Forest witches and all, creativity is the thing

First of all, I'm still at Penland.


I've been here a week now and feel I could stay for a few years without trouble. I'm still searching for more wishing wells (as well as forest witches) but I've also seen some marvels in the other studios. For example, Esther Shimazu is here and the clay figures that class is making are incredible. They are firing tomorrow. I can't wait to see the personalities that come out of that kiln. I'll try to take some photos for you.

The amount of creativity that I see every minute is astounding. Put two-hundred plus people who are interested in art and craft together on the side of a mountain, give them a little instruction, time, some good food, and the proper tools and the results are phenomenal.

Everywhere you go there are tools. And those tools are used to make things. Hand tools.

Power tools (this is the artist residency barn)

And of course the weaving tools of which there are many here in the Lily Loom house.

There are also the tools we just make up. I give you Abbi, mistress of the pun. She was wishing for a place to lay out her butterflies and her loomy neighbor Alice suggested she could use a suspended string to hang them from. Abbi made up her own version... and, being punsters, Alice said she had her own butterfly net. Miraculously, the butterflies stayed strung all day.

The teaching is going well. With two weeks to tackle a lot of material, much is learned by all (perhaps most of all by me).

Here are a few of the things they have woven so far. When I left the studio tonight, a 30 inch wide warp had just gone on one loom and many people had new ideas in the works. I expect more marvels tomorrow.

The air here is gentle. Morning arrives softly without the bright return of the sun we experience in the American Southwest. Tonight it left softly also with some gentle rain and clouds of mist on the Blue Ridge Mountains.

For more images of Penland School of Crafts, see my Instagram. And if you're interested in this material, I teach this class online. Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry.