Woke up early again this morning to get on the road because it was time to visit Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. I decided to save the best thing for last, because I trusted Penland would be. After getting lost several times and Peb's "I hate the country" city diva anxiety attack, we found our way and were full steam ahead. The road up to the school confirmed that I would DEFINITELY have to board because I would only want to drive up and down that twice.
As I saw the sign and the main building I was already in love. If you've ever been to overnight camp, it feels kind of like this, mixed with a relaxed country club and a mountain artists community all rolled into one.
Without much time to explore, I went straight to the letterpress studio. The shop is in a newer building at Penland but was designed to fit with the mountain cabin feel of the rest of the grounds. Outside there is a student working, a picnic table and a dog lying on the sidewalk. Large windows surround the building are open for mountain air. To say the shop is amazing just can't justify it. Even after being told it's out of order because there benefit auction was the day before, it is still amazing. In the center of the shop sit four Vandercook proof presses, set up like a pinwheel, with Dr. Suess looking ventilation above them. Against one wall sit cabinets of type, two paper cutters and a countertop for ink mixing. Opposite this side are big white tables surrounded by large windows looking over the mountains. I mean I guess it's okay. The letterpress shop is adjoined to the printmaking shop with a connecting hallway. They share this beautiful, large, high ceiling, industrial feel building nestled in the center of campus.
After dying over the letterpress studio, we wandered around and found the book arts room and paper studio, both also amazing. One thing in particular I loved was off of the paper studio there was an enclosed outside space with clotheslines of felts hanging up to dry. This concluded our mini tour of the Penland studios.
Before we left we stopped quickly for coffee at the coffee house at Penland. We heard from someone at the conference that the coffee is really good and if you know us, you know we love coffee. Such a cute coffee house, with an array of delicious looking treats and lunch items. The blueberry muffin tasted like our mom had dropped them off at Penland that morning. Amazing food, amazing coffee, amazing everything. Quick stop back at the main building to get some letterpress cards and then it was time to go. Really wish I had somehow gotten stranded there. Cue Mazda breakdown.
Following Penland were roller-coaster style roads down the mountain for over 30 miles. So thankful we had beautiful driving weather today. Still on route to PA, long day of driving but in the end, totally worth it.