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Back to (Craft) School

September 21 marks back-to-school here at Penland when our eight-week concentrations in clay, glass, iron, metals, painting (mixed media), printmaking, and textiles start. Some spaces are available. (Please check on our standby rate policies if you live nearby, too.)

Our first round of fall one-week classes will begin on October 5, and recently we checked in with the three instructors about what they’ve been doing in the studio lately.


Ben Dory, Composition ii, steel, 23.5k gold foil, 24k gold leaf,cubic zirconia, rubies, 4 x 4 x 1/2 inches

Ben Dory
Surface Adornment on Steel
In the Metals studio

bendory“The Met’s website has been an amazing resource for looking at historical items that represent one of the techniques we will be covering in the class: damascene (metal overlay). The photos on the site are incredible. Users can  zoom way in on many of the pieces ] to take in the details. An Italian pair of gauntlets from the late 1500’s show characteristic chisel marks that prepare the surface for damascene if you zoom in by clicking on the picture. There are many, many more examples to explore by searching for ‘damascene.’

With the addition of of chasing and stone setting skills, I’m incredibly excited to see what my students comes up with. Also, I will bring laser-cut blanks from a jewelry line I’m working on from which each student can make their own brooch. The blanks come in a few shapes and are designed to mount on a stainless back that I will bring as well.”

Surface Adornment on Steel
Using steel as a base, we will explore how to transform the surface of this rigid material with texture, thin layers of precious metals, and gemstones. The result will be compositions based on creating vivid contrast with a darkened steel background. We’ll cover everything from small tool-making to finishing—equipping students to create finished pieces of jewelry and small sculpture with chasing, overlay, and various methods of stonesetting.. All levels. Code F01MB

Register for this workshop here



Amy Lemaire
Other Possible Outcomes: Reexamining Glass Beads
In the Flameworking studio



Amy Lemaire, Kosmos, hollow, flameworked soda-lime glass, 2014. Floating mount by Brigid Mountmaking.


“I am currently working on a series called Kosmos, which will be shown at SOFA Chicago in November. I will bring some of these to class for a sneak preview, and will be putting some finishing touches on pieces for the collection.”



“Preparing samples for Penland in my studio: lots of textures and color.”


“Collaborating with other artists is a great way to come up with new ideas and have some fun in the studio. In this picture, I am collaborating with Marcela Silva, who is holding the drill. We decided to make wound beads using more power.” At Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Milo Harper.


Other Possible Outcomes: Reexamining Glass Beads
In this workshop we’ll reexamine glass beads as portable sculpture that is both personal and public, and we’ll consider the body as a site for wearable sculpture. We’ll cover traditional and experimental approaches to flameworking as well as cold-working and jewelry fabrication. Workshop information will include material preparation, sculptural and textured beads, surface treatment, jewelry design, and assembly strategies. Beginning and advanced makers will be encouraged to explore new ways of working. All levels. Code F01GB

Register for this workshop here



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Beth Schaible
Nontraditional Longstitch Binding
In the Books studio

“I’m very much looking forward to teaching. Folding paper and designing patterns and sewing books.

At right, a detail of a photograph by Shara Crosby taken for Mountain XPress, which featured Beth’s Asheville venture, 7 Ton Letterpress Collective, in an article last May.

Below: a view of recent books made by Beth Schaible. View more of Beth’s process and inspirations for Quill and Arrow Press on her Instagram account.





Nontraditional Longstitch Binding
In this workshop students will create an array of functional longstitch books, starting with basic stitching and moving quickly to nontraditional patterns. Students will learn to plan and sew their own longstitch patterns and designs using cloth, leather, and paper covered boards as cover materials, creating beautifully exposed spines. Some binding experience will be helpful, but this class is for all levels. Code F01B

Register for this workshop here