I just got back from a week at Penland. As I sit here on Sunday, having just arrived back home yesterday, I wonder if it really happened? It seems like a dream today as I get back to my normal life, take out the garbage, check work emails, do laundry. But I have the photos and beads to prove that it actually happened, and here they are.

Our teacher was the fabulous Amy Lemaire, assisted by the wonderful Carmichael Jones. I had 3 excellent classmates. We worked our butts off for a week, and we learned so much in that short time.

Fall had not yet fallen when I arrived on Sunday, Oct 5.

Fall had not yet fallen when I arrived on Sunday, Oct 5.

My output on my first day at Penland. Amy brought us some gorgeous glass inspired by the colors of the fall season.

My output on my first day at Penland. Amy brought us some gorgeous glass inspired by the colors of the fall season.

That was the biggest bead I had ever made. It was hollow. I use the past tense because I dropped it and broke it. But Amy had a vision and helped me transform the shards into something cool.

That was the biggest bead I had ever made. It was hollow. I use the past tense because I dropped it and broke it. But Amy had a vision and helped me transform the shards into something cool.

L to R: Elena, Carmichael and Amy. Carmichael and Amy wanted to do a roll-up like they do in the hot shop, but this time with soft glass. They believe this was the first time this had ever been attempted in glass history! Amy is attaching her fiber optic glass (made with a drill!) to a gigantic bead.

L to R: Elena, Carmichael and Amy. Carmichael and Amy wanted to do a roll-up like they do in the hot shop, but this time with soft glass. They believe this was the first time this had ever been attempted in glass history! Amy is attaching her fiber optic glass (made with a drill!) to a gigantic bead.

That's Sarah underneath all that gear. This was our etching station outside on the porch.

That's Sarah underneath all that gear. This was our etching station outside on the porch.

My output after my second day. The stuff on the right had been etched to remove the default glassy shine. Amy says that she can't even think about using her beads until they have been etched. The boot shaped bead on the second row on the left is my roll-up. It came out weird to my eyes, but Amy and Carmichael encouraged me to go with it anyway.

My output after my second day. The stuff on the right had been etched to remove the default glassy shine. Amy says that she can't even think about using her beads until they have been etched. The boot shaped bead on the second row on the left is my roll-up. It came out weird to my eyes, but Amy and Carmichael encouraged me to go with it anyway.

Amy modelling the red glitter cold working apron that we all got for her. We agreed that she couldn't leave Penland without it.

Amy modelling the red glitter cold working apron that we all got for her. We agreed that she couldn't leave Penland without it.

Fall sunset over Penland. Such a gorgeous place!

Fall sunset over Penland. Such a gorgeous place!

Our final show and tell took place in the gorgeous new printing studio.

Our final show and tell took place in the gorgeous new printing studio.

My final showing. I got a lot of compliments, which was very encouraging. Notice the earrings made from the shards of my broken bead. Amy helped me make three earrings, she kept one and wore it constantly!

My final showing. I got a lot of compliments, which was very encouraging. Notice the earrings made from the shards of my broken bead. Amy helped me make three earrings, she kept one and wore it constantly!

A close up of the necklace I assembled. It's not in its final form but I threw it together for the show and tell.

A close up of the necklace I assembled. It's not in its final form but I threw it together for the show and tell.

This is my roll-up bead resting atop the fused glass piece I made. It looks like the bead is escaping flat land, no? Notice the Penland logo murrini Amy made and gave to us to use.

This is my roll-up bead resting atop the fused glass piece I made. It looks like the bead is escaping flat land, no? Notice the Penland logo murrini Amy made and gave to us to use.

L to R: Carmichael, Robyn, and Amy in front of Carmichael's beautiful work.

L to R: Carmichael, Robyn, and Amy in front of Carmichael's beautiful work.

Ben Dory's gorgeous work. Amy collaborated with Ben on the large piece in the back. They generously donated it for a future Penland auction.

Ben Dory's gorgeous work. Amy collaborated with Ben on the large piece in the back. They generously donated it for a future Penland auction.

Fall had fallen at Penland in the week I was there. I hope to be back again soon!

Fall had fallen at Penland in the week I was there. I hope to be back again soon!