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Featured Artist, Tanya Crane

“I don’t think there’s anything more genuine and true than creating with your hands.”

Tanya Crane is one of two featured artists for the 38th Annual Penland Benefit Auction.

Tanya is a Southern California native who, after years of exploration, has found a home and community in Providence, Rhode Island where she practices her research and makers her jewelry and sculpture.

Tanya is also a Professor of the Practice of Metals at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and at Tufts University in Massachusetts. She says that through her teaching she uses her interdisciplinary focus in jewelry, craft, sculpture, and performance to influence the next generation of artists, craftspeople, and thinkers.

Tanya’s jewelry and sculpture are framed within a dual existence of prejudice and privilege, as she has lived among family in both the rural white suburbs of Los Angeles and the predominately black suburbs of South Central.

Her work embodies many layers of human existence, including history, race, class, and culture.

Tanya first attended Penland as a studio assistant for an enamel workshop taught by Arthur Hash. Years later she came back to teach her own enamel workshop. Most recently, Penland invited her to be an artist mentor for the HBCU (historic black colleges and universities) tour of Penland. “These diverse experiences have cemented Penland as a foundational component to my development as a jeweler and maker,” she says.

Join us for the Penland Benefit Auction this August 25th and 26th!

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Handmade Parade and Fireworks 2023

Each year in July, Penland hosts its “Handmade Parade and Fireworks,” inviting the community to participate and to enjoy the show. The day included snacks and beverages from the Ledger Fire Department, a jovial crowd, a whimsical parade, butterfly-winged kids running around everywhere, and a spectacular fireworks display by the Penland facilities and grounds team. We just love this joyful expression of making lives meaningful through making. 

Here’s a slideshow of all the fun!

This year’s parade included the following entries:

Penland facilities and grounds – Bottle Rocket Truck
Pants class – Pants Party!
Penland staff – Tree of Heavenly Raiment
Portrait class – All Hands on Deck
Team Captain
Local families – Circus!
Tom – Bubble Mess
Cody Geci – Pug Bike
Two Potters – Potheads!
The Hive – Butterflies and Moths
Local family – Lettuce Bee truck
Fire and Rescue – ATV7
Fire and Rescue – Ledger Fire Department
Susie Pendley’s family – Golf Cart!

And here’s the awards! (All the trophies were handmade, of course.)

Most Razzle Dazzle – Bottle Rocket Truck (trophy made by the drawing and painting class)
Scrappiest – Pants Party! (trophy made by the pants class)
Most Studio Spirit – All Hands on Deck (S’mores bucket by Penland)
Best Choreography – Circus! (Leg platter by Penland)
Craftiest – Potheads! (trophy by the metals classes)
Fly High – The Hive Butterflies and Moths (trophy by Reagan in the Books class)

A very special thanks to Stacey Lane, Penland’s manager of community collaboration, for working to make the parade a fantastic success!


The spectacular fireworks are produced by Penland’s facilities and grounds team, with many hours of training and hard work, as well as frequent checks of the forecast (Sunny this year!). We think they did a spectacular job!

Couldn’t make it? We captured the entire display for you HERE! Special thanks to grounds manager Casara Logan for her stellar leadership and to the facilities and grounds crew for pulling off this exciting display to our joy and delight.

Thank you to everyone who made this day so very special. We look forward to next year!


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Joanna Manousis is Expanding the Limits of Cast Glass.

Currently teaching in the Penland glass studio, Joanna Manousis is showing her students how to create residual, ‘core’ details within solid, kiln-cast glass.

Joanna is a A PhD researcher at the National Glass Centre in the UK where she has spent years exploring negative space, reflectivity, and magnification in glass.

“Glass is my chosen medium and I am drawn to its contrasting qualities–transparent yet solid, it simultaneously reveals yet barricades,” she told us.

Here are some images of her stunning work:

Indra’s Web Crystal / Mirror / Stainless Steel / Aluminum 64″ x 53″ x 4.5″
The Golden Thread, Core-Cast, Hand-Polished, Cut Crystal / 24-Carat Gold Mirror 16.25” x 9.75” x 3” / 11” x 11.5” x 3.75”
Parr Diamonds, Cast Crystal, Glass, Stainless Steel, Oil Paint 62h x 37w x 4d inches

Joanna and the students in her workshop have been working hard in the Penland glass studio. We are excited to see what they create.

Learn more about Joanna’s fascinating practice.

-Check out her recent appearance on the Talking Out Your Glass podcast.

-For those in Western North Carolina, there is an opportunity to hear Joanna speak this Sunday at Momentum Gallery from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

Joanna Manousis
Studio artist, PhD researcher; teaching: Alfred University (NY), Ohio State University, College for Creative Studies (Detroit); awards: Margaret M. Mead Award, Hans Godo Frabel Award; residencies: Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), The Corning Museum (NY), Cité Internationale des Arts (France); collections: Glasmuseet Ebeltoft (Denmark), Glasmuseum Lette (Germany), Huntsville Museum (AL), Ringling Museum (FL); representation: Heller Gallery (NYC), Momentum Gallery (NC), Seager Gray Gallery (CA), Vessel Gallery, London.