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Staff Lunch: Kitchen Research

Penland kitchen staff preparing to-go lunches

This is Penland kitchen mavens Chad Mohr and Day Dotson filling to-go boxes with tasty lunches of burgers, fries, coleslaw, and fixings (vegetarian option available!). For several months, the kitchen staff has been making take-out lunch or supper available to the rest of the staff once or twice a week.

This is been a welcome development for everyone getting the meals, but what’s really going on is that the folks in the kitchen are working out methods for putting together a lot of take-out meals efficiently, which is what they will have to do when we welcome students back to campus. It’s going to be all take-out, all the time for a while.

This is just one of the ways our staff has been planning and preparing to bring back our workshop program–safely!

 

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Photo of the Week: CNC Lesson

jack mauch demonstrating the use of the CNC router in the Penland wood studioHere’s Jack Mauch going over the basics of the the CNC router with print and letterpress coordinator Adam Leestma and metals coordinator Nadia Massoud. This 5-by-5-foot ShopBot router was recently purchased with support from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. It is located in the wood studio, but our hope is it will be used by students working in other studios as well.

Jack is a former core fellow, a designer, and a woodworker who is helping Penland to integrate digital fabrication tools into our studios. He is currently collaborating with glass coordinator Nick Fruin to make wooden glassblowing molds using the router. We’ll share more on that in a future blog post!

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Photo(s) of the Week: Penland How-to Manual

TBT poetry, printmaking, papermaking!

In 2016, we had a great workshop led by printmaker Susan Webster and poet Stuart Kestenbaum. Susan taught a variety of printmaking techniques and Stuart led daily writing exercises. Meanwhile, in the paper studio Mary Hark and her students were busy making beautiful sheets of paper. Several times during the session, Stuart had people give him a series of words, which he then used in a poem.

All of this came together in Penland How-to Manual, which presents a poem Stuart wrote incorporating words supplied by his students, their printed images, and paper made in Mary’s workshop, all put together as a boxed accordion book that Mary designed. The book was sold in the scholarship auction, but the poem and this set of photographs remain.

animated image of all the pages of a poetry book

The Penland How-to Manual

Consider it an experiment.
Even the wind that moves

the weeds and bees invites
ecstasy.  Listen to the process.

Failure refreshes.
Hug the inner fool and get

to work, not in isolation
but in community, where

at night you can invite memory
to carve an empty plate,

make paper out of air, make
a family from nothing.

Look through the isinglass
of this day see how clear life can be:

In the field fireflies alight, moon rises,
llamas ears listen and twitch.

Stuart Kestenbaum
© 2016

Words offered: hug, listen, highlight, carve, refresh, invite, isolated, process, experiment, play, make, excite, ecstasy, community, bees, plate, air, family, isinglass, llama, weeds, wind, memory, paper, fool, nothing

Words and images from Dan Bouthot, Roberta Durham, Kayleigh Efird, Shan Ellentuck, Nelida Flatow, Elizabeth Guinn, Sandy Hartmannsgruber, Frank Lortscher, Laura Martin, Mia Mueller, Jro Robinson, Mary Smyer, Susan Webster

Handmade paper by Beverly Ayscue, Yoen Hee Cheong, Melissa Cowper-Smith, Sarah Evenson, Jasmin McFayden, Rosemary Peduzzi, Alyssa Sacora, Tony Santoyo, Sophie Smyer, Autumn Thomas, Holland Williams. Book design by Mary Hark.

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Photo of the Week: Penland TV?

 

As many people know, Penland’s annual benefit auction has gone online this year, and it will conclude with a streaming live auction on August 8. This may sound simple, but to do it well, we’ve had to turn the Gorelick Social Hall into a makeshift TV studio. Figuring all this out is our IT manager and resident video tinkerer, Mark Boyd. The photo studio has some sweet lighting equipment, which was set up by studio coordinator Tom Condon. Needless to say, we’ve never done anything like this before, so we’ve been rehearsing. Hope you’ll tune in. Details about the livestream will be posted on the auction page closer to the event.

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Photo of the Week: After All, We’re Neighbors

"We will get through this together. After all, we're neighbors."

As part of our #PenlandEverywhere series, session 2 instructor Ben Blount sent us the following words and images on June 16. Ben was scheduled to teach “The Collaborative Printer,” a letterpress workshop focused on the community-building potential of letterpress printing. And, as much as we would have loved to have Ben and his expertise in our studio this summer, this story of print-based community building is the next best thing. Thank you, Ben, for sharing the power of craft and the written word!

The first things I started to print after the stay in place order were in response to being separated from people in a way that I’d never been before. The longer that we were isolated, the more I thought about ways to make a connection with people. I realized that the people that I passed on the street or in the grocery store aisles were no longer just strangers—they were people I relied on to keep their distance, wear their masks, and wash their hands. We were in community together and they were, in fact, my neighbors.

I printed 250 copies of this poster and passed them out to the neighbors in the block surrounding my studio and the neighbors on the street where I live—4 blocks up, on each side of the street. I included a note with each print introducing myself and the project. The note ended with “At times like these, it’s more apparent that we’re all intrinsically connected, and this print is an acknowledgment of that connection. Consider it a token of my regard, a faith in our perseverance, and a welcome to the neighborhood. Stay safe, and I’ll see you outside.”

Many of my neighbors placed the poster on their windows and doors. But what’s really been interesting to me is how in a matter of weeks, as our attention has turned from COVID to police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement, perhaps the print has another reading. As we approach the 21st day of protests in our streets, we have seen people across the spectrum in support of their Black friends, coworkers, neighbors, and fellow citizens. There is a lot of work to do to live up to our ideals. Enough work for every neighbor. I’m happy to be a part of a print community that has raised their voice during this time of change.

See more of Ben’s work:
benblount.com
@blountben

Posters printed by Ben Blount and hung around his community

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Photo(s) of the Week: Packet Mania!

Early this week, Penland teamed up with our friends at Toe River Arts and an all-star crew of volunteers to get a second round of art packets out to students and families in our community. Much like our first round of packets, the goal was to provide inspiration and materials for creative activities that can be done at home by a range of age groups. All told, the Packet Mania team made a total of 590 art packets, the majority of which have been delivered to the Mitchell County Schools Central Warehouse to go out with their local food pickups on May 22.

Penland’s community collaborations manager Stacey Lane described these packets as “much more ambitious” than the first round. They contained a range of drawing supplies and papers, as well as tape, glue, scissors, origami paper, book-making materials, embroidery floss and fabric, needles, and even a small cardboard loom! Each packet also included a fun coloring sheet drawn by Mitchell High student Evelyn Kline and detailed instructions and suggestions for art activities and prompts using the materials. (Want to try them for yourself? Take a look here!)

Of course, a project like this is a big team effort, and we sure couldn’t have done it without the many people who contributed their time, energy, and talents. A big thank you goes out to:

  • Lisa Rose, Meg Peterson, and Stacey Lane, who coordinated the project through Penland’s community collaborations program
  • Mitchell County art teachers Melisa Cadell, Olivia Ellis, Leslie Dickerson, and Marisa Westall, who helped plan and provide content
  • Subs with SuitCASEs teaching artists Taylor Styles, Alena Applerose, and Sherry Lovett, who created lessons for the packets
  • Toe River Arts outreach coordinator Melanie Finlayson, who helped plan and coordinate this project and provided stickers and envelopes for the packets
  • Toe River Arts staff Debra Carpenter, JoAnn Townsend, and Tracy Maisch, who helped assemble packet materials
  • Kristie Autrey of Mitchell County Schools, who acted as liaison for the project
  • Cathy Adelman, Annie Evelyn, Kathie Sigler, and Sam Reynolds, who volunteered to prepare each packet’s pamphlet book materials
  • Penland core fellows Erica Schuetz, Mitsu Shimabukuro, and Scott Vander Veen, who cut burlap for the embroidery project
  • Mitchell High student Evelyn Kline, who created a special coloring sheet to include in each packet
  • Local student Lillian Kline, who helped with the shadow drawing project
  • The wonderful volunteers who helped with packet assembly, including Erica Schuetz, Michael Kline, Evelyn Kline, and Alena Applerose
  • And the generous donors who contributed funds to help make this project a reality!

We feel really lucky to be part of such a warm and generous community, and we can’t wait to see what creative ideas spring from these effort! We hope to share some of them with you in the coming weeks.

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Photo(s) of the Week: Penland, in Repose

Hello World: we posted this earlier and the e-mail version didn’t work right. We have reformatted, so if you are seeing this in e-mail, it should be better this time. We hope.

Yellow flowers and dogwood blooms.

We confess that we’ve let some weeks go by since the last Photo of the Week. It’s been a weird time. The studios are closed down, people are working from home, the campus is almost deserted. Nevertheless, spring continues unabated, and there are things to see. Here’s a little selection from a recent walk-through.

 

Painted ceramic tile in the Penland kiln shed.

Here’s a bit of art, almost hidden on a shelf in the clay studio kiln shed.

 

A glass flag outside the Penland glass studio.

The glass flag still flies optimistically.

 

Tulips in bloom at Penland.

Tulips gonna bloom!

 

A view into the Penland book studio.

A slightly perplexing view of/through a book studio window.

 

A basketball on a shelf at the wood studio.

The wood studio basketball will be waiting for you.

 

A cutout plywood creature in front of the Northlight building.

They would like some company.

 

An empty volleyball court at Penland

Someday the games will resume.