Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Penland Love Letter

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, my take on a wonderful place that has meant much to me and to many, many others.  Maybe someday it will mutate into an artist's book of sorts...in the meantime, here it is in blog form.

Things I love about Penland

The dogs waiting outside Northlight or the Pines, waiting for attention and treats.

 That handmade things are everywhere, from the handrails, to the curtains, to the toilet paper holders in the Pines...

...To the serving dishes in the Kitchen...

...To the "take away" cups in the dining hall.

Though sometimes you have to look to find them.

That the chalkboards in the Pines can be pretty darn funny...

...and so are the kitchen doors.

 All of them!

The pranks you can pull.

Spontaneously deciding to have Crazy Sock day.

Finding creative ways to comment on some of the problems of dorm life.

Nice bumper stickers.

Really nice people.

Really crazy people.

How everyone, regardless of fame or fortune, does their share of the cleaning.
(Though it helps if you have some good music to sing and dance to.)

Knowing how to advertise a party.

That there's always a nice view, regardless of weather or season.

Down time on the Clay porch with friends.

And remember:

Spring Concentration, Part 2

 After the first firing was over we had Michael Kline come in and demo for us- he threw a small jar/jug form, and also decorated some plates he brought with him.  He uses a wax tinted with various oxides and then coats the whole piece with crackle slip.

This is during the second firing, while finishing off the last chamber...mysteriously I seem to have no photos from the unloading of this firing, but this time we fired primarily with oak and pine (as opposed to the poplar that was the primary fuel the first time around) and the ash was much softer, with better color (not as muted) and fewer crunchies on the pots.  Porcellaneous stonewares were definitely the winners clay wise.

This is a nice picture of what the salt kiln looked like right after salting, as viewed through didymium glasses.

As the kilns were cooling we had a chance to get out and about more- during morel season!  Some of us went mushrooming, and then I made a lovely four course dinner of strawberry cucumber and spinach salad with peppercorn balsamic vinaigrette, cream of asparagus soup, pasta with morels sautéed with butter, and spiced vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey for dessert.  Mmmm!

I also found a new hiking trail that I hadn't been on before- with many, many more wild flowers than I had seen up here before...

...Including orchids!

The night of the session Scholarship auction we had a studio sale before dinner- a nice show and tell...that also helps with the gas money for the trip home!

For show and tell at the end of Concentration we all brought up pots, and Dan brought up the book plaque that he had made for the kiln...as it wouldn't have been practical to bring the kiln!

After Concentration

After the session I went to visit Suzanne (a.k.a. Satan) in Charlotte where she took me to visit both Mint Museums (very interesting, especially the original one), the Bechtler (not as interesting- I'm not that big on modern art), and several gardens, including UNCC's greenhouses and botanical gardens.

 Some things were just plain neat to look at- like the luscious color on this cacao pod...and others will probably end up on my pots in some form or another!