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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kristine Joy Mallari at Penland School of Crafts

This blog post by Kristine Joy Mallari (Printmaking BFA '11) is about her work-study scholarship at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She attended Kathy O'Connell's Paper/Book/Object workshop from July 20th to August 9th 2012.

Moulds and deckles at the Papermaking Studio
This summer I was granted a work-study scholarship to attend Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. The Penland campus is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an hour north from Asheville, and students spend the majority of their time on the mountain.

Letterpress Studio

Community dining hall
Work-study scholarships give students the opportunity to pay only half their tuition in exchange for work hours during the session. My particular job was working in the kitchen where I sliced vegetables and fruits and prepared salad ingredients. Every day offered new experiences even though the daily schedule stayed mostly the same:
8am: breakfast
10am: classes start
12:30pm: lunch
2:00pm: classes resume
4:00pm: classes end
(4-8pm): my personal work schedule in the kitchen, M-F
6:15pm: dinner
8:15pm: artist's lectures and slides

There were also occasional social events––gallery openings, parties, dances, resident artists' studio tours, an impromptu bon fire and daily yoga classes. Check out some of the fun times my iPhone captured. Studios were open 24/7 and you could usually spot folks still working past 2am.

Papermaking Studio
I took the papermaking and bookmaking class taught by Kathy O'Connell. We focused on western papermaking and used cotton and abaca fibers to make our pulp. The papermaking studio was set outside, so during the hot day we were working and splashing around in tubs of water (and getting feasted on by relentless, vampire mosquitos!) There were 8 of us in the class and we each got our own work table to experiment with book bindings and paper as well as materials foraged from other studios, like mica from metals or stones and sticks from the environment. See photos of our workspaces here.

Pellons drying at the Papermaking Studio
Penland is often described as an art camp for adults. I definitely gained a sense of camaraderie towards my classmates and fellow work-studies as we all created, worked, ate, played, partied and lived with each other for two and a half weeks. Everyone came from different backgrounds and ages and there was a great diversity in conversation, we even had a professional story teller in our class! 

If you're interested, you can check out some of the work I completed at Penland here.

Penland campus