Glass Workshops at Penland


Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week workshops taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include glass blowing, flameworking, glass sculpture, cold working, casting, fusing, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Register for Workshops

Registration opens January 12 at 10:00 AM ET. Scholarships are available for all workshops—apply by February 17.

NOTE: Many aspects of Penland workshops will be altered for 2021 because of the pandemic, but we’re moving ahead with optimism and care. Before you apply, please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. And know that, if conditions force us to cancel workshops, you’ll get a full refund on your payment.

Glass – Special Session
May 9-15, 2021
Janis Miltenberger
The Narrative Core

We’ll cover the basic flameworking techniques needed to make well-crafted solid and blown work. Using borosilicate glass, a torch, and hand tools, we’ll bend, reconfigure, and shape clear and colored glass rods and tubes. We’ll laugh, have endless discussions about how to approach each project, and lose track of time as the ideas flow. Bring whatever skill you have or have not; no glass experience required. Bring ideas, become inspired, and allow your creative voice to emerge. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), Penland (NC), Pittsburgh Glass Center (PA), Niijima Glass Art Center (Japan), Bild-Werk Frauenau (Germany); representation: Habatat Galleries.

Janis Miltenberger, "Untarnished," borosilicate glass, oil paint, 22k gold, 48 x 14 x 8 inches
Glass Summer Session 1
May 23 – June 3, 2021
Daniel Clayman and Fred Kahl
MMM: Metaphysical Material Manipulation

We live in a physical world, communicate in digital space, and exist in a metaphysical dimension. This project-based workshop for sculptors of all skill levels will explore ways of synthesizing these experiences, in and out of the glass studio, to create sculpture with intention, purpose, and meaning. The instructors will guide students in combining digital design and manufacturing with centuries-old mold making and glass techniques. Bring a laptop, a sketchbook, pencils, ratty clothes, and a meditation cushion, and we’ll straddle the analogue/digital divide in pursuit of great art! Working throughout the entire Penland glass studio, we’ll cover 3-D modeling, CNC carving, 3-D printing, mold making for kiln casting, hot casting with graphite molds, and mold blowing. Twenty-first century glassmaking is all about the right tool for the right job. Let’s leverage the best of digital and analogue, and put it together in a divine digilogue. All levels. Hot shop.

Daniel: artist/educator; Effron Family Endowed Chair in Glass Studies at University of the Arts (Philadelphia); has been a visiting critic at Rhode Island School of Design and artist-in-residence at Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia) and Massachusetts College of Art and Design; collections: Corning Museum (NY), de Young Museum (San Francisco), High Museum (Atlanta), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Renwick Gallery (DC). Fred: artist, designer, magician, sword swallower, yogi, inventor; residencies: TED (NYC), Tacoma Museum of Glass (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), StarWorks (NC), Wheaton Arts Center (NJ); has been staff, student, teaching assistant, and instructor at Pilchuck (WA).  |  @danielclayman  |  @fredini

See some of Fred’s work in this neat video!

Daniel Clayman, "Radiant Landscape," glass, steel cable, copper rivets, 26 x 44 x 42 feet
Fred Kahl, "Manipura," hot-assembled cast glass from CNC-carved graphite molds, 16 x 16 x 16 inches
Glass Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Nisha Bansil
Paper to Glass: Casting Thin Folded Forms

This workshop will cover all of the skills you need to create complex, cast-glass objects. Students will begin by create 5-7 samples of various paper folds, starting with the Miura-ori* and working our way to diamond folding and pleating. Then we’ll create plaster/silica molds from these folded forms. We’ll discuss mold making and firing schedules in depth, and we’ll learn how firing affects the outcome of our finished pieces. Working with Bullseye glass, our casting techniques will be inspired by the Higuchis’ pâte de vérre process. We’ll also learn basic enameling techniques so we can experiment with slumping images into our plaster molds. No glass experience necessary; experienced folders are welcome! All levels. Hot shop.

*Miura-ori is a versatile fold created by Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura. It has been used to fold everything from maps to deployable solar panels.

Studio artist; teaching: Hartwick College (NY), State University of New York-New Paltz; residencies: The Studio at Corning (NY), Bullseye Glass (NY); performances: CMOG 2300 (NY), Chrysler Museum Third Thursday series (VA).


Nisha Bansil, "Diamond Fold 2," cast glass, 42 x 15 x 1-1/2 inches
Glass Summer Session 3
June 20 – July 1, 2021
Einar De La Torre and Jamex De La Torre

This will be a two-in-one deal: a hot glass sculpting workshop plus a mixed-media workshop. We’ll take turns in the hot-shop, and students will be expected to delve into the mixed-media process when they are not blowing. We’ll meet daily to discuss process in the service of art making. Collaborative assignments will foment discussion. We’ll be available to discuss all aspects of an art practice, including our experience in public art and over 30 years in studio art. The mixed-media component will be as important as the glass for the success of this workshop; it’s not for the blowing-obsessed. Level: students should have a basic understanding of hot glass with a minimum experience equivalent to several weekend workshops. Hot shop.

Collaborating studio artists; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), UrbanGlass (NYC), Pittsburgh Glass Center, Xaquixe Glass Studio (Mexico), BildWerk (Germany); collections: Museum of American Glass (NJ), Corning Museum (NY), Glasmuseum Frauenau (Germany), National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago), Nationaal Glasmuseum (Netherlands); public art: San Diego International Airport (CA), City of Toulouse (France), Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center (CA).

De la Torre Brothers, "¡2020!," blown glass, cast resin, mixed media, 33 x 22 x 14 inches
Glass Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Cedric Mitchell and Corey Pemberton
Touch It, Bring It

This introductory workshop will focus on the fundamentals of glassblowing, covering the proper use of equipment and tools and helping students achieve an understanding of the material. We’ll emphasize basic steps of glassblowing, such as gathering, starter bubbles, punties, heat management, and color application. Students will work on basic forms through the stoic approach of perpetual practice and then explore the endless possibilities of compound forms. If you’re looking to build a strong foundation, this workshop is for you. Come ready to practice radical positivity and teamwork and turn it up! Beginning level. Hot shop.

Cedric: studio artist; teaching: Pittsburgh Glass Center, Toledo Glass Museum (OH), Los Angeles Glass Center, Tulsa Glassblowing School (OK). Corey: studio artist; teaching: Pittsburgh Glass Center, UrbanGlass (NYC), Los Angeles Glass Center, North Carolina Glass Center; residencies: SmArt Kinston (NC), Pittsburgh Glass Center, Bruket (Norway); exhibitions: Contemporary Art Museum (NC), Blue Spiral 1 (NC), Green Hill Center (NC), Penland Gallery, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (NC).  |  @cedricmitchelldesign  | @instantglassic

Cedric Mitchell, "Vessel Display," sandblasted blown glass, 20 x 5 x 5 inches, 16 x 4 x 4 inches
Corey Pemberton, "Fluted Vases," blown glass, 18 inches tall
Glass Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Heather Trimlett
Flameworking A to Z

Working with soft glass at the torch, we’ll investigate countless options for bead design, twisted cane composition, and distinct application methods. Students will be introduced to disk beads, glass buttons, working with large mandrels, and coldworking and challenge themselves, through a series of tips and tricks, to conquer these methods. Demonstrations will support the learning process in detail, allowing students to apply techniques at their own pace. Students can expect to advance their skill set, work more precisely by mastering the fine art of heat control, and increase their level of confidence and consistency. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist, tool designer, tutorial writer; teaching: The Studio at Corning (NY), Haystack (ME), Penland, and venues in Germany, Hungary, U.K., and Canada; Uncommon Goods Glass Challenge Winner; representation: Kittrell-Rifkind Art Glass Gallery (Dallas).

Heather Trimlett, "Beads," flameworked glass, largest: 2-3/4 inches diameter
Glass Summer Session 5
July 18 – August 2, 2021
Kimberly Thomas-Zii
Mean What You Say

Art is communication, a language of thoughts and feelings. Every artist speaks a different dialect, and while the interpretation is subjective, the expression should be accurate. With a focus on honing sculptural skill, improving technical fluency, and developing creative intelligence, students will learn how to find their unique aesthetic speech and use this sculptural language to create short stories in glass. Through group and individual demos, we’ll cover sculpting borosilicate glass, assembly, timing, and texture. Mixed media and reckless abandon encouraged. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist, glass instructors at Salem Community College (NJ); other teaching: UrbanGlass (NYC), The Studio at Corning (NY); exhibitions: Glass Vegas Expo (Las Vegas).


bug-eyed glass bunny head with glass fingers for ears
Kimberly Thomas-Zii, "Finger Bunny," glass, 7-1/2 x 4 x 3-1/2 inches
Glass Summer Session 6
August 8-19, 2021
Raven Skyriver

This workshop is for people who enjoy blowing glass but haven’t explored sculpting, or those who sculpt glass but want to hone their techniques and learn a new approach. We’ll cover all areas of hot-sculpted glass and study form and proportion, color application, assembly of components, and problem solving. We’ll push comfort levels and discuss technical issues in the studio with the intent of increasing students’ understanding of the material. Students will have the opportunity to assist with demonstrations. Intermediate/advanced level: a solid grounding in the fundamentals of hot glass required. Hot shop.

Studio artist; former member of William Morris team; teaching: Niijima Glass Center (Japan), Pilchuck (WA), The Glass Furnace (Turkey), The Studio at Corning (NY), Aya Glass Studio (Japan), Penland; multiple solo exhibitions at Stonington Gallery (Seattle).

Raven Skyriver, "Awaken," freehand, solid sculpted glass, 13 x 28 x 11 inches
Glass Summer Session 6
August 8-19, 2021
Mathieu Grodet
Say Something with Glass

This innovative workshop will be an introduction to the Venetian glass cane technique called murrine. Using the classic Franchini technique, students will work with soft glass to create simple and intricate murrine patterns, letters, and images. These elements will then be made into beads, pendants, rings, and other solid forms. Carefully considering design principles and elements, students will execute projects that combine multiple glass pieces at the torch. By the end of the workshop, students will have made several unique pieces using flameworking, fusing, and coldworking. Soft glass only. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio Artist; teaching: Haliburton School of Art and Design at Fleming College (Ontario), Aya Glass Studio (Japan), China Academy for the Arts; collections: Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal), Lommel Museum (Belgium), Art Institute of Chicago, Corning Museum (NY); representation: Sandra Ainsley Gallery (Toronto).

Matthieu Grodet, "Declaration of Human Rights," Moretti glass, wood, cement, 43 x 30-1/2 x 2 inches
Matthieu Grodet, "Murrine Letters and Numbers," Moretti glass, largest: 3/8 inches
Glass Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
Andy Paiko
We’re on Our Own

Based on the idea that if you want things done right you must do them yourself, this class will take a look at self-sufficiency in the glass studio. From solo, hot-work tips and techniques at the furnace to coldworking and assembly strategies, students will be encouraged to create the ambitious large and/or intricate work they have always wanted to attempt. Topics will include hot assembly alone, adding avolios and blown feet alone, solo punty making, marver-casting shapes for hot pick-up, and more. We’ll consider what goes into the whole process from idea generation to cashing the check and every step in between. You’ll be encourage to become lifelong students when there are no longer instructors and it’s time to get down to business. All levels. Hot shop.

Studio artist; collections: Renwick Gallery (DC), Chazen Art Museum (WI); Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award; exhibitions: Stanza del Vetro (Venice, Italy), Museum of Fine Arts Boston; representation: Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia).

Andy Paiko, "Indefinite Sum 6 and 7," blown, sculpted, etched, and lacquered glass; brass, leather, tallest: 31 inches
Glass Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
David Willis
Gotta Make It Somehow

Approaching flameworking from a goal-oriented, project-based perspective, we’ll talk about and build things with borosilicate glass. Skill building will happen along the way, or it may be a goal in itself. Topics may include, but will not be limited to, blowing hollow forms, solid sculpting, large- and small-scale construction, hot and cold assembly, botanical and figure studies, tooling, color application, heat application, and annealing. Group or class projects are a possibility. All levels. Flame studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Pilchuck (WA), The Studio at Corning (NY), University of Oregon, Penland; Tacoma Museum of Glass residency (WA), multiple exhibitions at Austin Art Projects (CA); work published in ARTnews, New Glass Review, Contemporary Flameworking Volume III, Lampworking Volume 2: The 20th Century to the Present; past director of the Glass Art Society.

David Willis, "Memorial (a heavy heart, but full)," flameworked borosilicate glass, 7 x 9 x 4-1/2 inches