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Photo of the Week: Another Penland Romance

Richard Margolis and Sherry Phillips

Sherry Phillips and Richard Margolis met at Penland 30 years ago. Sherry was taking a textiles workshop and Richard was teaching a photography workshop. A long-term romance ensued. They stopped in for a visit this week and celebrated their 30th anniversary while they were here. Vive l’amour!

 

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Photo of the Week: The Women of Iron

three women working at the anvil

Ann Klicka, Rebekah Frank, and Meghan Martin working together to taper a steel component for a large sculpture Ann is making.

 

The beautiful work coming out of the studio would be reason enough for a blog post, but something even more momentous is happening in session 1 iron: instructor Rebekah Frank, assistant Ann Klicka, and coordinator Meghan Martin are combining forces for some serious female blacksmithing power. While accomplished female instructors and female students of all levels are a common sight in the iron studio, it’s the first time in Penland’s history that the iron instructor, studio assistant, and studio coordinator have all been women. It seemed like an event worthy of recognition (and some serious camera cheesin’).

 

three women pose for a silly picture in the iron studio

 

And no, iron coordinator Daniel Beck hasn’t gone anywhere—he’s just across the driveway this session as a student in Kaitlyn Becker and Daniel Clayman’s Moldmaking for Art and Science workshop!

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: How to Make a Trail

Penland’s on-campus trails just got a beautiful new expansion thanks to the talented folks at Trail Dynamics. The new trails create a series of loops between the well-trodden Paulus Path and the fire road behind the sleeping cabins. They’re open for use and ready to welcome students, instructors, staff, and community members of all stripes, from casual dog walkers to avid runners.

How does one make a new trail, you might ask?

Step 1.) Employ the world’s cutest little Bobcat to clear the way.

Step 2.) Follow up with some hand tools.

Step 3.) Enjoy the fresh dirt as you start your adventure!

(Not pictured: A very generous donor and months worth of planning, designing, surveying, marking, and more.)

 

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Photo of the Week: Warping Mill

Allie Dudley using a warping mill at Penland

Student Allie Dudley using a warping mill to measure out threads before warping a loom in the spring weaving workshop taught by Tommye McClure Scanlin and Bahkti Ziek.

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Photo(s) of the Week: Jetsonorama!

Chip Thomas at Penland School

Chip Thomas, a.k.a. Jetsonorama, is a physician, artist, and activist who lives and works in the Navajo Nation. He spent 10 days at Penland as a visiting artist this spring. Chip gave a beautiful presentation about his art and his life, and he created this piece, which covers two sides of a small storage building called Green Acres.

 

Chip Thomas at Penland School

Chip made the photograph in the Penland clay studio. It was printed in 3-foot-wide vertical strips on an architectural plotter. He carefully applied the strips to the building using acrylic matt medium. He was assisted by Kristyn Watson, who is a student in the spring textiles workshop. Chip developed this method as he created numerous installations on roadside stands, abandoned buildings, and other structures in the Navajo Nation. He has also made posters and large graphics for protest marches and other events, and, through his Painted Desert Project, he has brought other street artists and muralists to the reservation to work with him.

 

Chip Thomas piece at Penland School

The pots Chip photographed were on their way to the wood kiln, so he titled the installation, Clay Pieces Pretending to be Contestants on The Apprentice (i.e., pots waiting to be fired.)

Follow Chip/Jetsonorama @jetsonorama on Instagram
Follow Painted Desert Project on Facebook
Here’s a good video about Chip and his work.
There are short process videos of Chip’s Penland piece here and here.

 

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Photo of the Week: Iron Pour!

Everybody loves an iron pour, because you’ve got flames, molten metal, face shields, leather suits, and a cheering crowd. Really, what more could you ask for?

 

The spring iron workshop, taught by Remy Louis Hanemann, has spent the last three weeks building a cupola furnace and all the tools needed for casting metal. This was the first test. It went well. (And it looked good, too.)

 

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Penland Bees

using the smoker on a bee hive

The Penland bees just got an early spring visit from our resident bee expert Marie Fornaro and bee-expert-in-training Rachel Kedinger. They donned their jackets, gloves, and veils to check on the two hives, which are located to the side of the knoll just below the Penland Garden. In the top image, Rachel is using a bee smoker to apply a few puffs of smoke to the hive. Beekeepers have used smoke since ancient times to calm the bees and interrupt the hive’s defensive response.

Below, Marie and Rachel are taking advantage of the bees’ calmer state to check on honey supplies and remaining space in the hive. The bees will feed off their fall honey stores for a couple more weeks until spring blooms can provide a steady flow of nectar. At that point, they will begin to fill open space in the frames with a fresh supply of honey stores.

inspecting a frame in a beehive

A honeybee will forage two miles or more from its hive, but having the Penland Garden right next door is still a win-win situation: the garden offers the bees a supplementary source of nectar, and the bees help pollinate the plants for a more robust harvest. It’s a win for all of us who enjoy the garden’s produce at lunch in The Pines, too.

two beehives with bees flying around

 

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