Posted on

Eight (Transformative) Weeks

Two women blowing glass in the Penland School of Craft hot shop

In a recent conversation with a student, she talked about her first time at Penland. “I was in a workshop in upper textiles. It was my introduction to screenprinting, and I was blown away,” she said. “Every time I walked up the stairs to the studio, I passed a poster that said ‘Penland changes lives.’ And every time I saw it, I smiled to myself like ‘Yeah, sure does.'”

It’s something we hear quite a lot, in fact: a workshop at Penland is a transformative experience that opens up new questions, new connections, and new paths.

A woman working at the anvil in the Penland School of Craft iron studio

Why not see for yourself? This March 8 – May 1, 2020 we’ll be offering seven different 8-week concentrations, each one an immersive dive into materials and techniques and ideas.

Clay: Parts Unknown with Jenny Mendes
Glass: Intentions & Inventions with Dan Mirer
Iron: Attention to Detail with Andy Dohner
Metals: Wunderkammer with Suzanne Pugh
Photo: Processing Process with Mercedes Jelinek
Letterpress: Print/Process/Production with Jamie Karolich
Textiles: Inside Out: Garment as Identity with Erika Diamond

Registration is open now, and scholarships are available for all spring concentrations. Scholarship applications must be submitted by November 28, 2019.

Posted on

24 Hours of Gratitude

six photos tagged with #WeMakePenland, including a couple group portaits, a woman working in letterpress, students drawing wood plans, and people outside under a tree at Penland

Now that the dust has settled from the whirlwind of love you all kicked up on October 2, we wanted to say one more THANK YOU. Our third annual Penland Giving Day was a success through and through, and that is 100% a testament to your generosity and commitment to Penland. We are so grateful.

For this year’s Giving Day, we challenged you all to make a gift and share your Penland story online. Our goal was to generate 325 gifts and a lot of enthusiasm in 24 hours. We sure beat that goal:

  • 379 gifts
  • Over 185 #WeMakePenland posts on Instagram
  • A total of $23,778 raised for Penland programs!

In fact, we reached our campaign goal just before 8:15 that evening. We were all gathered up in Northlight to enjoy staff slide presentations, and the Giving Day page was up on the projector. When the number tipped from 324 to 325, the entire room cheered. Wherever you were that evening, we hope you heard it.

Penland's kitchen crew standing with a sign that reads "We Make Penland Delicious!"

And, because the most special and gratifying and happy-tear-jerking part of Giving Day is always getting to read your own reflections on time at Penland, we thought we’d share a few. Here’s a taste of your funny, heartfelt, wonderful contributions. Check out #WeMakePenland to read many more. Really, they’re the best.

“Penland is about the people, the creative community of like-minded makers, who come together in this magical place and leave transformed by the experience.” – Sharon

“My most joyous times are when a group of people work in unison to do things far greater than an individual could. We do that often at Penland.” – Dave

“I’m pretty sure that if my soul goes anywhere when I die, it will make its final earthly pit stop in the Pines for a midnight cereal.” – Autumn

“It’s tough to put into words what this place means to me, but for simplicity’s sake, I consider Penland to be ‘Home’ to my creative spirit.” – Claire

“The effort, passion, and expertise that one puts into the creation of a work also pushes back on the person, and shapes them. This place recognizes and celebrates that.” – Joe

“If you haven’t heard someone say ‘Penland changed my life,’ you might not have met anyone who went to Penland.” – Suzanne

Three posts tagged #WeMakePenland, including a group photo, a woman drawing with her foot, and a guy posing at the photo booth

Posted on

Photo(s) of the Week: SC at Penland

South Carolina State and Claflin students flameworking with resident artist Kit Paulson

We were excited to host a group of students and faculty from South Carolina State University and Claflin University for a couple of days last week. The visit included studio and gallery tours, demos, discussions, and this great little workshop run by Penland glass resident Kit Paulson, who set up a dozen torches, prepped materials, and led the group through some introductory flameworking projects.

Thanks also to visiting artists Sharif Bey, Michael Dixon, and Ilasahai Prouty for being part of the event, and to Jeannine Marchand and David Clemons for opening their studios to the group.

Students flameworking glass at Penland

Penland resident artist Kit Paulson with student flameworking glass

 

Students and faculty from South Carolina State and Claflin plus guest artists at Penland

Posted on

Japanese Metalworking Techniques at the Penland Gallery

Over hundreds or thousands of years, cultures across the globe have developed their own ways of working with basic materials such as clay, fiber, and metal. This global nature of craft is brought to light in a new exhibition at the Penland Gallery, which presents a brilliant exploration of traditional Japanese metalworking as it is practiced today. The show, titled Tradition of Excellence: Japanese Techniques in Contemporary Metal Arts, runs through November 17.

Featuring work by twenty-two Japanese and seven American artists, the exhibition was curated by metalsmith Hiroko Yamada, a jeweler and teacher who divides her time between Wisconsin and Japan. All of the artists make work based in historical techniques and approaches: some of them adhere strictly to tradition, while others reinvent or reinterpret it through contemporary practice. Among the artists are three who have received the highest honor in being designated as Japanese Living Treasures. Also part of the exhibition are three artists who live at or near Penland: Marvin Jensen, a longtime Mitchell County resident and former Penland employee; Seth Gould, a recent Penland resident artist; and Andrew Meers, a current Penland resident artist.

Curator Hiroko Yamada has taught at Penland School regularly since 2005. Over the past five years, she has helped organize several exhibitions and workshops aimed at introducing Japanese metal work to Western audiences and metalsmiths. “My mission,” she says, “is to bring together artistic skills and knowledge that will help both Japanese and American artists grow in their work and achieve new levels of excellence.”

What is hard to convey about this show is the astonishing level of excellence displayed by this work—in technique, design, and sheer artistry. The exhibition includes vessels, jewelry, and small sculpture. All of the work could be called decorative, with each piece creating its own special kind of beauty. Although few people who see this exhibition will arrive familiar with terms such as shakudo, kinkeshi, or mokume-gane, it’s unlikely that anyone will leave unmoved by this display of the incredible work that can be made by artisans committed to the highest levels of craft.

Also currently on view at the Penland Gallery is a small show of glass work by Shane Fero and photographs by Deb Stoner. Around the building are outdoor sculptures by ceramic artist Catherine White and steel sculptors Daniel T. Beck and Hoss Haley and an interactive mixed-media installation by Jeff Goodman.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM and Sunday, Noon-5:00 PM; it is closed on Mondays.

Yoshio Ueno | Mokume-gane Kettle | 2018 | Copper, silver, shakudo, gold; mokume-gane, rokusho patina | 8.25 x 6.75 x 5.5 in

Posted on

#WeMakePenland Tomorrow, October 2!

#WeMakePenland – And we need you!

Penland’s 3rd annual Giving Day is tomorrow, October 2. It’s a 24-hour challenge to generate support for Penland’s studios, scholarships, staff, and more. If we can reach 325 donors by the end of the day, we’ll unlock a special $5,000 gift. That’s why we need your help!

Please join us tomorrow to make this day a success:

  • Give what you can – Even $5 makes a difference! Head directly to our Giving Day website to make your gift and watch this year’s video by our own clay studio coordinator Susan Feagin.
  • Share your story – Post your Penland photos and memories to social media with #WeMakePenland. The more voices, the better!
  • Tell your friends and family – Ask them to join you in supporting this special place.

Together, #WeMakePenland the strong, vibrant, and creative community that it is. Thank you for being such a vital part of it.

See you online on October 2!

P.S. If you’d rather give early, you can make your gift now and have it count toward our Giving Day goal.