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covers of two of the Penland series of books from LarkThe Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina offers workshops in clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, textiles, wood, books & paper, and printmaking & letterpress. The vision statement for Penland reads in part, “Penland enriches lives by teaching skills, ideas, and the value of the handmade.” This tradition of sharing knowledge is encompassed in Lark’s Penland series of books, which feature in-depth profiles of 10 artists who are experts in their field. Each artist has taught at Penland and now shares more about the inspiration for their work, their processes and techniques, and a bit about how they learned and honed their craft.

Lark has given me the opportunity to share with you two of these books created in collaboration with Penland: The Penland Book of Glass and The Penland Book of Jewelry. Each artists’ profile describes not only the roots of their inspiration but photos of many of their beautifully crafted pieces to inspire others to start their own journey of learning, collaborating, and teaching others.

To enter for a chance to win these two beautiful and inspiring books from Lark, leave a comment describing what influences your own work. The giveaway ends July 3, 2011.

By Stacie Hooder

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60 Comments so far

  1. Penny Thompson on June 19, 2011 6:05 pm

    What a wonderful set of books. I am from Brevard, N.C. and remember the beautiful quilts that my Grandmother made when I was a child. I wish I could sew like her and my baby sister and knit like Mrs. Elliot our neighbor and paint like my other sister. I just piddle and enjoy myself.

  2. Jola on June 19, 2011 6:44 pm

    I am not an original thinker when it comes to artistic things, so I use ideas I find in magazines and books and then add my own little twists to them. Sometimes I’ll combine several different ideas into my own design. I may do something similar to what I’ve seen someone else do, but my color combinations will be different.

  3. Jeanne Gwin on June 19, 2011 8:25 pm

    I don’t want to parrot what Jola said but she follows pretty much what I do. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, I don’t see the vision but can pick the colors and then make my thoughts turn into a living vision.

  4. CraftCrave | Blog | Textual List: Monday, 20 Jun 2011 on June 19, 2011 11:12 pm

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  5. CraftCrave | Blog | Free Handcraft Items or Tutorials (large): Monday, 20 Jun 2011 on June 19, 2011 11:12 pm

    [...] Review and giveaway: the Penland Books – 1 freebie(s)? [...]

  6. Sophie on June 20, 2011 4:16 am

    Sometimes I get inspired by techniques I see in books, magazines and at exhibitions; then I rummage through my stash to see how I can adapt things. Mostly, though, as I like to make projects from found and second hand objects, I am inspired/restricted by what I already have to work with.

  7. Judith on June 20, 2011 5:37 am

    Lately, I’ve been travelling to all the archaeological sites in Israel with mosaic art and have even tried my hand at making mosaic art.

  8. Jane Raymond on June 20, 2011 5:50 am

    I am inspired by books, internet photos, and color combinations. Everything interests me.

  9. Chahrazad on June 20, 2011 7:36 am

    I love crafts. My Grandma was a great crafter. Anything could be transformed into something useful between her ten fingers. In order to teach my kids that there’s not only electronic games and initiate them to creative ones and recycled items I created a hum,be blog in order not to forget and learn new techniques.

  10. insilyoon on June 20, 2011 7:49 am

    I am very much inspired by natural history, scientific drawings, and found objects.

    I am inspired by the concept of playing with the idea of what jewelry is, and how it is considered “precious.”

    I treat each of my pieces as “installations” for the body, not to be worn passively.

  11. Susan Spiers on June 20, 2011 7:59 am

    Flowers, butterflies, trees – all nature is my influence!

  12. Linda Magi on June 20, 2011 8:02 am

    I have a Penland School jewelry making book from the 70′s, that I still find inspirational. This new book would be a wonderful addition to my library.

  13. Catherine Griffin on June 20, 2011 8:16 am

    I give art instruction to children and adults. Reading material such as yours opens up minds, the worlds and personal growth. Looking at the creative and lovely work of others inspires us all.

  14. rebecca Skeels on June 20, 2011 8:16 am

    Both look great books! had a peek in a friends copy of the jewellery one.
    my last collection was inspired by crows and I’m now working on another similar theme! All of my work is inspired by a little bit of fun, whether it is a different use of a material, in the inspiration or just to make someone happy.

  15. Melissa on June 20, 2011 8:18 am

    Anything that touches the heart, that makes me take a second look. A forget-me-not tenaciously growing in a crack in a sidewalk – a soaring black raven against the white cotton clouds – a sleeping cat in a nest of tall grass. All are signposts to direct my soul.

    Thank you for your generous giveaway.

  16. Joyce on June 20, 2011 9:03 am

    Found objects inspire my work.

  17. rosa martha on June 20, 2011 9:28 am

    I find inspiration in everything! Sometimes sculpture, folk art, found objects, an art exhibit or even fabrics! I always keep a sketchbook with me though. You have to be prepared when inspiration strikes.

  18. Tonya Muller on June 20, 2011 9:30 am

    I am inspired all the time. It could be a magazine ad, something in nature and the warmth of a friend. There is inspiration all around you if you just take it in.

  19. Kim R. on June 20, 2011 9:34 am

    Most of my inspiration comes from magazines and books, although I look for ideas everywhere in unusual or recycled materials.

  20. Emily C on June 20, 2011 9:42 am

    I don’t really have anyplace in particular. When i’m ot or looking at a magazine, sometimes something with hit my eye and i say ‘hmm this would look good like this…’.
    like the quilt i’m working on atm is a mix of summer and a memorial to my mother.

  21. Pamela M on June 20, 2011 9:52 am

    Inspiration comes to me in so many forms, from nature, movies, books and magazines, and the internet. Color inspiration also influences my work, which can come from the internet most often, but also from seeing what is being offered for sale on the net and in stores, new color combinations are swirling through our lives every season. I have particularly enjoyed seeing demos too, watching a bead maker go through the steps to create his or her piece of joy, to see the color choices, and see how a technique works. Later, I will find a way to re-interpret this in my own work, hopefully, or maybe just remember back and appreciate the artists style. In the long run, as I look back I am influenced by it all, it marinates in me and adds to my own vision.

  22. Christina on June 20, 2011 11:04 am

    I love to explore the craft fairs in different countries to get new ideas. The items are so different wherever you go:)

  23. Paula Wirfel on June 20, 2011 2:06 pm

    I get my inspiration from everywhere. Often I see designs that someone else has done, and I work something similar or improve upon their ideas. One of my best resources for inspiration? Craft Gossip — Where else?!

  24. naomi muirhead (art925) on June 20, 2011 2:50 pm

    I am inspired by small things I find usually at antique markets, junk shops, or on the street: small intimiate things with little monetary value, but perhaps a sentimental story lies behind it history or at least one can be suggested. Something with interesting detail, graphics, color or material. Then I think, what can I do with this special little thing to make it precious, to put it in a new context and to give it a new purpose.

  25. Ingrid on June 20, 2011 3:12 pm

    What a great giveaway! My inspiration mainly comes from nature. I work with silver clay, also teach classes and the most impressive pieces are those which imitate or depict outdoor finds. Leaf imprints on rings are the absolute favourite, I have to make these all the time! Wilted leaves also inspire me to carve jewellery from semi-precious gemstones. And one other source of inspiration I have to share as it makes me giggle everytime I have breakfast: have you ever spooned greek yoghurt from the container? So many beautiful oval formations come about, with the peaks and undercuts etc. The drawings I made from one of these spoon experiments will become part of my next carving!

  26. patty on June 20, 2011 3:57 pm

    i really take things i see and add alittle here and there it looks very interesting books whould love to have thank u for the chance

  27. Ellen Lai on June 20, 2011 6:27 pm

    Whatever I see – Nature and man-made! However, I do prefer flowers and butterflies.

  28. Isabelle on June 21, 2011 9:56 am

    Mainly whatever I see! I work from ideas such as lucky beads and I make them modern and fashionable. I use brooches and whatever I find on the market. Markets inspire me!

  29. Sandy on June 21, 2011 9:58 am

    These would be great for my mom as she loves jewelery and making it! She tells me that her dreams inspire her and creativity. Her birthday is coming up soon and I would love to give these to her! thank you for the fantastic giveaway :)

  30. Shaiha on June 21, 2011 5:33 pm

    It is really hard to to determine just what inspires me. It could be a tree that caught my attention in the woods. Another day it might the architecture of an old building. Another day it might be a bead that catches my interest so I design a necklace around it. Hmmm.. I guess that you could say that life inspires me.

  31. Deanna on June 21, 2011 9:54 pm

    I am inspired by all sorts of things – nature, music, an object as a jumping off point, a fabric or yarn …. The books look great.

  32. Priscilla Aliberti on June 22, 2011 11:00 am

    I am attracted to innovation – new solutions to problems, new readings on old designs, new approaches to techniques, new angles on ideas. I am drawn to interesting textures and simple, elegant lines. My inspiration is, of course, nature! What’s more elegant than the scales on the snake’s body, the design of an oak leaf or the apparent randomness of a lightning bolt? It’s the golden mean all over everything. I love it!

  33. CraftyHope on June 22, 2011 11:22 am

    I find inspiration almost everywhere. I find it in nature, in magazines, in the beads I’m working with, in color combinations I stumble across, and in looking at other artists’ work. There’s such a wide world of inspiration if you just look past the grit and grime of life.

  34. Christina on June 22, 2011 2:11 pm

    My biggest influences are pretty much anything I come across. Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Dennis on June 22, 2011 10:50 pm

    I have a lot of books and magazines that I look at but then I try to make something like what they did in a book or mag. and it never works. I design greeting cards to send to friends and family so I do my own thing. Copying someone else work is not for me I have done it a couple of times and it just didn’t look like my work. I also love to bead I look at other peoples stuff then do my own thing. I also like to sew and do needle work again I just can’t do someone else work it has to be something that came from my brain.I would love to have these books to add to my other ones. Thanks for the giveaway.

  36. vicky edwards on June 22, 2011 10:57 pm

    I second everything Patty said. I would love to win the jewelry book.

  37. Lisa on June 28, 2011 7:46 am

    I tend to find inspiration in not only looking at others’ works, but nature and antiques. I love reusing and repurposing and find that it makes me feel good in several ways to reuse and repurpose.

  38. Cathy Green on June 30, 2011 7:02 am

    Current trends influence my work. I’ll look at fashion magazines and get jewelry ideas. Or visit different retailer’s websites for inspiration.

  39. Cortney on June 30, 2011 7:18 am

    I’m always trying to find the most appropriate relationship to my materials. I reuse many items that would have otherwise been discarded and try to show through the work the value of that which, in our throw away culture, is so often considered valueless.

  40. heather on June 30, 2011 7:28 am

    I am inspired by contemporary American consumer culture. I respond to the vast materials we consume for personal use and how we have become a disposable nation. I attempt to wed old traditional craft with contemporary lifestyle to reflect upon who we have become as a nation. I question the content of materials in today’s society by juxtapose what is deemed luxurious with what we construe as waste. Being a part of society feeds my creative outlook but I also research what other artists are responding to. Lark books always selects amazing artist that I respond to. It would be amazing to be able to add a few more inspiring books to my visual collection.

  41. Brittany on June 30, 2011 12:06 pm

    I am inspired by jewelry in magazines and jewelry that I see in stores. My mom has a lot of jewelry and I love looking at her jewelry and getting ideas!!

  42. Sara on June 30, 2011 12:18 pm

    It may seem odd, but lately I am inspired by my own mistakes… I love to experiment with new mediums and because I don’t have any formal training I learn and grow by trying. If it doesn’t work out as planned, it usually inspires me to go with the flow and get creative on the fly as the glue is drying or the resin is curing! Thanks for inspiring all of us to create what we love.

  43. ruben on June 30, 2011 2:49 pm

    the beauty of nature and the ugliness of trash inspire my work!

  44. Katherine G. on June 30, 2011 3:11 pm

    In my own head, it’s often kind of chaotic with lots of colour and shapes flying around, and sometimes, I’ll close my eyes and let that all coalesce into something I will create – that’s one of my favourite ways to be inspired.
    I also love looking at nature, in real life or in photos. The colour palette, especially of the sky, like a sunset, really tends to inspire me.
    Reading books, especially when they take place within another culture really tend to be inspiring as well.
    When I’m having a dry spell, I like looking at photos of everything and anything to inspire me.

  45. Sunni on June 30, 2011 6:03 pm

    My “thinking” time is always in the car when I am driving or in bed, waiting to fall asleep. I have a voice recorder on my phone and a notebook by my bedside. I usually think of an idea, late at night, and build on it. If I don’t write it down, I am likely to forget it!!

  46. Vanessa on July 1, 2011 6:53 am

    My work is influenced by the nature that is all around us.

  47. Patti Johnson on July 1, 2011 1:45 pm

    It is funny that I should end up #41, right below #40, because I do the same thing. Sometrimes I get my best ideas while dreaming when I am asleep! I do carry my little recorder around so that I can get the ideas I get when I dreaming while I drive!!!!
    *I do love books though. I can follow a pattern or make changes to suit myself. Books can give you a pattern or an idea and better yet a technique to use for the project. Good Luck All!

  48. David Wurz on July 2, 2011 10:21 am

    What a great selection of books to enhance my jewelry making.

  49. laura m on July 2, 2011 10:32 am

    these books look fabulous…would love to call them mine!!!

  50. laura m on July 2, 2011 10:38 am

    oops clicked submit before saying what i am inspired by.
    i am inspired mostly by the shapes i find while out and about in nature and in little details passed over by many. i find beauty in things that may appear ugly to others.

  51. Cynthia Sexton on July 2, 2011 11:02 am

    My mother and uncle had an art background so I think that is where I got the influence for making my own jewelry and I love to get ideas old and new to use from a great technique to making it look unique so you don’t see your self coming and going.
    Thank you and good luck to all of you.

  52. Holly Gage on July 2, 2011 11:14 am

    These books fantastic. I take every opportunity I can to get exposure to new art, techniques and styles from many mediums and artists.
    I think what inspires me most these days is, “What if” I think by nature I am a little inventor inside anxious to get out. I often see things in unique ways. People see a music CD and wonder what music is on it. I see the CD and notice the rainbow color or pattern on the surface. People see a building and wonder what is inside. I see a building and notice the shadows it makes on the ground or the detailing in the stone work. My curiosity has driven me down dead ends and new adventures, but the journey is always interesting.

  53. Christine on July 2, 2011 11:26 am

    I am usually influenced most by my feelings… what is going on around me or in my life. I also am influenced by nature and the beautiful world around us all! :)

  54. Chris Elser on July 2, 2011 11:47 am

    My work is inspired by geometry. I love interesting combinations of shapes and forms.

  55. Stacey Lane, Studio Jeweler · Jewelry Making | CraftGossip.com on July 2, 2011 12:18 pm

    [...] there’s one more day to enter for your chance to win the Penland books, here is also an opportunity to see work from one of Penland’s instructors. I came across [...]

  56. Jeanne on July 2, 2011 12:30 pm

    What lovely books! They would look so great on my coffee table! I know they’d inspire ideas galore!

  57. wendy barno on July 2, 2011 12:34 pm

    I don’t know what i would do without books. They inspire new ideas, remind me of older thoughts, and inspire me to new heights. When i am stalled book , that i can hold in my lap reinvigorate me and my passion….!

  58. Peggy Russell on July 2, 2011 6:40 pm

    I make jewelry and my friend’s husband makes glass object d’art. His birthday is coming… hint hint :)

  59. christy on July 2, 2011 9:42 pm

    i love reading new books and taking classes to learn new techniques or tricks that I can apply to my designs. mastery of technique leads to a greater array of possible designs for me. thanks for such a great giveaway!

  60. Colleen White on July 3, 2011 8:26 am

    I am inspired by the jewelry of different cultures, both past and present, nature, and my husband’s artwork – I’ve done a number of pieces from drawings he’s done ( he’s a book illustrator). I’m always looking at ancient pieces from museums and digs. Also historical movies – I watch with a sketchbook beside me! I do everything from medieval design to very modern, to fantasy, so I am always looking at new ideas.

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