Community Open House


Annual Community Open House

The Community Open House is an annual event that opens the doors to Penland’s studios to more than 500 adults and children from the surrounding area and beyond, engaging them in free, quality, hands-on studio experiences. The event is a special opportunity for community members to experience Penland’s teaching studios, which are not often open to the public. Over 100 volunteers help make the day a smooth, fun, and joyful experience.


2023– We’re back!

2023 will mark Penland’s first Community Open House since 2020. We are so excited to welcome our community back to campus for demonstrations, hands-on activities, and the opportunity to “make and take” home a crafted object.

Join us on Saturday, February 25, from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.

This year’s activities include:


Clay Studio – Make a pot at the wheel or a small clay sculpture. 


Glass Studio – Watch demonstrations in glassblowing and flameworking.


Letterpress Studio – Print a small poster on the letterpress using legos.


Metals StudioPress a design into a piece of copper sheet and then turn your piece into a charm.


Papermaking Studio – Learn the basics of paper sheet formation and embedding while making fun paper pizza slices.


Photography Studio – Make an original cyanotype print by combining patterns from nature, science, and architecture.


Paste Painting at Ridgeway Building (across from the Gallery) – Make a sheet of decorative pastepaper using brightly pigmented pastepaints and colorful sheets of paper. 


Textiles Studio – Block print on a bandana with colorful textile pigments using linoleum and fruit. 


Iron Studio – Work with one of our blacksmiths to forge your own wall hook. 

NOTE: There are limited slots for the iron activity. We will begin collecting names (you must be present) at 12:45 pm and assign time slots by lottery at 1:00 pm. After the lottery, remaining slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wood Studio – No activity this year.



Claudia’s Authentic Mexican Food will be on campus from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.



Video Tutorials

Please enjoy some fun video tutorials, created in recent years by close friends, neighbors, and staff


Artists Rickie Barnett and Lynne Hobaica show us how to make papier mâché masks using cardboard, paper, flour, water, hot glue, and a few simple tools. The materials list is here.


Penland resident artist Ellie Richards shows us how to make a kite from plastic grocery bags, sticks, and string. Materials list and instructions are here.


Repeat-pattern stamp printing
with former textiles studio coordinator Sarita Westrup. Use craft foam, cardboard, and a stamp pad to make fun patterns on cloth or paper. Materials list is here.



Teaching artist Meg Peterson shows paste-paper painting, a method to make colorful paintings and durable, decorative papers. The materials list and paste recipe are here. 



And as a bonus, here are two videos featuring Penland’s former baker, Alena Applerose, showing how to make two Penland coffee house favorites: gingerade (a refreshing fruit and ginger drink), and peanut butter cookies (these are gluten free!). The recipes are here. So dive in and get your snacks ready before it’s craft time!