Life at Penland

We help people live creative lives.

Penland School of Craft is a national center for craft education located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Penland’s workshops run the gamut from beginning to professional level; they serve people who teach, people who make a living out of their studios, and people who simply want to live creative lives. Everybody learns from each other. The only prerequisite for participation is a passion for making.

Penland’s beautiful and isolated environment, its historic campus, its shared eating and living spaces, and its well-equipped studios create a special community atmosphere that inspires creativity and enhances learning.

Total immersion workshops are a uniquely effective way of learning. Penland operates free from the constraints of grades, degrees, and linear curricula and benefits from the talents of guest instructors from around the world. This combination allows the school to offer a flexible and diverse program that supports craft traditions while reshaping craft in the context of the contemporary world.

Life at Penland

Each workshop is structured by the teacher, but most are a mix of demonstrations, lectures, and individual studio work. A stay at Penland also offers movement classes, evening slide talks, interaction with other workshops, visits to nearby studios, the Penland Gallery, and hiking trails.

The Pines dining hall provides three delicious meals each day. An on-campus coffeehouse offers hot and cold drinks, snacks, and a place to meet and relax. The school supply store features a variety of hand tools and craft materials along with UPS shipping, books, postcards, Penland gear, and other items. Wireless internet access is available throughout campus, and there are several public computers. Most students stay on campus, and all students may participate in all activities.

At Penland, you can expect to work hard, learn a lot, make friends, and immerse yourself in an environment that’s free from many of the distractions of everyday life.You can look forward to having fun, eating good food, and feeling the kind of energy that comes from immersing yourself in something you love.

Workshops listed by session
Scholarship information 
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Please read this note about our session schedules.