Posted on

Creation to Celebration: 6 Cs of Winter Residency

Every winter, we begin the new year with a month of short, intense residencies at Penland. Winter Residency is a time when we invite artists to arrive with their own ideas and projects and bring them to life in our studios. There is no instruction and we don’t give assignments—we just ask that each resident dive in, explore, and connect with the energy and creativity of this community. It’s the best start to the year we could hope for.

Below, we highlight a few photographs and themes from this year’s residency. Find out more (and learn how to apply to join us next year!) on the Winter Residency page.

Creation

Mary Raivel at the bench in Penland metals

Winter residency is a time to create. It’s a time to actually work on those ideas that just won’t keep quite and see what’s really there when you give them a chance. Here, metals resident Mary Raivel is continuing a series of pieces that incorporate old lenses and watch crystals. She says, “I would never have managed to devote the necessary time to this new work on age and ageism using new (to me) materials, were it not for my time here.”

Concentration

Potter Ronen Yamin trimming a vessel

No meal schedules, no work-study schedules, no class projects, no daily slide talks. There is less structure to Penland’s Winter Residencies than there is to our workshop sessions, which means you can work how and when it works for you. It’s amazing how much our residents accomplish in just a couple weeks of deep concentration! Here, potter Ronen Yamin focuses while trimming a series of vessels.

Collection

Katie St. Clair working on a collection of paintings

With half as many people but just as much space, winters at Penland provide a quieter, more expansive atmosphere than the all-in exuberance of our summer workshops. Here, painting and drawing resident Katie St. Clair spreads out during the first two weeks of residency to put the finishing touches on a collection of paintings for an upcoming exhibition. Winter residency is the perfect time to take a step back from individual pieces and think about your work as a whole.

Challenge

a collection of spoons made by Penland winter residents

Mostly, it’s personal challenges that our winter residents set for themselves, but there are always a few fun group challenges, too. The annual Table in a Day competition is one we’ve written about repeatedly on the Penland blog (2020, 2018, 2017). This year, residents introduced a new one: Spoon Before Noon. Above are just some of the results from the morning in a variety of materials and even more styles!

Collaboration

Sasha Baskin screenprinting

When you get 80+ artists together in an open studio environment, there’s bound to be a lot of discussion, sharing, and building on each other’s ideas. Often, these interactions lead to new collaborations, such as this one between textiles residents Sasha Baskin and Alyssa Salomon. Together, they used Alyssa’s screenprinting knowledge to turn Sasha’s lace designs into prints on fabric.

Celebration

view of the final winter residency show and tell

To end it all, we ask everyone to participate in one of our oldest, most cherished traditions: Show and Tell. It’s a time to explore what everyone else has been up to while you’ve been head down in the studio, to catch up with old friends and say hi to new ones, and mostly to marvel at the sheer creative force that is the Penland community. Winter residents, you amaze us! Thank you for giving this month your all and sharing it so generously with us.

Want to see even more? Head to our Winter Residency Facebook album.

Posted on

Photo of the Week: Enamel Innovations

two women sifting enamel onto a large spatula in the Penland iron studio

What do you do when you want to finish your large, hand-forged utensils with a coat of enamel but they’re too big to fit in any of the enameling kilns? Build a sifting tool, grab a friend, and apply the powder directly to red-hot steel, of course!

The spirit of ingenuity and problem-solving is one thing we cherish about January in the Penland studios. Winter residents are free to go in whatever directions they need to bring their ideas to life. Rachel Kedinger’s enameling experiments (with a little help from fellow blacksmith Meghan Martin!) are just one great example.

Posted on

Print Collaboration

two women examining prints that have just come off a Vandercook press

Penland instructor and former resident Eileen Wallace and Penland programs director Leslie Noell spent the second week of winter residencies hard at work in the letterpress studio. The two were continuing a collaborative series of prints that explore transparency, composition, and the graphic potential of wood type. There was a lot of play involved, too.

Posted on

Photo of the Week: Glazing Day

We’re in the final week of clay winter residencies, which means a flurry of glazing and firing and a lot of full tables. A quick visit to the upper clay studio yesterday revealed two very different approaches to surface decoration. Above, core fellow Eleanor Anderson goes big with color and pattern and waxes and underglaze. Below, winter resident Irvin Carsten keeps his cleanly angled forms a bit more muted.

If you’ll be around campus this Friday, February 16, stop by the clay studio at 5 PM for the final show and tell of ceramic work—this year’s residents have been prodigious!

Posted on

Will and Sven at Penland

Will Maguire, from Elderslie, Australia, and Sven Bauer, from Womrath, Germany, spent the last two weeks of January in the Penland iron shop as part of this year’s winter residency. They met a decade ago when they worked for a time in the same blacksmith’s shop in England. After returning to their respective countries and being out of touch for a few years, they reconnected through their mutual friend Rick Smith, who is a Penland instructor and a former resident artist. Rick had told both of them about Penland, and they decided to use the winter residency as a chance to work together again.

“We work in small shops by ourselves, and this was a good chance to do some work around other people,” Will said. Their plan was to make collaborative work, but the projects they set up for themselves didn’t really gel. The attempt did result, however, in great conversations and useful critiques. And everyone who passed through the studio could attest to the fact that they each made some beautiful work.

Left: detail of a sculpture by Sven Bauer. Right: three kangaroo sculptures by Will Maguire. (photos by the artists)

Asked why they wanted to have this reunion at Penland, Sven answered, “I don’t know of any place in Europe where we could do this—to be able to do an artist residency of a few weeks in a shop with this kind of equipment. This does not exist for blacksmithing. There are programs like this for musicians, writers, and painters, but not for what we do. It’s also been great to visit the other shops, see what everyone else is doing, and talk to people working on other mediums with a similar intent.”

They expect to meet up at Penland again, and we hope they will.

 

Posted on

Table in a Day, 2018 Edition

Two table in a day tables in progress

Summer at Penland boasts the Annual Benefit Auction and the Fourth of July parade. The spring season gets the Community Open House and the Easter egg hunt. In the fall, there’s the annual Halloween party and the final scholarship auction of the year. But it may be winter that hosts my favorite Penland event of all—Table in a Day in the wood studio.

Like these other Penland traditions, Table in a Day distills so much of what’s vital to life at Penland: fine craft, camaraderie, a bit of hustle, and a lot of fun. Participants have the twelve hours from 9 AM to 9 PM to construct a table of their own design, from milling the wood to joining and finishing the pieces. Now in its fourth year, it’s a frenzy that never fails to result in beautiful work and good laughs.

By this year’s 9 PM finish line, when pizza magically appeared on the studio tables and residents from all over campus came to marvel at the results, artists in the wood studio had transformed rough boards and ideas into a stunning variety of actual tables. Some were colorful and adorned with patterns, while others boasted elegant curves and thoughtful joinery. Wood studio coordinator Ellie Richards incorporated flooring from the old Northlight building into her three-part design, while core fellow Corey Pemberton used the strength of plywood to his advantage in a series of thin splines that support a circular top (both pictured above).

And, this year, the Penland community proved that you don’t have to be a wood resident to join the fun. Other entries included a 3D-printed miniature table in hot pink plastic (complete with pink plant accessory!), a table-shaped box made of book board, a clay dish decorated with an image of an intricate hall table, and screenprint embellished with drawing to make a pool table. There was even a remote Table in a Day entry from fall concentration instructor Christina Boy from her wood studio in Virginia!

Take a look at the slideshow below to get a glimpse of the action, or check out #tableinaday on Instagram for more photos.

—Sarah Parkinson