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The festivities were so much fun that we extended our Independence Day celebrations to two days this year! (Okay, the rain that started around dark on July 4th may have had something to do with it…) The parade featured some impressive entries, including a replica of Penland’s beloved Travelog, a giant unicorn, a quilted snake, a “Swan Song” float by departing director and deputy director Jean McLaughlin and Jerry Jackson, and even a multi-part narrative float by the students in IlaSahai Prouty’s community art workshop. And, despite the 24-hour delay, the fireworks show was an impressive site to behold. Big thanks to the Penland pyrotechnics crew, the parade participants, the trophy makers, the cheering crowds, and everyone else who came out to celebrate July 4th with us!
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!
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 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.”
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!
If you’ve been to Penland in the past four decades, you’ve probably met a Penland core fellow. At any given moment, they might be learning new techniques in workshops, helping cook in the kitchen, checking students into meals at the Pines, making work in their own studios, or spending time at their communal house on campus. Core fellows are emerging artists at the very nexus of the Penland community, and the two years they spend living, working, and learning here can be as intense as they are rewarding. Here’s how former core fellows from across the years have reflected on their time in the program:
“During those two years, I met remarkable people and learned tons… There was a steady stream of extraordinary artists passing through the school, teaching, giving demonstrations, and making presentations on their work. There was an informality that made learning an integral part of our daily existence there. It was a life-changing experience.” —Alida Fish, core fellow 1971-1973
“Being a core student was such an important link in my career that it’s hard to imagine how I would have gotten from point A to point B otherwise.” —Critz Campbell, core fellow 1994-1996
“I took advantage of the collective wealth of knowledge that is Penland at any given time—all the instructors and staff and students. Coming out of that program, I had a completely altered understanding of material and process—both what I can do personally and what is possible.” —Jack Mauch, core fellow 2011-2013
“You pick your friends, but this group is just handed to you. You’re thrown together by chance, and then these people become your closest friends for a lifetime.” —Daniel Essig, core fellow 1992-1994
“At Penland, I learned the many ways there are to be an artist: you can be a studio artist, you can teach, you can help other artists. The program exceeded every expectation. Being a core fellow changed my life: the experience gave me the how-to knowledge to make things and the confidence to know that I was good at it.” —Amy Jacobs, core fellow 2004-2006
Penland will be accepting four new students into the Core Fellowship Program for 2017. Applications are due October 15, 2016.For more information, visit the Core Fellowship page.
The reflections above are excerpts of interviews from Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs. This new book includes a history of the core program and interviews with sixteen former core fellows. To purchase a copy of Inspired, call the Penland Supply Store at 828-765-2359 ext. 1321.
“Beautiful things have always affected my life, and I believe beauty is a powerful force in the world.” So Kristina Glick introduces her body of jewelry and metalwork. Her pieces are indeed beautiful, but those expecting extravagant gold or jewel-studded creations are imagining the work of the wrong artist. Kristina’s beauty is all about appreciation, interest, and a keen eye. “I am often drawn towards the quiet and the subtle: the texture of a rusty nail, a discarded book, pieces of a magnolia seed, or the curve of a beach stone,” she explains. Her work masterfully combines found objects and traditional metalworking techniques into pieces that are rich with color, texture, and unexpected details.
This fall, Kristina will be bringing her dedication to beauty—and her sizable skills—to the Penland metals studio. From September 25 to November 18, she will be teaching the concentration Counterbalance: Enameling, Electroforming & Found Objects. The course will be eight weeks of exploring techniques, materials, and the qualities that make a piece uniquely beautiful to each of us.
“I hope that what I create may someday slip into someone else’s life and tip the balance of their world a little further in the direction of beauty,” Kristina says. If your world could use a bit more beauty in the everyday (and whose couldn’t?), then Kristina’s workshop might be the perfect thing. Registration is now open, and a couple work-study scholarships are still available. For more information, contact the Penland registrar at 828-765-2359, ext 1306.
Counterbalance: Enameling, Electroforming & Found Objects
Kristina Glick—This workshop will start with the basics of liquid enamels including techniques such as layering, sgraffito, stamping, stenciling, and champlevé. Then we’ll explore electroforming to create organic, textured copper surfaces that will highlight and enhance the enamel. We’ll use found objects as inspiration and incorporate them into finished work. With an emphasis on process and experimentation, we’ll work toward the design and execution of jewelry pieces or wall panels. The workshop will include basic fabrication skills: sawing, soldering, cold connections, etching, and finishing. All levels. Code F00MA
Associate professor at Goshen College (IN); other teaching: Idyllwild (CA), Arizona Designer Craftsmen, Goshen Jewelers Guild (IN); exhibitions: JAS (NC), Touching Mystery (OH); work published in 500 Gemstone Jewels and 500 Enameled Objects (Lark Books); representation: Angelo (VA).
In less than three weeks, summer workshops will be underway at Penland! If you’re not registered for a workshop already, there are still lots of classes with open spaces, and even a few that have work-study scholarship positions available. Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing…
In session 1, students in Lola Brooks’s workshop Storytelling & Belt Bucklery will tie together a wide range of metalworking techniques through narrative. The class will use stone setting, soldering, forming, fabricating, marriage of metals, and more to create pieces that are at once functional, beautiful, and full of meaning. It’s the perfect opportunity for beginning metalsmiths to get a solid footing in technique and for more advanced students to develop their ideas and artistic voice. Register now.
During session 2, Fiction in Photography with Emma Powell will combine traditional 19th century printing processes with current digital technologies. Through a mix of theatrical photography, digital manipulation, and hand-printing, students will create images not of what is, but of what could be. If you’d like to to create images that are expressive, surreal, or even gravity-defying, this workshop is the one for you. Register now.
Session 3 offers intermediate glass students an opportunity to deepen the content of their sculptural works in Logic & Lyricism with Rebecca Arday and David Schnuckel. By emphasizing conceptual intent, the workshop will encourage students to develop techniques in the hot and cold shops that amplify their ideas and artistic goals. For anyone who is ready to take their glass beyond simple forms, Logic & Lyricism provides a chance to make work with poetic appeal as well as technical skill. Register now.
These three workshops are just a small sampling of what Penland students will be learning this summer in the studios. To see all the other workshops across our fifteen studios and seven sessions that still have spaces, take a look at the open workshop list. Once you’ve found your perfect fit, you can register right here.
Before Laura Wood was a jeweler, she was a dancer. It’s a history that shows in her work—earrings and brooches that flutter and flow, pendants that seem nearly weightless in their volume. In her recent pieces, Laura has been exploring lace-like constructions of delicate metal. Each one calls to mind a certain rhythm and exuberance, as if a spiraling path of movement has been temporarily frozen in three dimensions.
Laura explains that her training in dance led her to “making adornment for the body, activating pleasure and enjoyment through wearing.” As she describes it, “Each piece is very much an effort in creating body-conscious work… I strive to enhance the silhouette of the body and create work to be worn as a celebration of performance and adornment.”
“Celebration” seems like an appropriate word to describe Laura’s approach to her career as a full-time jeweler. Her designs are lively and dynamic, and she is engaged in building and supporting her community of fellow metalsmiths. As a complement to her own work, Laura co-founded Jewelry Edition, an online and pop-up jewelry exhibit that features a rotating selection of emerging jewelry artists and strives to offer “an in-depth view into the process of contemporary jewelry.”
For a lucky group of students, Laura will offer an extra in-depth view of that process at Penland this spring. Her 2016 concentration “Make, Show, Repeat: Cross Training for Jewelers” will focus on all stages of creating jewelry, from the idea phase and the technical aspects of making to finishing details and fine-tuning process.
Laura Wood – This workshop will introduce a variety of metalsmithing techniques and material exploration to use as a launching pad for new work or to enrich a jewelry-making vocabulary. We’ll engineer components, embellish surface structures, and hone finishing skills. Other highlights will include mold making, powder coating, etching, stone setting, and idea generation. A progressive timeline will guide the structure of the class to encourage fast development. We’ll share our growth in its various stages through pop-up exhibitions. Basic metalsmithing skills will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code S00MB
Studio artist; teaching: Southwest School of Art (TX); visiting artist: Western Michigan University, New Mexico State University; gallery representation: Mora Contemporary Jewelry (NC), Signature Gallery (GA), Quirk Gallery (VA), Society for Contemporary Craft (PA), Gallery 360 (MN), Heidi Lowe Gallery (DE), Gallery Store (OR).
“My first frame was raised by hand with a group of a dozen friends, and by the end of the day limitless space was bounded by posts and rafters into the shape of a house. I was bewitched.” So Raivo Vihman describes his first experience constructing a timber frame.
Looking at the many timber frames Raivo has designed and built since, it’s not hard to see the appeal. His structures are at once graceful and solid, intricate and beautifully simple. Together, the wooden beams take the familiar shape of a house or a barn, but individually their knots and exposed grain still speak of nature. His structures are built with wood in the truest sense of the word—each beam is unique, and each one gives something of itself to the frame as a whole. For Raivo, even after years of building, every new timber frame is an opportunity: “It’s still about the act of creation, the interplay between aesthetic grace and functional design, and the beauty hidden in the wood.”
This spring, Raivo will be here at Penland to share his craft—and his love of his craft—with students in Timber!, an eight-week timber framing concentration. Like all Penland workshops, Timber! will be an opportunity to gain technical skills, a deeper understanding of materials, and exposure to new ideas. What makes it extra special is that students in the workshop will come together to build an enduring structure on campus. The resulting timber frame will reflect each of the students who’s hands worked to build it, as well as the Penland landscape it will become a part of.
In fact, the structure has already been set into motion. In spring of this year, Raivo was at Penland preparing wood. He and his studio assistant (and former Penland resident artist) Tom Shields stacked dozens of fir, pine, and cypress beams under temporary roofs. The beams have been curing so that they will be ready to frame come next spring:
Raivo also cut a number of beams from the woods right here at Penland. He wanted the structure to include local trees, and he wanted to incorporate pieces into the design that have natural curvature to them. With the help of some eager Penland volunteers, those logs, too, are awaiting next spring:
“The class will be tailored to student interests,” Raivo says. He has structured it to introduce students of all levels—from complete beginners to experienced builders—to the details of timber framing. The workshop will move through the complete process of designing and raising a frame, from drafting plans and building models to working with hand tools and different species of wood. For anyone like Raivo who is fascinated by the potential for both beauty and function in this type of building, Timber! will be an invaluable eight weeks.
Raivo Vihman – In this workshop we’ll delve into traditional carpentry as we cut, join, and raise a timber-framed structure that will become a permanent part of the Penland campus. We’ll explore various approaches to timber preparation, layout, joinery design and execution, and compound-angle joinery. We’ll also cover scribing techniques as we incorporate round logs into the structure of the frame. Students will begin by designing and building their own timber sawhorses and will leave the class with the skills needed to design and build their own timber frames. All levels. Code S00W
Carpenter, founder and proprietor of Haystack Joinery (ME); teaching: Waterfall Arts (ME), Miljandi Cultural Academy (Estonia).