Sarah Loertscher

Penland Core Studio


Sarah lives in Seattle, Washington. She works in metals as a "maker/teacher/manager/mentor."


What years were you a core student?

2005-2007, I believe.


Who were you a core student with?

First year: Marilyn Brogan, Natalie Tornatore, Anna Child, Robyn Raines, Aaron Sober, Amy Jacobs, and Cynthia Rohr Second year: Marilyn, Natalie, Robyn, Anna and I were joined by Courtney Dodd, Jon Shearin, Aran Galligan, and Kristen Flournoy


Are you still in touch with any of your fellow core students?

Yes, definitely. I'm in regular contact with Marilyn and many people I lightly keep in touch with. Most of us pick up where we left off and don't skip a beat, so I don't feel like I've really lost touch with anyone.


What was your best moment as a core student?

It's hard to say. There's lots of moments I can think of - simple, quiet ones - seeing lenticular clouds form and dissolve over the mountains every fifteen minutes, watching the waves of grass on the knoll, laying on the hood of my car and experiencing a meteor shower on my birthday. And the loud ones - dancing and drinking and cooking and making and shooting off fireworks on the fourth of july. The moments where I was aware I was experiencing something rare and beautiful and sometimes creating the same.


What was your worst?

Feeling so lonely in the waves of people coming and going. Feeling surrounded but unconnected.


What is your favorite spot on campus?

Personally: anywhere I could be by myself, since that was such a rarity… I loved the dye shed porch.

Working/making: upper metals, especially in early morning.


What was your favorite meal at the Pines?

Our second Core dinner. It was amazing - the food, the company, everything. I think we all felt extremely special.


What was your least favorite?

Gah. Leftover day.


Do you still have anything that you made as a core student? Or anything that you traded for?

Lots of things - jewelry, prints, lots of trades and trinkets.


What class you took had the most impact on you? Did you realize it at the time?

Spring printmaking concentration with Susan Campbell. I think I did realize it at the time… it deeply informed both my making process and my aesthetic.


Is there something that you learned in the core program that you never expected to learn?

Lots of things… it's one of the most challenging social systems I've ever been a part of, and navigating that taught me a lot about myself and others. I learned that I can handle more than I think I can (work load, emotionally, physically), and I am rather fearless of giant insects/vermin now.


Tell us about someone you met through the core program who you'll never forget?

Just one? Really? Marilyn Brogan - we remain super close BFFs to this day.


What are you doing today?

Right after I finish this, I'm going to get another cup of coffee and work at my bench.


Fill in the blank: If I had never been a core student I wouldn't be remotely close to where I am today, as a person, artist, friend, mentor, or in my career. No way.


You can visit Sarah's website at