes plus monotype, monoprint, and chine-collé. We’ll make ink, grounds, and drawing supplies, review tool maintenance, paper conservation, and more. We’ll tackle drawing, composition, design, and color theory through drawing calisthenics and composition exercises. This workshop is ideal for artists looking to hone their printmaking skills and artistic voice or working toward becoming professional printers. All levels. Code F00X

Phil Sanders is the director of PS Marlowe, a creative services consultancy firm. He is a former director and master printer at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (NYC) and a former master printer for Universal Limited Art Editions (NY). Phil’s teaching experience includes Stanford University (CA), San Francisco State University (CA), and numerous courses at Penland.


Two prints by Phil Sanders

Two prints by Phil Sanders. At left, “Check Mate,” a lithograph with digital inkjet and watercolor. At right, “Black Star (IQ Test),” a six-color silkscreen.


Phil Sanders Print

“Presence of Another,” a four-color letterpress print by Phil Sanders.


In a 10-Minute Talk created for MoMA, Phil emphasizes that printmaking is a very old and diverse fieldhumans have been making prints ever since the first footprint in the sand. “One of the major reasons that printmaking has survived and continues to thrive is its collaborative nature. Printmaking is never done wholly within in a vacuum. It’s a cumulative knowledge process that we add to as participants in it.” If you want to be part of that rich history, eight weeks of instruction and experimentation with a master printer might just be your chance.


September 20 – November 13, 2015


As for the rest of us, we can at least get a taste by watching Phil in this short video on intaglio processes!


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