Summer Registration Information


Workshop information for summer 2017 is currently online by session and by studio. Print catalogs were mailed in early January. There are still a handful of summer work-study position available. Work-study positions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. See below for more information.

Open Work-Study Positions

Work-Study students receive free dormitory housing and meals and pay a reduced tuition. Work-study students work approximately 20 hours per week on a variety of service tasks, usually cleaning, food service support, and dishwashing. The work is manual labor and the schedule, while reasonable, requires work-study students to carefully balance their time and energy between the studio and their work obligations. Work-study students are also required to work 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on the day before and the day after their session. If you cannot meet this requirement, please do not apply. Fees for work-study students are as follows: 1-week session = $318, 2-week session = $586, 2.5-week session = $767.

To apply for an open work-study position, please submit an application, a $50 processing fee, a resume, a letter of need and intent, and 2 letters of recommendation. Questions may be directed to 828-765-2359 or

The following workshops have work-study availability as of May 2:
Session 1 Books: Concepts in Book Art with Tate Shaw
Session 1 Glass: Hot Glass Sculpting with Ross Richmond
Session 1 Letterpress: Letterpress: Text is Image with Lynda Sherman
Session 1 Textiles: Designing Hand-Knits with Anna Sudo
Session 1 Wood: Tantalizing Tambour Doors with Reuben Foat
Session 3 Glass: Architectural Approaches with Carmichael Jones
Session 4 Clay: The Narrative Figure with Kelly Phelps and Kyle E. Phelps
Session 5 Clay: Clay Slab & Beyond with Kenneth Baskin
Session 5 Textiles: Introduction to Ondule with Amy Putansu
Session 7 Books: Books & Boxes with Susan Joy Share
Session 7 Clay: Slab-Built Pottery: From Flat to Form with Bill Griffith

Life at Penland

Each workshop is structured by the teacher, but most are a mix of demonstrations, lectures, individual studio work, and field trips. A stay at Penland also offers daily movement classes, evening slide shows, visits to nearby studios, volleyball games, dances, walks in the beautiful countryside, or swimming in the Toe River.

An on-campus coffeehouse provides hot and cold drinks, snacks, and a place to meet and relax. The school supply store features a variety of hand tools and craft materials along with UPS shipping, books, postcards, snacks, drinks, and other items. Several internet computers and wireless hotspots are available. Most students live at Penland and all students may participate in activities on a 24-hour basis. Penland housing is simple but adequate. There is more information about housing below. The Pines dining room provides three delicious meals each day.

At Penland, you can expect to work hard, learn a lot, make friends, and forget about the rest of the world in an isolated setting without the distraction of television or daily newspapers. You can expect to have fun, eat good food, and get the kind of rest that comes from immersing yourself in something you love.


Diversity & Inclusion

Penland School of Crafts believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to fulfilling its mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination.


Registration Information

Penland welcomes serious students of all levels of experience—absolute beginners to professionals. The minimum age is 18. Some workshops are tailored for beginners and some require prior experience; most welcome a range of skill levels.


Processing Fee & Deposits

A $50 processing fee is charged when you apply. You may apply for several sessions at once with one fee. A deposit of $250 per workshop is required to secure a place in each workshop in which you want to be enrolled. Scholarship applicants pay a processing fee but no deposit at the time of registration.


Your application will be processed provided we have received your registration form, processing fee, and appropriate deposits. If a workshop is full, you will be placed on a waiting list, and your deposit and processing fee will be returned. The balance of your fees (including room and board) is due on April 15 (EST). If payment is not received by this date, you may lose your space in the workshop and be charged a cancellation fee. If you register after April 15, full payment is due when you are enrolled in a workshop. We do not accept registration by phone. Please mail or fax your registration form (registration fax: 828-765-8174) or use the online application form (link above). If you apply in January, February, or March, you will be notified of your status by April 1.


If you are applying for a scholarship (including studio assistantships), you must apply online using Slideroom. See the scholarship information section here:


Cancellations & Refunds

Penland makes a substantial investment when planning a workshop, and vacancies can be hard to fill even if there is a waiting list, so we must charge cancellation fees to offset the cost of these vacancies. If you cancel anytime up to thirty days before the beginning of a workshop, you will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee and the $50 processing fee. If you cancel less than thirty days before the beginning of the workshop, there is no refund. If it is necessary for Penland to cancel a workshop for any reason, students will be notified and offered another workshop or a full refund.


We cannot be responsible for nonrefundable airline tickets. Penland registrations are transferable to another person only if the workshop does not have a waiting list; if you wish to transfer your registration, please call the registrar to inquire.


Early-Registration Lottery

To give a greater number of people a chance to enroll in the most popular workshops, applications received by 5:00 PM EST on February 11 will be placed in a lottery and treated equally regardless of when they were received. (For example, if a workshop has 12 spaces and we receive 15 applications by February 11, we will take all 15 names and randomly select 12 of them.) After 5 PM EST on February 11, applications will be processed on a first-come/first-served basis. If you are not placed in a workshop, your processing fee will be refunded. You will be charged this fee if you are subsequently enrolled in a workshop.


Waiting Lists

Waiting lists are maintained for all filled workshops. Any applicant for a full workshop will be placed on the waiting list. All applications received by February 11 and not selected in the lottery will be placed on the waiting list in lottery order. After that time, waiting lists are kept in order by the date that applications are received. Applicants will be contacted if space becomes available. No deposit is necessary to hold a space on a waiting list, and the processing fee will not be charged unless you are enrolled.


Stand-By Program

Residents of nearby counties in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee are offered half-price tuition when they take unfilled spaces less than two weeks before the beginning of a workshop. This offer is also available to all K–12 teachers and all teachers at colleges, universities, or community colleges, regardless of where they live. For details contact the Penland registrar or see our page on the Standby Program.


Off-Campus Students

Students who live in the area or prefer to find their own lodging may enroll as off-campus students and participate in all activities of the Penland session. Off-campus students should select a meal plan when enrolling. A list of nearby accommodations is available here:



Penland’s campus is located on terrain that is steep and uneven. We have made our campus more accessible, and housing is available that conforms with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We provide accessible parking for the dining hall, housing, and most studios. Several golf carts are available for students who have mobility limitations. Penland will make every effort to provide appropriate housing and program access to people with known disabilities to the degree possible without posing an undue hardship for the organization. People with disabilities are responsible for requesting appropriate accommodations in advance and helping the school assess how best to assist them. Please contact the registrar to discuss housing and access to studios and other facilities.


Textiles workshops are taught in second- and third-floor walk-up studios; one of the metals studios has stairs that compromise access.


Penland Housing

Penland housing is quite simple. Buildings are not air-conditioned—the climate is moderate and temperatures cool at night. Furnishing is basic: a bed and a place to put your clothes.


Our housing is priced in two tiers: standard and economy.


Standard housing includes rooms that are a bit larger and, in some cases, are in recently constructed or renovated buildings. The “dorm” option in standard housing refers to rooms that house four people.


Economy housing includes rooms that are a little smaller; many are in older buildings. The “dorm” option in economy housing refers to rooms that house up to 13 people.


Housing assignments are made shortly before the session begins. We do our best to match students with the type of housing they request, but this is not always possible, and we cannot honor requests for specific rooms or buildings. Note: we only house people enrolled in workshops.


Photographs of representative examples of Penland housing are available here:


Cost of Materials

Tuition does not cover the cost of materials used for students’ own production. (Hot glass tuition does cover the cost of the glass in the furnaces.) Most workshops require you to bring certain materials and tools with you. There may also be a studio fee for supplies used by the group, and some workshops may incur a hazardous waste disposal fee. We will make every effort to notify students in advance if we anticipate a studio fee in excess of $50. Look for this information on your materials list.

Note: flameworking students pay a $100 deposit and a $10 rental fee on their tool kits; rental tool kits are available in the wood and metals studios for a small fee.


Studio Safety

Students should be aware that in many workshops they may be working with tools which, if improperly used, can cause injury. A safety tour and information about the proper handling of tools and materials is part of our workshops; however, students assume the risk of working with tools and materials provided by the school.


Studio Information

Detailed information about Penland’s studios, including a list of the tools and equipment in each studio, is available at the following link or by request from the Penland office.


Support Services

The Blue Ridge Regional Hospital is the nearest medical facility; it is in Spruce Pine, a 15-minute drive from Penland. The school can provide information about urgent care providers in the local area. The nearest pharmacy and laundromat are also a 15-minute drive. Recovery meetings are held on campus twice weekly and more frequently in Spruce Pine.



Drugs and Alcohol—Alcohol is not permitted in the studios. The legal drinking age in North Carolina is 21. The use of illegal drugs while at Penland is strictly prohibited. We cannot tolerate behavior that jeopardizes your safety or the safety of others.


Personal Property—Penland is not responsible for the security of property belonging to students, instructors, or staff.


Pets—Students are not permitted to have pets with them while at Penland. If you work with a service animal, please contact the registrar.


Unacceptable Behavior—Penland reserves the right to dismiss any student, without refund, for behavior that is disruptive to the community learning and living environment. Penland may refuse admission to students with a past history of unacceptable behavior.


College Credit Information

Penland students can receive college credit through Western Carolina University (WCU) through the procedure outlined below.

Fees: $125 per undergraduate credit, $150 per graduate credit, $65 application fee. (These fees are set by the university and are subject to change without notice.)

Credit Hours: 2 credits for 1 week of study; 3 for 2 or 2-and-a-half weeks; 9 credits for 8 weeks.

Contact Hours: Students must have at least 15 contact hours per credit hour earned.

You must pre-enroll before you arrive at Penland:

Check with your degree program to be sure that credit you obtain from WCU will transfer. You must notify the Penland registrar at least three weeks before your arrival that you will be obtaining college credit for your class. Once you have notified the Penland registrar, an enrollment packet will be sent to you. The packet must be completed and returned with payment for your college credits to the Penland registrar one week before you arrive on campus. If you do not pre-enroll before your class, you will not be able to obtain credit.

If applying for graduate credit, you should apply to WCU online as a graduate transfer student not obtaining a degree from Western at:

Once you have completed the online enrollment process for graduate credit, please notify the Penland registrar to complete the enrollment process.


Teacher Credits

Teachers interested in receiving Public Education Certificate renewal credits for Penland workshops must contact their local school board.


Arrival & Departure

Penland is located in the Blue Ridge mountains near Spruce Pine, NC, 52 miles north of Asheville. The easiest way to get here is by car, but commercial van service (not affiliated with Penland) to and from the Asheville airport and bus terminal is available at the beginning and end of each session for a fee. Plan to arrive at Penland in time for a 5:00 pm orientation session on Sunday. (Work-study and studio assistants arrive in time to work on Saturday morning, except for 6th session when they start work on Sunday morning.) Sessions end on Friday at noon, except 5th session, which ends on Tuesday, and 7th session, which ends on Saturday. (Work-study and studio assistants must work on the day after their session.)

Please note: many GPS systems give incorrect directions to Penland School. Google Maps shows several locations for Penland School, some of which are incorrect. We recommend you use the directions on this website rather than GPS systems or online mapping services.