Posted on February 6, 2017
Jack’s thesis research is centered around the concept of emotional durability in kitchenware. The two-week workshop, Hot Glass and Heavy Metal with Jason Chakravarty, would allow him to explore his research in both cast glass and aluminum. With the support of his thesis committee, Jack applied for a spot in the competitive glass shop. Penland has an early admission deadline for inclusion in a lottery to help guarantee your desired studio, which he took advantage of. As part of the application process, multiple scholarships could also be applied for.
A common way for students to attend Penland is through a work study program. In this program, a student works for Penland approximately 20 hours a week in exchange for tuition, room, and board. Most of the jobs are in the kitchen preparing food or doing dishes. In addition to work-study scholarships, there are merit scholarships, which can pay for part of the expenses or all of them. Jack applied for everything! He hoped to be fully funded through a merit scholarship and expressed to the scholarship committee that a work study scholarship would not allow him to fully focus on his work. When the acceptance letter arrived a partial scholarship, with no work study, was included and covered half of the cost to attend. This was fantastic news; yet more funding was still necessary to cover the full cost of attendance.
Graduate Coordinator Jo Leimenstoll urged Jack to apply for summer funding through the graduate school. This again required the full support of his thesis committee, letters of recommendation, and a proposal for using the funds. It was not long before the good news arrived that summer funding had been awarded.
Jack’s experience at Penland was full of long days working on projects in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains. The class utilized the lost wax method to create sculptures in glass and aluminum. His instructor, Jason Chakravarty, was full of information and special tips to make working with wax and glass more successful. Aluminum casting was an experiment for everyone, learning as they worked. Jason is a big fan of Taco Tuesday and even held a taco party for the students.
Penland is a special place where magic happens across a multitude of crafts. Wonderful relationships were created and Jack stays in touch with many of his classmates and instructor. Applying, get accepted, and figuring out how to afford to attend such workshops can seem overwhelming. These are all minor hurdles which can be conquered one step at a time. UNCG offers multiple avenues for funding such experiences; and there are also other means to obtain funding, all you have to do is apply. If you can get in, more than likely a way to fund an experience can be found.