Penland School of Crafts
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The school was founded in the 1920s in the isolated mountain town of Penland, North Carolina. In 1923, Lucy Morgan, a schoolteacher who had recently learned to weave, created an association to teach the craft to local women as a way to give them a source of income. The center provided instruction, looms, and materials. Local volunteers built first a cabin and then a larger hall. In 1929, Penland was officially founded as the Penland School of Handicrafts. The school grew rapidly and began expanding into other crafts. By the 1950s, it was attracting students from around the world.
As of 2005[update], Penland offered Spring, Summer, and Fall workshops in a wide variety of craft disciplines, including pottery, glassblowing, metalworking, weaving and dyeing, and woodworking, as well as in subjects more traditionally considered fine arts, such as painting, photography, and printmaking. The school has no permanent faculty; the workshops are taught by visiting professors and artists from around the United States. Penland does not award academic degrees, but Penland students can receive college credit through Western Carolina University (WCU).
Penland holds an annual Community Day in early March. On this day most or all of the studios are open to people living near the school, who can take a tour around the grounds and then work on completing a small project with the help of the artists.
The distinctive architecture at Penland was designed primarily by architects based in North Carolina, including Frank Harmon (Raleigh, NC) and Dixon Weinstein Architects (Chapel Hill, NC).
- Penland Course Catalog, Summer 2005.