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Off the Clock: Penland Studio Coordinator Show

art image
Clockwise from top left: Jay Fox, Ellie Richards, Amanda Thatch, Susan Feagin, Betsy DeWitt, Ian Henderson, Daniel T. Beck, Nick Fruin

 

The job of a Penland studio coordinator is a many-faceted one. Our eight coordinators order materials and keep studios clean and equipment running smoothly. They manage budgets and large inventories of supplies. They work with our programming office to plan upcoming workshops, and instructors to provide for specific classes, and individual students to solve problems on the fly. It’s a demanding and unpredictable job, which makes it all the more impressive that these eight individuals are also working artists in their own right. We are thrilled and proud that they have come together to put on a group show of their work at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Appropriately, the exhibition is called Off the Clock.

As curator and Penland friend Elaine Bleakney writes:

OFF THE CLOCK features eight artists, all full-time studio coordinators at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC. The work on view here was made in the off-hours by friends and colleagues who see each other daily and exchange interests, affection, knowledge, and regard for each other.

This is not a group show in the traditional sense. These artists are not strangers, and the works are not estranged from each other, despite their singular presences. Rather, looking from artist to artist, the viewer might pick up a magical sense that the works were made on the same set of evenings, in studios closeby. One of these artists might have looked up from her work and gazed out the cool, green window. She might have seen one of the other artists riding by on a bike, and waved.

 

Penland studio coordinators
Penland’s studio coordinators: Jay Fox, Susan Feagin, Nick Fruin, Ian Henderson, Ellie Richards, Amanda Thatch, Betsy DeWitt, Daniel T. Beck

 

Off the Clock will be on view at the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Ave in Asheville through September 16, 2016. It features the work of Daniel T. Beck (iron/sculpture), Betsy DeWitt (photography), Susan Feagin (ceramics), Jay Fox (print), Nick Fruin (glass), Ian Henderson (metals), Ellie Richards (wood/sculpture), and Amanda Thatch (drawing/textiles).

There will be a reception for the show on Friday, September 2 from 5 PM to 8 PM, and the artists will present a public talk on Saturday, September 3 from 4 PM to 6 PM. More information about both events is available on the exhibition’s Facebook event page.

Visit the Asheville Area Arts Council website to learn more about Off the Clock.

 

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Photo of the Week: Gravity Casting

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Juvana Soliven casting bronze using the awesome power of gravity in this session’s metals workshop taught by Suzanne Pugh. Suzanne decided to focus the workshop on gravity casting rather than centrifugal or vacuum casting because it’s cheaper to set up in a home studio and also opens the possibility of making larger-scale work.

 

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Fall Workshops and Scholarships

Summers at Penland can be seasons of frenetic energy, while winters here have a more independent, reflective mood. Between them, springs and falls are seasons of sustained inquiry, exploration, and growth. The 8-week concentrations that take place during these times combine the length of a college term with the intensity of fully-immersive workshop education. For artists looking to make great strides in their work or dive deeply into new techniques, Penland concentrations are an unmatched opportunity. The application deadline for fall scholarships is August 1, 2016.

 

images of instructor work
Left to right: Birdie Boone, Matt Repsher, Claire Kelly, Jay Burnham-Kidwell

 

This fall, we are thrilled to be offering an exceptional lineup of concentrations led by skilled artist-instructors in a range of media:

Clay
Birdie Boone and Matt Repsher will lead students in their “pot-centric” workshop to develop wheelthrown and handbuilt pieces with stronger connections between form and surface.

Glass
In “The Cane Ladder,” Claire Kelly and her students will dive deep into glassblowing techniques, covering cane and murrine as well as sculpting, hot and cold assemblies, and cold work.

Iron
Blacksmith Jay Burnham-Kidwell will take students through eight weeks of fire and iron: forging, bending, splitting, punching, welding, finishing, and more.

Metals
In Kristina Glick’s workshop “Counterbalance: Enameling, Electroforming & Found Objects,” students will use liquid enamels on metal to produce finished pieces of jewelry, wall panels, and other exquisite objects.

Print
Georgia Deal will lead her students in an exciting mix of monoprinting and hand papermaking to develop layered prints and rich visual vocabularies.

Textiles
Recent resident artist Rachel Meginnes will teach “The Thread Between,” a workshop focused on textiles and artistic development that will include weaving and surface exercises as well as readings, writing, and group discussions.

Wood
In “Books, Relics, Curiosities,” Daniel Essig will lead students in an exploration of wood and bookbinding techniques to create book-based sculptures.

 

images of instructor work
Left to right: Kristina Glick, Georgia Deal, Rachel Meginnes, Daniel Essig

 

Each of our fall concentrations are open to students of all levels, and scholarships are available for every concentration. The deadline to apply for a fall concentration scholarship is August 1, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.

Join us for eight weeks of creative energy and artistic growth this fall!

 

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Counting Down to Summer

In less than three weeks, summer workshops will be underway at Penland! If you’re not registered for a workshop already, there are still lots of classes with open spaces, and even a few that have work-study scholarship positions available. Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing…

 

Belt buckel and brooch made by Lola Brooks
“Etruscan Horse” and “cut steel brooch (belly)” by Lola Brooks

 

In session 1, students in Lola Brooks’s workshop Storytelling & Belt Bucklery will tie together a wide range of metalworking techniques through narrative. The class will use stone setting, soldering, forming, fabricating, marriage of metals, and more to create pieces that are at once functional, beautiful, and full of meaning. It’s the perfect opportunity for beginning metalsmiths to get a solid footing in technique and for more advanced students to develop their ideas and artistic voice. Register now.

 

photograph by Emma Powell
“Against the Storm” by Emma Powell

 

During session 2, Fiction in Photography with Emma Powell will combine traditional 19th century printing processes with current digital technologies. Through a mix of theatrical photography, digital manipulation, and hand-printing, students will create images not of what is, but of what could be. If you’d like to to create images that are expressive, surreal, or even gravity-defying, this workshop is the one for you. Register now.

 

glass sculpture by Rebecca Arday and David Schnuckel
“com / mensural” (detail) by Rebecca Arday and David Schnuckel

 

Session 3 offers intermediate glass students an opportunity to deepen the content of their sculptural works in Logic & Lyricism with Rebecca Arday and David Schnuckel. By emphasizing conceptual intent, the workshop will encourage students to develop techniques in the hot and cold shops that amplify their ideas and artistic goals. For anyone who is ready to take their glass beyond simple forms, Logic & Lyricism provides a chance to make work with poetic appeal as well as technical skill. Register now.

 

These three workshops are just a small sampling of what Penland students will be learning this summer in the studios. To see all the other workshops across our fifteen studios and seven sessions that still have spaces, take a look at the open workshop list. Once you’ve found your perfect fit, you can register right here.

 

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Spring in the Studios

The following post is a photo slideshow. If you’re looking at it in email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.

Students at work in the "Artist and Weaver" concentration
The weaving studio has looked like a veritable Pantone book this spring
Ikat weaving (and party banners!)
A giant frame loom with a radial warp
It takes teamwork to prepare pulp for papermaking
Learning the delicate art of Eastern papermaking
Turning pulp to paper
Handmade sheets of paper show their texture in the sun
The iron class started by forging spoons and other small objects
Products of an iron inflation demo in Elizabeth Brim's workshop
The glow of a coal fire in the iron studio
Taking a closer look at negatives during a 1-week workshop
Nancy Blum came to campus as this spring's visiting artist
This spring's clay concentration includes throwing, decorating, and handbuilding
Wavy clay things
Colorful clay things
Working with image transferring techniques
Students adding soda to a kiln during firing
A few treasures out of the kiln
A rainbow of inks in the letterpress studio
A few of the cloth bags that came out of one week of "Printfest!"
Just a small selection of the plates and prints that came through the studio in one week
Inking wood type to add to a print
Instructor Laura Wood in the studio during her "Make Show Repeat" concentration
Talking metals
For Alicia Keshishian's color theory workshop, the whole drawing studio got a colorful makeover.
Choosing palettes from a table full of color
Everything is scaled up in the wood studio this spring for the timber framing class
Working on site before the whole frame is raised
Wood students with their building-to-be!
Glass bubbles and tubes and twists before the addition of neon
Some glass blowing teamwork.

 

Between seven concentrations and nine 1-week workshops, we’ve had a busy spring at Penland. It’s been exciting to see the progress that long classes make, whether it’s transforming straight beams into a fully-realized timber frame structure or collecting plant material to make into paper to make into books. Scroll through the photos above to get a glimpse of the colorful, experimental, detailed, thoughtful, beautiful things underway in the studios. And, if you’re in the area, please join us on May 5th at 8pm to celebrate the end of the session at the scholarship auction in Northlight!

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Community Open House 2016

The following blog post is a photo slideshow. We recommend viewing it in an Internet browser.

Learning to blow glass is one of the most popular open house activities.
This blob of hot glass became a juice glass after a few minutes' work.
In the letterpress studio, visitors printed masks on the Vandercook press.
Cutting out eye holes in a freshly-printed mask
If you see one of these creatures around, it's probably been to the letterpress studio!
In the clay studio, visitors learned to throw on the pottery wheel.
All sorts of fun clay creatures being made at the handbuilding tables.
Getting clay pointers from one of our great volunteers
Making a clay mask while wearing a letterpress mask
In the iron studio, everyone got to try their hand at forging a J hook.
These two are adding a decorative twist to finish off the hook.
Visitors to the Ridgeway building decorated paste papers.
Sometimes, fingers are the best brushes!
Hands-on fun!
Who wouldn't want to join in on some whistle mania?
Visitors to the wood studio made their own train whistles.
The whistle process involved some precise sawing and drilling.
These two young visitors made a whistle—and it works!
In the flameworking studio, visitors made glass beads.
Here's a mother-daughter flameworking duo.
Each bead is formed by melting colored glass onto a metal rod.
The photo studio was all about crazy portraits.
This visitor is getting her photo taken as a tiger.
Edwina poses with her gold-sequined portrait.
Resident artist Jaydan Moore demonstrated his printmaking process to visitors.
In the metals studio, visitors learned pewter casting.
After the pewter is melted, it's poured into this two-part mold.
Unmolding the pewter revealed a tiny hammer and anvil!
Visitors to textiles learned to weave at the looms.
Everyone went home with a rag-rug coaster they wove themselves.
Visitors to the school store got to embellish Penland postcards
Thanks to the 700+ people who came out to visit us for the Community Open House!
And a big thanks to all our volunteers and staff!

 

This year’s Penland Community Open House was another big success! Over 700 people from the Penland community came up to try their hand at a new craft. Artists young and old alike were busy forging in the iron studio, flameworking beads in the glass shop, making colorful portraits in the photo studio, creating wooden whistles, and lots more. We’re grateful to all volunteers for helping us to share this fun day with our community, and to all the visitors who join us with such enthusiasm.

 

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Thank You, Mary Ann!

Mary Ann 1994
Mary Ann Scherr in the Penland metals studio, 1994. Photo by Ann Hawthorne.

We are sorry to report that metalsmith, designer, educator, and Penland’s great friend Mary Ann Scherr died at her home in Raleigh, NC on March 1. Mary Ann, who famously never looked her age, was 94 years old.

She first taught at Penland in 1968 and went on to teach at the school at least 37 times. She served on the board of trustees and contributed to every benefit auction. Her broad knowledge of metalsmithing and design made it possible for her to teach students of almost any skill level or area of interest. She pioneered the use of exotic metals in adornment and received international attention for her development of decorative electronic body monitors. She was known for her work combining drawing and metals, and she had extensive experience in product design and production work. She was able to incorporate all of these interests into her teaching.

Mary Ann was trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art, The University of Akron, Kent State University, The New School, and Durham Tech Computer Center. She served as head of the product design department at Parsons School of Design, and was on the faculty of Duke University, Meredith College, and North Carolina State University. She also taught at Arrowmont and Haystack and led dozens of workshops at universities across the country.

Her work is found in many permanent collections, including The Vatican Museum of Art in Rome, The Metropolitan Museum, The Museum of Arts and Design, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Smithsonian Institution-Medical Division, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work is also in a number of well-known private collections including Liz Claiborne, Helen Drutt, the Knapp Jewelry Collection, U.S. Steel Corporation, and the Alcoa Company.

In addition to her metalsmithing and jewelry design, Mary Ann worked at Ford Motor Company, designing hubcaps, hood ornaments, and instrument panels; she and her late husband, Sam, ran an industrial design firm that produced designs for Tappan, Hoover, and Rubbermaid; she made illustrations for children’s books; and a cookie jar she designed found its way into Andy Warhol’s private collection and then onto the front page of the New York Times when it sold for $19,000 at Sotheby’s.

Mary Ann Scherr at Penland
Mary Ann and her friend Charlotte Wainwright at Penland’s 2008 Annual Benefit Auction, when Mary Ann was honored as that year’s Outstanding Artist Educator. Charlotte was the founding director of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University. Photo by Robin Dreyer

Her list of awards includes an honorary doctorate from Defiance College in Ohio, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Distinguished Women of North Carolina Award, the North Carolina Governor’s Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and she was a fellow of the American Craft Council. In 2008, she was honored as a Penland School of Crafts Outstanding Artist Educator.

Penland has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of Mary Ann’s knowledge and generosity. And for her, the connection was a very personal one. In an interview several years ago she said, “For more than forty years, Penland has remained positively important in my life. As the world moves, so does Penland in its own way, and it offers me an opportunity to grow with it. Each time I go back, I find new ways of thinking.”

Mary Ann was predeceased by Sam Scherr, her husband of 54 years, and is survived by a daughter, Sydney, who lives in Malaysia, two sons, Randy, and Scott, daughter-in-law, Debora, and grandson Dylan, all from Raleigh.

The family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the Gregg Museum of Art & Design (516 Brickhaven Dr Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606) or to Penland School (PO Box 37, Penland, NC, 28765) where The Mary Ann Scherr Metals Scholarship has been created in her honor. (You can also contribute to that fund here; just put “Mary Ann Scherr Scholarship” in the “additional gift information” field.)

You can read more about Mary Ann’s life in this article from NC State and in this oral history from the Archives of American Art.

 

Mary Ann Scherr, Neck Lace
Mary Ann’s extraordinary piece titled “Neck-Lace” was presented to the Museum of Arts and Design by a group of donors at Penland’s 2015 Annual Benefit Auction. The piece is made from 14K gold with 50 diamonds. Photo by Mercedes Jelinek