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Scott travels all the way from San Francisco, California to study ironwork at Penland. After going to Penland last summer for a two-week session in ironwork, he decided to do a concentration in iron studio last year. "I just fell in love with it," he said.
When Scott was looking for a craft school to go to last year, he got about 10 responses to the 30 letters of application he sent out. Penland was one of them. What impressed him about Penland was the focus on social interaction between the artists. He said that most other schools just offered a studio workspace. Penland, on the other hand, provided him with social space and community.
"It's great because I have a chance to work with 9 or 10 other metal artists and to get to see what they're doing and get new ideas from them," he said. "Everyone's just so open about what their processes are, what their artwork's about, and no one tries to hoard knowledge. It's just the way things should be."
The age range of the students also impressed Scott. Students as old as 70 who were retired and as young as 18 who were just starting college shared a wide range of ideas. The combination of old and new ideas, being able to take the old traditions and experiment with them also peaked his interest.
"You can tap into the craft tradition and also incorporate new artistic ideas, and you can come up with a synthesis of ideas."