The arts have been calling me since I was a child growing up in Memphis, TN. I took my first painting class when I was a teenager and could have made my first sale at age 14. I turned it down because I wanted to keep it.
Certain I was destined to be a painter, I enrolled in the Memphis Academy of Art. A required class in clay and a chance to throw at the kick wheel, however, caused me to reconsider. The next year, after a few more classes, everyone knew if you wanted to find me, the clay studio was where I’d be. To immerse myself even more, I spent my summers in the early 60s, taking classes at the well-respected Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. After graduating with my BFA from the Memphis Academy, I moved to New York to earn my Masters in Art from Alfred University.
With my degree in hand, I moved back to Tennessee to open my first studio. After several summers spent teaching at the Penland School of Craft, I realized the North Carolina mountains were calling me. Although there were only a few studios in existence at the time, I had a sense it would become a community of artists. I have been living in the PenlandCommunity since 1970. I feel honored to be recognized as the unofficial Mayor of Penland.
My work continues to be primarily wheel-thrown. I suspect there will never come a day when I’m not fascinated by how each piece takes shape. The same holds true for the excitement I feel opening the gas or wood kiln after a firing. There’s simply no detail about the process, whether trimming, altering, or glazing, that I don’t enjoy.
Edwina Bringle lives and works in Penland, NC. As a fiber artist, she is known for her use of color and design in her woven textiles and free-motion embroidered pieces.
Bringle also runs a gallery with her twin sister, where she sells her work. She taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as a Professor of Art for many years. She has been a Penland School of Crafts Resident Artist and frequently teaches at the school. Her work is in the collection of the North Carolina Museum of History and the Greenville Museum of Art.