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Behind Fall Photos

Eight weeks of Penland fall concentrations have come and gone. We’ve shared lots of studio photos and show-and-tell photos and photos of the goofy moments in between. But there’s a lot that’s constantly happening during concentrations that is harder to pin down—the messy, beautiful, confusing, triumphant work of learning and connecting and growing.

As we’ve heard again and again from students, time at Penland is not just about a handmade mug; it’s about the transformational power of learning to make a mug with your hands. Below, we illustrate some of the less tangible aspects of creative immersion with a photo from each of our recent concentrations.

Focus
Clay student Brian Chen adds surface decoration to a run of tumblers using a masking technique he learned from instructor Tom Jaszczak. Freedom from distractions is one thing that leads to such leaps in student work in just eight weeks.

adding surface decoration to a run of bisqued pots

Teamwork
Studio assistant Eric Meeker uses a drop or two of water to break his piece from the punty while core fellow Joshua Fredock stands ready to grab it. The nature of glassblowing is a team effort, but students in all studios benefit from the feedback, energy, and expertise of their peers.

working with a partner to remove a glass disc from the punty

Process
Textiles student Emily Parkinson builds up pattern on a length of printed yardage through the careful spacing and layering of screens. The sketches, calculations, and in-betweens aren’t always readily apparent in a finished piece, but that step-by-step process is integral to the outcome.

pulling a screen in the textiles studio

Repetition
Henry Rogers heats a length of steel in the iron studio. Over the course of eight weeks, students move between the forge and the anvil and back again hundreds of times. Each heat builds intuition and muscle memory, and every swing of the hammer builds accuracy and control and confidence. It’s the hours of practice that transform a beginner into an experienced maker.

heating at the forge in the iron studio

Inspiration
Hannah Roman works on a painting in her Color & Abstraction workshop surrounded by sketches, previous work, and a giant collaborative still life for reference. Ideas can crop up in the most unexpected places, be it something a fellow student is trying, a process in another studio, the landscape of the Penland campus outside, or maybe just the shadow your water bottle casts across your desk.

concentrating on a painting at the easel

Growth
First-time woodworker Ann Ritter glues tenons into the aprons of her table with instructor Wyatt Severs. Even students who have never touched wood or metal or clay can become proficient over eight weeks of immersive studio time, and this growth sometimes opens up entire new futures and dreams.

working together to glue up tenon joints in the wood studio

Attention
Core fellow Stormie Burns pulls a run of prints on the Vandercook press. Like a lot of making, it’s a repetitive process that benefits from quiet attention and an ability to be present in the moment. There’s a joy that comes from being immersed in the details.

pulling prints on the vandercook press

And a few things not pictured above:
The Penland friendships each student will carry with them. The newfound confidence and sense of belonging. The deeper appreciation for hands and material and time. The ideas that started here as mere sparks and are now burning brightly across the web of our community.

To all our fall concentration students and instructors, thank you for reminding us about the importance and beauty of what we do here. And to all those who would like to be students, we hope you will be! Registration is currently open for Spring 2019 concentrations and 1-week workshops.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Hands On Press

This is Chelsea LaBate (a.k.a. Ten Cent Poetry) printing a series of short poems on a Vandercook printing press in the Fall Concentration taught by Beth Schaible (a.k.a. Quill and Arrow). Chelsea is a singer, songwriter, poet, and traveler, but she says, “letterpress is my new love.”

 

This is is the workshop’s studio assistant Celia Jailer (a.k.a. Afterschool Detective) making a pressure print onto a vellum press sheet. Pressure printing is an image-making technique in which a textured, flexible sheet is placed between the press sheet and the drum and then passed over a smooth, inked surface in the bed of the press. The image is transferred to the press sheet because it gets inked more heavily where there is pressure created by the textured sheet. It’s one of the many ways to work with these presses that Beth is covering in the workshop.

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Letterpress Possibilities

Slow down. Be still. Pay attention. Take note.
—Beth Schaible

Details of Beth’s studio desk filled with calligraphy, letterpress, book samples, and more.

There’s an attentiveness and quiet that flows through Beth Schaible’s considerable body of work—tonal letterpress prints, meandering and elegant calligraphy, hand-bound leather journals with stitching along the spines. Her hands seem capable of communicating calm presence into her materials.

Beth is a printer and an artist, an adventurer and an observer. She collects the beauty around her in photographs and on paper with paint and ink. Her travels and her art inform each other, with the same winding trails showing up on the mountains she climbs and the lines she draws with her pen. Both are acts of appreciation.

Beth Schaible (third from left) teaching a bookbinding workshop at Penland in 2017.

Beth has a deep connection to Penland and the surrounding mountains—she spent two years here as a core fellow, lived in Asheville for years while doing design and letterpress at 7 Ton Co., and returned to Penland a couple times to teach summer workshops in bookbinding and printing. This fall, we are thrilled to have her back for eight weeks to instruct a Penland concentration.

Beth will teach Letterpress Possibilities this September 23 – November 16. Students will learn to use a wide range of printing techniques, from hand-set type to polymer plates made from drawings, to get their ideas down in ink and paper.

Whether you’re a seasoned printer or you’ve never turned the crank on a Vandercook press, eight weeks in the studio with Beth will get your ideas flowing and your skills sharp. There are a few spaces left in the workshop—register now to discover the letterpress possibilities for your work!

We also have a few work-study scholarships available. Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Three of Beth’s letterpress printed notecard designs

Letterpress Possibilities

Students in this workshop will learn to translate type and their own hand-drawn imagery into print using hand-set type, carved blocks, polymer plates, and other processes in both monoprints and editions. We’ll discuss the best techniques for each individual’s work. We’ll cover printing-press basics and upkeep and troubleshooting during printing, and we’ll engage in weekly conversations about content, production, and craftsmanship. While the workshop will be mostly print based, we’ll also cover basic book structures. All levels. Code F00L

Beth Schaible—Studio artist and owner of Quill and Arrow (CA); teaching: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (MD), Asheville Bookworks (NC), North Bay Letterpress Arts (CA), Penland; former Penland core fellow.

quillandarrow.com

Penland Fall Concentrations
September 23 – November 16, 2018
Clay  |  Glass  |  Iron  |  Letterpress  |  Painting  |  Textiles  |  Wood

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Photo of the Week: Eight Shots of Spring

Penland runs well over 100 workshops every year, and this fast pace means it can be hard to fully appreciate the creative leaps and transformations that happen—quietly but powerfully—in each one. Before we move on to the exciting flurry of summer workshops starting this Sunday, we want to spend another moment or two taking in all the great things that came to life during our spring sessions, from new shoes to new furniture designs to new friendships. Below, we present a mini slideshow of eight photos, one from each of our eight-week concentrations and an extra one of the sweet moments in between. For more spring photos, including shots from our spring one-week workshops, head over here to view our longer album.

"Experimental Editions" with Marianne Dages
"Meta-Furniture" with Tom Shields
"Persuading Metal" with Adam Whitney
"The Perfect Union: Paint, Collage & Transfer" with Holly Roberts
"Wheelthrowing and Handbuilding Techniques" with Sunshine Cobb
"Sculpture with Fierce Intention" with Christina Shmigel
"From Shoes to Boots: Footwear 101" with Amara Hark-Weber
...and a moment of friends and spring green outside The Pines

 

Registration just opened for our next round of fall and spring workshops—take a look at all the great instructors we have lined up! There are also spaces open in many of our summer workshops starting as soon as May 27th.

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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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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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Summer 2017 Workshop Catalog

Penland summer 2017 catalog cover with portraits of Penland students, instructors, staff, etc

We’re thrilled to present the Summer 2017 workshop catalog! It includes information about our ninety-seven unique summer workshops, including favorites like wood-fired pottery and letterpress and special offerings like bicycle building and leather inlay. Some workshops are for beginners, some are aimed at intermediate and advanced artists, most are open to students of all levels, and each is taught by knowledgeable artist-instructors. The front and back covers capture the range of our broad Penland community in a series of Penland portraits by resident artist Mercedes Jelinek. Read more about her photographs and all of this summer’s great offerings right here in the catalog.

 

Registration for summer workshops is open now, and everyone who registers by 5 PM on February 11 will be entered into the early registration lottery. Scholarships are available for all workshops. Apply for scholarships by February 17.

 

We are currently working on uploading full course information to our website. Look for it online by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.

 

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