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A pottery instructor from Atlanta, Georgia, Sammie Nicely is honored to teach at Penland. He particularly likes the mix of students of different levels who are in his class--professionals, teachers, amateurs, and hobbyists. He says he learns just as much from them as they probably learn from him. Because he lets his students experiment with different techniques and materials, he learns some of the techniques that some of his students either discover or have brought with them.
Sammie appreciates Penland's emphasis on the craft tradition, especially since many products are now mass produced. Most of the students and instructors at Penland, he said, know the value of handmade products and can value what others make, so they can be a good source of support for other artists.
"One of the neat things about Penland and other craft schools is that they bring in some of the people doing traditional crafts along with some of the contemporary crafts," he said. "I think it's important to have that mix and for people to see the mix."