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Our Craft School Summer!

Summer 2022 at Penland was one for the books.

Knoll necklace installation created during Georgina Treviño’s 4th session metals workshop, “Make It Editorial!”

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. 

Class photo, taken during Corey Pemberton and Cedric Mitchell’s session six glass workshop, “Touch It, Bring It.”

Studio Visits

Learning took place both in and outside of the studio. Many of our workshops enjoyed studio visits with artists who make their creative homes near Penland, especially the studios of the Penland Resident Artists, located here on campus. Students learned from resident artists Adam Atkinson, Daniel Garver, Julia Harrison, Everett Hoffman, Sean O’Connell, Ellie Richards, Adam Whitney, and Sarah Vaughn. Other notable visits included trips to the studios of Bandana Pottery, Cynthia Bringle, Edwina Bringle, Nick and Lisa Joerling, Vicky Essig, Daniel Essig, Rachel Meginnes, Elizabeth Brim, and Courtney Martin, just to name a few. 

Wood students walk down to The Barns to visit resident artists Julia Harrison and Adam Atkinson.

Scholarship Auctions

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!

Student Ana Baranda showcases some beautiful glasswork being auctioned off to support Penland’s scholarship program for an enthusiastic crowd.


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!

Core fellows Lars Shimabukuro, Maria Fernanda Nuñez, and Celia Shaheen celebrate “Ice Cream Truck Day.”

Kids Camp

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. 

A student creates legs for a stool during Wyatt Severs’ woodworking workshop for kids.

Thank you!

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! 

Penland summer interns and staff check in guests at the Annual Penland Benefit Auction.


And here’s a summer montage!