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Summer 2018 Workshop Catalog

Cover image; woman adjusts table saw in woodworking studio

Here it is, the summer 2018 workshop catalog! We’re thrilled to share our lineup with you in anticipation of another summer packed with creativity, energy, new friendships, and new ideas. We’re offering 102 unique workshops led by 116 talented artist/instructors, including favorites like encaustic painting and steel sculpture and special classes like brushmaking and skin-on-frame canoe building. Most workshops are open to serious students of all levels (beginners included!), and all give you access to the slide nights, dance parties, movement classes, scholarship auctions, and more that make a Penland session so special.

This year, summer registration will open to all students on January 8 at 9 AM EST on a first-come, first-served basis; we will not be using a lottery system. Applications may be submitted online, by fax, by post, or in person.

Scholarships are available for every summer workshop, including full, partial, and work-study scholarships. Spaces will be held in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by 11:59 PM EST on February 17.

We hope you find a few minutes over the holidays to pour over the Penland catalog and find the perfect workshop for you, wherever you are in your creative journey. Look out for full course descriptions on the website by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.


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Announcing our 2018 Penland Core Fellows

We’re excited to introduce our five new Penland core fellows: Joshua Fredock, Luke Gnadinger, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez! They will join second-year core fellows Stormie Burns, Elliot Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, and Corey Pemberton on March 1, 2018 to begin their two-year fellowships.

As always, there were many outstanding candidates for only five available positions. We received 61 applications from across the United States. Our selection committee did an excellent job reviewing and evaluating these materials; we couldn’t conduct such a thorough process without their generosity, time, and energy. Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s selection.

Joshua Fredock

Josh Fredock portrait and piece of glass/metal sculpture

Joshua Fredock is a former navy rescue swimmer who lives in Asheville and has interned and worked at Monarch Glass Studio (MO), Rock Cottage Glass Works (KS), Metalabs (MO), and STARWorks Glass Studio (NC). Josh has been part of two Penland concentrations—once as a work-study student in the glass studio and once as a Christy Wright scholarship recipient. As a core fellow, Josh is primarily interested in building skills in glass and metals and developing his ability to express himself through his work.
Josh’s website
Follow Josh on Instagram


Luke Gnadinger

Luke Gnadinger portrait and set of prints

Luke Gnadinger currently works at the KMAC Museum (KY) and is a studio assistant for Jason Bige Burnett; he also spent years working at Kentucky Mudworks in Louisville. Luke has a BA in Studio Art from Transylvania University (KY) and has attended Indiana University Southeast as a post-baccalaureate student. At Penland, he has been a clay studio assistant and winter resident. He is interested in how creative practice can be a connector and catalyst for social change and plans to explore classes in various media towards this end over the next two years.
Follow Luke on Instagram


Kento Saisho

Kento Saisho sculpture and portrait

Kento Saisho is a Windgate Fellowship recipient who is currently working as a freelance fabricator in Brooklyn, NY. Kento has interned and worked at Iron Mountain Forge and Furniture (RI) and Fort Standard (NY). He has a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a work-study student in iron at Penland this summer. During his core fellowship Kento plans to explore sculptural works in iron, works on paper, and how these two areas of interest intersect.
Follow Kento on Instagram


Katherine Toler

Katherine Toler portrait and intallation

Katherine Toler currently lives in Little Rock, where she works at the Museum of Discovery. She has previously spent quite a bit of time at Penland—as a work-study student, studio assistant, and summer intern in our textiles and drawing/painting studios—and is looking forward to returning. Katherine has a BFA from the University of Central Arkansas. Her background in painting and her interest in textiles have recently led to explorations in mixed-media sculpture, an area she plans to pursue at Penland.
Follow Katherine on Instagram


Devyn Vasquez

Devyn Vasquez portrait and arrangement of objects

Devyn Vasquez lives in Miami and works at the Fletcher Arts & Cultural Center while maintaining a studio and teaching art classes. She has also worked at Baltimore Clayworks and the Turchin Center for Visual Arts (NC) and has been an assistant to both artists and curators. Devyn has a BFA from Appalachian State University (NC) and has taken a summer metals workshop and fall clay concentration at Penland. Ceramics and jewelry have been her main focus, but she is looking forward to exploring new mediums and finding connections between technique and concept throughout her fellowship.
Follow Devyn on Instagram


Of course, the excitement of this announcement comes with a twinge of sadness as we prepare to send five of our current core fellows on their way at the end of the winter. Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, and Alex McClay have achieved some really incredible things in and out of the studios, and we will miss them dearly. We’re looking forward to seeing where their ideas and talents take them—and not-so-secretly hoping that we’ll see them back at Penland on occasion!


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Two Views of the Craft School Experience

aerial views of the Haystack and Penland campuses
Haystack and Penland seen from the air.


When we say “Craft School Experience,” we’re referring to the total immersion workshops offered at Penland and our sister schools Arrowmont, Haystack, Peters Valley, and Pilchuck. We’re referring to the beautiful and often isolated environments of these schools, their deep history, their shared eating and living spaces, and of course their well-equipped studios that support top-notch instruction. The craft school experience means the special community atmosphere that inspires creativity and motivates new discoveries, new ideas, and new connections. It’s common to all these schools, but it’s also an experience that looks different for every individual who sets foot on our campuses.

Over at, the Craft School Consortium has been collecting stories and anecdotes to illustrate the craft school experience. Two recent ones on their blog are particularly near to our hearts. The first is by Robin Dreyer, who wrote a beautiful piece about a recent trip to Haystack from his perspective as a Penland staff member, instructor, and student of nearly twenty years. “Getting to the end of the road before I could see the school was a good indication that, while Haystack and Penland may be sisters, they are not twins,” Robin writes. He goes on to describe Haystack’s campus and facilities, its historical connections to Penland, and the little delights and surprises he experienced at this place that felt at once so familiar and entirely new.


Bill Griffith stands with a display of his pots
Clay artist Bill Griffith with some of his work in a recent show.


In another post, clay artist Bill Griffith describes the unexpected roads that opened up for him after a one-week workshop at Arrowmont in the summer of 1983. We won’t spoil the details of his journey, but we can give you a few hints by saying that he has spent many years at Arrowmont as the assistant director, program director, and now the outreach and partnership liaison. In addition, he’s a working studio artist and clay instructor. In fact, he’ll be teaching a slab-built pottery workshop at Penland during session 7 this summer!

If you haven’t had a craft school experience of your own yet, signing up for a workshop is the best way to start. We can’t be sure where it will take you, but it’s likely to be an intense and creative burst that you won’t soon forget.






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The Craft School Experience: Outcomes and Revelations

Anyone who has spent time at Penland or a similar school will likely understand what the “Craft School Experience” is all about. But for everyone else, it can be difficult to put into words. Time living and working at a craft school is intense and uniquely focused. It’s a rare opportunity to be fully immersed in a place, a community, and a creative process, one that many find thought provoking, inspiring, and often transformational.

Penland has teamed up with four of our sister schools—Arrowmont (TN), Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), and Pilchuck (WA)—to celebrate craft and promote the immersive workshop experience our schools offer artists of all levels. This winter, we are thrilled to be working with the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles to put on the exhibition The Craft School Experience: Revelations and Outcomes. The show strives to capture the essence of the craft school experience by featuring the work of master teachers, resident artists, and students who have studied or taught at these craft schools alongside personal narratives, quotes, and videos. Penland instructors and residents including Cynthia Bringle, Nancy Callan, Susie Ganch, Marc Maiorana, and Jaydan Moore will be among those featured in the exhibition.

In conjunction with Revelations and Outcomes, Penland Director Jean McLaughlin will present a talk entitled “Make/Time: The Craft School Experience” at the Craft in America Center on Saturday, January 28 at 4 PM. She will draw on her eighteen years at Penland to share stories about the joys and impacts that schools like Penland, Arrowmont, Haystack, Peters Valley, and Pilchuck offer individuals and the broader craft community.

We hope that everyone who is able to attend the exhibition and/or Jean’s talk comes away with a deeper understanding of the power and inspiration that is the craft school experience. And when they’re ready to experience it for themselves, we’re here with workshops and open studio doors.


glass work and a student making a clay piece
Left to right: exhibition piece by Nancy Callan; a student working in clay at Haystack School; exhibition piece by Lino Tagliapietra.








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Our New Favorite Podcast

Make/Time podcast


We’re excited to share the news about Make/Time, a new podcast series and our current favorite listen. Hosted by Stuart Kestenbaum, the series explores fine craft, inspiration, and the creative process through interviews with established craft artists from across the field.

“Having conversations with leading and emerging craft artists gives me the opportunity to dig deeply behind the scenes,” says Kestenbaum. “Every episode gives us a special look at the person behind the work, their ideas, and the inspiration that helps them achieve excellence in this field.”

The most recent episode of Make/Time features furniture designer Vivian Beer. Before winning season two of Ellen’s Design Challenge on HGTV, Vivian spent three years at Penland as a resident artist. On the podcast, she discusses blending traditional making with new technology, as well as her desire to make great design more economically accessible.


Vivian Beer portrait
Vivian Beer talks with host Stuart Kestenbaum on the fourth episode of “Make/Time.”


Previous episodes of the podcast have featured Tom Joyce, a sculptor and MacArthur Fellow known for his work architectural work and large public sculptures in forged steel; Sonya Clark, head of the Craft and Material Studies Program at Virginia Commonwealth University, whose work in textiles often addresses issues of race in America; and Tim McCreight, a jeweler, writer, and publisher who has begun an innovative program with West African jewelers.

Make/Time is a project of and is part of “The Craft School Experience” initiative that promotes the value of immersive, residential craft schools across the country. Each episode is available on the Penland website or by searching “maketime” on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes are approximately 20 minutes long.



About is a consortium of five U.S. craft schools promoting the craft school experience on a national scale. Through their efforts, they explore the values, communities and opportunities that join them as a movement of immersive, residential schools teaching a variety of craft disciplines. Members of include: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, Peters Valley School of Craft, and Pilchuck Glass School.


About Stuart Kestenbaum
Stuart Kestenbaum was the director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME from 1988 – 2015. He is the author of four books of poems, most recently
Only Now and The View From Here, as well as brief essays on craft, community, and the creative process. Kestenbaum is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and is currently the Poet Laureate of the State of Maine. He has taught at Penland and was the school’s 2015 Andrew Glasgow Resident Writer.






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Stuart Kestenbaum on the Craft School Experience

portrait of Stuart Kestenbaum
Photo by Gabe Souza


Congratulations to Stuart Kestenbaum, who completed 27 years as the director of our sister school Haystack Mountain School of Crafts at the end of May. And congratulations to everyone at Penland, who will have the pleasure of Stuart’s company for two weeks later this summer craft_school_experiencewhen he will be a participant in the Andrew Glasgow Writing Residency.

Stuart will also continue to be involved with the Craft School Experience, which is a consortium of five schools working together to promote craft workshop education. Stuart wrote a short article for the consortium’s website talking about his time at Haystack and his belief in the power and importance of this kind of immersive craft education. You can read the article here.