Monday, April 17, 2017

Penland--WEEK FIVE!!!!!!!!

OMG, how much went on last week.  Yes, here it is, in week six when I'm posting this very brief account of the past week.

On Monday, we were able to get into the dye kitchen on the third floor--Amanda, the Studio Coordinator for Textiles, gave us the safety tour needed for turning us loose with the gas burners and the dyes.

Tuesday, we had guests, Aime Adelman and Janet Taylor, visit to show and talk about their work.

Wednesday, a few of us went into Spruce Pine to meet with the spinners there, with Edwina's invitation.  Later, Sarah Rose and Krysten took us through a process of spinning paper.

On Thursday, Noel Thurner and Patrick Horan visited to talk about both dog hair spinning (chinegora) and also the work Patrick has been doing with the hemlock wooly adelgid.  After dinner at Bhakti's lodging to talk about options for the future: graduate programs, artist residencies, workshops or classes... lots of thoughts and opinions flying around about it all.

Friday morning, Chad Alice Hagen visited to show her work, from early rag rugs to current felting and book works.  Later in the afternoon, we had a walk-around view and discussion of everyone's work, to this point.

Over the weekend, (while I made a trip to Dahlonega) Bhakti led several through painted warps and lots of weaving, and on Sunday. other things (like the big Penland Egg Hunt) went on.

Photos to follow from week five (maybe!)

This week, the beginning of week six... Rebecca Mezoff is here with us for a day!  We've dyed some yarn with acid dyes, started an indigo vat, and weaving continues all over the room.

Now... a brief calendar for week six...


Monday, April 10, 2017

Penland--Week Four

So much happened this week!  Here's the schedule... but, of course, much more occurred than what was planned and anticipated:

Monday, we went to Valdese Weavers, a field trip that Bhakti had arranged, and in a van driven by intrepid studio assistant, Nina. She was put to the test right away as she drove thirteen of us in the big van down the curvy mountain roads from Penland to Spruce Pine, then on the really winding road past Little Switzerland and on to Valdese in very dense fog.   On the way back, the fog was gone--to be replaced by torrential rains! The unflappable Nina got us all safely back to Penland with a bit of white knuckled driving and a lot of grit. 

View from the back of the van where I was sitting
Bhakti had arranged the visit to Valdese Weavers and it gave us an incredible insight into what happens to create the textiles we use.  It is a "vertical" mill, one that designs, dyes and weaves the fabrics and we got to see each of those areas.

Here are a few views from the Valdese trip:

Bins and bins of yarns.
Allie photographing one of the looms at work.
Peeking into one of the designer's offices.
Sarah and Nina look at design boards.
Back at the weaving studio for the next several photos... not much caption... just work--some on the loom, some in planning stages, some just cut off!

A visit to the Penland archives one afternoon to see some of the Lucy Morgan samples and drafts.
Carey Hedlund, the Penland archivist, showed us several things and invited students to schedule a time to visit to study the collection in more depth.
One of the Lucy Morgan samples in the archives.
On Friday, Ann Roth visited to show her work and talk about her process of working on a commissioned piece, including designing and detailed planning of hours of execution.
Over the weekend, Bhakti and her husband, Mark, who was visiting her for a few days, and I went to Dahlonega to visit my husband (and cat).  On the way back, we stopped at the Hambidge Center.
Rebecca Mezoff is a resident at Hambidge right now and she invited us to her studio to say hello, see what she's working on, and have an impromptu picnic lunch with her.  She'll be visiting us on Monday, the 17th, as she leaves Hambidge (lucky us!)
Week FIVE is now underway with dyeing going on with black walnuts, Bhakti experimenting with four-selvedge warp set up and weaving on a four shaft loom, me working on finishing off the last tapestry I'd completed before leaving for Penland, and all the students going in many exciting directions.  We have several guests coming this week who will share their incredible knowledge about fiber and inspire us all.

More soon!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Third week at Penland

It's been an amazing week.  Here's what we did (the schedule just shows the group meeting things... it in no way accounts for the many hours the individuals spent at their looms until the wee hours of the morning!)

After the first two weeks, Bhakti and I scheduled, separately, private meeting with every student during the first days of week three to hear their goals for moving forward.  We wanted talk to them about what they want/hope to accomplish during the eight weeks, knowing they'd maybe have a more realistic view of that since they've now had a couple of weeks here.

Penland Concentration times are intense experiences in many way.  First, the location is rural.  The closest town is about a fifteen minute drive away -- and it's the small town of Spruce Pine, North Carolina.  Asheville is over an hour's drive from here.  So there's no quick and easy after-hours distractions of movies, restaurants, bars, etc.  Secondly, the community is of all like-minded individuals: all creative makers who want to share about what and how they do it with each other.  That's invigorating and yet can be intimidating, too.  Add to all of this, the fact that there is so much time to spend in the studio, or visiting other studios, or going to Tues. and Thurs. night slide shows--and then there are the special events that pop up... that's just the quick version of the Penland experience.

We hear over and over that spending time at Penland can be a life-changing experience.  Yes, it can be.  In the exceptional and extraordinary instance, it is that for an individual.  Yet, it is always an experience, that's for sure.

Photos of this exceptional experience so far from the week three (and no words) follow: