Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Penland 2012

At the end of May I had the wonderful opportunity to work as teacher assistant at the Dan Anderson workshop at Penland School of Crafts. I was there for two weeks and got to meet and work with some wonderful people.

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My TA partner in crime, the one and only Mark Errol

Dan showed the class how to facet, stamp, paddle, pierce, apply feet and apply glaze. He demonstrated how to alter round forms into triangles and squares.

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Dan showing Elina and Russel how he applies his signature feet to his pots

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Dan is getting ready to pierce one of his pots with a square piercing tool

Dan had some of his friends from the Penland area do some throwing demos for the class.

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Terry Gess, a former grad student of Dan's at SIUe

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Matt Kelleher

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A panoramic view of the Upper Clay Studio at Penland

At the end of the 2 week session we fired two salt kilns and a reduction kiln. Some of the students were brave enough to add the salt. It was a great experience since most of the class had never fired a salt kiln before.

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Russel, Sherry, Mark, Sandy, Robbie, Seth and Heather glazing their wares for the end-of-session salt firing

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My work, drying from washing off the underglaze, going into the salt kiln

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Cones 06, 010 + 7, 8, 9, 10 for the salt kilns

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Dan loaded Gin Gin

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Mark and I loaded Juanita

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Thanks to Susan Feagin's brilliantly organized brick-door-system, the kilns were bricked up in no time

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Elina loading up the salt

Seth putting salt in the kiln [video 00:20]

We loaded the kiln on Monday night, fired all day Tuesday and went on a Field Trip on Wednesday, while the kiln was cooling. We went to Crimson Laurel Gallery and Mica Gallery in Bakersville, as well as the studios of Suzie Lindsey and Kent Mclaughlin (Fork Mountain Pottery), Michael Kline, Michael Hunt and Naomi Daglish (Bandana Pottery), and Courtney Martin. Thursday we unloaded the salt kilns.

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Unloading the salt kiln - excellent results were achieved by all

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Our evening entertainment contained a guitar, one or two banjos, and sometimes even the ukulele; here, Clara Hoag is performing one of her punk songs, while Mark and Izzy are listening (there actually was a whole group of people listening in the background)

Clara Hoag [video 00:28]

The session ended with a huge auction for the work study scholarship. Everybody was encouraged to donate a couple of pieces. Since I couldn't fit anything in my suitcase I brought a couple of the salt fired pieces up to Northlight and they were auctioned off on Thursday night.

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A vase and a ketchup bottle of mine went to the auction

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A French Fries Tray with the Ketchup Bottle went as well

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Dan helped auction off some pieces, so did Cynthia Bringle

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Some of the work I made while in Penland


  1. what a whole lotta clay fun, one of these day I hope to get up there.

    1. Hey Linda, I highly recommend going - it'll change your life!

  2. Hello Mel,
    Looks like you had a great time. Seeing the pics of Penland made me miss NC. A great state with a great clay tradition.

    1. Hey Ben,

      Seeing the potters in this area make their living in clay was very interesting, they are using a lot of their resources from their surroundings. What a grounding and humbling way of working! I was sad to leave this beautiful place behind and hope to return very soon!