Now that I’m back home here in Chicago and my roadtrip sickness finally caught up with me, I have time to lay about and catch up on some posts. :) So we’ll start with Penland!
Penland — in case you are interested in craft and yet somehow have missed hearing about it — is the Holy Grail of Craft Residencies. Penland was started in the 1920s by a woman named Lucy Morgan, who wanted to teach weaving to nearby women so they could support themselves. This has grown into a huge year-round center for classes, residencies, galleries, workshops for artists of all calibers, from beginning to professional. Asheville itself is home to lots of crafty folk, and Penland (about an hour away from Asheville) is also chalk-full with over 100 nearby crafters and artisans.
We set off from Asheville early on Tuesday morning (oh my gosh, has it been a week?!) to catch Penland’s 10:30am tour.
We started off with viewing painting (no photos, but it pretty much looks like a paint studio–with lovely scenery!) and then onto book and paper. As a note: Penland is *huge*. As in, I’m only posting photos of what probably is less than half of the available studio space, and if you can tell from the photos I am showing, that’s still pretty dang big.
book arts room!
They also have outdoor papermaking space.
it turns out Helen Heibert was teaching a class on cyanotypes, handmade paper, and kitemaking
! I wish I could’ve seen more of that.
Then we visited the ruling favorite craft: glassblowing. Glassblowing at Penland looks to be almost always sold out, and who can blame it? It’s beautiful, translucent, requires a lot of skill, and Fire!
outside the glassblowing studio
I can’t remember the exact order or studios visited after that, but next we’ll cover metalworking. Matt loved it, of course, and I was happy to see that there were lots of women there, including one senior lady who primarily makes jewelry for a living but comes to Penland every summer to work with iron. Fascinating!
We also visited the wood workshop, where again, I’m only showing about 1/3rd of the studio space. Seriously.
And how can you argue with this class schedule? Two free yoga sessions. Sheesh!
Then onwards to printmaking and letterpress, where we ran into Ellen Knudson of Crooked Letter Press. She was teaching the letterpress intensive and had heard of our travels. Hi Ellen! It was great to meet you. :) Penland has an etching press room and classroom and then, down the hall, a letterpress room, classroom, and type library.
print studio and classroom
more of the letterpress room (yes it is giant!)
and then (if you can believe it) we moved onto one of the ceramics classrooms. This is something I’ve always wanted to learn — earth, water, fire, and handworking — combined with form, texture, and color. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time as well.
the ceramics classroom
They had a lovely mosaic outside the ceramics walkway as well, which I posted on my day-sponsor shout out to my Mom
Last but not least, we visited Weaving, the place where it all began.
Afterwards we went and visited the Penland gallery and giftshop, where they were preparing for the annual benefit auction
I wish we could’ve stayed all day — there were tons more to visit (like the resident artists and such), and I’m sure even just wandering the grounds would be lovely.
the mountains of North Carolina
But we had to move on to Atlanta, where my grandparents and other family were waiting for us.
Don’t worry Penland–I’m certain we’ll be back! Penland, especially, is where Matt started saying we should move to Asheville. Maybe one day. ;)