Sunday, June 9, 2013


I was given the amazing opportunity to be the studio assistant for Charity Hall's class "Enamel It, Set It!" at Penland this summer, which I jumped on immediately! I am so fortunate to have had this chance to spend 2 weeks at such an amazing place. For those of you who may not be familiar, Penland School of Crafts is a school tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. They have workshops that range from 1-8 weeks in many different areas of study in craft related fields.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect before my arrival, though I had only heard great things about Penland from others who had been there. I was even more amazed when I got there than I thought I could possibly be! Penland is a magical place, where the walkways, glittered with mica, sparkle in the sun, there is more greenery than you can imagine, and at night the meadow is dancing with fireflies. (This was my first time seeing fireflies, a life-long dream!)

Aside from the beautiful scenery, amazing food, and opportunity to meet many interesting people, the workshop with Charity Hall was fantastic! Charity is an incredibly talented metalsmith, and was my very first metals instructor at Pima Community College in Tucson, where I got hooked. She did an amazing job at Penland teaching beginners and those who were more advanced, and still managed to blow everyone's minds! You can see Charity's work on her website here.

Here's Charity doing a demo. It might look staged with everyone smiling, but they didn't even know I was taking photos. Charity was making everyone laugh with her puns!

Charity's greeting on the first morning.

"Mouse Ski" drawing

Just a few of the many samples she laid out.

As a studio assistant I had various duties to fulfill to help keep the class running smoothly, but one of the cool things was that I was given the opportunity to give a short presentation to the school about my work. It was my first public artist talk (aside from my thesis oral defense). I also really enjoyed seeing work by all the other instructors and studio assistants. So many of the classes looked like a lot of fun! (But enameling is the most fun, of coarse) :)

Board announcement about our presentations. I'm the "and assistant."

Here are some of the hundreds of photos I took. Sorry it's so many, but I cut out a lot!

Main office and metals studios

Metals Studios (There are two! One on each floor!)

Looking out from metals studio back door.

The studios are huge, and in really nice shape! They have brand new jeweler's benches, lots of space, equipment in excellent condition, and everything you could possibly need in a metals studio!

The stairs to the Lower Metals studio. I should have turned the light on so it didn't look so creepy.

Patio right outside the metals studio. They have windows and patios everywhere so you can see outside!

Cabins where I stayed.

Pond right next to the cabins, where I heard the loudest frogs I've ever heard in my life! When it rained, it sounded like there were thousands of them! There might have been, I'm not sure.

Coffee Shop and The Pines (where everyone gathers to eat).

Inside at The Pines.

At every meal, they write on the board with a picture of what the main coarse is.

And here is the bagels with lox! I ate so much food, but it was all really healthy and amazing! (Well, most of it healthy) They serve all really fresh food, either from their own garden or grown locally. 

A few images from some of my hikes.

Working on samples.

Light switch plate that Charity made and donated to the studio. So awesome!

Outlet plate that Charity and I collaborated on. This spider seemed to like it.

Some of the brooches I made at Penland. One was donated to the auction, and I gave the other two to Charity, but I have more that are in the process of being finished.

Earrings I donated to the auction. I have more in other colors.

Our amazing class! We had such an awesome group! Missing two people though from this image because they had to leave a little early.

All the amazing work from our class that was donated for the auction. Our class raised a lot of money for Penland scholarships!

Charity's pendant donated to the auction. Hilarious!

At the auction. Notice the red hat? I think it was one of the hats made from a student in the hat making class.

I probably saw more rain in two weeks in NC than I ever see in Arizona! Haha! Some days were beautiful, but there were some stormy days as well.

Some flowers after the rain.

Penland Gallery.

Inside the gallery.

Some of Charity's work!

Jessica Calderwood had a show in the gallery, so great to see!

One of Jessica Calderwood's pieces. Love it!

Robot Derby. Matthew Hebert's class, in the wood shop, was making robots, and toward the end of the session, they had a race!

Robot Derby

Robot Derby

Robot Derby

The Dye Shed (Original Penland Building)

Karen Cleveland's amazing piece! She was the studio assistant for the Conversations With Nature class, taught by Kyoung Ae Cho, whose work is also amazing!

The End. :)