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Photo(s) of the Week: Penland How-to Manual

TBT poetry, printmaking, papermaking!

In 2016, we had a great workshop led by printmaker Susan Webster and poet Stuart Kestenbaum. Susan taught a variety of printmaking techniques and Stuart led daily writing exercises. Meanwhile, in the paper studio Mary Hark and her students were busy making beautiful sheets of paper. Several times during the session, Stuart had people give him a series of words, which he then used in a poem.

All of this came together in Penland How-to Manual, which presents a poem Stuart wrote incorporating words supplied by his students, their printed images, and paper made in Mary’s workshop, all put together as a boxed accordion book that Mary designed. The book was sold in the scholarship auction, but the poem and this set of photographs remain.

animated image of all the pages of a poetry book

The Penland How-to Manual

Consider it an experiment.
Even the wind that moves

the weeds and bees invites
ecstasy.  Listen to the process.

Failure refreshes.
Hug the inner fool and get

to work, not in isolation
but in community, where

at night you can invite memory
to carve an empty plate,

make paper out of air, make
a family from nothing.

Look through the isinglass
of this day see how clear life can be:

In the field fireflies alight, moon rises,
llamas ears listen and twitch.

Stuart Kestenbaum
© 2016

Words offered: hug, listen, highlight, carve, refresh, invite, isolated, process, experiment, play, make, excite, ecstasy, community, bees, plate, air, family, isinglass, llama, weeds, wind, memory, paper, fool, nothing

Words and images from Dan Bouthot, Roberta Durham, Kayleigh Efird, Shan Ellentuck, Nelida Flatow, Elizabeth Guinn, Sandy Hartmannsgruber, Frank Lortscher, Laura Martin, Mia Mueller, Jro Robinson, Mary Smyer, Susan Webster

Handmade paper by Beverly Ayscue, Yoen Hee Cheong, Melissa Cowper-Smith, Sarah Evenson, Jasmin McFayden, Rosemary Peduzzi, Alyssa Sacora, Tony Santoyo, Sophie Smyer, Autumn Thomas, Holland Williams. Book design by Mary Hark.

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Forging Support

NOTE: If you are seeing this by e-mail, you may be getting it for the second time. We had a website glitch yesterday and the original post was lost, so we had to post it again and these things get sent out automatically.

Here’s one more #PenlandEverywhere entry from session 2 instructor Stephen Yusko. Stephen wrote to us to present a special project in support of the work of his co-instructor, Daniel Souto. The two met at Penland over twenty years ago—an incredible example of the deep connections forged in our studios! Stephen and Daniel are hoping to work together again in the Penland iron studio in the near future. We are hoping for that, too.

Stephen Yusko in the Penland iron studio
Stephen Yusko (blue shirt) and Daniel Souto (orange shirt) with students in the Penland iron studio in 2013.

Daniel Souto and I were scheduled to co-teach Session 2 in the Penland iron studio in June, but, of course, our workshop was cancelled along with all the others. So, instead of working with my friend, I used that time to do something to raise funds to support his amazing project, LaCaravanaEscuela. I made four pairs of Volcano Candleholders and two pairs of Volcano Oil Lamps, which I am selling to support the project. They are $375 per pair, with 100% of the funds going toward the purchase of essential tools—mainly anvils and vises, which are nearly impossible to find in Venezuela.The tools will be used in Souto Studio to train the instructors who go into the mountain communities to teach blacksmithing to farmers so they can make their own farm implements and horseshoes, which are in short supply. LaCaravanaEscuela also donates tools to these communities so they can continue their journey of making and learning.

volcano candleholders and oil lamps by stephen yusko
Volcano Candleholders and Volcano Oil Lamps by Stephen Yusko

For information about LaCaravanaEscuela, see Daniel’s story on this blog, or watch this three-minute video. If you want to see a little more about me, you can view this video from the series, Artists in Place, by Luke Frazier. Daniel is in the video as well.

If you’d like to support LaCaravanaEscuela through a purchase of candleholders or lamps, contact me at stephenyusko@gmail.com.

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Photo of the Week: Since the Invention of Mud

Chalkboard drawing at Penland school

Among the many fine students who were part of our fall session was Hunter Bell, who was in the iron workshop. In addition to working with steel, Hunter can draw like mad, and he did several great chalkboards during the session, including this one outside the clay studio.

 

At the end of the session, he left this on the whiteboard outside the dining hall — a little tribute to the six fall workshops (clay, metals, iron, paper/printmaking, glass, textiles).

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#WeMakePenland Tomorrow, October 2!

#WeMakePenland – And we need you!

Penland’s 3rd annual Giving Day is tomorrow, October 2. It’s a 24-hour challenge to generate support for Penland’s studios, scholarships, staff, and more. If we can reach 325 donors by the end of the day, we’ll unlock a special $5,000 gift. That’s why we need your help!

Please join us tomorrow to make this day a success:

  • Give what you can – Even $5 makes a difference! Head directly to our Giving Day website to make your gift and watch this year’s video by our own clay studio coordinator Susan Feagin.
  • Share your story – Post your Penland photos and memories to social media with #WeMakePenland. The more voices, the better!
  • Tell your friends and family – Ask them to join you in supporting this special place.

Together, #WeMakePenland the strong, vibrant, and creative community that it is. Thank you for being such a vital part of it.

See you online on October 2!

P.S. If you’d rather give early, you can make your gift now and have it count toward our Giving Day goal.

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Photo of the Week: Most of Us

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a picture of the Penland core fellows, and someone wrote to ask if they could see a picture of the whole staff. As it happened, we had just taken one, so here it is. It’s hard to get the entire staff together in one place ever, so there are a few people missing here (including the person who took the picture), but this is most of us: the people who make the food, run the studios, clean up our housing and offices, raise the money, keep track of the money, plan the workshops, let you know about the workshops, enroll you in the workshops, keep the buildings and grounds trim, greet you at the store and the gallery, plan for the future, and more, and more, and also the core fellows, still in camo (see below).

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Photo(s) of the Week: Open House

NOTE: This post contains a nice slideshow, which probably won’t look so good in the e-mail version. So if you are looking at this on e-mail, please click here to see the slideshow.

Every March, Penland hosts a community open house that brings about 700 visitors and 100 volunteers to the campus for an afternoon of fun in the Penland studios. Here’s a glimpse of this year’s event.

Clamp-resist indigo dyeing
Clamping cloth before dyeing
Casting a pewter ring
Filing a cast pewter ring
Forging steel hooks
Twisting an steel hook
Glassblowing demonstration
Making glass beads
Shaping wooden bookmarks
Shaping wooden bookmarks
Printing a poster on the letterpress
Assembling botanical photograms
Washing photograms in the darkroom
Using the potter's wheel
Making stuff from clay
Paste paper painting

Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, to Mitchell Transport for running shuttles, to The Pizza Shop for the tasty lunch, and to Dr. Taylor Townsend DDS, Burleson Plumbing, and Ledger Ace Hardware who generously donated in support of this event.

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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