"Penland School of Crafts is an international center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Penland offers one-, two-, and eight-week workshops in books & paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. The school also offers artists' residencies, community collaboration programs, and a gallery and information center."
Click here for complete course and registration information for all Penland workshops.
The 2016 catalog of classes is now available! Click here to see the full details on each and every class Pilchuck is offering this summer! To view a PDF of the catalog, click here.
New this year! Each of the six sessions is defined by a theme, evident in the content of each class, and the work of the artists in residence.
Save the date! Applications for students, teaching and artist assistants, seasonal staff, and campus assistants will be due before midnight, February 3, 2016.
By Jesse Bacon, Catalyst Director at Social Impact Studios.
Jesse says: I have an especially close relationship with glass. When I was growing up, my parents sold glass for greenhouses and windows. I’ll always choose glass: both my water bottle and coffee mug—my constant traveling companions—are made of glass.
Because glass is commonplace and transparent, we can literally see right through it, and perhaps overlook it. We might miss that all glass goes through a remarkable transformation—silica melted at temperatures of up to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is this property, which you could call magical, that has fascinated Peter Patterson, who has been a glassblower for decades. My interview with Patterson continues below.
Being a studio artist can be a lonely business. Long hours alone are punctuated occasionally by contacts with suppliers, clients, exhibitors, colleagues, but basically, time is spent with the process and materials of making. If you don’t teach at an educational institution or work in a cooperative space, the opportunity for community is not readily available. You have to look for it.
Interview with Craft artist and teacher Pat Flynn
By Jesse Bacon, Catalyst Director at Social Impact Studios.
As someone who has never done a Craft art, I regard those who do with great admiration. It's important for me to understand what goes into their work. I do understand communities and education because of my on background on organizing, so I want to talk to artists about what makes the Craft School Experience special and how it is passed on. How does it connect to broader ideas of teaching, learning, and place? What is the specific texture, shape, and sound of Craft?
I want to learn this so I can in turn better spread the message of how important and vital these communities are and help the schools themselves connect to what is authentically special about what they provide. That is what we offer at Social Impact Studios, an enlightened outside perspective of someone deeply invested and learning from our client's work. That way we can help spread the word to people who have never before blown glass or worked a potter's wheel.
First up, I spoke to Pat Flynn. Pat has taught at Arrowmont, Haystack, Penland, and Peters Valley, an amazing 80% super majority of schools in the Craft School Experience. We met him at SOFA Chicago, and he seemed like just the person to talk as a passionate advocate of craft with decades of broad experience as a student and a teacher. He ended up providing the perfect description of the simple, tiny steps that go into making something unique and beautiful. "A lot of little steps done perfectly."
Pat graciously took some time away from his workbench to talk to his about his education in Craft and his educating others.
Per his website bio, "Pat Flynn is a goldsmith who lives and works in High Falls, New York... Pat is known for both his elegant bracelets and necklaces that combine blackened steel with 22k, 18k, platinum, diamonds and pearls; and, for his meticulous hinges and latches. His work has been featured in “metalsmith” magazine and, most recently included in the Penland Book of Jewelry. His work can also be found in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Art & Design in New York. His work has most recently been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC."
Part 6 | Artist Lindsay Ketterer Gates Manifests the Personal in the Unexpected
With Ideas on Craft and the Craft School Experience from Kristin Muller, Executive Director, Peters Valley School of Craft
I began this series with a quote from the Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates: “Ars longa, vita brevis” which translates to “life is short, but art lives forever,” though its original meaning was more akin to “the life so short, the craft so long to learn.” And after six months of contemplating and conversing in-depth into the meanings of craft and creativity within the transformative style of craft school education, I find this to be even more true than when I started. The making of fine crafts is a distinctive kind of exploration, which patently relies on the integration of the heart, head, and hands; but, and perhaps most importantly, also depends on a life-long commitment to learning and practice within one’s chosen discipline. It is apparent that all of the above are true when it comes to the field of Craft and the Craft School Experience: the artists are extraordinary and the experiences immersive and life-changing – all resulting in impeccable, transformative works.
Arrowmont played host to a great opportunity to talk Craft School Experience: the Surface Design Assocation's 2015 Conference MADE/AWARE: SDA CRAFT + CONCEPT INTENSIVE. It was a chance for something Craft is all about--connecting with other artists. Present Arrowmont Resident Artists connected at Arrowmont as presenters, attendees and facilitators. We'll have more reports to come, but here's a photo from the meetup:
Students, instructors, artists and designers from across the globe attended the 4-day intensive. Past resident artists and current employees, Heather Ashworth (Wood Studios Technician) and Jason Bige Burnett (Program & Studios Manager) helped facilitate pre-intensive workshops and conference activities. Julia Gartrell and Skye Livingston, current resident artists, assisted Heather and Jason.
You can read more about this exciting event at Arrowmont's blog.
Stuart Kestenbaum: Tinker Poet
Stuart Kestenbaum spent two weeks at Penland in July as this year’s Andrew Glasgow Writing Resident. Stuart is the author of four books of poetry and a book of essays on craft and creativity. His work has been published in a number of magazines including Tikkun and The Sun and has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. He sent us this account from his time at Penland. Scroll to the bottom to see a video of Stuart reading a couple of poems.
During my last week of the job I had held for 27 years, I received a call from Penland’s program director Leslie Noell asking me to be the Andrew Glasgow Visiting Writer at Penland for a two-week summer session. Sometimes before picking up a ringing phone I reflect for a moment that it could be either a wonderful opportunity or really bad news. Most times the call is far more mundane than that– a reminder of a dental appointment or a robo-call from a nonexistent bank. The call from Penland, though, was of the rare wonderful opportunity variety, particularly since the job I was leaving was as director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, a program in Maine so similar in concept to Penland that we think of ourselves as sister schools. Penland inspired the founding of Haystack in 1950, and Bill Brown, who was assistant director at Haystack, became director of Penland in 1962. We’ve been sharing faculty and educational strategies for a long time
At Penland I would be able to experience the powerful creative energy of a community of makers—much like what I’d lived with at Haystack—but without any of the responsibility. Someone else would be thinking about plumbing, food, kilns, and fundraising. And, while I always loved the group energy of each session at Haystack, there was rarely time for my own work; these two weeks at Penland would give me time to focus on my writing.
- Read the rest of Stu's experience at Penland here and check out the video below!
The latest in our partnership with the blog Louise & Maurice is a conversation first with Stu Kestenbaum, former director of Haystack, and then with artist Chris Staley.
Read Kestenbaum's thoughts on craft, and then you can check out the interview with Staley atLouise & Maurice.
Part 5 | Artist Chris Staley and The Family of Things
Elizabeth Busch wrote about the Haystack version of the Craft School Experience for our friends at Fiber Art Now!
Have you heard of “The Haystack Experience?”
Well, it’s real, it’s big, and it will make you want more! Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is for everyone who is interested in expanding, discovering, experimenting, playing, working in your craft medium and meeting new friends and old in an environment too beautiful for words. You’ll just have to come and witness those distant islands appearing out of the fog, feel the magic of a workshop session, hear the giant bell that means phenomenal food again and again. I’m not saying that a session at Haystack will change your life exactly as it has changed mine, but make no mistake, it WILL change your life and you’ll want more and more of it, come back again and again to have that ‘Haystack Experience.”
Click here to read the whole article or visitElizabethbusch.com for more about this great Craft artist.
Visit a Craft School!