This summer our 104 workshops, taught by 118 artist-instructors, will span the world of craft. You will be able to make paper using tree bark for site-specific installations, learn the complex structures of pop-up books, create your own designs for decals to transfer onto ceramics, or investigate light and shadow in glass. Perhaps learning to forge copper and brass or making your own cutlery or linking digital photographic techniques with traditional hands-on processes will pique your interest. Our sixteen well-equipped studios await your ideas, questions, and creativity.
—Jean W. McLaughlin, Penland director
Complete workshop listings for summer 2016 are now online! Browse workshops by session or by studio to see full course descriptions, dates, instructor bios, links to instructor websites, images, and more. Registration is currently open for all summer workshops, and scholarship applications will be available January 1.
Here’s to filling 2016 with creative exploration. See you this summer!
We are working right now to update the website with complete summer information. Meanwhile, we have just posted a PDF of the summer catalog, which features some of our favorite blacksmiths on the cover. Left to right: studio coordinator Daniel Beck, instructor Andrew Dohner, studio assistant Eric Smith. In the background is student Don Walker.
In the 200 years since the first electric light was invented, the light bulb has become a common household object. It has also come to symbolize new ideas and innovation, a spark of creativity, a sudden leap of understanding. Taken separately, a light bulb’s component parts are a simple glass globe, a wire filament, and an electrical current, but together, they open up whole new possibilities. Glass lends light form and volume, while light brings glass assertively to life.
This spring, the Penland glass studio will be all about exploring the possibilities and ideas that open when glass and light combine. It’s an area that collaborating artists Jen Elek and Jeremy Bart are already quite familiar with. In their recent exhibition Look! See? at The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, the two created a dynamic and interactive landscape of forms, colors, reflections, and luminescence. Just as with a single light bulb, their pairing of glass and light combines to make more than the sum of its parts.
For students interested in ways to take glass sculpture a step further, Jen and Jeremy’s spring concentration Hot Glass & Electric Light will be the ideal opportunity to do just that. During the eight-week workshop, which runs March 13-May 6, Jen will lead students through a strong base of hot glass techniques—and Jeremy will added instruction in the fundamentals of incorporating various forms of light into glass, from neon to LEDs.
Register for Hot Glass & Electric Light to give your work a literal jolt of electricity, and discover the potential for striking, communicative, and even humorous sculpture that the combination offers. Unlike the white creature below, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Hot Glass & Electric Light
Jeremy Bert & Jen Elek — 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
Jen has been a member of glass artist Lino Tagliapietra’s team since 2002; Jeremy is a certified welder, crane operator, and sign electrician. The two have previously taught at Pilchuck (WA) and have exhibited their work at Museum of Glass (WA) and Pittsburgh Glass Center.
Five new Core Fellows will be arriving at Penland in February, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them. They will be joining second-year fellows Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham in the core house next year—and all of you in the studios!
Eleanor graduated in 2012 with a BA in Studio Art from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She has been a concentration student at Penland and an educational assistant at Arrowmont. Eleanor is a ceramics artist with interests also in textiles and printmaking. eleanoranderson.com
Thomas graduated in 2008 with a BA in History and Africana Studies from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He has continued to pursue his interests in wood and metalworking at the University of Arkansas while working as a fabricator for his family’s steel business. Thomas will use his time at Penland to focus on making functional furniture and objects in metal and wood. thomascampbellcraft.com
Rachel received her BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. She has worked at the Smith Shop in Detroit, MI for the last two-and-a-half years as a metalworker, designer, and instructor. Rachel has been a frequent Penland student and was, most recently, the studio assistant for Seth Gould’s fall concentration. At Penland she will continue to hone her skills as a blacksmith and metalsmith, while exploring the addition of wood and ceramics to her designs.
Kyle studied at Kendall College of Art and Design before coming to Penland to assist Ashley Eriksmoen’s class this past summer. He was a student in Sylvie Rosenthal’s fall concentration. As a core student, he will continue to pursue his interest in woodworking while incorporating forged ironwork and fine metalworking. kylekulcharcraft.wordpress.com
Alexandra is a book artist with a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Alexandra hopes to use the core fellowship to build skills to expand her conceptual bookmaking as she works towards being a studio artist and teacher. She has been a work-study student and a studio assistant in the Penland book studio, and has worked as an assistant for Penland instructors Dan and Vicki Essig. cargocollective.com/alexmcclay
We’ll miss Jamie Karolich, Joshua Kovarik, Meghan Martin, Emily Rogstad, and Tyler Stoll once they finish up their time as core fellows this winter, but we take solace in knowing that they’ll always be part of the Penland family. Come back often, y’all!
Christopher Davenport is a storyteller. His stories are personal and complex, weaving together ecology, people, place, and lived experience:
“The place and people I grew up with in rural northeastern North Carolina through the lens of time in 7 poems and 7 photographs.”
“A meditation of places beautiful, able, and unable—Utah’s Wasatch Range and Iowa Corn Fields—from 30,000 feet and memory.”
“Acceptance and resignation as contemporary ecological narratives of extinction.”
“Of place, wilderness, what we see, what we collect, and what we keep.”
“A look beyond experience. Photographs from infrared cameras placed on family property in Washington County, North Carolina.”
Christopher tells his stories through text and images strung together into artists’ books. When he describes what drew him to the book format, he explains, “I’ve worked with film, video, photography, and other mediums, but none of them could fully touch on the total idea or experience I was trying to relate to other people. Books just seemed to fit that.”
Christopher’s books work in layers to communicate that complete experience. Take Ease out of your skin, Ease out of your ways, Ease out of your mind, a book he made last year while spending time at and around Penland: Christopher describes the book as “an ecological action and visual poem to intersecting place, commitment, and shared space.” Many of its pages are dedicated to a series of cyanotypes of a young male deer that Christopher took while observing from the grass nearby. But the book’s story is much fuller than that, and each of its elements contributes in some way. The handmade abaca spine and reclaimed poplar case speak of human ingenuity as well as our dependence on the natural world. The cotton cover made from a feed sack from nearby Bakersville, NC details a connection to place, while pages bound in from Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac locate this moment within the greater narrative of human and natural history. Even the beeswax used to finish the book—harvested from Penland’s own beehive—adds a layer of meaning.
As the instructor for our Spring 2016 concentration Hand in Hand: Books, Paper, and Print from the Top, Christopher will spend eight weeks taking his students through the many details that, together, contribute meaning to an artist’s book. From papermaking and binding to strategies for building type, image, and ideas into a narrative, the class will be in-depth process and experimentation at its best.
Hand in Hand: Books, Paper, and Print from the Top
Christopher Davenport — This workshop is about making books—with our hands, our tools, our paper, and our ideas. We’ll cover gathering and preparing fibers; constructing molds, deckles, and tools; drying; surface treatment; finishes; Western and Eastern binding and printing techniques; and conceptual considerations of the book, book design, visual narratives, and generating content. We’ll divide our time between the paper and book studios with a week or two spent printing in the letterpress studio as we gain skills, explore possibilities, make essential binding and papermaking tools, and make books. All levels. Code S00B
Studio artist and teacher at University of Alabama; other teaching: Robert C. Williams Museum of Paper Making (Atlanta), Kennesaw State University (PA); Alabama Arts Council Arts in Education Residency; collections: Wesleyan University (CT), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; his Pocket Knife Press books are represented by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the American studio glass movement was still in its infancy. “Learning to manipulate the glob of hot glass and create the shapes and details we wanted was very experimental,” explained Fritz Dreisbach, a pioneering early glass artist. “In the sixties, we often joked that mentors were glassblowers who had only a few more hours experience than their ‘students.’”
In 1971, a small group of studio glass artists started the Glass Art Society to share information, techniques, and enthusiasm. Their first meeting of nineteen glassblowers took place in Penland’s original glass studio. It was deemed such a success that they arranged a second meeting a year later, also at Penland. Henry Halem, one of the artists who attended the GAS II meeting, recently posted video footage showing Penland, these early glass artists, and the camaraderie of the meeting. “Hopefully this jiggly underexposed film will give you a bit of what it was like in those early days,” he wrote.
Take a look at the video below to see just how far the studio glass movement has come—and also the things about craft at Penland that haven’t changed a bit.