Penland School of Craft
In the BlueRidge Mountains, 50 miles north East of Asheville is an international center for teaching contemporary arts and crafts, including glass making, metal smithing, weaving, and many other forms of creative expression. Students of Penland School develop a part of themselves that perhaps they only dreamed and hoped was possible
The trip to Penland is a bit over an hour north east of Asheville, NC, turning left off 19.E the last 4 miles of 2 lane black top road, you treated to the Blue Ridge in closeup, the aroma of ancient old growth forests and pastoral farmland preparing you for the experience of awakening a new way of doing something creative. As you round the last curve to the campus on the left is a pastoral field where Penland’s Llamas romp freely with their goofy play, and on the right is the campus with original early American log cabins and contemporary buildings.
View of the Llama play field across the lane from the main campus.
View of Penland’s Campus
This school began back in 1929 and was founded by Lucy Morgan who had come to the Penland area to teach at the Appalachian Industrial School in Pisgah Valley, a school for children. Many of the buildings of the original school remain today.
Lucy Morgan established the Penland Weavers as a cottage industry for the women of the Penland community. The weaving could be done in their homes where they could also keep up with daily chores and child care while providing the weavers with an income. That first class led to what is now considered a world class teaching environment in a relaxing rustic setting, with workshops that are fully modern with the best of equipment. Instructors well-known in their artistic field from around the world are chosen to teach each class.
Penland’s supply store, executive offices and classrooms are located in this exceptional log structure, one of the largest log buildings in the state.
Examples of Work
Below we have a few examples of the work of Davyne Dial, the author of this article.