Penland School of Crafts

I went to the Penland School of Crafts not knowing what to expect.  The school is located in a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  Given that I am generally a designer clothes loving, tiny hybrid car driving, exotic food eating city slicker, I was not at all sure how this was going to turn out for me.  I am happy to report, however, that Penland charmed the pants off of me.  Spruce Pines, the little town Penland is situated within, is awe-inspiringly beautiful.  The campus consists of several buildings and log cabins, each one more charming than the next.  Myself and the 9 other Winter Fellows stayed in the new dorm called the Roost. Together, we made dinner, ate breakfast, and kvetched about long hours in the studio.  It snowed much of the time that I was there, and for someone that strongly dislikes the cold I found myself stomping my feet in the whiteness, leaving tracks across the campus, and loving it! The sky was big and clear on those days when it did not snow, and the air was crisp and fresh.

The project that I proposed was a series of letter pressed posters related to Petit Takett.  I made a total of 4 posters.  Two are recipe posters.  One is based on a photo of my grandmother’s restaurant in Tunisia.  The fourth poster is about Harissa, the product that I hope to market one day soon.  In the process of making them, I learned so much about the letterpress itself.  I had the opportunity to work with a master printer, Kathy Kuhn.  Kathy has an immense wealth of printing knowledge, as well as tremendous patience and a quiet wit.  Thanks to her aid and guidance, I  was able to realize my vision almost painlessly.

Penland also allowed me to take the time to really reflect on what Petit Takett is all about, and how I’d like the project to move forward.  It started out as a food blog with a focus on cooking and culture and has now evolved into so much more.