An artsy find in North Carolina: Penland School of Crafts

Kicker by Robyn Horn (redwood burl) on display at Penland School of Crafts

Kicker by Robyn Horn (redwood burl) on display at Penland School of Crafts

Visiting the home and studio of Michael Kline (featured in our previous post “Outstanding in any field: Michael Kline Pottery”) had many side benefits:  pastoral setting, creative pottery, and a tip from his wife, Stacey Lane, about where to go next.  It happened unexpectedly, but when you’re a traveler, you train your ears to pick up tips on what to see and what to do wherever you go.

Fine jewelry designs by Stacey Lane on display at Penland School of Crafts

Fine jewelry designs by Stacey Lane on display at Penland School of Crafts

Stacey mentioned that she was a jewelry designer who had taught at nearby Penland School of CraftsIn fact, she said, I have some jewelry on display right now.  And it’s a short trip from our house.  Just follow the curvy road from Bakersville nearly to Spruce Pine, and you’ll see it.  (How hard could that be, right?) Well, here’s the GPS picture complete with switchbacks, abrupt turns, and that welcome checkered flag!  Here’s good advice on Penland’s website: If you’re unfamiliar with the area, we strongly advise that you arrive before dark; it’s easy to get lost. 

Conley Ridge Road in Western North Carolina -- leading us to Spruce Pine!

Conley Ridge Road in Western North Carolina — leading us to Spruce Pine!

We’d heard of Penland before — all in glowing terms — so a trip seemed in order. And the scenic drive was tailor-made for a late-summer day.  We passed homes, barns, and tree farms before seeing the residences where more than 1200 students per year live while learning from renowned artists and craftsmen.

Mountains, trees, fields -- oh, the beauty of North Carolina in summer.

Mountains, trees, fields — oh, the beauty of North Carolina in summer.

We stopped at the Visitor Center to learn more:  Penland began with the vision of Lucy Morgan who provided local women looms and lessons for creating beautiful goods.  As an outgrowth of this movement, Penland School of Crafts was established in 1929.

Some people come to Penland as a retreat; others for inspiration and techniques. We were there to admire.  And the artwork and craftsmanship speak for themselves.

Interior shot of Penland School of Crafts gallery

Interior shot of Penland School of Crafts gallery

Just a few of our favorite things . . .

Another open space held a featured exhibit:  Wendy Maruyama’s “The wildLIFE Project.”  Larger than life heads of elephants made of maps, cardboard, and twine loomed above us making a statement about endangered species and the need for awareness around the world.

Constructed elephant head by Wendy Manuyama:  The wildLIFE Project

Constructed elephant head by Wendy Manuyama: The wildLIFE Project

But no matter which buildings and rooms you tour, you’ll take away something unique from your experience.  Penland School of Crafts is truly worth the drive!

Weed Pot by Matt Repsher.  Carved red clay and slip.

“Weed Pot” by Matt Repsher (Carved red clay and slip)

 

For more information:

Penland School of Crafts: http://penland.org

(Be sure to follow directions on the website!)

If you missed any of our posts in and around the NC Apple Festival, here are the links:

Main Street’s the Main Thing: Apple Festival 2016, Hendersonville, NC

Right to the source:  Apple orchards near Hendersonville, NC

Livin’ large in a Tiny House:  Flat Rock, NC

Outstanding in any field: Michael Kline Pottery

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
This entry was posted in Destination, North Carolina, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to An artsy find in North Carolina: Penland School of Crafts

  1. kelleysdiy says:

    Love those elephants!!!!

  2. Kristen says:

    I’m trying to figure out which one my favorite it. Oh well, i like them all!!! Good find! 🙂 definitely a trip for later!

    • We had a hard time picking out one piece to purchase. But in a matter of minutes, several decorators from Atlanta snapped most of the best pots. Oh, well. I’ll just have to go back, right? Thanks for commenting.

  3. An interesting collection of artwork! I like the elephant heads.

  4. prior.. says:

    artsy find and loved so much – esp the dancing shoes

  5. I adore the redwood burl. I so admire artists of all types, I wish I could say I was artistic, my children have inherited their grandparents genes which have totally bypassed me sadly!

  6. Really like the elephants Rusha. And the GPS was amusing. It certainly wasn’t as the crow flies. –Curt

  7. I’m always in awe of such talented craftsmen. The shoes remind of Dorothy’s red slippers. 🙂

  8. The blue vase and the elephant heads were my favourites.

    • You picked great items to praise. The blue in that vase was dreamy, and the elephant heads were an unexpected find. So creative. And I can only imagine how they were shipped to the site. Thanks for taking a look!

Please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s