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Now on View in the Penland Gallery

Tom Shields, “Mediation,” cast iron, 60 x 18 x 39 inches (photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center)

The year’s first exhibition at the Penland Gallery is a collection of work by artists who, in the words of gallery director Kathryn Gremley, “have erased dividing lines or untethered themselves from material and creative constraints.” Titled I dwell in Possibility after a poem by Emily Dickinson, the exhibition includes work in ceramic, glass, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, and wood with considerable mixing of media. The fifteen artists represented will be teaching workshops at Penland in 2018. The show runs through May 13.

Ruther Miller, “The Evocation and Capture of Aphrodite,” hand-embroidered wool on fabric, 36 x 30 inches

Walking into the exhibition, visitors will be greeted by a three-foot tall, precisely rendered image of a young woman—leaves and geometric shapes float by her in the foreground. The piece can easily be mistaken for a painting, but closer inspection reveals that it is made entirely from embroidery thread. The artist, Ruth Miller, spends about a year stitching one of these pieces.

Photographer Dan Estabrook is represented by a series of tintypes, which are images created on a metal plate. Although tintypes have traditionally been treated simply as a type of photograph, this artist has chosen to also approach them as metal objects. Using a jeweler’s saw, he carefully cuts up different tintypes and recombines them to create metal collages.

A cast-iron teapot by Frankie Flood, who is a faculty member at Appalachian State University, has a surface texture that looks like the inner surface of tree bark, while the surface of a wooden platter by Matthew Hebert has been carved into a 3D image of a manhole cover. And an animated video by Noah Saterstrom is accompanied by several of the paintings he used to create it. These are just some of the wonders and possibilities presented in this exhibition.

Also on view in the Focus Gallery is an exhibition titled GATHER | Eat, Drink, Enjoy, which showcases elegant, functional glassware by Courtney Dodd and Nickolaus Fruin. Together, the artists have formed “Shaker + Salt,” a line of exquisitely-executed plates, bowls, cups, and more that are meant to be shared, enjoyed, and laughed over at the table. The exhibition highlights these pieces as they might be used at a dinner party, complete with a fully set table and cocktail recipes to go with each set of glasses. Admire the entire arrangement, and then lean in close to catch the special details that set each piece apart.

Place setting from “GATHER” by Shaker + Salt

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Molding James

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

This is Penland resident artist Dean Allison beginning the process of creating a mold from the head and shoulders of 10-year-old James Haley. The mold will be used in the creation of one of Dean’s mesmerizing cast-glass portraits. James’s mother, Penland program director Leslie Noell, was close at hand to coach him through the 45-minute process. James got to pick the soundtrack, so Hamilton was playing throughout.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

The first step was to coat James’s hair with cold cream. Then Dean began to carefully cover his face with a silicone rubber that starts to set up in about about 10 minutes. He used his fingers to make sure all the details of James’s face would be well molded. He also took care to maintain breathing holes for James’s nose.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

With his whole head and shoulders covered, James began to acquire a Halloween-enviable, Creature from the Black Lagoon look. At this point it was important for him to sit very still as the material began to set up. “Pretend you are thinking about the hardest math problem you’ve ever had to do,” Dean instructed.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

The next step was to create a two-part plaster shell that will be used to keep the flexible mold rigid later when filling it with hot wax. Dean and his assistant Sarah Beth Post formed the shell using the same kind of cloth/plaster strips that are used to make a cast for a broken bone.

Once both halves of the shell were complete, they were left briefly to harden and then were carefully removed.

Here’s the front half of the shell coming off.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

Dean carefully slit the mold up the back while Sarah Beth separated the rubber from the shirt.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

And with Mom’s assistance, the mold was removed as gently as possible.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

There it goes.

Penland resident artist Dean Allison making a mold of James Haley's head

And James emerged intact!

“I was thinking about bagels the whole time,” he said to Leslie, “so now we need to go get a bagel.”

Hmm…well played.

This process is just Dean’s first step. Here’s the rubber mold back inside the plaster cast (upside down on the chair). The next step is to fill it with hot wax to make a wax positive.

Here is the wax model of James. Dean will clean this up quite a bit and do some additional sculpting—particularly on the hair.

He will use this wax model to create a new mold made of reinforced plaster, which will retain all the detail that’s in the wax. Finally he will melt out the wax and fill the plaster mold with molten glass to create the glass sculpture. After the glass cools Dean will put in hours of polishing and cold work to refine the piece before it will be ready for mounting.

Before joining the Penland residency, Dean Allison was Penland’s glass studio coordinator. He has a Masters of Art in Visual Art from Australian National University. His work has been exhibited recently at the National Portrait Gallery in DC, SOFA Chicago, and Blue Spiral I in Asheville, NC. You can see many examples of his portraiture on his website.

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The Ocean’s Cool Depths in Hot Glass

Raven Skyriver will teach the hot sculpting class Asymmetry this April 22-28, 2018 in the Penland hot shop. Register now.

Raven Skyriver, “Strike” (marlin), 20 x 18 x 38 inches

Raven Skyriver’s pieces start out like most other pieces in the hot shop: a blob of molten glass on the end of a pipe, a bubble, the whole thing constantly rotating to remain on center. The glass moves from the bench to the glory hole and back; it gets marvered, colored frit is added. But somewhere along the way, the piece morphs into something different and truly impressive. For one thing, Raven works large—his off-hand sculpted pieces are often a full two or three feet long, some closer to four. For another, he succeeds at an impressive realism in his sculptures. The finished pieces are not simply a whale or a shell, but rather a sperm whale or an abalone shell complete with the coloration and subtleties of shape that distinguish one species from another.

“My work is almost exclusively derived from the marine ecosystem,” Raven explains. “I attempt to place the creatures back in their environment by capturing the fluid nature in molten glass and transferring it into the perceived weightlessness of a swimming creature. I always strive to imbue the work with a hint of life.” Indeed, each of his pieces is evidence of his keen and dedicated observation—from the detailed patterns and textures of a turtle’s back or the scales of a salmon to each creature’s movements and personality.

Raven Skyriver, “Gyre” (green sea turtle), 18 x 28 x 26 inches

There’s an intensity to Raven’s hot shop process quite in contrast to the serene beauty of his finished pieces. To make Gyre, his 28-inch green sea turtle, Raven worked with a whole team of skillful glass artists, each one spinning, paddling, rotating, holding, directing, and responding in concert. No fewer than three torches heat the turtle’s fins, tail, and neck while Raven, in the middle of it all, works with expert speed and skill to incise a crease here or elongate an eyelid there. The mounting tension is palpable as he meticulously draws out the turtles’s likeness from the molten glass. It becomes plain that Raven’s work really is a team effort, and any slip or misstep could send the whole endeavor crashing to shards on the floor. (Watch Gyre come together in this awesome video!)

“The nature of glassblowing is teamwork,” Raven states. “The process in the hot shop is my biggest passion.”

We’re thrilled that Raven will be at Penland this spring to share that process and his expertise in the hot shop with Penland students. His 1-week workshop Asymmetry will run April 22-28 and will give experienced glass students new insight into sculpting out of round, working effectively with a team, and addressing technical challenges. See the complete workshop description below and then register now to up your glass game.

Raven Skyriver, “Mother” (humpback whales), 27 x 46 x 14 inches

Asymmetry

Raven Skyriver
April 22-28, 2018
This hot glass workshop will be all about sculpting out of round. We’ll focus on team work, timing, and problem solving on the fly, giving students a foundation on which to build intricate asymmetrical forms and teaching them how to overcome technical obstacles. If you are someone who works on symmetrical forms and you want to change it up, or if you simply want to sharpen your hot sculpting skills, this workshop has a lot to offer. Advanced level: your application must be accompanied by a CV detailing your experience in glass and five images of your work. Send these to registrar@penland.org. Studio fee: $40. Code S03GA

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), Niijima Glass Center (Tokyo), Glass Furnace (Turkey), Aya Glass (Japan); exhibitions: Glasmuseet Ebeltoft (Denmark), Island Museum of Art (WA), Maryhill Museum of Art (WA), multiple solo shows at Stonington Gallery (Seattle).

ravenskyriver.com

Raven Skyriver, “Awaken” (iguana), 11 x 18 x 25 inches

 

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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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Building a Relationship with Glass

glass sculptures on display by DH McNabb
Glass artist DH McNabb with his pieces “Spherical Horizon(s)” and “Crystal Prism(s)” after JG Ballard’s “The Crystal World.” Both works were made during a residency at the Saint-Louis Crystal Factory in France.

 

Glass is a particularly beguiling material. It’s so common around us, so everyday, and yet very few people have actually worked with glass as the scorching hot, malleable substance it is coming out of a furnace. Even then, an artist can only get to know it through a certain separation, using jacks and blocks and paddles as extensions of the fingers. The work is quick, but it takes years to develop facility and fluidity with it.

DH McNabb knows this slowly-blooming relationship as well as anyone. For nearly two decades, he’s worked with glass as a student, assistant, teacher, artist, and collaborator. It’s taken him to graduate school and around the world—Seattle, New York, Japan, Italy, Istanbul, Prague. Even now, he sees his career in glass as a process. “I am not consumed with immediate success, but instead with a long-term practice and relationship with this material,” he explains. “Glass is a communicative endeavor, at times a struggle. It is not something you master in one year or five or ten.”

 

glass mangrove root sculpture
Detail of “Mangroves” by DH McNabb

 

All questions of mastery aside, DH has developed impressive glass skills. His portfolio of work includes neon signs, delicate stemware, orbs with shifting color gradations, sharply reflective crystal prisms, and the branching roots of a mangrove rendered in barely-green translucent glass. The ideas behind them are as varied as the works themselves: they reference history, explore light and landscape, speak to transience and memory, and investigate our perceptions of value.

This fall, DH will be coming to Penland to teach an 8-week concentration in the hot shop, and the workshop will have loads to offer aspiring and established glass artists alike. Titled (in)between, it will start by establishing a vocabulary of shapes and solid communication as the foundations for a wide range of directions in glass. Students will be encouraged to explore the forms and ideas that interest them, from functional goblets to conceptual sculptures. Nothing could sum it up better than the final line of DH’s course description: “We’ll assist each other, we’ll fail together, and somewhere through this we’ll succeed with our own material voice.”

Registration is currently open for (in)between and Penland’s other fall workshops. A handful of scholarships are also available for concentrations in glass, clay, metals, photography, and wood. Apply now and join us in the studios this September 24 – November 17!

 

glass sculpture
“Phantom Limbs” by DH McNabb

 

(in)between

DH McNabb
September 24 – November 17, 2017

This workshop will be a journey that teeters between art and design. We’ll start by making and replicating basic shapes and then venture into other shapes that will become part of each individual’s voice. We’ll experience making from both sides of the pipe, learning what the assistant can do to better help the maker and what the maker can do to better communicate with the assistant. We’ll cover a range of color applications and discover new ones. Techniques will include cane, murrine, incalmo, and folding. Readings, drawing, walks, and other activities will help you conjure ideas from functional usefulness to thought-provoking concepts. We’ll assist each other, we’ll fail together, and somewhere through this we’ll succeed with our own material voice. All levels. Studio fee: $140. Code F00GA

DH McNabb is a studio artist who has taught at Centre College (KY), Pilchuck Glass School (WA), and the Chrysler Museum (VA). His work has been exhibited in spaces including 12 Gallery (Norway), a space (NYC), and Steel Yard Gallery (RI) and is in the collections of the Corning Museum (NY) and Fondation Hermés (Paris).

dhmcnabb.com

 

 

PENLAND FALL CONCENTRATIONS
clay  |  glass  |  iron  |  metals  |  photography  |  wood  |  mixed media
September 24 – November 17, 2017
Register here

 

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Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Workshops

Fall 2017/Spring 2018 Penland catalog cover showing two students blowing glass

Today may be the first full day of Penland summer workshops, but that isn’t stopping us from looking ahead to this fall and spring. Complete Fall 2017/Spring 2018 workshop information is now online, and catalogs will be in the mail this week. Whether you’re looking for an immersive 8-week concentration or a 1-week creative reset, we think you’ll find something of interest—workshop topics range from shoe making and sculpture to digital photography, steel fabrication, floor loom weaving, and everything in between.

Registration is now open for fall and spring workshops. Scholarships are available for all 8-week concentrations; scholarship applications are due by August 1, 2017 for fall and November 28, 2017 for spring.

 

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Spotlight on Summer

Temperatures are warming, the knoll is very green once more, and summer workshops are on the horizon. There are still dozens of offerings across our studios with available space, including a few session 1 workshops. Why not start your summer off with a concentrated dose of creative energy and inspiration? Registration is open now, and a handful of workshops even have work-study scholarships available!

 

Two figurative sculptures in glass
Sculptures by Ross Richmond. Left: “Peacock,” glass, gold leaf, steel, 14 x 8 x 5 inches. Right: “Untitled,” glass, wood, steel, 22.5 x 8 x 9 inches.

 

Hot Glass Sculpting

Ross Richmond, May 28 – June 9, 2017

This workshop will be an exciting opportunity for intermediate and advanced glass artists to explore glass as a sculptural material. Students will learn torch techniques that will enable a greater level of detail in hot-sculpted forms and will use sketches and drawings to help visualize finished pieces.

Instructor Ross Richmond has been working with glass for over twenty-five years and is known for his involved narrative pieces. Many of his figures measure a full two feet tall, yet they project a serenity and ease that is hard to reconcile with the fast, hot work of the glass studio. The Corning Museum describes him as “one of the top glass sculptors in the field today.” UrbanGlass.org praised his astounding technical skill, saying, “The realization that these forms were hot-sculpted and not mold-blown, or cast into a carefully prepared mold, is to appreciate the skills that went into them.”

For any glassblowers looking to take their work to the next level of detail and expression, this workshop is the perfect opportunity for focused practice, skill building, and expert instruction. Read the full course description.

 

letterpress printed greeting cards
A selection of greeting cards by Lynda Sherman’s Bremelo Press.

 

Letterpress: Text Is Image

Lynda Sherman, May 28 – June 9, 2017

Letterpress newbies and experts alike will get the chance to play with words on the press and on paper in Lynda Sherman’s workshop. The class will focus on hand-setting type and the power and potential of the alphabet as a visual language. Students will be encouraged to experiment and to adapt their designs on the go to explore printing as analog communication.

“To know the history of analog printing is to keep the global continuum of collaboration and friendship uninterrupted,” Lynda explains. “Analog is the gift of our past, and by practicing in the present, it is the promise to the future. Where we go, we go together. Analog doesn’t leave anyone behind.”

If the smell of paper and ink and the turning arm of a Vandercook press appeal to you, then Lynda’s class might be a perfect fit. Read the course description herethere are even a couple work-study scholarships still available for this workshop!

 

wall hung cabinet with tambour doors
Reuben Foat, “Snake Cabinet,” ash, wenge, paint, 15 x 44 x 21 inches.

 

Tantalizing Tambour Doors

Reuben Foat, May 28 – June 9, 2017

Students who have already gotten their feet wet in the wood studio will get the chance to take their work further in this workshop with Reuben Foat. Geared towards intermediate and advanced woodworkers, this class will explore tambour doors and the sinuous movement they can introduce into a material that is more often rigid and static. The two weeks will cover design, solid-wood joinery, and efficient studio practices and will culminate in the construction of an original wall-hung cabinet that incorporates a tambour door.

Reuben is an experienced teacher and an accomplished woodworker who often uses the tambour door format in his own furniture and sculpture. It’s one thing to see still images of his work, but it’s another to see the pieces as they move. We highly recommend taking a look at these short videos of his pieces in action!

Registration for Tantilizing Tambour Doors is currently open to experienced woodworkers, and a couple work-study scholarships are still available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read the full course description here.

 

For a complete list of all summer 2017 workshops with available space, see our open workshop list.

 

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