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Photo of the Week: Enamel Innovations

two women sifting enamel onto a large spatula in the Penland iron studio

What do you do when you want to finish your large, hand-forged utensils with a coat of enamel but they’re too big to fit in any of the enameling kilns? Build a sifting tool, grab a friend, and apply the powder directly to red-hot steel, of course!

The spirit of ingenuity and problem-solving is one thing we cherish about January in the Penland studios. Winter residents are free to go in whatever directions they need to bring their ideas to life. Rachel Kedinger’s enameling experiments (with a little help from fellow blacksmith Meghan Martin!) are just one great example.

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Coming Right Up: Glass

two students at the torch in the Penland flame studio

For those who are new to it, glass is one of the most mysterious and mesmerizing materials we work with at Penland. It’s always thrilling to introduce students to our glass studios and help them transform glass from something rigid and fragile into a material that’s flexible and open to a world of possibilities. And the good news is that the learning just keeps going—there’s always something new to pick up and explore, even for experienced glass artists!

This spring, students in our studios will have the opportunity to approach glass from two different vantages. In the hot shop, glass is fluid and fast, a full-body team effort. Next door in the flame studio, glass is layered, additive, zoomed in. Whichever angle you take, and whether it’s for one week or eight, a Penland glass workshop is a chance to dive in head first and push yourself with new ideas and techniques alongside a studio full of like-minded peers.

Registration for both of the following workshops is open now for students of all levels, including beginners. Sign up today!

two glass sculptures by Ben Elliott
Ben Elliott, “Bandwagon” (left) and “Stitch” (right), both flameworked glass with mixed-media

Ebb & Flow with Ben Elliott
One week – March 22-28, 2020
Join glass artist and instructor Ben Elliott in the flame studio for a week of building stories with borosilicate glass. Students will spend time at the torch learning and refining techniques like creating solid and hollow forms, applying color, using blow molds, and assembling pieces. Together with a class emphasis on narrative and imagery, these techniques will become the building blocks for creating pieces that speak with your own artistic voice. Come see just how much inspiration a single week can spark!

glass sculpture and wine glasses by Dan Mirer
Dan Mirer, “Bubble Orb” (left) and “Burgundies” right, blown glass

Intentions & Inventions with Dan Mirer
Eight weeks – March 8 – May 1, 2020
Go deep with thoughtful design during eight weeks of intensive glass work in the hot shop. Instructor Dan Mirer will use his expertise to guide students in creating considered, refined objects. The workshop will encourage a curious, problem-solving mindset as students blow glass and create a variety of molds to bring their designs to life. Students will also be encouraged to bring cold working, kiln forming, and flame working into their processes. Both beginners and experienced glass artists will discover challenges and possibilities that stretch their work in new directions.

We still have one partial scholarship available for Dan’s workshop!

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Photo of the Week: Tables in a Day

tables in the Penland wood shop

It has been the custom for a number of years for winter residents in the wood studio to challenge each other to make a table in a day. It’s a fun and furious day of making and encouragement. These were made on January 12, and some people think this group may have raised the bar on this event. Back row: Colin Pezzano (with socks), Heather Dawson (she made two but insists they are simple); middle row: Christina Boy (with woven shelf), David Bohnhoff (fancy top!), Chance Coalter (curvy with big joints); front: Aspen Gollan (short and wavy). Thanks for inspiring us all, woodworkers.

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Photo of the Week: It’s in the Mail!

penland summer catalogs on a table

The Penland summer catalog was mailed late last week. If you are on our mailing list and haven’t gotten yours yet, it should be landing in your mailbox very soon. If you want to peruse all of our summer offerings right now, you can do that right here (listed by studio) or here (listed by session).

Regular registration begins at noon EST on Monday, January 13. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be done using our online registration system. Registration information is here.

The scholarship application is available now, with a February 17 deadline. Scholarship information is here.

If you are not on our mailing list and would like to request a catalog, call 828-765-2359 or send an e-mail to info@penland.org.

See you this summer!