Thursday, August 6, 2009

Perfectly Pastoral Penland

I have SO much to write about and SO many pictures to share today, so hang on! I just spent several days in the mountains of NC, visiting with my sister Jane and attending the Scholarship Auction at Penland School of Crafts. If you have never heard of Penland, you are missing something incredible. From the website, I have copied a portion of the description, which describes the mission and feel of Penland:

Penland School began out of a strong belief in a few simple values. Penland's founder, Lucy Morgan summarized these as "the joy of creative occupation and a certain togetherness-working with one another in creating the good and the beautiful." For more than seventy-five years, these principles have guided a remarkable institution which has had a pervasive influence on American craft and touched the lives of thousands of individuals.

Jane has been to Penland numerous times and has many friends there. She calls Penland "heaven" and I now understand why. What a beautiful and inspiring place. Jane, her neighbor Liza and I traveled on Monday night to Penland to have dinner and to attend the auction. The scholarship auction is a culmination of several weeks of work by artists attending Penland. Many students, their instructors and friends of Penland are represented in the work that is auctioned. The sale was so much fun and I left with a beautiful pair of (are you surprised???) FELTED earrings (made by Jennifer Moss of jemmetals). Between dinner and the auction, we were able to walk through the textiles and metals studios, talk to some of the students and drink in the creativity of this place.

The metals building was a feast for the many beautiful pieces there. Linda Darty was an instructor in enameling and pictures do not give justice to the intricacy and detail of these gorgeous pieces.

Jane pointed out that many of Linda's examples were plates from her book The Art of Enameling. (Have to put in a plug for my sister here: she created a piece which was featured in Linda's book.)

We then moved on to the textiles in the Lily Loom House. Be still my heart! I had such a good time looking at the looms, the beautiful woven scarves and then upstairs to the felted pieces. The workshop presently in session was focusing on the processes of hot felting and needle felting to create sculpture. Check out the little mice! They were my favorite thing and there was one sold at the auction, but surpassed my personal financial limit for the night! There was a beautiful mancala game, a gorgeous felted bowl and other amazing pieces. I would LOVE to be able to spend a few weeks at Penland doing nothing but learning new techniques, being taught by experts and feeding off the energy and collaboration of other artists. I hope one day to be there!

It was almost time for the auction, so we left textiles and walked down the prettiest path EVER. A beautiful feast for the eyes...plants and flowers emerging from a pottery lover's wall.

We couldn't resist eyeballing the clay and letterpress buildings on the way up to the auction in the Northlight building. Great work being produced everywhere! the auction...a great night full of excitement and fun and some good old healthy competition for desired objects! We all had a marvelous time and I can't wait to attend this auction again.

It's such a great cause...scholarship funding for deserving artists to hone their craft at such an amazing place.

I leave you with words found on the clay wall which I will remember fondly....

1 comment:

  1. Great post on Penland.....I enjoyed our trip and watching you gather these photos.