Ahhh…Penland Saturday. I’m sitting in a rocking chair up on the Northlight building porch, enjoying a gentle, soft, water-scented breeze, watching the interplay of rain-loaded grey and empty white clouds slowly drifting over the mountains, with an occasional brief appearance of wan sunlight. I’m thinking lazily about a walk later if it doesn’t rain, or maybe a nap, or, ideally, both.
The demo-heavy, fast-paced first week, with its evening slideshows, gatherings and other events, is over. I have been blessed with (another!) enthusiastically creative group of ten women, who now have the luxury of a little over 12 days to devote to developing work (with three demos by request thrown in next week: making a plaster press mold, some sewings useful for both book and sculpture, and Ideas For Using The Penland Bamboo Patch), and lots of individual consultations. Oh, and we’ll make corn husk paper, too.
We finished up the week with a carpooled field trip into Spruce Pine yesterday afternoon to visit some of the local thrift stores, which ended up being hilariously funny, and included some wonderfully awful wardrobe and apartment enhancement for some folks, and a lot of trying on of (and spontaneous performing in) some, um, very unique what-were-they-thinking styled garments, not to mention the acquisition of our own studio deity (below).
There are a lot of Very Good Things happening in the studio: we are all learning and having a great deal of fun while we do it. This is, indeed, the epitome of the only type of education I want to be involved in, forever. The hands in equal fusion with the mind, laced with laughter and free exchange.
One night, a young woman in the class wept from sheer joy; she’s found the way to make what she’s envisioned for years. Can teaching get any better than that? I was moved, entirely.