The two week class I've been co-teaching with the author Christopher Benfey has finished. Chris left this morning and Mercedes, the studio assistant, and I are here until tomorrow morning. Most students have left as well.
At Penland studio classes wrap up with a "show and tell" of student work the final Friday of the session. This allows the whole community to see what all the students have made. Penland is actually "Penland School of Crafts" meaning the emphasis is on making things. This includes: pottery, fabric, paper, book making, glass, iron, painting, metals, wood, jewelry, photography and on and on. Each session will offer something different as well. One was our photo class, as it included work on writing as well, and another one was working with gut. Yes, strange as it may seem, the results were fascinating as the gut when treated became almost transparent and was often used as a surface to write or to draw on.
I used the time off to go photographing and returned to Marion, NC to try to finish work begun last week while on a class field trip. If you've been following this blog you know I've been going down to the closest town, Spruce Pine, every morning before class, sometimes with students and sometimes not. This morning was "not" and I really hit a wall.
But Marion redeemed that as I found "warehouse heaven" in something called Chamad Warehouse. Yes, of course it has a website: CHAMAD.
Some old manufacturing complex now storage for small companies and maybe Fed Ex or UPS too.
I will post more about this when home and after working the files but on the back side it had, in a parking lot, and beyond what I can only describe as a "sacred space". I know, Rantoul's getting out there but this was something. I only hope my pictures can do it justice.
Addendum to yesterday's post: Headed for Williamsburg, VA to see a former student from, oh, about 1978!
Finally, I am forever grateful to Chris Benfey and Mercedes Jelinek for a remarkable experience teaching at Penland.