Posted on

Generosity, Community, Love

Last week, on our 2nd annual Penland Giving Day, this community blew us away. We asked all of you to help us generate support for our programs by making gifts for a 24-hour period on October 3, and you really delivered—not just with generous donations, but also with love and enthusiasm and photos and stories from your own times at Penland. Our theme for the day was #WeMakePenland, and you all showed us just how true that is. It’s all together, through the many diverse acts of sharing and attention and creativity, that this community remains so strong and vibrant. Thank you.

It was an exciting day by the numbers: in 24 hours you made 342 gifts to Penland (42 more than our goal of 300!) totaling $21,170. All of this money will go directly to supporting our programs, studios, scholarships, staff, and more. You also helped us share just what makes the Penland experience so valuable by posting over 200 stories to social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. The themes that emerged from these stories—a chance to explore and learn, an opportunity to develop skills and confidence, and an invitation to join a deep and connected community—were absolutely the most gratifying, inspiring, and affirming part of our Giving Day. We are so energized by the positive impact Penland has had on so many of you, and we are so grateful to be able to continue that impact thanks to your ongoing love and support.

Penland School kitchen staff
Penland’s beloved kitchen crew getting into the #WeMakePenland spirit on October 3.

Below, we share a handful of your #WeMakePenland stories. Get inspired here by browsing many more like them.

“Nearly 10 years ago I became a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts and my life changed… But, really, @penlandschool started changing my life 10 years before that when I took my first class. Since then Penland has given me time and space, community, beloved instructors, dear friends, and incredible conversations, and left an indelible mark on my heart.”
Amy Tavern, student, instructor, friend, and former resident artist

“One of my favorite parts about the 2 weeks that I spent teaching at @penlandschool was the event at the end where all of the students shared their work. There was such energy, excitement, pride in that room—the ecstatic exhaustion of the work of making.”
Aaron Cohick, Penland letterpress instructor

“Some of my favorite @penlandschool moments include walking back to my housing after working late into the night, feeling the best kind of tired, and passing the other brightly lit studios still active with people obsessed, just like me.”
Aalia Mujtaba, Penland student and metalsmith

“In 2008 I moved to @penlandschool to be a core fellow and it changed the trajectory of my life for the long haul. Penland is the place I learned to slow down. To work hard. To ask questions. To notice details. The place I worked alongside some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The place I was given the gift of time, to delve into my work in new ways. The place I met some of my best friends and my partner.”
Beth Schaible, Penland instructor and former core student

@penlandschool is one of my favorite places on earth because its freedom, tenacity, inspiration, friendship, innovation, courage, and love. Every day spent there is a gift, and every trip there has changed me.”
Lauren Faulkenberry, Penland instructor and winter resident

three #WeMakePenland posts from the Penland instagram community

three #WeMakePenland posts from Penland friends on Instagram

Posted on

Photo of the Week: Painting Fabric

Tim Eads at Penland School

Textiles instructor Tim Eads painting on fabric using a scoop coater, which is screen-printing tool designed for spreading photo emulsion onto screens. “You have to be OK with it being terrible,” Tim said. “Then if you’re lucky it comes out looking cool.” The fabric hanging on the line was painted with a contraption made from tin cans attached to a stick. Tim’s eight-week workshop is about surface design on fabric. The emphasis is on screenprinting and monoprinting with a lot of experimentation.

Posted on

We Make Penland on October 3

Giving Day photo banner in wood studio

Next Wednesday, October 3 is Penland’s 2nd annual Giving Day, a 24-hour push to generate support for Penland programs and share the impact of this place we love. The theme for the campaign is #WeMakePenland because this is a day to celebrate the creative power of making, the ideas and energy and inspiration that are born here, and—most of all—the strong and vibrant community that holds it all together.

Each one of you is a critical part of this community, and that’s why we’re asking YOU for your help. Please join us on October 3 to make our #WeMakePenland campaign a success! Here’s what you can do:

  • Share your story—Find a favorite Penland photo, write a short caption about what Penland means to you, and share it on social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. Every story adds power and momentum to the campaign!
  • Make a gift—Our goal is to reach 300 donations on October 3, and every gift counts! Whether you can give $1 or $10 or $50, your gift helps support the creative discovery and connection that Penland fosters. You’ll be able to contribute at penland.org/wemakepenland when the campaign goes live on October 3.
  • Get your friends involved—Help us spread the word far and wide! Text your family, send an email, or post on Facebook to encourage others to join our push on October 3.

We couldn’t have Penland without people like you, and we sure wouldn’t want to! Thank you for helping us make this day a win and for making the Penland experience richer for everyone.

If you’d rather not wait until October 3, you can make a gift now and have it count toward our Giving Day goal.

Posted on

Your Penland

Two photographs taken by Sarah Banko during her Penland workshop this summer

Well over 1,000 students and instructors passed through Penland’s studios this summer, and each one brought different talents, interests, ideas, and perspectives. That’s why we love seeing the variety of work our students make, browsing their photos, and hearing their stories—each one adds a new richness to the Penland experience.

Below, we share a few recent blog posts written by Penland students that illuminate a bit of that experience.

Sarah Banko

Studio assistant for Sally Van Gorder’s Narrative Photography workshop
“Two whole weeks of learning, teaching, relaxing in the mountains, taking photos, eating incredible food, meeting new people and so much more. It was an absolute blast and I cannot wait to return sometime in the near future, perhaps as a student next time to learn something completely new to me.”
See Sarah’s blog (and her gorgeous photographs!)

Brigitte Boucher

Student in Keith Wallace Smith’s workshop Figuring Out the Figure
“It’s hard to sum up my time there in a neat, simple way. Immersive, intense, transformative. Challenging yet fun. Inspiring and eye-opening. I learned a ton, pushed myself out of my comfort zone, met all kinds of wonderful people, lost track of time, and also got a clearer idea of what I might want to do next with my art.”
Read Brigitte’s thoughtful post and key takeaways

Elizabeth Busey

Student in Andy Rubin’s Monoprinting workshop
Our studio of twelve had artists from seniors in undergrad programs to people who were embracing art in their retirement. I spent almost all of my time in the studio, so I was able to experience the differing energies of the morning printers, and those who found their groove towards midnight. Everyone brought such generous energy and good will to the studio each day.
Read more about Elizabeth’s first time monoprinting

Posted on

The Printers Speak

This past summer we had an unusual number of print and letterpress workshops that focused on posters — a classic format for sending short messages about anything from social justice to next week’s show at the music hall. Although the posters were not documented in any systematic way, we are happy to present a gallery with a somewhat random selection the broadcasts from these workshops.

lpgroup
pronouns
ramen
trio
foreign
intimate
please
poem
drunk
spray
smart
women

 

Mere posters were not enough for Martin Mazzora (left) and his workshop students.

On July 4, between the parade and the fireworks, they set up an outdoor print studio, made a selection of their woodcuts available, in invited one and all to bring a T-shirt and have it turned into art.

 

 

Not to be outdone,  the crew in Brad Vetter’s letterpress workshop stayed up very late the last night of Seventh Session and made a poster for everyone on campus.

It expressed a sentiment we can heartily endorse.

 

 

Posted on

Photo of the Week: Dave and Camera

dave sommer and view camera

Penland’s director of facilities and grounds, Dave Sommer, preparing to expose a glass-plate negative of the folks who have been working on the Craft House restoration. While he was putting in an incredible amount of work getting the new photo and papermaking studios ready for classes this summer, Dave decided he should to take a workshop in one of those studios. So he signed up for a photo class with perennial Penland instructor Dan Estabrook. He had some fun.

 

Dave Sommer glass-plate negative of Craft House

Here’s a scan made from Dave’s negative. The process involves a negative that is hand coated and has to be exposed before it’s completely dry. It also means exposure times that are measured in multiple seconds rather than fractions of a second. This one had a few problems, but creates a striking impression nonetheless.

 

Here’s a scan from another negative Dave did–a portrait of one of the guys who has been finishing up the Northlight building (which is the setting for this picture).

 

The Craft House at Penland School

And speaking of the Craft House, here’s a little progress report. They are rebuilding on the porch now. A porch, we should add, that Our State Magazine said was one of the greatest porches in North Carolina.