The Penland Sketchbook http://penland.org/blog The official Penland School of Crafts blog Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:40:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0 http://penland.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-favicon-32x32.png The Penland Sketchbook http://penland.org/blog 32 32 Behind Fall Photos http://penland.org/blog/2018/12/behind-fall-photos/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 19:29:32 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10736 Eight weeks of Penland fall concentrations have come and gone. We’ve shared lots of studio photos and show-and-tell photos and photos of the goofy moments in between. But there’s a lot that’s constantly happening during concentrations that is harder to pin down—the messy, beautiful, confusing, triumphant work of learning and connecting and growing.

As we’ve heard again and again from students, time at Penland is not just about a handmade mug; it’s about the transformational power of learning to make a mug with your hands. Below, we illustrate some of the less tangible aspects of creative immersion with a photo from each of our recent concentrations.

Focus
Clay student Brian Chen adds surface decoration to a run of tumblers using a masking technique he learned from instructor Tom Jaszczak. Freedom from distractions is one thing that leads to such leaps in student work in just eight weeks.

adding surface decoration to a run of bisqued pots

Teamwork
Studio assistant Eric Meeker uses a drop or two of water to break his piece from the punty while core fellow Joshua Fredock stands ready to grab it. The nature of glassblowing is a team effort, but students in all studios benefit from the feedback, energy, and expertise of their peers.

working with a partner to remove a glass disc from the punty

Process
Textiles student Emily Parkinson builds up pattern on a length of printed yardage through the careful spacing and layering of screens. The sketches, calculations, and in-betweens aren’t always readily apparent in a finished piece, but that step-by-step process is integral to the outcome.

pulling a screen in the textiles studio

Repetition
Henry Rogers heats a length of steel in the iron studio. Over the course of eight weeks, students move between the forge and the anvil and back again hundreds of times. Each heat builds intuition and muscle memory, and every swing of the hammer builds accuracy and control and confidence. It’s the hours of practice that transform a beginner into an experienced maker.

heating at the forge in the iron studio

Inspiration
Hannah Roman works on a painting in her Color & Abstraction workshop surrounded by sketches, previous work, and a giant collaborative still life for reference. Ideas can crop up in the most unexpected places, be it something a fellow student is trying, a process in another studio, the landscape of the Penland campus outside, or maybe just the shadow your water bottle casts across your desk.

concentrating on a painting at the easel

Growth
First-time woodworker Ann Ritter glues tenons into the aprons of her table with instructor Wyatt Severs. Even students who have never touched wood or metal or clay can become proficient over eight weeks of immersive studio time, and this growth sometimes opens up entire new futures and dreams.

working together to glue up tenon joints in the wood studio

Attention
Core fellow Stormie Burns pulls a run of prints on the Vandercook press. Like a lot of making, it’s a repetitive process that benefits from quiet attention and an ability to be present in the moment. There’s a joy that comes from being immersed in the details.

pulling prints on the vandercook press

And a few things not pictured above:
The Penland friendships each student will carry with them. The newfound confidence and sense of belonging. The deeper appreciation for hands and material and time. The ideas that started here as mere sparks and are now burning brightly across the web of our community.

To all our fall concentration students and instructors, thank you for reminding us about the importance and beauty of what we do here. And to all those who would like to be students, we hope you will be! Registration is currently open for Spring 2019 concentrations and 1-week workshops.

 

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Photo of the Week: Loading http://penland.org/blog/2018/11/photo-of-the-week-loading/ Wed, 21 Nov 2018 01:21:48 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10732

When you get to the last week of an eight-week clay Concentration, it’s all about loading, firing, and unloading, and a lot of it is about carefully finding room in the kilns for all the pots. This is student Eva Leach finding room in the salt/soda kiln.

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A Perfect 10 http://penland.org/blog/2018/11/a-perfect-10/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:54:35 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10716
Visitors to the 10/10 exhibition were greeted by a skillful array of work, including these glass vessels by Eric DePan.

As a rule, Penland studio assistants are a hardworking bunch. They are our instructors’ right hands, helping with logistics and materials preparation and clean-ups and demos and more, while still making their own work and exploring new materials and techniques. Our fall concentration assistants have done all of that, but they didn’t stop there—this weekend, they installed an exhibition in the Flex Studio and invited our whole community to attend and enjoy it.

The show, titled 10/10, was an impressive visual testament to what is possible when energy, talent, and inspiration mix with eight weeks of immersion and experimentation in the studio. It was a beautiful, generous evening, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate before heading into the final week of the fall session.

Congratulations and a big thank you to these rad artists for a great show: Eleanor Anderson, Jake Brodsky, Eric DePan, Eric Meeker, Amy Young, Elias Sideris, Celia Jailer, DeCarlo Logan, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, and Wyatt Severs!

Studio assistants! Back row: Jake Brodsky, Elias Sideris, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, DeCarlo Logan, Eric Meeker; front row: Celia Jailer, Amy Young, Eleanor Anderson
A set of glass vessels and sculptures by Amy Young
A set of six encaustic panels by DeCarlo Logan
Ceramic pieces by Eleanor Anderson

All photographs of the installation are from textiles instructor Tim Eads. Thanks, Tim!

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Photo of the Week: Painters Painting http://penland.org/blog/2018/11/photo-of-the-week-painters-painting/ Sat, 10 Nov 2018 17:41:23 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10712

Core fellows Kento Saisho and Katherine Toler working in the drawing and painting studio during week seven of the fall Concentration led by Tonya D. Lee.

 

Here’s the room from Kat’s side.

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Photo of the Week: Forgers http://penland.org/blog/2018/11/photo-of-the-week-forgers/ Fri, 02 Nov 2018 22:12:20 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10706 Seth Gould and Peter Ross at Penland

Seth Gould, who is leading the fall Concentration in the iron studio, and Peter Ross, who has been a guest instructor for the past two weeks, doing some forging. Seth recently completed three years as a Penland resident artist and has decided to stay in the area with his family (lucky for us). Peter was the master of the blacksmith shop in Colonial Williamsburg for 26 years. He now lives in Siler City, NC, where he makes reproductions of 18th and 19th century hardware and iron furnishing for historic buildings. In addition to being amazing blacksmiths, Seth and Peter are also expert whitesmiths — whitesmithing being the art of filing, finishing, and polishing metal. The class is title Forged and Filed, and Seth and Peter’s students have been spending as much time using files as they have using hammers.

If you are interested in super-refined work in steel, we recommend this recent video about Seth, also titled Forged and Filed. If you click over to Peter’s (under-construction) website , be sure you wait for the slideshow to start, so you can see pictures his shop and his beautiful work.

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Everything Must Go http://penland.org/blog/2018/10/everything-must-go/ Wed, 31 Oct 2018 18:28:31 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10678

Every year, the annual Core Fellowship Exhibition is a highlight of fall concentrations and an exciting opportunity to peek into the worlds of our core fellows as they explore new materials, ideas, and techniques across studios. This year’s, titled Everything Must Go, was certainly no exception. It featured the work of 2018-2019 core fellows Stormie Burns, Joshua James Fredock, L Gnadinger, Elliot Earl Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Corey Pemberton, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez. They curated and installed the show themselves in the Gallery North space of the new Northlight complex. The work ranged from delicate pâte de verre vessels to airbrushed paintings, with a strong unifying thread of experimentation and craftsmanship. 

Congratulations on a beautiful installation, core fellows!

Everything Must Go will be on display through November 14, 2018. Viewing hours are Wednesdays noon – 3:00 PM, Saturdays noon – 3:00 PM, and Sundays: 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

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Photo(s) of the Week: Hands On Press http://penland.org/blog/2018/10/photo-of-the-week-hands-on-press/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 15:45:18 +0000 http://penland.org/blog/?p=10667

This is Chelsea LaBate (a.k.a. Ten Cent Poetry) printing a series of short poems on a Vandercook printing press in the Fall Concentration taught by Beth Schaible (a.k.a. Quill and Arrow). Chelsea is a singer, songwriter, poet, and traveler, but she says, “letterpress is my new love.”

 

This is is the workshop’s studio assistant Celia Jailer (a.k.a. Afterschool Detective) making a pressure print onto a vellum press sheet. Pressure printing is an image-making technique in which a textured, flexible sheet is placed between the press sheet and the drum and then passed over a smooth, inked surface in the bed of the press. The image is transferred to the press sheet because it gets inked more heavily where there is pressure created by the textured sheet. It’s one of the many ways to work with these presses that Beth is covering in the workshop.

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