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Spring Concentrations and Scholarships

Fall workshops may have just ended, but it won’t be too long before concentrations are back in session for Spring 2017! We have a great lineup of artist-instructors coming to Penland to teach everything from casting iron and glass to atmospheric firing techniques for clay during Penland’s unique 8-week workshop format. Scholarships are available for all concentrations. Scholarship applications are due November 28, 2016.

Below is a preview of what’s in store this March 12-May 5, 2017. For complete course descriptions, see the Spring Concentration page.

 

instructor work
Instructor work from left to right: Nick Schwartz (clay), Remy Louis Hanemann (iron), Anne Covell (letterpress), Dean Allison (glass).

 

Clay
Nick Schwartz will lead students in an exploration of “Painting with Fire,” including wood and gas firings and the possibilities of salt and soda in the kiln. John Dix will join as guest instructor for two weeks.

Glass
Penland resident artist Dean Allison will share his expertise in glass casting and mold making. Students will gain new abilities to work with glass in a range of ways to express their artistic visions.

Iron
Remy Louis Hanemann will guide students through the process of building a complete iron foundry at Penland. As they go, students will learn skills such as plasma cutting and welding, making two-part molds, and, finally, conducting an iron pour.

Letterpress & Books
In her workshop “Image as Narrative,” Anne Covell’s students will first explore alternative printing techniques to create images and then bind them into traditional and sculptural books.

Metals
David Jones will give his students a wide-ranging education in metal fabrication for jewelry or small sculpture. Students will learn techniques from sawing, soldering, and stamping to forging and forming.

Textiles
In “Weaving: A Dialogue,” Tommye McClure Scanlin and Bhakti Ziek will share their expertise in tapestry and jacquard weaving as students create images on the loom.

Wood
Jack Mauch will lead students in an in-depth exploration of woodworking techniques for furniture and sculpture with an emphasis on shape and going beyond rectilinear forms.

 

instructor work
Instructor work from left to right: David Jones (metals), Tommye McClure Scanlin (weaving), Bhakti Ziek (weaving), Jack Mauch (wood).

 

Each of our spring concentrations are open to students of all levels. Enrollment is open now, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is November 28, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.

 

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Analogue Social Media | November 6-12, 2016

Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the "Our Town—Together Heroic" project
Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

It can be a bit mind-boggling how much information we communicate digitally these days, from online news outlets and blogs to the social media profiles that announce the engagements of friends, the arrival of new babies, or simply what we had for dinner last night. When done right, social media can be a powerful tool for connection, for communicating a message, for sharing ideas and triggering inspiration. But it’s not the only way we can accomplish these goals.

For a week this fall, social media will go analogue with Bryce McCloud of Nasheville’s letterpress/public art studio Isle of Printing. As Bryce elaborates in his course description, “This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community.”

 

A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of "Our Town"
A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of “Our Town”

To really understand what this week will be about, it helps to have glimpsed some of the pieces that Bryce and his team have put together. Take, for example, his yearlong Our Town public portraiture project, which encouraged thousands of Nashville residents to create self portraits using stamps. In exchange for their finished portraits, each person got to take home a letterpress print of someone else’s portrait. “We want people to look at this as a conversation that they’re having with each other, not through words, but through pictures,” Bryce explains. “A big part of this project was to get people to actively look and actively be engaged with the world.”

The Our Town project didn’t stop there, either. Instead, Bryce and his co-conspirators turned the project into a large-scale demonstration of the creative process and how a team—or a city—can come together to create. They constructed giant stamps and used them piece by piece to print enormous portraits in public spaces like the downtown library and Nashville’s Riverfront Park (image above).

 

can-wall
A few views of the ever-changing Can Wall at Pinewood Social

Another recent project was the Can Wall at Pinewood Social, a popular Nashville restaurant/bowling alley/hangout spot. “The mural is made of thousands of quart cans which can be viewed up close as products or far away as pixels in a larger design,” Bryce explains. Every month, the cans get rearranged into a new image or pattern. “We wanted the world to be an active participant in the project AND we wanted the art to feel alive,” he says. “Change is inevitable and that is the point.”

 

barista-parlor
The mural at Barista Parlor

Or, there’s the “optically/digitally enhanced” letterpress mural adorning the main wall of Nashville’s Barista Parlor. It’s an image of a sailing ship made up of individually-printed square letterpress plates, but Bryce says it’s also a reflection of how we see the world around us today: “beginning with a real ship painted by an artist which was photographed and turned into a picture on a computer which I reengineered as a plate on a press to assemble onto a wall in my city for people to see in person which they then share on the internet for others to see. Here to there and back again.”

The human interaction and the call for engagement is central in each of these projects and, in fact, to all of Bryce’s art projects at Isle of Printing. As he explains to visitors on his website, “We specialize in making the unusual happen and thrive on giving novelty a place at or above the mundane… We truly believe in the power of public art and positive thought.”

We certainly can’t tell you what a week of Analogue Social Media at Penland this fall will look like, but we’re pretty sure what it will feel like: teamwork, exploration, experimentation, and lots of good vibes. The workshop runs November 6-12, 2016. Register now.

 

The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the "Our Town—Together Heroic"
The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

Analogue Social Media

Bryce McCloud
—This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community. Like playful scientists we’ll create socially-driven printmaking experiments, imagine ways to involve people outside of our studio, and then use the community at Penland as our testing ground. We’ll brainstorm and refine ideas that may be realized during the session or at other times and places. We’ll cover relief printmaking skills and discuss other tactics for engaging the public with your work when you head home. Printmaking or letterpress experience will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code F03L

Studio/public artist, founder of Isle of Printing, a letterpress and fabrication shop (Nashville); teaching: Watkins College of Art (TN), Brighton College of Art (UK); public art: Our Town Nashville (TN), Pinewood Social (TN), Invasion UK (Brighton, UK), South by Southwest (TX).

isleofprinting.com

REGISTER NOW

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Spring in the Studios

The following post is a photo slideshow. If you’re looking at it in email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.

Students at work in the "Artist and Weaver" concentration
The weaving studio has looked like a veritable Pantone book this spring
Ikat weaving (and party banners!)
A giant frame loom with a radial warp
It takes teamwork to prepare pulp for papermaking
Learning the delicate art of Eastern papermaking
Turning pulp to paper
Handmade sheets of paper show their texture in the sun
The iron class started by forging spoons and other small objects
Products of an iron inflation demo in Elizabeth Brim's workshop
The glow of a coal fire in the iron studio
Taking a closer look at negatives during a 1-week workshop
Nancy Blum came to campus as this spring's visiting artist
This spring's clay concentration includes throwing, decorating, and handbuilding
Wavy clay things
Colorful clay things
Working with image transferring techniques
Students adding soda to a kiln during firing
A few treasures out of the kiln
A rainbow of inks in the letterpress studio
A few of the cloth bags that came out of one week of "Printfest!"
Just a small selection of the plates and prints that came through the studio in one week
Inking wood type to add to a print
Instructor Laura Wood in the studio during her "Make Show Repeat" concentration
Talking metals
For Alicia Keshishian's color theory workshop, the whole drawing studio got a colorful makeover.
Choosing palettes from a table full of color
Everything is scaled up in the wood studio this spring for the timber framing class
Working on site before the whole frame is raised
Wood students with their building-to-be!
Glass bubbles and tubes and twists before the addition of neon
Some glass blowing teamwork.

 

Between seven concentrations and nine 1-week workshops, we’ve had a busy spring at Penland. It’s been exciting to see the progress that long classes make, whether it’s transforming straight beams into a fully-realized timber frame structure or collecting plant material to make into paper to make into books. Scroll through the photos above to get a glimpse of the colorful, experimental, detailed, thoughtful, beautiful things underway in the studios. And, if you’re in the area, please join us on May 5th at 8pm to celebrate the end of the session at the scholarship auction in Northlight!

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Community Open House 2016

The following blog post is a photo slideshow. We recommend viewing it in an Internet browser.

Learning to blow glass is one of the most popular open house activities.
This blob of hot glass became a juice glass after a few minutes' work.
In the letterpress studio, visitors printed masks on the Vandercook press.
Cutting out eye holes in a freshly-printed mask
If you see one of these creatures around, it's probably been to the letterpress studio!
In the clay studio, visitors learned to throw on the pottery wheel.
All sorts of fun clay creatures being made at the handbuilding tables.
Getting clay pointers from one of our great volunteers
Making a clay mask while wearing a letterpress mask
In the iron studio, everyone got to try their hand at forging a J hook.
These two are adding a decorative twist to finish off the hook.
Visitors to the Ridgeway building decorated paste papers.
Sometimes, fingers are the best brushes!
Hands-on fun!
Who wouldn't want to join in on some whistle mania?
Visitors to the wood studio made their own train whistles.
The whistle process involved some precise sawing and drilling.
These two young visitors made a whistle—and it works!
In the flameworking studio, visitors made glass beads.
Here's a mother-daughter flameworking duo.
Each bead is formed by melting colored glass onto a metal rod.
The photo studio was all about crazy portraits.
This visitor is getting her photo taken as a tiger.
Edwina poses with her gold-sequined portrait.
Resident artist Jaydan Moore demonstrated his printmaking process to visitors.
In the metals studio, visitors learned pewter casting.
After the pewter is melted, it's poured into this two-part mold.
Unmolding the pewter revealed a tiny hammer and anvil!
Visitors to textiles learned to weave at the looms.
Everyone went home with a rag-rug coaster they wove themselves.
Visitors to the school store got to embellish Penland postcards
Thanks to the 700+ people who came out to visit us for the Community Open House!
And a big thanks to all our volunteers and staff!

 

This year’s Penland Community Open House was another big success! Over 700 people from the Penland community came up to try their hand at a new craft. Artists young and old alike were busy forging in the iron studio, flameworking beads in the glass shop, making colorful portraits in the photo studio, creating wooden whistles, and lots more. We’re grateful to all volunteers for helping us to share this fun day with our community, and to all the visitors who join us with such enthusiasm.

 

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Communicating Through Craft: A Profile of Aaron Hughes

portrait of Aaron Hughes working at the press in the letterpress studio

 

Art, activism, performance, protest—for Aaron Hughes, the lines between them are blurred and insignificant. “All my work is about creating stories and sharing stories,” he explains. “I’m trying to find space for people to bridge the divides we have in our world through art and through stories.”

As a veteran who served in Iraq and Kuwait for fifteen months in 2003-2004, Aaron is sharply aware of those divides. His deployment introduced him to a rougher and more complex world than he’d known growing up in the Midwest. “I felt like the ideas from my upbringing, my religion, my country didn’t make sense anymore,” he remembers. “But what did make sense was art. I felt like art was something I could invest in and believe in and put my energy into. It was something creative and not destructive.”

Aaron came home from his deployment determined to use art as a tool to generate conversations and connections about difficult topics like war, trauma, and oppression. In 2006 he graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA in painting, and in 2009 he received his MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University. Then he went on to work with organizations such as the National Veterans Art Museum, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the Center for Artistic Activism.

 

Drawing from the series 21 Days to Baghdad/Chicago
One of the pieces from “21 Days to Baghdad/Chicago,” a collection of drawings and maps Aaron made after returning to Illinois from his deployment.

 

In the summer of 2013, Aaron came to Penland for the first time with a Windgate Charitable Fund Scholarship. “I had spent so much time helping others to tell their stories and listening to other people’s stories that I had neglected any kind of personal work I needed to do,” Aaron explains. “I applied to Penland as a part of my transition back to focusing on my own art practice.”

He has returned to Penland each summer since to take classes in the printmaking and letterpress studios. “One reason I’m super invested in the printmaking program is that I’m interested in the way printmaking and politics can help to popularize language, stories, and movements,” he says. The connection is clear for Aaron: “Your ability to communicate lies in your ability to execute a craft. That’s what I’ve been gaining each time I come to Penland—the opportunity to develop my craft and to improve my communication skills.”

Aaron readily admits, however, that his time at Penland has been about more than gaining skills in the studio. “Penland is a generous space for me as a veteran,” he explains. “It’s a place of transformation and growth and learning. I’ve been encouraging other veterans to apply there because it’s such a healing, generative space.”

When he’s at Penland, Aaron describes himself as a “studio hound.” “I just want to make, make, make, make, make,” he laughs. But Aaron also values the quieter, more contemplative moments on campus. He describes the short walk back from dinner to the print studio: “There’s a little bench that’s halfway. I’ve often enjoyed sitting there, embracing the evening as it approaches and watching the Appalachian dusk. It’s so beautiful—transcendently beautiful. And I just sit in between all this creativity and embrace the present moment of being there. I feel like that’s healing. That’s wholesome for anybody.”

–Sarah Parkinson

 

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Printfest with Aimee Joyaux | April 10-16, 2016

Letterpress print on old ledger paper
Aimee Joyaux, “Posh RVA,” letterpress, rubber stamps, ledger paper, 16″ x 20″

 

“I love narratives,” says Aimee Joyaux. “Life is full of stories.”

As a mixed-media artist and educator for the past 30 years, Aimee’s life is certainly rich with stories—her childhood on the island of Maui, her time as a photographer for a local newspaper, the eleven years she and her husband spent renovating the historic Virginia cotton warehouse they now call home.

“My work examines contradiction and bias, situating a personal experience within a grand narrative through language, iconography, and gestural fields of color,” Aimee explains. “This engagement with cultural memory explores ideas of power and place.” All that, and Aimee manages to do it with a bit of fun and whimsy.

 

PAAL_Aimee_G_JHW_9648

When Aimee was able to salvage hundreds of printing plates from a seed and feed bag company in Richmond, VA in 2011, the plates and their history quickly worked their way into her explorations of narrative. Through Cornmeal Press, Aimee’s co-op community print factory, she and others have been telling stories of agriculture, local production, and the southern United States—with a personal twist. The prints draw on historical imagery but add new layers through color, text, paper, and composition so that each one also speaks of its maker.

 

letterpress print on old wallpaper
Aimee Joyaux, “Don’t Postpone Joy,” letterpress on hand-printed wallpaper, 24″ x 30″ (1 of 15)

 

This spring, Aimee will bring Cornmeal Press and her love of stories to Penland for a week-long printing spree appropriately titled Printfest. “It’ll be crafty and fun—perfect for those new to printing (we’ll cover lots of basics) and the old pros (they can crank out a bunch of work),” Aimee says. “Come on down to North Carolina and put a pig on it!”

Registration is currently open for Printfest, which will take place April 10-16, 2016. If you’d still like more information after reading the course description below, take a look at the Cornmeal Press page on Aimee’s website.

 

Three women working at a printing press

 

Printfest

Aimee Joyaux — This workshop will be a fun week of introductory printmaking using dozens of plates salvaged from a seed and feedbag company in Richmond, Virginia. We’ll mix and match chickens, pigs, cows, and horses to make unique posters and simple broadsides. We’ll review basic printmaking processes with an equal emphasis on fun and exploration. We’ll cover ink application, color mixing, and printing on paper and fabric (tea towels!). We’ll print with a press or by hand using oil-based inks. Students will leave with a shared portfolio of prints and will contribute to the collective work of Cornmeal Press.

Aimee: Studio artist; teaching: Visual Arts Center (VA), Ball State University (IN); exhibitions: Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago), National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC), Melanee Cooper Gallery (Chicago), Center for Book and Paper Arts (Chicago); representation: Quirk Gallery (VA), Walton Gallery (VA).

Register to be part of Printfest.

sun
Aimee Joyaux, “5 O’Clock Somewhere,” letterpress on Atlas Sheets, 11″ x 15″

 

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Hand in Hand: Books, Paper, and Print from the Top

christopher davenport making books

 

Christopher Davenport is a storyteller. His stories are personal and complex, weaving together ecology, people, place, and lived experience:

“The place and people I grew up with in rural northeastern North Carolina through the lens of time in 7 poems and 7 photographs.”

“A meditation of places beautiful, able, and unable—Utah’s Wasatch Range and Iowa Corn Fields—from 30,000 feet and memory.”

“Acceptance and resignation as contemporary ecological narratives of extinction.”

“Of place, wilderness, what we see, what we collect, and what we keep.”

“A look beyond experience. Photographs from infrared cameras placed on family property in Washington County, North Carolina.”

 

Christopher tells his stories through text and images strung together into artists’ books. When he describes what drew him to the book format, he explains, “I’ve worked with film, video, photography, and other mediums, but none of them could fully touch on the total idea or experience I was trying to relate to other people. Books just seemed to fit that.”

 

wood case, binding, and interior pages of Ease
Details of the case, binding, and interior pages of “Ease out of your skin, Ease out of your ways, Ease out of your mind.”

 

Christopher’s books work in layers to communicate that complete experience. Take Ease out of your skin, Ease out of your ways, Ease out of your mind, a book he made last year while spending time at and around Penland: Christopher describes the book as “an ecological action and visual poem to intersecting place, commitment, and shared space.” Many of its pages are dedicated to a series of cyanotypes of a young male deer that Christopher took while observing from the grass nearby. But the book’s story is much fuller than that, and each of its elements contributes in some way. The handmade abaca spine and reclaimed poplar case speak of human ingenuity as well as our dependence on the natural world. The cotton cover made from a feed sack from nearby Bakersville, NC details a connection to place, while pages bound in from Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac locate this moment within the greater narrative of human and natural history. Even the beeswax used to finish the book—harvested from Penland’s own beehive—adds a layer of meaning.

 

Artist's book by Christopher Davenport
“Twelve Days,” a book Christopher made in 2014 to document the time he spent in wilderness over the year and to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Wilderness Act.

 

As the instructor for our Spring 2016 concentration Hand in Hand: Books, Paper, and Print from the Top, Christopher will spend eight weeks taking his students through the many details that, together, contribute meaning to an artist’s book. From papermaking and binding to strategies for building type, image, and ideas into a narrative, the class will be in-depth process and experimentation at its best.

 

Hand in Hand will run March 13 – May 6, 2016. Registration is currently open.

 

Hand in Hand: Books, Paper, and Print from the Top

Christopher Davenport — This workshop is about making books—with our hands, our tools, our paper, and our ideas. We’ll cover gathering and preparing fibers; constructing molds, deckles, and tools; drying; surface treatment; finishes; Western and Eastern binding and printing techniques; and conceptual considerations of the book, book design, visual narratives, and generating content. We’ll divide our time between the paper and book studios with a week or two spent printing in the letterpress studio as we gain skills, explore possibilities, make essential binding and papermaking tools, and make books. All levels. Code S00B

Studio artist and teacher at University of Alabama; other teaching: Robert C. Williams Museum of Paper Making (Atlanta), Kennesaw State University (PA); Alabama Arts Council Arts in Education Residency; collections: Wesleyan University (CT), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; his Pocket Knife Press books are represented by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers.

pocketknifepress.com

 

Penland Spring Concentrations, March 13 – May 6, 2016
Books  |  Clay  |  Glass  |  Iron  |  Metals  |  Textiles  |  Wood