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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!

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Jaime and Cristina in the Clay Studio

Puerto Rican artist Jaime Suarez paints on a large piece of paper with watery red clay while students watch

Visiting artists are part of every spring and fall concentration at Penland. They help enrich our sessions by bringing new perspectives, skills, and approaches to our studios and sharing their experience with our students. This spring, we’ve been doubly lucky to have two visiting artists, Jaime Suárez and Cristina Córdova. They spent this week working side by side in the studio, pushing clay in very different directions.

In addition to their public lectures at Northlight, both Jaime and Cristina opened up their processes to the community through an afternoon of demonstrations. Jaime walked us through two of his recent experiments with making marks in clay. In one, shown above, he applied a watery clay slip to a crumpled sheet of paper. As the slip pooled and dried, it captured the topography of the paper surface in layers of clay, creating the possibility for a two-dimensional print of a three-dimensional surface. In another process, shown below, Jaime demonstrated how he creates monoprints with just a clay slab and water, altering the image by varying the moisture levels and the impressions on the clay. Like the clay paintings, these prints captured the data of the surface using the inherent colors and qualities of his material.

Artist Jaime Suarez giving a demonstration to a group of students on how to monoprint with clay and water

Cristina, for her part, focused on clay’s incredible sculptural potential. She gave a demonstration of her process for sculpting the human head, starting with a flat slab of paper clay that she formed into a cylinder and then refined. Over the course of half an hour, we watched with awe as the cylinder first took on the rough shape of a human head through pushing and paddling, then developed a ridge at the brow, cavities at the eyes, and protrusions for the nose and lips. To build up the features further and add unique expressions, Cristina built onto them with smaller additions of clay. All the while, she explained the shapes she keeps in mind to guide her sculpting—the egg shape of the head, the teardrop shape formed by the side of the nostril, the three different planes of the lips.

Cristina Cordova sculpting a head from red paper clay while a ring of students looks on

Even though none of our current workshops deal directly with figurative sculpting or painting or making prints, there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from these demonstrations. We hope all the students who attended will return to their benches, their wheels, and their torches with ideas about how to take advantage of the inherent qualities of their materials to move them in new directions. Thank you, Jaime and Cristina, for being here and sharing so generously!

Cristina Cordova refines the features on the side of the clay head she is sculpting

 

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Photo of the Week: All The Chairs!

spring wood concentration students posing with a table full of mini chair models

This is what a week’s worth of ideas looks like. Annie Evelyn and her furniture students spent the whole first week of their concentration Chairish Every Moment making models. Zany, classic, ergonomic, experimental, sculptural—there was a mini chair for just about anyone at their group critique on Friday. And, now that they’ve gotten their ideas flowing and gathered feedback, her students are prepared to move into making human-sized furniture with energy and intention.

Expect to see some incredible chairs over the next seven weeks!

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“An alt process photographer’s dream”

two prints by Jill Enfield, one of roses in front of an Italian-style villa, one of a carved column on an ornate building
Two alternative process prints by Jill Enfield

Once upon a time, the photographic techniques now known as “alt process” were the most modern options available to capture light and time as images. Today, the powerful little cameras toted everywhere in our pockets mean that alternative photographic processes are no longer employed much for simple documentation. But their unique characteristics—the piercing blue of a cyanotype, the moody contrast and physicality of tintypes and ambrotypes—are as powerful as ever for an artist communicating a vision.

Jill Enfield has spent her entire career exploring that vision behind a camera. As a fine art photographer, a teacher, a successful commercial photographer, and an author of two books on alt process photography, Jill has learned the ins and outs of making a photograph as well as anyone. Her work ranges from architectural street scenes that stand apart from time behind the paned grid of a window to painterly cyanotypes that seem to freeze sunlight into ice. One impressive collection, “New Americans,” documents new immigrants to the United States in a series of wet-plate collodion portraits. Jill employs this process strategically, both as a connection to the countless photographs of immigrants taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s and as a means to inspire today’s viewers to take a second look. She notes that, though the wet-plate process was as standard then as digital photography is now, the “nostalgic, Proustian pull” it exerts today lends her subjects an extra level of heft, romance, heroism.

Two wet-plate collodion portraits from Jill Enfield’s “New Americans” series

This spring, we are honored to welcome Jill back to Penland for an eight-week deep dive into all things alternative process. Jill’s workshop, Photography Through the Ages, will run March 10 – May 3. Students will begin by exploring historic techniques like albumen prints and wet-plate negatives, and then they’ll layer and combine them to achieve their own unique photographs. Not to mention that all of this creative experimentation will take place in Penland’s brand new photo studio!

“The new Penland photo studio is an alt process photographer’s dream,” says coordinator Betsy Dewitt. It was designed over years based on needs and wants from our old studio and extensive feedback from some of Penland’s most dedicated photography instructors. “With spacious darkrooms, new exposure units, plenty of table and sink space, and a myriad of tools at your disposal, the studio allows plenty of room for creativity and exploration. And, with the ability to convert the entire studio into an alt process ‘dim room,’ students can practice multiple processes at one time,” Betsy explains. “I’m excited to see Jill’s class take full advantage of the space, learning the greatest hits of alternative process photography and combining them to make pieces that are truly one of a kind.” Jill’s students will also explore ways to use digital photographic methods in combination with the historic processes, and these explorations will be well supported by the studio’s array of computers, scanners, and printers.

If you’ve been wanting to expand your photographic vocabulary or learn new ways to tell stories through images, we hope you’ll join us for Jill’s workshop this spring. There are even a few work-study scholarships available to sweeten the deal!

REGISTER NOW
Apply for a scholarship

Students at work in the new Penland photo studio shortly after it opened in July 2018!


Photography Through the Ages

Jill Enfield, March 10 – May 3, 2019
This concentration will explore the limitless possibilities of working with various photographic media invented during the last three centuries. By first learning each process and then combining them, students will invent their own way of creating work. We’ll have daily demonstrations, discussions of historic and contemporary works through slide shows and videos, and plenty of time for experimentation. We’ll cover tintypes, ambrotypes, wet-plate negatives, albumen, cyanotype, platinum/palladium, printing over inkjet, transfers, and other techniques. This workshop will be exciting for beginning to advanced photographers and artists who want to set aside time to experiment and make new art. All levels. Code S00P

Studio artist; teaching: Parsons (NYC), Rhode Island School of Design, SUNY New Paltz (NY), Anderson Ranch (CO); collections: Amon Carter Museum (TX), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), Crocker Art Museum (CA); author of Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes (Routledge Press).

jillenfield.com

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From Designing to Dining: Two Months of Metal

Metalsmith David Clemons working at the forge in the Penland iron studio
David Clemons at work in the Penland iron studio, where he will teach this March 10-May 3.

We eat every day, but how often do we dine? Dining makes an event of eating, transforming it into something more special than a sandwich at your desk or a granola bar on the go. It’s sitting down with intention, taking the time to savor food and company. It’s transferring your leftovers from their cardboard carton to a ceramic plate, clearing the mail off the table, folding a napkin. It’s combining elements to encourage a certain atmosphere and behavior.

Dining, then, is akin to much of the craft that happens at Penland: a celebration of focus, potential, and process.

Why not combine the two, dining and craft? This spring, metalsmith David Clemons and his students will do just that in the Penland iron studio March 10 – May 3. During the eight-week concentration Personal Dining Ware, David will introduce students to a wide range of forging and fabrication techniques to bring ideas for the table to life. From spoons and spatulas hammered at the anvil to drinking vessels and candleholders, they’ll use dining implements as a starting point to create thoughtfully designed and artfully crafted objects in metal.

David got a head start this winter during the two weeks he spent as a resident in the iron studio playing around with steel serving vessels and more. Below are a few photos of one piece he made, which started as a sketch and then took form as forged elements that he welded together into the most exquisite sectioned tray.

Students in David’s class will take a similar approach, using a specific food or presentation or style as inspiration to create objects both functional and beautiful. Along the way, they can expect to give their metalworking skills a major boost.

REGISTER NOW
Work-study scholarships still available!

Process shots of David Clemons’s serving tray, plus the finished tray at right. (Images: David Clemons)

Personal Dining Ware

David Clemons, March 10 – May 3, 2019
Indulgence, sustenance, diplomacy, celebration, and even revenge are a few of the many motivations for the act of dining as reflected in our lives and in pop culture. In this workshop, we’ll engage in the design, fabrication, and forging of objects that facilitate and provide ambiance for dining. We’ll cover forging, cutting, welding, forming, pressing, etching, patination, tinning, cold connections, and other techniques. Formats will include flatware, serving vessels, and candle holders. Some metalworking experience will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code S00I

Studio artist; former head of metals at University of Arkansas at Little Rock; other teaching: Memphis College of Art, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Maine College of Art; Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship; collections: National Ornamental Metal Museum (Memphis), Yale University (CT), Arkansas Art Center.

davidclemons.com