Penland Panoramic

This is not the first time I have written about Penland School of Crafts nor will it be the last. I have returned to this magical place, repeatedly for twenty-nine years. I was just twenty-one when I first went to Penland.

Growing up Cuban, in Miami, at Penland is where I saw my first mountains, first snow, learned to weave, make books and created life-long friendships. Penland fed my mind and soul and continues to do so nearly three decades later. I've seen Penland grow and evolve into a world-class center for craft education. Its Executive Director, Jean McLaughlin has everything to do with this through her leadership and dedication to Penland School.

Penland School, which I affectionately refer to as Heaven on Earth, offers classes in all disciplines of craft - glass, clay and iron just to name a few. It is difficult to explain and describe what is the "Penland experience" because it goes much further and way deeper than instruction. The Penland experience refers to something that is internalized and differs from person to person. It grabs hold of you and all you want is to return to Penland. It's something positive, enriching and incomparable to anything you've ever felt. It's more than just taking a weaving class or blowing glass or rolling ink. The Penland experience is like a beautiful addiction; an escape from business, social media, reality and all the other crazy things that make our fast-paced lives fast.

Slow down. Learn. Live... Penland School.

Penland School offers courses year round except over Winter. Their annual auction, in August, is one of their biggest fundraisers and promises a weekend full of delicious food, drink and art to gratify every collector. Check it out.


30th Annual PENLAND SCHOOL Benefit Auction Recap

In 1988 I attended my first Penland Auction. I was a core student and lived at Penland for two incredible, life-shaping years. Twenty-seven years, later I am still blown away with this spectacular event. I just attended the 30th Annual Penland School Benefit Auction which has become a craft collector's dream "gala weekend" in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. But of course, it's much more than that. Beyond the parties, cocktails, dinners and music, the monies raised support Penland's educational programs. The auction weekend is a special time where patrons, sponsors, students, residents and instructors unite to celebrate all that is Penland. Over 500 guests, passionate about Penland School and art education, gathered at the sold out event to support Penland's future. Over $733,000 was raised.

More than 250 works in books, clay, drawing, glass, iron, letterpress, metals, painting, printmaking, photography, textiles, wood, and other media were featured (and auctioned) during the two-day fête. 

Congratulations to Penland School, its devoted Director, Jean McLaughlin, the Penland Staff and most of all, to the large number of truly amazing volunteers who give so much to create a seamless and successful event.


This Weekend: Penland School Benefit Auction, NC

Penland School
Penland School

Look at this view! I borrowed the image from Penland School's IG. I'm heading that way today and I am so excited. It has been well over a decade since I have attended the Penland School of Crafts Annual Benefit Auction. The auction is truly an experience like nothing else. Starts Friday with luncheons, gallery shows, previews, cocktails, dinner followed by more art on Saturday and the auction itself under the big white tent. Best way to describe the next two days: over-the-top!

I'll Instagram throughout the weekend so make sure you're following me @fashionado!

Get to know Penland School through this feature we filmed last Fall.