Special Workshops at Penland

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



SUMMER session 5

July 19 - August 4, 2015

Christina Shmigel, Great World Construction

Hat, Shanghai, 2011, bamboo birdcage bars,

sinamay, pinwheel toys, plastic string


Christina Shmigel
Tapping into Audacity

This workshop is designed to deepen and (re-)invigorate your studio practice. Through a sequence of experiences guaranteed to open up your understanding of yourself as an artist, we’ll explore where your work comes from and what characterizes it as uniquely yours. Working in media of your own choosing but outside of your comfort zone, you’ll playfully investigate what gives you pleasure and meaning in your work and how these insights can lead you intuitively to a more audacious practice. This workshop is for people who are actively engaged in some form of art making, but it is open to all levels. Code 05TB


Studio artist working in sculptural installation; former professor of sculpture at Webster University (St. Louis); residencies: Penland resident artist, ID TOWN International Artists Workshop (China), Duolun Museum (Shanghai), solo exhibitions: St.Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis), Duolun Museum of Art (Shanghai), OV Gallery (Shanghai).






Arturo Córdova



Cristina Córdova, Autorretrato como

e hombre n la noche, ceramic, resin, steel,

60" tall

Arturo G. Córdova & Cristina Córdova
Sculpture in Motion

In this workshop each student will create an articulated ceramic sculpture and use it to develop a stop-motion animation sequence. Techniques will include general anatomy and ceramic construction as well as ways to combine ceramic elements with simple posable armatures. We’ll cover basic lighting and stop-motion animation systems focusing on the fundamentals of movement as we create short videos using Dragonframe software. All levels. Code 05CB


Arturo: artist and stop-motion animator; professional experience: 9ZEROS Animation School production company (Barcelona), 10.30 animation collective (Mexico), Charged Studios (NYC). Cristina: studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Santa Fe Clay, Anderson Ranch (CO); collections: Renwick Gallery (DC), Fuller Craft Museum (MA), Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Museum of Art of Puerto Rico.



SUMMER session 6

August 9 - 21, 2015

Joel Eckhaus Sputnik Tenor

Ukulele, ash, curly maple,

ebony, pearloid, 28 x 9 x 2"


Joel Eckhaus
Free-Form Ukulele Construction

The ukulele arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1879 from the Portuguese island of Madeira and spread like an invasive species throughout the islands and, eventually, the world. Builders immediately took an “anything goes” attitude: pineapple, coconut, cigar box, tricorner, round, and teardrop ukuleles appeared, decorated with cartoons, bright colors, and decals of all kinds. This workshop will present traditional lutherie techniques and designs as well as a more free-form approach that will encourage novel designs. Each student will design and build a ukulele while learning hand and machine woodworking and lutherie skills. Some woodworking experience will be helpful, but the workshop is open to all levels. Code 06W


Luthier, musician, ukulele instructor, proprietor of Earnest Uncommon Instruments; clients: Eddie Vedder, Will Patton, Neko Case, Elliott Sharpe; teaching: Maine College of Art; exhibitions: Museum of Making Music (CA), San Francisco Folk Art Museum.


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.






Raivo Vihman, Barn Frame with Crooked Ash Struts,

white pine, ash, salvaged structural bolts, cast washers


Raivo Vihman

In this workshop we’ll delve into traditional carpentry as we cut, join, and raise a timber-framed structure that will become a permanent part of the Penland campus. We’ll explore various approaches to timber preparation, layout, joinery design and execution, and compound-angle joinery. We’ll also cover scribing techniques as we incorporate round logs into the structure of the frame. Students will begin by designing and building their own timber sawhorses and will leave the class with the skills needed to design and build their own timber frames. All levels. Code S00W

Carpenter, founder and proprietor of Haystack Joinery (ME); teaching: Waterfall Arts (ME), Miljandi Cultural Academy (Estonia).





Spring One-Week Session 2

April 10 - 16, 2016

Alicia D. Keshishian, Penlandia,

Tibetan-style hand-knotted carpet,

Tibetan wool, silk, 84 x 60”


Alicia D. Keshishian
CHROMA-LICIOUS: Color Revelations

What is color? How does color function? We’ll review basic color theory and learn how to integrate that information into your work, whether it is ceramics, textiles, printmaking, painting, etc. Color elicits a visceral reaction, and most people respond to color before anything else—unable to navigate pattern or style if the colors don’t resonate for them. Color is personal, and while it transcends fashion trends and peer pressure, understanding all aspects of color will further all aspects of your work. All levels. Code S02D

Art director and designer with 30 years of textile, print, and illustration experience; studied with Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Institute; awards from The Society of Publication Designers, Art Director’s Club, Communication Arts; member of Color Marketing Group.








Spring One-Week Session 3

April 24 - 30, 2016

Melissa Zexter, Cardinal, gelatin silver print,

thread, 20 x 24”


Melissa Zexter
The Altered Image: Mixed-Media with Photography

Photography can be much more than a window on the world. Photographs can also be conceived as constructed objects. In this workshop, students will make photographic constructions combining photography with embroidery, paint, collage, and hand-cut mosaics. We will work with both digital and analog photographs (including darkroom printing). We’ll also have critiques and presentations of work by historical and contemporary photographers who work with photography and mixed media. All levels. Code S03P

Studio artist; teaching: Dalton School (NYC), Alfred University (NY), Cooper Union (NYC); residencies: Millay Colony (NY), Byrdclyffe Colony (NY); exhibitions: Muriel Guepin Gallery (NYC), Creiger Dan Gallery (Boston), Bronx Museum of the Arts (NYC), Triennale Design Museum (Milan); publications: BUST, Village Voice, New Yorker, Juztapoz, AfterImage, Gargoyle.