Here it is, the summer 2018 workshop catalog!We’re thrilled to share our lineup with you in anticipation of another summer packed with creativity, energy, new friendships, and new ideas. We’re offering 102 unique workshops led by 116 talented artist/instructors, including favorites like encaustic painting and steel sculpture and special classes like brushmaking and skin-on-frame canoe building. Most workshops are open to serious students of all levels (beginners included!), and all give you access to the slide nights, dance parties, movement classes, scholarship auctions, and more that make a Penland session so special.
This year, summer registration will open to all students on January 8 at 9 AM EST on a first-come, first-served basis; we will not be using a lottery system. Applications may be submitted online, by fax, by post, or in person.
Scholarships are available for every summer workshop, including full, partial, and work-study scholarships. Spaces will be held in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by 11:59 PM EST on February 17.
We hope you find a few minutes over the holidays to pour over the Penland catalog and find the perfect workshop for you, wherever you are in your creative journey. Look out for full course descriptions on the website by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.
There’s something special that happens in the wood studio over the course of a workshop. Students find the patience and focus to work intensely on just a few, longer-term projects rather than a large number of clay pots or a collection of forged utensils. Powerful shop saws transform from intimidating blurs of teeth into efficient and flexible tools. And a new level of precision emerges: the 1/8″ and 1/16″ increments that most of us think in now seem hopelessly clumsy to eyes and brains that have re-calibrated to think to at least the nearest 1/64″.
It’s certainly not magic that allows a solid, artfully-proportioned table or chair to emerge from a rough-sawn pile of lumber, but it can seem like it. That’s why this fall, we’re lucky to have Christina Boy coming to Penland to give students in the woodshop an in-depth opportunity to work through the furniture making process—not once, but a few times over. Her eight-week concentration is appropriately titled Design. Build. Repeat. and it will focus on developing woodworking skills through making multiples.
As the owner of a one-woman furniture studio in Madison, Virginia, Christina is perfectly positioned to teach students not just how to design and build a chair, but how to fine-tune the design/build process so that making a dozen chairs is as efficient as possible. Over her years in the shop, she has perfected a handful of signature designs that she can make, remake, and remix into new pieces. Her Stool 33, for example, has a hexagonal top made from three sections of wood. Christina can alter the stool’s look by changing the finish or the color of the legs, but she can also use it to make new pieces. One top on the wall becomes a coat rack, and six arranged together in a ring become a honeycomb coffee table. It’s a beautiful approach that creates both efficiency and harmony in her designs.
Design. Build. Repeat. is equally well suited to new students who want to try their hands at woodworking and experienced woodworkers who want to focus on their design skills or learn about small batch production. It will run in the Penland wood studio September 24 – November 17, 2017. Registration is currently open to students of all levels. Read the full course description below, and then join us in the shop!
Design. Build. Repeat.
Christina Boy September 24 – November 17, 2017
While learning the fundamentals of woodworking technique, tools, and safety, we’ll dive into the process of making multiples. Each student will design a limited line of products from concept to completion: sketching, designing, drafting, making the necessary templates and jigs, and building prototypes for the purpose of understanding the steps of small batch production. Demonstrations will cover basic woodworking skills and will continue in depth based on the needs of each student’s designs and projects. All levels. Studio fee: $155. Code F00W
Christina Boy is a studio artist and former Penland core fellow. She has taught at Arrowmont (TN), Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (VA), and Orange County Libraries (VA) and is represented by Troika Contemporary Craft Gallery (VA) and the Penland Gallery. Her work has been exhibited at La Difference (VA), Penland’s Focus Gallery, Southern Highlands Craft Guild (NC), and Crossroads Gallery (VA).
Temperatures are warming, the knoll is very green once more, and summer workshops are on the horizon. There are still dozens of offerings across our studios with available space, including a few session 1 workshops. Why not start your summer off with a concentrated dose of creative energy and inspiration? Registration is open now, and a handful of workshops even have work-study scholarships available!
This workshop will be an exciting opportunity for intermediate and advanced glass artists to explore glass as a sculptural material. Students will learn torch techniques that will enable a greater level of detail in hot-sculpted forms and will use sketches and drawings to help visualize finished pieces.
Instructor Ross Richmond has been working with glass for over twenty-five years and is known for his involved narrative pieces. Many of his figures measure a full two feet tall, yet they project a serenity and ease that is hard to reconcile with the fast, hot work of the glass studio. The Corning Museum describes him as “one of the top glass sculptors in the field today.” UrbanGlass.org praised his astounding technical skill, saying, “The realization that these forms were hot-sculpted and not mold-blown, or cast into a carefully prepared mold, is to appreciate the skills that went into them.”
For any glassblowers looking to take their work to the next level of detail and expression, this workshop is the perfect opportunity for focused practice, skill building, and expert instruction. Read the full course description.
Letterpress newbies and experts alike will get the chance to play with words on the press and on paper in Lynda Sherman’s workshop. The class will focus on hand-setting type and the power and potential of the alphabet as a visual language. Students will be encouraged to experiment and to adapt their designs on the go to explore printing as analog communication.
“To know the history of analog printing is to keep the global continuum of collaboration and friendship uninterrupted,” Lynda explains. “Analog is the gift of our past, and by practicing in the present, it is the promise to the future. Where we go, we go together. Analog doesn’t leave anyone behind.”
Students who have already gotten their feet wet in the wood studio will get the chance to take their work further in this workshop with Reuben Foat. Geared towards intermediate and advanced woodworkers, this class will explore tambour doors and the sinuous movement they can introduce into a material that is more often rigid and static. The two weeks will cover design, solid-wood joinery, and efficient studio practices and will culminate in the construction of an original wall-hung cabinet that incorporates a tambour door.
Reuben is an experienced teacher and an accomplished woodworker who often uses the tambour door format in his own furniture and sculpture. It’s one thing to see still images of his work, but it’s another to see the pieces as they move. We highly recommend taking a look at these short videos of his pieces in action!
Northlight has long served as a community hub here at Penland. For over twenty-five years, students have started their mornings there with early yoga classes, enriched their evenings with instructor slide talks, and celebrated the end of sessions with auctions and show and tell displays. It has also hosted dances, parties, symposiums, weddings, memorial services, benefit auction art displays, theatrical performances, core shows, lectures, and other events. The planning for the original building began around 1984, they broke ground in 1987, and construction was completed by 1991 thanks to a big push of community energy led by then-director Hunter Kariher and maintenance man Harold Jones. Shortly thereafter, the Fall 1991 issue of the Penland Line praised the project with these words:
The Northlight Building has added to the quality of the experience for Penland students because there is now a place in a central location where everyone can fit under the same roof at the same time. Northlight has enabled us to bring all of the studios to the center of campus.
Northlight earned a special place in many of our hearts, but it also caused a few headaches in its time. To name a few, it tended to flood in heavy rains; its heating, ventilation, and electrical systems could be lacking; the acoustics left something to be desired; it was the only building we’ve ever seen with a gutter on the inside (long story); and current building code requirements had long since left it behind. Nevertheless, it served us well for a long time.
Now, thanks to the gifts of many generous supporters and friends, we are building Northlight 2.0. The new Northlight complex will house state-of-the-art papermaking and photography studios and two levels of social space for slides, exhibitions, orientation meetings, auctions, movement classes, and more. The studios have been planned with close participation from Penland staff and instructors to allow increased flexibility and range in our workshop programming. The social area will enhance Northlight’s important role as a place to build community and bring people together at Penland, complete with a kitchen, gallery space, common room, landscaped outdoor areas, porches, and yes, those beloved rocking chairs looking out over the mountains. Floods will be a thing of the past and landscape features will help mitigate runoff problems in the lower part of campus. The new space will be accessible and adaptable. In short, we think it will be an amazing addition to the Penland campus, and we are eagerly anticipating its completion (planned for summer 2018).
Of course, as with all dear friends, we prefer to say “see you later” to the old Northlight than to wish the structure a permanent goodbye. We are excited that members of the Penland community have been carefully salvaging siding, rafters, windows, and other materials to give these pieces new life in other projects. Former resident artist and woodworker Tom Shields has been collecting hemlock boards from the exterior to use in the construction of his new studio in Asheville. Penland grant writer Nancy Lowe has saved some of the big windows from the face of the building to create a greenhouse in her garden. Wood studio coordinator Ellie Richards has recovered flooring and windows with the hope of incorporating them into a tiny house someday. And some of the siding and flooring will be used in the new building.
So in a summer or two, when you’re at Penland for a workshop or an artist talk or a July 4th community celebration, we hope your enjoyment of Northlight will be twofold—once in appreciating the beauty and functionality of the new structure, and once again in knowing that the old building lives on in the hearts, minds, and creative endeavors of our community.
See more photos of the Northlight deconstruction project in the slideshow below. (If you are reading this post as an email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.)
The process of designing and making an object can be a slow and laborious one. Good craft takes time. But once a year in the Penland wood studio, time is in very short supply. For the annual Table in a Day Challenge, now in its third year, wood studio residents have only one day to craft a table from start to finish. Pre-planning and sketching are allowed, but all the cutting and construction must happen between 9 AM and 9 PM.
This year, ten seasoned furniture designers rose to the challenge. Armed with donuts, pump-up tunes, and designs (or not), they quickly spread out around the studio and got to work cutting, planing, jointing, and gluing. Meanwhile, up in Baltimore, Penland session 7 instructor Sarah Marriage was taking part remotely, hard at work on her own speed-table.
With this much focus and intensity, pieces take shape quickly. By early afternoon, tabletops had been glued up, legs had been shaped, and the energy was palpable. A few hours later, the parts were starting to come together into three-dimensional forms that looked an awful lot like furniture. By 8:45 PM, the artists were in a final flurry of activity brushing paint, wiping finish, and laying the final boards into place. Somehow by 9 PM (or just a few minutes after), a collection of furniture stood where there had only been open floor at the beginning of the day.
As impressive as the participants’ speed and skill was the variety in the pieces they made. The tables ranged in scale from chihuahua-sized to large enough to seat six for dinner. Some highlighted the grain and natural color of the wood, while others employed bright paint and striking textures. Angela St. Vrain, a winter resident, used a piece of blown and slumped glass she’d made as a tabletop; studio coordinator Ellie Richards covered a whole face of her table with quotes she collected from protest posters at the Women’s Marches over the weekend. The legs on winter resident Zoe Alexa’s table were solidly joined at various non-right angles, and core fellow Elmar Fujita mixed and matched a pair of turned legs with two straight, square ones.
All told, it was a day full up with some of the best the studio can bring: camaraderie, creativity, costumes, big skill, and lots of energy. Just don’t ask them to do it again tomorrow.
See more photos from Table in a Day in the slideshow below. (If you are reading this post as an email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.)
We’re thrilled to present the Summer 2017 workshop catalog! It includes information about our ninety-seven unique summer workshops, including favorites like wood-fired pottery and letterpress and special offerings like bicycle building and leather inlay. Some workshops are for beginners, some are aimed at intermediate and advanced artists, most are open to students of all levels, and each is taught by knowledgeable artist-instructors. The front and back covers capture the range of our broad Penland community in a series of Penland portraits by resident artist Mercedes Jelinek. Read more about her photographs and all of this summer’s great offerings right here in the catalog.
Registration for summer workshops is open now, and everyone who registers by 5 PM on February 11 will be entered into the early registration lottery. Scholarships are available for all workshops. Apply for scholarships by February 17.
We are currently working on uploading full course information to our website. Look for it online by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.
Fall workshops may have just ended, but it won’t be too long before concentrations are back in session for Spring 2017! We have a great lineup of artist-instructors coming to Penland to teach everything from casting iron and glass to atmospheric firing techniques for clay during Penland’s unique 8-week workshop format. Scholarships are available for all concentrations. Scholarship applications are due November 28, 2016.
Below is a preview of what’s in store this March 12-May 5, 2017. For complete course descriptions, see the Spring Concentration page.
Nick Schwartz will lead students in an exploration of “Painting with Fire,” including wood and gas firings and the possibilities of salt and soda in the kiln. John Dix will join as guest instructor for two weeks.
Penland resident artist Dean Allison will share his expertise in glass casting and mold making. Students will gain new abilities to work with glass in a range of ways to express their artistic visions.
Remy Louis Hanemann will guide students through the process of building a complete iron foundry at Penland. As they go, students will learn skills such as plasma cutting and welding, making two-part molds, and, finally, conducting an iron pour.
Letterpress & Books In her workshop “Image as Narrative,” Anne Covell’s students will first explore alternative printing techniques to create images and then bind them into traditional and sculptural books.
David Jones will give his students a wide-ranging education in metal fabrication for jewelry or small sculpture. Students will learn techniques from sawing, soldering, and stamping to forging and forming.
In “Weaving: A Dialogue,” Tommye McClure Scanlin and Bhakti Ziek will share their expertise in tapestry and jacquard weaving as students create images on the loom.
Jack Mauch will lead students in an in-depth exploration of woodworking techniques for furniture and sculpture with an emphasis on shape and going beyond rectilinear forms.
Each of our spring concentrations are open to students of all levels. Enrollment is open now, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is November 28, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.