What a collaboration! When fall concentration instructors Thomas Campbell and Matt Repsher combine their powers, we would not expect the results to be anything but spectacular. Their first and only collaboration, the piece features elegant geometry, flawless execution, and harmony of styles.
Thomas Campbell working on the piece in the iron studio.
The pair found time to create the work for the fall concentration scholarship auction, despite their teaching responsibilities and Thomas’s status as a brand-new dad. “Matt is a dear friend whose work I’ve always admired, so it was exciting to work on this auction piece together,” said Thomas.
The ceramic center of the piece, incised and inlaid with colored slips in Matt’s signature style, was created first. “I was happy to hand something off to Thomas and feel completely comfortable and confident that he would finish it beautifully,” said Matt, adding, “He’s got skills.” It then fell to Thomas to respond to Matt’s piece, working outward to create an elegant cobweb of angles out of iron that catch the light just so. This part of the process involved a great deal of math and a dedicated bending break machine, with truly stunning results.
Matt in the clay studio this fall
The pair first met when Thomas, then a Penland Core Fellow, was a student in Matt’s first Penland concentration as an instructor. They became good friends when they both lived at Penland from 2017 to 2020. As a Penland Resident Artist, Matt even used his class benefit to take Thomas’s two-week workshop in the iron studio.
The two had had their sights on teaching a Penland concentration together. Scheduled to teach in 2020 before the session was canceled due to the pandemic, Matt and Thomas were happy to return this fall. They share a mutual respect and a similar approach to making. Both are meticulous planners whose work invokes “truth to materials.”
“Matt and I both rely heavily on technique, precision, and line in our work,” said Thomas. Matt explained, “It’s using repetition to create structures and form. He does it through his processes of cutting and bending and I do it through whatever it is I do with clay.”
Supporting Penland Scholarships
That magic moment when the piece was won at the scholarship auction! Special thanks to our friend Susan Sanders for capturing this scene.
This piece was generously donated to the fall scholarship auction. It was purchased by phone by an enthusiastic collector in a dramatic bidding war, to the delight of all. “I enjoy making things people want,” said Matt, “and the scholarship program supports a lot of people coming to Penland.”
Thank you to Thomas and Matt for your time, knowledge, and generosity!
Core fellow Maria Fernanda Nuñez shows off the piece during the auction
Sarina Angell‘s work never ceases to delight! During her time at Penland, she has expanded her work with fibers, explored many different media, and fallen in love with wood.
Beginning her fellowship in the spring of 2020, Sarina will complete her time as a Penland Core Fellow this fall. Working with Sarina and watching her grow as an artist is an absolute pleasure. We are excited to share these images of some of the works she has created during her time here at Penland (so far!).
The Penland Core Fellowship is intended for early career artists looking to expand technical skills and material fluency while working to support the day-to-day operations of a craft school. Core fellows live communally, participate in intensive craft workshops, and help run the school. We are currently accepting applications for the core fellowship. Please click HERE for more information and be sure to submit your application by October 15th!
Twined necklace; Toe River rocks and waxed linen, begun during Anne B. Coddington’s “Sculptural Basketry Plus,” Summer 2022
Work created during Christina Boy’s 2022 wood spring concentration workshop, “Spruce It Up.”
Screen-printed vase t-shirts: “Because flowers are still mandatory.”
Sarina’s first spoon, created during Jack Mauch’s workshop, “All Outward Appearances.”
Red mary janes, created during Amara Hark Weber’s 2022 spring concentration workshop, “Introduction to Lasted Footwear.”
Broken chair portrait, Sarina Angell
Hats created for the Penland Coffee Shop Core Gallery, Spring 2022
Gold Digger III,” created during a workshop with Stephanie Metz, Session 7, Summer 2021
Cyanotype jacket toned with tannic acid, begun during Cindy Steiler’s workshop in the photo studio.
Knoll face painting. Model, Mia Kaplan, former Penland Core Fellow
Tomorrow is the first day of fall. This Sunday, we will begin our Fall Short Session. As we prepare for the autumn season and all the good things it will bring, now feels like the perfect time to reflect back upon the special time and place that was Penland Summer 2022!
Summer 2022 in Numbers
This summer, Penland ran over 100 intensive craft workshops with 114 guest instructors. 57 of these instructors were teaching at Penland for the very first time. We hosted over 1,000 students and instructors from all over the United States, representing 46 states, and welcomed 30 students and instructors from abroad, representing 18 countries.
We ran workshops in every studio, welcoming beginners and experts alike. Students tackled all sorts of new skills. They learned how to build lightweight canoes, cast anything in paper, set tiny stones, democratize printmaking, forge their own tools, create lifelike figures in glass and wood, harness the power of light, and make their own clothes. With over 100 workshops, this list barely scratches the surface of all of the learning and making that took place on our mountain campus. We are so fortunate to welcome such wonderful, open learners and we thank all of the students who challenged themselves, helped their classmates learn new skills, and spent part of their summer being a part of this special place.
Over the summer, we enjoyed four amazing scholarship auctions, in which original art created by students and instructors was donated and auctioned off to support Penland’s robust scholarship program. Not only were these affairs a ton of raucous fun, but they also raised a total of $54,494.84 to support Penland’s robust scholarship program! We are so grateful to everyone who made these events a success, from the generous and thoughtful donors to the energetic development interns who made them their own to our dedicated staff members who are the thoughtful stewards of this important element of a Penland summer. We are very grateful to everyone who returned to campus to support the scholarship auctions and take home some treasures!
Plenty of fun takes place within each Penland workshop. And plenty beyond! This summer we enjoyed too many intimate bonfires, impromptu celebrations, and river days to count, several open studios at The Barns, the Handmade Parade and Fireworks, Ice Cream Truck Day with the Penland Core Fellows, dozens of slide nights, seven show and tells, and a Penland Pride Party. Great times!
In addition to all of the wonderful adult programming that happens here at Penland during the summer, we are also proud to host summer camps for children ranging in age from three to seventeen. This summer, Penland put on nine special workshops for kids in our Ridgeway building, making excellent use of its airy porch. Children learned to create cups and plates with Anna Early, rockets with Christine Henry, Shrinky Dinks with Samantha Kirk, animal art with Mr. Jeff Menzer, toy race cars with Mr. Sam, felted objects with Lisa Rose, wooden stools with Wyatt Severs, pots from local clay with Hanna Traynham, and handmade books with Ani Volkan. Highlights included Wyatt Severs setting up a turning studio on the Ridgeway porch, stories, singing and hiking with Mr. Jeff Menzer, and a summer’s worth of tire swing fun had by children of all ages.
As our director, Mia Hall, said during this morning’s all-school meeting, “It’s hard to describe the Penland summer to someone who doesn’t work here.” We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and thoughtfulness of our staff, without whose contributions this wonderful summer would not have been possible.
Thank you to our:
Leadership team, for advancing our mission of Making Lives Meaningful Through Making,
Programs team, for putting together an inspiring lineup of workshops,
Studio coordinators, for working to make sure every workshop had the needed equipment, supplies, and skills,
Guest instructors, for bringing your knowledge and open hearts to the mountain,
Registration and student affairs teams, for helping to ensure that everyone’s needs are met and for managing a mile-long waitlist,
Kitchen and coffee house teams, for serving beautiful food every day,
Facilities and grounds crews, for keeping Penland beautiful and safe,
Housekeeping team, for managing so many important details,
Gallery and supply store team, for keeping us well-stocked and curating inspiring exhibitions,
Communications department, for helping us fill our workshops with eager students and for helping those students tell their stories,”
Community collaborations team, for putting on nine wonderful workshops for our young neighbors during this year’s summer camp,
Development team, for pulling off a stellar Penland Annual Benefit Auction this year and for stewarding our amazing scholarship program,
Core fellows, work-study students, studio assistants, and summer interns, for working hard and learning hard this summer.
We love this work and the people who make it possible. Thank you for a wonderful Penland summer!
Christina is known for her thoughtful furniture pieces, designed and handmade from domestic, locally sourced, and salvaged woods. For each piece, close attention is paid to every detail, using both traditional and modern techniques to craft work that is designed to last for generations.
This bench, made from bleached oak and striking orange cording, was completed at Penland during Christina’s Spring 2022 wood concentration workshop. The beautiful danish cord weaving was created in collaboration with the class.
A great friend of Penland, Christina has been a work-study student, a core fellow, and an instructor.
This work will be available in the online silent auctions. There is still time to register to bid! The preview will go live this Sunday, August 21st, featuring over 100 unique works. Bidding will begin on August 28th.
Penland’s most important fundraising event of the year, the Penland Benefit Auction is a true celebration of community and contemporary craft. We hope you will join us!
Christina Boy Woven Bench Bleached oak, multifilament polypropylene rope, nails 49-1/2 x 19-3/4 x 18 inches
ANETHA EVANS COLLABORATED WITH EVERY STUDIO to make this flameworked glass carousel!
She learned about working in clay, risography, papermaking, painting, glassblowing, flameworking, ironworking, jewelry making, hydraulic pressing, cameraless photography, mokuhanga and letterpress printing, weaving, and canoe-building in the process!
During a Penland session, there are so many studios learning so many interesting techniques in so many fascinating media. Collaborations happen all the time… but this piece by Anetha is NEXT LEVEL.
She visited each and every studio. She incorporated original works into her final piece. She met many interesting people, learned a lot of new things, and helped build bridges. The final result…is so cool. Thank you for sharing your work, Anetha, and thank you to everyone who collaborated on this project.
Here are all the workshops that busy Anetha visited during Penland Summer Session 3:
BOOKS Jeffrey Evergreen
“The Mechanical Image: Process, Modularity, and the Distributed Form” -Collab with Rama and Mariana
PAPER Mary Hark
“Immersed in Pulp: A Hand-Papermaking Intensive” -Collab with Derick
Watching skilled hands is a thing of beauty. The clay studio enjoyed a special visit from Penland neighbor Nick Joerling who demonstrated his method for creating stretched and altered pots that begin on the wheel. Nick has been a working studio potter near Penland since the mid-1980’s.
Here are three of the most interesting things that Nick said during the demo:
“I like to make the work, and then catch up to it.”
“Buried inside the skin of good altered pot, there is a good thrown pot.”
“Cynthia Bringle told me to go to grad school.”
Kudos to clay spring concentration instructors Jenny Mendes Ceramics and Caroline Douglas Art for inviting Nick to do this awesome demo!