Inspiring Friends at Penland School of Crafts November 12 2014

If you didn't know, Aran has spent the past few months away from Aide-Mémoire Jewelry as a visiting instructor at Penland School of Crafts, in Penland, North Carolina, teaching a Fall concentration in Metal Work. If you aren't familiar with Penland, take a seat right next to us, because if you're interested in fine art, craft or intricate handiwork--this is the place for you. Aran loves to refer to Penland as "Craft Camp for Adults" which is the perfect name for such a special space.

Photo by Mark File

Penland says of its programs: "Penland School of Crafts is an International Center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Penland offers one-, two-, and eight-week workshops in books & paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. The school also offers artists' residencies, community collaboration programs, and a gallery and information center."

Penland boasts an intensive workshop curriculum with long-term workshops that last all day for months, to hone and perfect your artistry, and is a tight-knit community of artists, makers and crafters. In this community, we've developed relationships with some amazing artisans who inspire us through their work and friendship. We'd love to introduce you to a few of them today:

Mercedes Jelinek | Photographer
An amazing photographer whose "Neighborhood Photo Project" is well worth your time. Mercedes says, "My tools of choice consist of multiple film based cameras, a homemade photo booth, and a sign that reads 'Free Photographs for Neighborhood Picture Project,' announcing the project to everyone who passes by." View the project here.

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Photos of Neighborhood Photo Project and of Aran by Mercedes Jelinek
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Amanda Lee creates beautiful work at Alloro Linens: "Alloro Linens are towels and napkins, made by hand silkscreening natural dyes and pigments onto linen and antique cotton. I'm a printmaker and a professor. I've taught for Indiana University, University of Iowa and The University of Georgia's study abroad program in Cortona, Italy. I'm an avid teacher and I'm currently working on a long-term project documenting domestic violence shelters in Italy and the United States. I source my natural dyes and pigments from France and the antique cotton and contemporary linen come from my travels in Italy. Currently, I design, print and sew all of my linens in my studio here in Italy. Soon I'll be teaching in North Carolina for six months and so will be transferring my making back to the US."
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From his portfolio: "Jason Bige Burnett graduated from Western Kentucky University with a BFA in ceramics and BA’s in both printmaking and graphic design. He continued his education as a core fellowship student at Penland School of Crafts in western North Carolina. Since then he has exhibited nationally, been featured in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft Magazine, and regional magazines Carolina Home + Garden and WNC Magazine."
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"Quill & Arrow Press makes letterpress prints and hand bound books in a little studio in Asheville, North Carolina. We hand render unique calligraphy and print custom invitations, cards, posters, and whatever else you might dream up. Send a message for a custom quote, pricing guide, or with any questions you might have."
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As Aran's studio assistant, Paige Munroe, creates beautiful metal work designs. From her bio: "Paige Munroe is a metalsmith originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her BFA in Metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2014. Early in her career Paige was a recipient of the Emerging Artist Saul-Bell Design Award presented by RioGrande, which gained her recognition as a dedicated craftsperson in the field. She was nominated to represent SUNY New Paltz for the Windgate Fellowship Award in 2014, and is currently an apprentice goldsmith at Laurie Donovan Designs in Lenox, Massachusetts."
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