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Eight (Transformative) Weeks

Two women blowing glass in the Penland School of Craft hot shop

In a recent conversation with a student, she talked about her first time at Penland. “I was in a workshop in upper textiles. It was my introduction to screenprinting, and I was blown away,” she said. “Every time I walked up the stairs to the studio, I passed a poster that said ‘Penland changes lives.’ And every time I saw it, I smiled to myself like ‘Yeah, sure does.'”

It’s something we hear quite a lot, in fact: a workshop at Penland is a transformative experience that opens up new questions, new connections, and new paths.

A woman working at the anvil in the Penland School of Craft iron studio

Why not see for yourself? This March 8 – May 1, 2020 we’ll be offering seven different 8-week concentrations, each one an immersive dive into materials and techniques and ideas.

Clay: Parts Unknown with Jenny Mendes
Glass: Intentions & Inventions with Dan Mirer
Iron: Attention to Detail with Andy Dohner
Metals: Wunderkammer with Suzanne Pugh
Photo: Processing Process with Mercedes Jelinek
Letterpress: Print/Process/Production with Jamie Karolich
Textiles: Inside Out: Garment as Identity with Erika Diamond

Registration is open now, and scholarships are available for all spring concentrations. Scholarship applications must be submitted by November 28, 2019.

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Scholarships to Join Us Fall 2019!

Concentrations are Penland’s signature eight-week sessions. They’re a singular experience—almost as long as a college semester, with the intensity of a total-immersion workshop. Whether you’re new to the material or a regular in the studio, they’re an opportunity to focus, experiment, connect, and make enormous strides in your work.

Scholarships are available for the Concentrations below! If you have a desire for creative exploration in a supportive, energizing community, please apply to join us. There’s really nothing like it.

All Outward Appearances
with Jack Mauch and guest instructor Ellen Kaspern
September 22 – November 15, 2019

Experienced instructor Jack Mauch will lead students through an in-depth exploration of surface decoration techniques and the wooden structures beneath. Students will start small, applying processes like veneering, marquetry, parquetry, and wood and metal inlay to handmade frames and boxes. From there, they’ll quickly move on to building wall cabinets and small tables that incorporate their surface patterning. Students of all levels, from those who have never before touched a chisel to seasoned woodworkers, will end the course by designing and building a furniture or sculpture project that expands their skills and visual vocabularies in wood. As Jack explains, “We’ll value process and discovery over product, keep a steady but contemplative pace, and mine the veins of our aesthetic curiosity—especially when that takes us deep below the surface.” Expect to challenge yourself, learn a whole lot, and meet folks doing the same. All levels.


Paper & the Unique Print
with Georgia Deal and guest instructor Helen Hiebert
September 22 – November 15, 2019

Students in this intensive workshop will move between Penland’s paper and printmaking studios to explore the endless possibilities for combining handmade paper and monoprinting. The class will begin in the paper studio, where instructor Georgia Deal will introduce fibers and processes from both Eastern and Western papermaking traditions. Students will experiment with stenciling, inclusions, embedments, pigmenting, pulp transfers, and more to create expressive sheets tailored to their individual visions. Over in the printmaking studio, they will use these sheets as substrates for printing, using a wide range of monoprint and monotype processes to create imagery. The back-and-forth of working in both media will expand your visual vocabulary and encourage you to own every aspect of the process, from paper to print! All levels.


Focus on Fabrication
with Andrew Hayes and guest instructor Mike Rossi
September 22 – November 15, 2019

Penland instructor and former resident artist Andrew Hayes will guide students as they transform stock steel into a wide variety of functional and sculptural objects of their own design. Students will get their ideas flowing and solidify their skills as they cut, form, weld, and finish their way through a series of short projects. Then they’ll move on to more independent work, focusing the whole time on concept, design, and execution. “The goal of this workshop is for you to find your aesthetic in steel,” says Andrew. Skills including measuring; layout; cutting with torches, saws, cutoff wheels, and shears; gas, MIG, and TIG welding; finishing; grinding; sanding; filing; patina; paint; and presentation will help you get there. All levels.





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Sixteen Spring Workshops

We’ve just finished uploading all Spring 2020 workshop descriptions to the Penland website, which means that a full year of workshops is available for your browsing pleasure! Take a look at all our upcoming offerings here.

Spring and fall at Penland both offer students two very different options: focused, immersive one-week sessions that delve into a particular skill or technique, and expansive, eight-week sessions known as concentrations that allow artists of all levels to cover a lot of ground in the studio.

Here’s a taste of the concentrations we’ll be offering next March 8 – May 1, 2020 for those who want to go deep in the studio:

  • ClayParts Unknown with Jenny Mendes
  • GlassIntentions & Innovations with Dan Mirer
  • IronAttention to Detail with Andrew Dohner
  • MetalsWunderkammer with Suzanne Pugh
  • PhotoProcessing Process with Mercedes Jelinek
  • LetterpressPrint/Process/Production with Jamie Karolich
  • TextilesFollowing Threads: Trusting Tangents with Hillary Waters Fayle
Students in Annie Evelyn’s Spring 2019 woodworking concentration pose with some of their chairs at the session’s final Show and Tell.

And, for those who want the Penland experience in shorter bursts, we’re excited to share these one-week offerings:

  • GlassEbb & Flow with Ben Elliott
  • TextilesHandweaving: Foundations & Exploration with Amanda Thatch
  • PrintmakingWord & Image with Stuart Kestenbaum and Susan Webster
  • PaperPaper of Place with Frank Brannon
  • TextilesFelt & Straw Hats: Traditional Blocked & Freeform with Wayne Wichern
  • WoodThe Art of the Bandsaw Box with Jenna Goldberg
  • BooksBookstone Bookwork Woodwork with Daniel Essig
  • ClayDon’t Hate, Decorate! with Kurt Anderson
  • WoodCreating Stringed Instruments with Beth Ireland & Keunho Peter Park

Registration for each of the above workshops opens on Wednesday, May 15 at 10 AM Eastern time. Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Scholarships are available for all eight-week concentrations. Scholarship applications are due by June 15 for fall workshops and November 28 for spring workshops. Beginners and advanced students alike are encouraged to apply!