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Photo of the Week: Snow Leopard Parking

no parking sign at Penland

Today is the birthday of our food services manager, Richard Pleasants. Richard has a large fan club, which includes some extremely clever people. Two of them (code names DTB and IPH) were up late last night installing this sign on Richard’s customary parking place. The sign is made from steel and brass sheet metal. The spatula is forged steel. He is kind of like a snow leopard: lithe, white haired, and on task.

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Photo of the Week: Anvil Checking

andrew hayes in the penland iron studio

Visiting artist Andrew “Straightedge” Hayes showing students in the iron concentration how to check the surface of an anvil for irregularities. This was important because the next thing he showed was how to flatten strips of sheet steel that have bends and twists in them. Then he staged a flattening contest to see who could make the flattest piece of steel in 10 minutes. Never a dull moment.

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Photo(s) of the Week: Painted Warps

alke groppel-wegener painting a warp at Penland

Student Alke Groppel-Wegener experimenting with warp painting in the weaving studio. Alke teaches writing to art and design students at the University of Staffordshire in England. The university gave her a term off so she could take Robin Johnston’s weaving Concentration. The class was introduced to painted warps by visiting artist Andrea Donnelly.


painted warp

This is a single warp with a section painted by each member of the class. It will be wound onto a loom and woven into one long piece of cloth.



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Lydia and Megan


I didn’t ask if they had coordinated their outfits. I did ask if they’d met before they came to Penland (they had, at Pilchuck).

Johnny Cash came on and we were about to be enveloped in his sound. “What are you both working on?” I asked Lydia (above, on the right).

“Oh, a piece I’m making–but I need these little pieces for it. So I asked Megan to do them. She’s really good at them.”



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Photo of the Week: Community Open House

penland community open house

Saturday, March 1 was a beautiful early spring day–perfect for the Penland Community Open House. Thanks to the Penland staff (especially the studio coordinators), more than 100 volunteers, 560 visitors, Mitchell County Transportation (who provided shuttle buses), Dr. Taylor Townsend, DDS (who bought lunch for the volunteers), and United Way of Mitchell County for a great day at Penland.

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Moving Day



Today, core fellows Molly Kite Spadone and Liz Koerner were packing up work they had shown in Gorelick Hall this week. Molly had left her boots near the door, pointing in. They’d just finished moving out of Morgan, their home for the last two years.

Zee Boudreaux, Mike Krupiarz, and Rachel Mauser: are you packed up already, too?

Goodbyes are hard and too easily cheapened in writing. So let’s look at Molly’s good, mud-loved boots.

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Photo of the week: Letterpress posters

Orly Olivier Petit Takett posters at Penland

Orly Olivier, who just completed a winter residency in the letterpress studio, showing off the series of posters she made during the last two weeks. Orly’s parents were Tunisian; the posters refer to Tunsian cooking and include the logo of Orly’s food blog, Petit Takett, named after her grandmother’s restaurant. Orly is a photographer and the visual arts coordinator at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), an organization close to Penland’s heart. An annual scholarship funded by trustee Cathy Adelman and her husband, Alan, has made it possible for a number of wonderful young artists who are part of HOLA’s program to take summer classes at Penland.

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