Posted on

Hoss Haley at the Penland Auction

Hoss Haley is a brilliant sculptor who works in steel and concrete. He is a former Penland resident artist and has been an instructor many times. This summer his piece Toric Knot was heavily featured at the our annual benefit auction. Videographer James Hyatt volunteered to shoot some video at the auction and ended up getting a great interview with Hoss. James is working on several videos from his auction material, starting with this one, which combines the interview with footage of Hoss’s piece being sold at the auction (for a record-breaking price).

Posted on

Congratualtions to Bob Ebendorf

NC awards ceremony group

Belated congratulations to our old friend (and many-time Penland instructor) Bob Ebendorf (second from left), who earlier this month was given the North Carolina Award–the state’s highest civilian honor. The awards are given for outstanding achievement in art, literature, public service, and science.

Here’s what the Department of Cultural Resources press release said.


Master metalsmith, jewelry designer, and one of the leaders in the burgeoning crafts field, Robert Ebendorf brings distinction to North Carolina through his creative combination of traditional materials and found objects.  Ebendorf fashions his widely collected works from broken bits of Formica, crab claws, lost keys, and rusted bits of metal.

Born in Kansas in 1938, Ebendorf recalls that his mother took him to weekly arts and crafts sessions in Topeka where he glued together shells and wrapped string around wine bottles.  His father took him to visit his grandparents, laboring away in their tailors shop, setting for him examples of craftspeople doing precision work that would adorn the body.  His formal education came at the University of Kansas where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and in Norway as a Fulbright Fellow and where for a year he studied jewelry design courtesy of a grant from the Tiffany Foundation.  In 1969 he was a co-founder of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Ebendorf is an artist who works intuitively, learning in a primarily visual way when he turned his dyslexia, which remained undiagnosed until college, to advantage.  His work has taken him to teaching posts at Stetson University, the University of Georgia, SUNY-New Platz, Guest Professor at the University of West England, UK, and since 1999, at East Carolina University, where he is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art.  He suggests to his students, whom he views as collaborators, that they enlarge their view of art.  Ebendorf has created necklaces, brooches, and even chairs, but considers his collection of crosses, using secular materials such as broken glass to create Christian symbols, to be among his strongest pieces.

Of  North Carolina, where he has taught at Penland School of Crafts since 1962, Ebendorf says, “What a wonderful state that seems to thrive in the old and the new, and the exchanging of ideas.” His work is recognized well beyond the state’s boundaries and can be found in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  It was been the subject of a retrospective at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian and he has been honored by the 92nd Street Y Arts Center in Manhattan.

Bob Ebendorf and his wife, Aleta Braun, a painter and mixed media artist, live in Greenville.

And here’s Bob in his normal clothes, in an interview from last year (he has a lot to say about Penland).

Posted on

A few questions for Sarah Abramson

jeweler Sarah Abramson
Sarah Abramson

The online magazine Whiskey Dregs has a nice interview, written by Alexis Guerra, with jeweler Sarah Abramson who has been a student and a studio assistant at Penland many times.  Here’s the introduction:

Sarah Abramson has a Masters of Fine Arts in Metal from the State University of New York and New Paltz and has had her work and designs displayed at various jewelry exhibitions all over the world. Her jewelry has been displayed in Florence, Italy, the Netherlands, Montreal, Canada, and currently Sarah is an artist in residence at the Museum of Art and Design here in New York City. Sarah has taken her love of two-dimensional drawings and used a variety of inventive techniques to generate her vivid and inventive three-dimensional creations.

If her charismatic personality is any indication of how invested she is in her work and her designs then I’m sure that we can expect a lot more from Sarah in the future. Her looks are fun, vibrant and eye-catching.

Her latest project has been creating pieces for Salon:Inventive Art Jewelry in an Inventable Space. This talented and driven group comprised of mostly Brooklyn-based art and jewelry designers has been a long awaited labor of love for exhibit creator, Mia Hebib. By bringing all of these talented and eclectic artisans together, the Salon exhibit has not only proven to been a truly successful event, showcasing the work of 7 incredibly brilliant creators, but it has also shown that with a little bit of ingenuity, collaboration and hard work, anything is possible.

Read more here.

Posted on

Jerilyn Virden in Ceramics Monthly

Jerilyn VirdenCongratulations to Penland instructor, neighbor, and former resident artist Jerilyn Virden, whose work is on the cover of the October issue of Ceramics Monthly. The issue features a story about Jerilyn written by Penland staff member Robin Dreyer. It starts like this:

Dough bowls and grinding stones: these humble, functional forms were the starting point for potter/sculptor Jerilyn Virden’s highly evolved, double-walled ceramic vessel sculptures. “I saw them in New Mexico” she says. “I was drawn to the massiveness of the forms. The dough bowls were very roughly hacked out of a solid piece of wood. The grinding stones felt as though they had just evolved into their forms through necessity. They were flat stones that became bowls over years and years of grinding grain on them. It gave the forms a gracefulness as well as a history. They seem to possess a slow movement with great power, like water moving down a river.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

And here is Jerilyn’s website.

Posted on

Arthur Gonzalez comes through town

chalkboard by Arthur Gonzalez

The editor of this blog was out of town for a few days and now we are all going nuts putting on the annual benefit auction so there hasn’t been much time to post. But we didn’t want anyone to miss this great drawing that instructor Arthur Gonzalez made on the chalkboard in the Pines last session. Click on this one to see it bigger.

t-shirt by Arthur Gonzalez

And while we’re on the subject of Arthur, here’s a Penland iron T-shirt that he modified for sale in the end-of-session scholarship auction. Thanks, everyone, for a great session.