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Photo of the Week: Safety First, With Style

Adam Leestma giving a letterpress demonstration

Penland’s studio coordinators are an incredible concentration of knowledge about the different media and processes we teach here. Between them they know, well, just about everything—and they’re learning more all the time!

Last week, the coordinators got together in the letterpress studio for a demo and hands-on workshop led by printmaking and letterpress coordinator Adam Leestma. The goal was for each coordinator to create new safety posters for their studios. And when you have all the tools and artistic skills to make them fancy, then why not? Below, coordinators Daniel Beck, Susan Feagin, Sarita Westrup, and Nick Fruin are carving linoleum blocks to add images to their posters.

Penland studio coordinators carving linoleum blocks

Want to try letterpress out for yourself? We have lots of workshops for that!

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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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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!

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Photo of the Week: Mighty Katherine Gray

Glassblower Katherine Gray demonstrating in the Penland glass shop.

We were thrilled to have glass artist Katherine Gray here for a week as a visiting artist this fall. Gray is a brilliant glassblower who works calmly, smoothly, and with what appears to be complete control of the material. Her work is in prominent collections including the Corning Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Museum of Glass, she’s a professor at California State University San Bernardino, and she was recently featured as the resident judge on the Netfilx reality series Blown Away.

Katherine has taught at Penland several times, but it’s been a few years, so it was great to have a chance to watch her work again. We were kind of blown away.

Glassblower Katherine Gray demonstrating in the Penland glass shop.

 

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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

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Photo(s) of the Week: Collaborative Forging (and fire)

These are the participants in our Sixth Session iron workshop. Led by instructors Claudio Bottero and Massimiliano Bottero, they spent two weeks working together to create this sculpture, which was designed by Claudio. This picture was taken just after they installed it in between the glass studio and the Northlight building.

 

Here’s a view of the installation.

 

Claudio’s concept was that the piece could be filled with wood, lit on fire, and become a torch — functional sculpture!

 

This is what that looked like.

 

Bottero Instagram is here.