Glass Workshops at Penland

Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.



SUMMER session 3

JUNE 21 - July 3 2015

Ché Rhodes, Untitled, glass, 29 x 4-1/2 x 10"

Ché Rhodes
Subtleties & Nuances

This workshop will pursue the development of an exceedingly thorough comprehension of the subtleties and nuances of working with hot glass. Students will expand their technical abilities and understanding of glass by combining an intensive, hands-on approach with sustained, continuous discussion and analysis of the materials and fundamentals of glassmaking. We will exploit the exclusive opportunity that a two-week intensive workshop environment provides to practice with the material, analyze the process, and share feedback and experience as a group. Students are advised that having fun will be a requirement for this workshop.All levels. Code 03GA


Associate professor and head of glass at the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute; recent exhibitions include “Clearing” (with Stephen Cartwright) at the Cressman Center for Visual Art (Louisville) and “South by Southeast: Masters of Studio Glass” at the Huntsville Museum (AL).




Sarah Blood, Luna Fossil IV, flameworked glass, argon,

cement, sand, pigment, 24-3/4 x 24-3/4 x 4-3/4"

Sarah Blood
Where the Magic Happens: Light & Mixed Media

Using traditional and nontraditional neon-making techniques as a starting point, this workshop will look at the aesthetic and conceptual possibilities of combining light and mixed media. Students will develop experimental artworks with an emphasis on the tension between contrasting materials such as clay, paper, and found objects. The workshop will include presentations, discussions, technical demonstrations, and critiques, as well as a focused, experiment-based studio experience. All levels. Code 03GB


Assistant professor of glass and light at Alfred University (NY); residencies: Vicarte (Portugal), Cowgate (UK); recent exhibitions: Ball State University (IN), Glazen Huis (Belgium), Lumiere (UK), Museu do Vidro (Portugal); collections: Institute of Neuroscience (UK), Quennington Sculpture Trust (UK), Stag & Hare (UK).





SUMMER session 4

July 5 - 17, 2015

Jason Minami, Night And Day,

glass, bronze, steel, 24 x 28 x 12"

Jason Minami
Building Your Core

Your body’s core is essential to balance and stability. In glassblowing it may be hard to keep your balance in the fluctuating environment of the glass studio without a strong core of fundamental skills. In this workshop you’ll build your glassblowing core, creating a strong foundation for your future glass explorations. You’ll learn and practice the fundamentals with a core understanding of how glass works with heat and the forces of nature. You’ll acquire skills to efficiently blow primary shapes and forms, learning to problem-solve and adapt your process along the way.Beginning level. Code 04GA


Studio artist, instructor and studio manager at Glassroots (NJ), instructor at Hudson County College (NJ); exhibitions: Robert Lehman Gallery (NYC), City Without Walls (NJ), Kean University (NJ), J. Cacciola Gallery (NYC), The Arts at Marks Garage (Honolulu), University of Hawaii.






Matt Eskuche, Brittany Before Noon, flameworked glass,

oil paint, 17 x 74 x 10"

Matt Eskuche
Turning Wonder Bread into Brioche

In the first week of this workshop we’ll cover several methods of preparing tubing and blow basic forms at the torch. Then we’ll move on to more complex forms and combinations of blowing techniques as we practice and experiment. In the second week we’ll draw on ideas and concepts unique to each student and work through the technical approaches needed to bring these ideas to fruition as a small series of related objects. Also, we’ll make French toast. Some flameworking experience will be helpful, but this class is open to all levels. Code 04GB


Studio artist; teaching: UrbanGlass (NYC), The Studio at Corning (NY), Pittsburgh Glass Center, Glass Mouse (Tokyo); solo exhibitions: Racine Art Museum (WI), Society for Contemporary Craft (Pittsburgh), Sandra Ainsley Gallery (Toronto); collections: Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum (Japan), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design (NYC).




SUMMER session 5

July 19 - August 4, 2015

Ben Cobb, Clove and Stomach,

blown glass, tallest: 31" tall


Pablo Soto, Carved Color Drop,

15 x 9 x 9"


Ben Cobb & Pablo Soto
A Cumulative Effect

The focus of this workshop will be problem-solving. Drawing and discussions of process will be our springboards. We’ll focus on fundamental shapes as building blocks to make anything you desire. We’ll cover many techniques including color application—from basic methods to the more decorative, such as cane and incalmo. Each student should come with an idea or a direction to pursue. We’ll emphasize teamwork and communication in the hot shop. Bring your sketchbook and your imagination. Intermediate: students should know how to gather, make basic shapes, and have an understanding of color application. Code 05GA

Ben: head glassblower at the Museum of Glass (WA) where he has worked with more than 300 artists. Pablo: owner of De Soto Glass Design; clients: Calvin Klein Home, Art Institute of Chicago museum shop; teaching: Haystack (ME), Pittsburgh Glass Center; NC Arts Council fellowship.


Susan Taylor Glasgow, Bluebird On A Pedestal,

fused, slumped, flameworked glass, mixed media,

found objects, 8 x 8 x 8"

Susan Taylor Glasgow
Glass +

This workshop in glass and mixed media will focus on the serendipity of combined materials and embrace the discoveries of glass plus _____ (fill in the blank). We’ll work on three projects, each addressing different design and engineering considerations: an altered book with imagery and text on glass, a wall-hung project involving an open glass casting, and an enclosed glass vessel that includes imagery, text, and found objects. We’ll cover a variety of joining methods along with strategies for incorporating image, text, concept, and narrative. We’ll think about what strengthens the visual impact and message of an artist’s work while embracing happy explorations in creativity. All levels. Code 05GB


Studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Pittsburgh Glass Center; Pilchuck Emerging Artist-in-Residence, Wheaton Arts fellowship, Pittsburgh Glass Center residency; representation: Heller Gallery (NYC), Habatat Galleries (MI), Tansey Contemporary Gallery (NM).





SUMMER session 6

August 9 - 21, 2015

Matt Urban, Purple Handles,

blown glass, tallest: 24" tall

Matthew Urban
The Mechanics of Making

This workshop will focus on traditional vessel making and concentrate on the mechanics of using your body and moving the glass. We’ll emphasize efficiency of production and economy of motion with the goal of performing multiple operations with each reheat. Demonstrations will be geared toward students’ interests. We’ll cover multiple methods of vessel assembly, feet, necks, handles, surface decoration, cane work, and murrini. This is a hot-working class, and if all goes well we won’t set foot in the cold shop. Bring images of work you like and your sketchbook. Some hot shop experience will be helpful, but this class is open to all levels. Code 06GA


Studio artist and gaffer for the Corning Museum of Glass; teaching: Pratt Fine Art Center (Seattle), Corning Museum of Glass (NY); collections: Museum of Art and Design (NYC).








Jiyong Lee, Cell Cube With Purple Manipulation,

glass, 9 x 8-5/8 x 8-1/4"



Kirstie Rea, Identity: The Swim, kilnformed

glass, shelf, 25-1/2 x 13-1/2 x 9-7/8",

Jiyong Lee & Kirstie Rea
Between the Kiln and the Cold Shop

Rather than focus on one specific technique, process, or material, we’ll work through a series of kiln forming (mostly fusing and slumping) projects and cold-worked projects that each start with an idea. We’ll investigate ways of developing these ideas, explore processes and technical options along the way, and then survey the results. Demonstrations and discussions will be part of each day. The aim is for you to leave with more in-depth experience and with a wider range of ways to approach and realize your intentions in glass. All levels. Code 06GB

Jiyong: associate professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; other teaching: Pilchuck (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), Canberra Glassworks (Australia). Kirstie: studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), Pittsburgh Glass Center, North Lands Creative Glass (Scotland).


SUMMER session 7

August 23 - 29, 2015

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen,

Hooded Gyrfalcon, blown glass, steel, 22 x 8 x 8"

Jasen Johnsen & Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen
Sculpting with Hot Glass

This workshop will be crammed full of information drawn from our lengthy experience in sculpting glass. We’ll present experimental ways of working glass so that our ideas can materialize. Demonstrations will include a variety of frit and powder techniques, torch work, and the use of customized tools. We’ll cover blown and solid forms with an emphasis on team work, and we’ll use the garage to construct with parts. Students will have time to work out their ideas daily. Plan to work hard and have a blast. Intermediate: two years experience sculpting glass required. Code 07GA


Collaborating studio artists; teaching: Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle), Pilchuck (WA), Eugene Glass School (OR), Red Deer College (Canada); exhibitions: SOFA Chicago, SOFA West, Habatat Galleries (MI), Museum of Northwest Art (WA), Tacoma Museum of Glass (WA); work in museum collections worldwide.

Wesley Fleming, Come Into My Parlour, flameworked soda-lime

glass, fly: 1 x 2 x 1", spider: 2 x 4 x 3"


Wesley Fleming
Flameworking Natural Forms

Students in this workshop will learn techniques for sculpting soft glass in fine detail, off mandrel, through demonstrations and practice with direct assistance from the teacher. We’ll discuss the use of various tools and the application of sculpting techniques along with exercises for students to practice in order to improve their understanding of heat control and handling soft glass. We’ll also cover the steps for making insects, birds, fish, and other animals.Intermediate: two years of experience flameworking with borosilicate or soft glass required. Code 07GB


Studio artist; teaching: The Studio at Corning (NY), Snow Farm (MA), Worcester Center for Crafts (MA), International Society of Glass Beadmakers gatherings; exhibitions: Smithsonian Craft Show (DC), Pittsburgh Glass Center, Mobilia Gallery (MA); collections: Corning Museum (NY), Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum (Japan), Racine Art Museum (WI).




Fall Eight-Week Concentrations

September 20 - November 13, 2015

Rob Stern, Silver Windstar, blown,

etched, mirrored, and assembled glass,

24 x 24”

Rob Stern
Finding Your Way

This workshop will cultivate and develop skills and personal aesthetics to refine your identity as a glass artist. We’ll cover a wide range of techniques through demonstrations, slides, assignments, discussions, and field trips. Techniques will include blowing, mold blowing, solid and hollow sculpting, garage and torch work, cutting, grinding, polishing, sandblasting, carving, painting, and more—whatever we need to realize our goals. Experimentation and documentation will lead to repeatable practices that will allow students to refine a series of works. An emphasis on group dynamics in and out of the shop will make the most of our time in this exceptional environment. It will be the experience of a lifetime! All levels. Code F00GA

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), Bildwerk (Germany), The Glass Furnace (Turkey), University of Miami (FL), University of Texas; solo exhibitions: Art Basel Miami, American Fine Arts (Dallas), DM Glass Gallery (FL).




Fall One-Week Session 2

October 18 - 24, 2015

Linda Sacra, Moons of Triton, glass, sterling silver, 18” long

Linda Sacra
The Nature of Glass

Working in the flameworking studio with soda-lime glass, we will begin with basic shapes and then move on to more advanced shapes. We’ll use frits, enamels, fine silver, and etching to create surface depth and design. We’ll mix glass for a whole new palette and pull multi-color stringers and latticino for detail work. Daily demonstrations and one-on-one instruction will address the needs of students with different levels of experience. All levels. Code F02GB

Studio artist; teaching: Penland; representation: Glassworks (NC), Sandpiper Gallery (SC), Edward Dare Gallery (SC), Watson MacRae Gallery (FL), The Fat Cat Ltd. (NC).





Spring Eight-Week Concentrations

March 13 - May 6, 2016

Jeremy Bert and Jen Elek, Signal, chromed steel, blown glass,

enamel paint, incandescent lightbulbs, sockets, electric switch,

plug, each panel: 34-1/2 x 18-1/2 x 2-1/2"

Jeremy Bert & Jen Elek
Hot Glass & Electric Light

Most of us live within the glow of electric light—often protected or filtered by glass. This class will empower the nontechnically inclined artist to harness these omnipresent media by exploring the mechanics of glass and light while considering the potential for electric light in sculpture. Jen will teach the fundamentals of glass furnace work for the full eight weeks. Jeremy will join us for four weeks to cover the basic principles, vocabulary, and techniques of neon and other forms of electric light, including LED and incandescent. Artists ready to explore the combination of glass forming and electric light will find this workshop a great fit. All levels. Code S00GA


Collaborating artists; Jen has been a member of Lino Tagliapietra’s team since 2002; Jeremy is a certified welder, crane operator, and sign electrician; teaching: Pilchuck (WA); recent collaborative exhibitions: Museum of Glass (WA), Pittsburgh Glass Center.






Spring One-Week Session 3

April 24 - 30, 2016

Sean Hennessey, Mother of Invention,

glass, paint, LED, 36 x 48”

Sean Hennessey
Deep-Relief Powder Casting

Want to learn an economical and fun way to create relief castings with regular window glass? Of course, you do! In this workshop you will learn an easy and versatile method of kiln-casting glass to make bas-relief and deep-relief sculpture. Using found objects or fabricated forms, we’ll layer images to create foregrounds and backgrounds by making simple press molds in plaster powder and slumping sheet glass in them. We’ll explore a number of options for adding color, both in the firing process and after firing. For beginners or experienced glass sculptors, this incredible technique has endless fine art, public art, and architectural applications. All levels. Code S03GB

Studio artist; teaching: Washington Glass School (MD), Arlington Arts Center (VA); solo exhibitions: The Dunes Gallery (DC), Johns Hopkins University (MD), Touchet Gallery (MD); representation: Habatat Galleries (MI), William and Joseph Gallery (Santa Fe), Duncan McClellan Gallery (FL), Alida Anderson Project (DC).