Goodbye for Now!

goodbye-for-now-blogThank you so much for making the 2014 ECU symposium the BEST ONE YET! Check out some of the pics from that awesome weekend below, and don’t forget to stay tuned in for updates on next years Symposium.

Until then goodbye for now friends!

Sincerely, Your friendly ECU Symposium Staff

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Pack your bags and make your charm! Symposium is Two Days Away!

sewing peep 2 


We cant wait until this weekend!!!! So here is a last minute checklist of things to bring!

  • Personal Identification
  • Cash & Credit/ATM Card(s)
  • Reservations & Itineraries
  • GPS
  • Business Cards
  • Charm in a box
  • Smart Phone, Tablet & Charger
  • Travel Apps: Airline Travel, Where to Eat, etc.
  • Camera, Memory Card & Charger
  • Music Player, Headphones, Speakers & Charger
  • Computer & Cords/Laptop Sleeve
  • Guide Books & Maps
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal Prescriptions
  • Band-Aids for the Saw, File, Solder Sprints ;)
  • Pain & Fever Relievers
  • Allergy Medicines
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Energy Bars & Snacks

and here are just a few last minute reminders!

  • Dont forget your toothbrush!
  • If you are staying with someone please contact them if you have not already and make arrangements to meet with them.
  • Ask your host/hostess if you will need an air mattress.
  • When you register dont forget to pick up a schedule and turn in your charm, below are further charm swap instructions.
  • HAVE FUN when you get here and enjoy the Art Walk Friday Afternoon!!!!

The charm swap at the ECU material topics symposium is always a lot of fun and full of anticipation as you never know whose charm you will receive!  It’s great to see everyone’s work on a small and personal level.

If this is your first time at the symposium, don’t worry, it’s no pressure – just go with it and use this as an opportunity to experiment with your charm.

When you register at the symposium you will turn in your charm.   Each charm is put in a lettered box (A,B,C,D). On the back of your registration card will be written one of those letters (of course it won’t be the one we put your charm in); at the end of the evening – 7pm – Letters will be announced so everyone gets a turn to pick their charm ONE AT A TIME PLEASE!! 

Some times it can get chaotic –  don’t worry, there is plenty to do if the line is a bit long at your lettered section, you can view the work at the “50/50, The Reliquary Redux Exhibition or grab a bite to eat.  Charms will be given out from 7pm-8pm so stay close to the art building lobby and you’ll get your charm!


Your Friendly Symposium Staff

Introducing the Symposium Art Walk Line Up!!

I do postcard A&E _Page_1

As relationships start, evolve, and in some cases end, the individuals change along with them.

Using the premise of the wedding band, the traditional symbol of commitment, participating

artists were asked to create a ring describing their feelings on these close connections.

I  Do. … Do I? is an exhibition about these close connections.

@ The ART ROOM (403 EVANS ST.)

 Curated by Nicole Jacquard as part of her ‘One Night Stand’ series, the traveling International

exhibition features the work of 21 artists all at different stages in relationships.


R-R postcardfront copy copy

“This, to me, is the essence of why reliquaries exist. Not only to protect and display a sacred object, but also to immortalize the life and legacy of the person that object represents and ensure that their story continues to be told”. -Tina Wiltsie

Reliquary/REDUX  is an exhibtion that aims to present possible answers to the question “What is a Reliquary, and what does it contain?”  Juried by Danielle James and Kate Speranza!


 Making Connections is an exhibition highlighting the connections we create as makers

between each other and within our work.

Curated by Mariah Lee Ross & Samantha Clarke, Juried by Nick Heyl



 Parking available, BYOB welcome, 213 W 9th St. Greenville, NC 27834.

Introducing the 1st annual ECU Symposium Pin/Charm Raffle


This year we are adding a fun new event to the weekend! A number of us here at ECU have donated a pin/charm to a raffle off to fundraise for the continuing awesomeness of symposium.  The pins/charms will be on display all weekend in the glass cases outside the Burroughs Wellcome Gallery and you can purchase raffle tickets during the T-shirt sale and other selected times.A single ticket will sell for $3 or you can get four for $10. The winners will be picked during the final party at Peasants in downtown Greenville. Only seven more days!!!!

See Ya’ll Soon

Symposium Presentors Part 9: Bruce Pepich

Bruce Pepich Headshot

Lecture: The Museum as Muse

In addition to serving as resources for public education, museums help shape the culture around metalsmithing by their collections and exhibitions. Bruce W. Pepich will address the role museums have in this process and how contemporary artists can participate.

Bio: Bruce W. Pepich is the Executive Director and Curator of Collections of the Racine Art Museum and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts. In the 1990s he assembled one of the most significant contemporary craft collections found in any art museum in North America. He opened RAM in 2003 in downtown Racine as a second campus that is home to this collection.

Pepich curates exhibitions from RAM’s 8,000 piece collection and regularly presents lectures on contemporary crafts around the country. He is a published writer and has served as a juror for over 100 national and international art competitions and fellowship awards. In 2012, he was inducted as an Honorary Fellow into the American Craft Council’s College of Fellows.

Get Ready for Some Serious Swapping!


The following info is for those of you who are attending for the first time this year or if you just need a pin swap refresher.

Here are the things to know:

  • When you register on the morning of Jan 17th, please give your one charm ( in an unnamed or unlabeled box) to an attendant at the registration table, your name tag will be marked at this time. Dont forget having a business card inside your package is a good idea!
  • Saturday evening the charm swap will start and tickets will be on sale for our first silent pin auction!!! ( and of course our famous T-shirt booth will be open at this time)
  • During the evening the charm swap desk attendant will call up everyone in groups to pull the box with the corresponding number on your name tag. NO PEEKING!!   After you pick your charm we highly suggest you try to find the person who made your charm.

And that is that!!!

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email us at

Happy Making!


Your Friendly Symposium Staff.

A Guide to Greenville Eateries

After a day of travel or workshops, the last thing you want to worry about is where to eat!?! So those of us here at ECU have compiled a list of eateries that might tickle your fancy.

Here is a printable map of just some of the nearby greenville attractions 2014_First_Friday_Brochure_INSIDE-grey-1

For those of you with limited access to a car there many great options within walking distance in the heart of Uptown Greenville.

-The Scullery: If you needed another hit of caffeine along with a sandwich or scoop of homemade ice cream this is the spot for you. Open Friday and Saturday, located on the corner of 5th St. and Evans.

-Thai 360: If you’re in the mood for pad thai or maybe something more adventurous this is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Located on the corner of Evans and 6th St.

-Peasant’s Pub: Self proclaimed provider of modern southern cooking this is a great place to grab and bite and a beer while listening to local music. Open from 11am – 2am everyday and the home of this year’s after party is located on 5th St. between Cotanche and Evans.

-Starlight Café: A local favorite for fine cuisine and delicious cocktails, but be prepared to pay a little more.  Open from 11:30am- 10pm Fridays and Saturdays, 11am-2pm Sundays. Located on the corner of 5th St. and Evans (across the street from The Scullery).

-Winslow’s Tavern, Market & Deli: In addition to a wide selection of beers on tap Winslow’s offers a selection of burgers and sandwiches. Open for lunch and dinner every day. Located on the corner of 5th street and Washington St. (just past Starlight Café).

Christy’s Euro Pub: Unofficial bar of the art building, this dive bar provides tasty cheap eats including daily $5 specials and even cheaper drinks. Located within the grid on the corner of Jenkins and 3rd St., always open.

Quick Bites:

-Sup Dogs: Hot dogs, mysterious sup dog sauce and cheep beer. 5th St.

-Pita Pit: Anything you could want wrapped up in a pita.  5th St.

Driving required, but worth the extra effort:

-EC Pho: This Vietnamese restaurant is tucked away in a strip mall, but its pho will leave you craving more. Open every day from 11-9:30. Located at 703 Greenville Blvd SE, Greenville, NC 27858 (a 5min drive from campus).

-El Azador Mexican Restaurant: The best (most authentic) Mexican food in all of Greenville is sqeezed into a tiny roadside trailer. Open every day 10-7:00. Located just across the Tar River at 1200 N Greene St, Greenville, NC 27834. (a 5min drive from campus)

-Tokyo Japanese Restaurant: The best sushi in town hands down. Open for lunch and dinner, but closes between 3pm- 4:30pm every day. Located at 3525 S Memorial Dr, Greenville, NC 27834 (10min drive from campus).

Participants Exhibition Submissions!!


Dear Symposium Participant-

If you are submitting a piece in the Participant Exhibition for the upcoming 2014 Material Topics Symposium please print out and fill out the below form, include this information inside your package.

Send work to: ATT: Steven Hall, School of Art and Design
Leo Jenkins Fine Arts Center Rm 2000, Mail Stop 502 Greenville, NC 27858

Please contact Steven Hall at for questions regarding the Exhibition.

The deadline for receiving work is Saturday, January 4th.
We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium, have a great New Years!!

ECU2014 Participant Exhibition

Symposium Presentors Part 8: Cappy Counard


perception. open

Workshop description:


Open it. Close it.


In this workshop, I will share with you my longtime fascination with hinges and mechanisms. My demonstration will focus on the materials and techniques needed to make strong, reliable hinges (while hopefully demystifying the challenge of soldering all of those tiny little parts!). We will also talk about a wide range of catches, including making your own wire threads. These demonstrations, along with numerous examples of historic and contemporary work, will illustrate how hinges and mechanisms can enhance your containers and jewelry.

perception. side




Cappy Counard has been a professor of Metals/Jewelry at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania since 1999. She earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her BS in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She makes jewelry and vessels that explore the intersection of structure and emotion, logic and memory, searching and being still. In addition to exhibiting both nationally and internationally, Cappy is the recipient of two individual artist fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and her work has been featured in many books including, Art Jewelry Today 3, 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series and The Metalsmith Book of Boxes and Lockets.


Symposium Presentors Part 7: Adam Kenney

Introducing one of the many lectures that will be taking place in just a few weeks!!


Adam Kenney is the Executive Director of Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pa. He earned a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. Before transitioning to arts management, Kenney spent over a decade as a professional glassblower, and held positions in a wide range of studio settings. These professional experiences include managing high-volume production studios, participating in residencies at university fine arts programs, and assisting internationally renowned glass artists like Stephen Rolfe Powell and Curtiss Brock. Kenney has conducted professional development sessions for a variety of organizations and institutions that support makers such as the Tamarack Foundation, The Society of North American Goldsmiths, Creative Crafts Council, Edinboro University, Slippery Rock University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When his duties at Touchstone allow, he continues to produce mixed media sculpture and vessels for his line of glass hollowware, Aka Glass (

In his presentation, Balancing Act: A Holistic Approach to Developing a Sustainable Creative Career Kenney will ask makers to reconsider their creative careers as a complex synthesis of personal, financial, professional, and artistic goals. He will highlight the usefulness of nonprofit administration concepts like Strategic Planning and S.W.O.T. Analysis to enable artists to make the most three-dimensional and “data driven” career decisions. These strategically sound career decisions should guide the emerging artist down a professional path where personal, financial, professional, and artistic goals are equalized as much as possible.

Symposium Presentors Part 6: Arthur Hash!!

We are super duper exited to announce this years demonstration by Arthur Hash – Water Etching and Champleve Enamels!!!

In this demo students will learn to combine a low tech salt water etching process with traditional enameling to make one-of-a-kind jewelry. We will cover salt-water etching with the enameling technique of champlevé.

Arthur is an Instructor and technician in the metals program at State University of New York-New Paltz; two Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowships, American Craft Council Searchlight Artist; exhibitions: Quirk Gallery (VA), Facere Gallery (Seattle), Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston), Velvet da Vinci (San Francisco), Oregon College of Arts and Crafts.


Your Friendly Symposium Staff



Because of the growing popularity of our little shindig here at ECU we have been forced to put a maximum capacity on the symposium. In order to maintain the small and intimate experience that is so unique to the Material Topics experience we felt an attendance cap was the best way to make sure we provide the best conference possible. Not to mention until we get an art department upgrade we just can not fit y’all in the building!!

Don’t forget there is still time to submit to both Reliquary/Redux and Making Connections, two exhibitions that will be opening in conjunction with the symposium art walk! Stay tuned for more info regarding demonstrations and lectures for the 2013 ECU Symposium!!



Your Friendly Symposium Staff

Symposim Presentors part 5: Brett Freund


This year we are super excited to introduce our visiting ceramics artist!!!

Brett Freund investigates patterns of aesthetics and symbols in order to produce a mash-up of form and imagery by exploring the decorative nature of the highbrow and surplus of popular culture.

His work reflects on definitions of preciousness and value.  How does an object qualify itself as being important?  Is it rare like a diamond? Does it take time to grow like a crystal or is it a symbol that references a status or identity?

Brett received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and was awarded the Lormina Salter Fellowship from Baltimore Clayworks.  
He exhibits nationally in the United States and was chosen as 2012 Emergency Artist by Ceramics Monthly.

In this years symposium he will demonstrate his methods for building porcelain crystal clusters with a scoreless attaching slip.  How to utilize mason stains to create vibrant surfaces as well as sharing his technique for sketching in clay.  He will also discuss growing borax crystals onto the sides of his ceramic sculptures.





Symposium Keynote Lecturer: David Clemons

Bag & Bottle studio shot (front)
We are very excited to have David Clemons as our keynote lecturer this year. Coming to us all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas!!

Lecture Summary:

My work has primarily dealt with racial identity and the objects and images that impact one’s understanding of identity.  The lecture will discuss the origins and creative process of this exploration of identity.  As well, the content will be marked by some elaboration on the fluid and often, random transitions that exist within my process and the materials that inspire and inform the things I make.

Brief Bio:

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­            David currently lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where he is an artist in residence and head of Metals at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. His work embraces Metalsmithing history, techniques, and objects as a means to communicate ideas. Many of the resulting objects rendered in metal, mixed media, and hand made illustrated artist books are vehicles to discuss the topic of identity.  His work has been featured in Craft in America and in the collection of the Arkansas Art Center.

Bio Narrative:

I was born in El Paso, Texas and spent much of my life in Austin, Texas.  Initially I began my undergraduate career attending Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  While there I pursued a combined degree program for Biology Art and Pre Med.  I attended the program for two years before returning to Austin.  Upon my return I enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin (UT).  While enrolled at UT I realized my true interest was in art not medicine. Much to my parents chagrin I changed my major to art.  As I progressed through the BFA program I focused on two areas of study, painting and metals.  Upon graduating from UT I went on to teach at Austin Community College (ACC).  While at ACC I taught a metal sculpture class focusing on welding fabrication, non-ferrous sheet metal forming, and blacksmithing.  In addition to working at ACC I returned to UT to serve as a tech in the Metals Department.  After working at the community college for three years and the university for a year and a half, I felt the desire to enter a graduate program in Metalsmithing.  I earned my MFA in Metalsmithing in 2007 from San Diego State University (SDSU).  During my studies at SDSU I utilized metal and other media to create objects discussing the development of racial identity and the impact mass media has on its development.  I am currently

Symposim Presentors part 3: Avery Lucas


Our next presenter is a magician at moving metal around, she is also one of the coolest ladysmiths around!

May we present Avery Lucas!!

Title/Topic: Chasing and Repousse Techniques: Chasing Relief


Chasing and repousse has been used since ancient times to emboss sheet metal into patterns, textures, and images. The French term repousse literally translates as ‘to push out’ and refers to forming metal out from the backside. By using heat, hammers, and chasing tools, this demonstration will utilize the malleable quality of metal to achieve high and low relief. From large to small, these decorative forming techniques can be applied to enhance the visual vocabulary of jewelry, sculptures, and functional objects.

Emphasis of the demonstration will be on showing my own process. I use forming and chasing as a way of developing a three-dimensional drawing through mark making.

An artist talk will underline how my studio practice has become a push and pull of tool marks against copper as I cultivate my relationship between material and my own hands. The hammered skin of the metal becomes a reflection of my own body. These objects catalog my own kinesthetic understanding and analysis of human emotion. Making always opens another door, asks another question, and gives me the yearning to chase after myself. All the while, I rely on my own two hand define and articulate a space within which to operate as a maker.


Originally from Cape Ann, Massachusetts, Avery Lucas has lived in the Providence area since she was an undergraduate at Rhode Island College, graduated in 2009. In addition, Avery received with her Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry/Metals from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, in 2012. Avery is moving towards the future while she builds up her own studio and pursues a professional life as an artist. In 2013, Avery’s metal work won “Best Of” Contemporary Art Month for a featured exhibition at Equinox Gallery in San Antonio, Texas. Avery has also lectured and taught workshops at Rhode Island College, State University of New York – New Paltz, and at the Fuller Craft Museum.

Symposium Presentors Part 2: Charity Hall

Secondly we would like to introduce ya’ll to Charity Hall! She is coming to illuminate our minds and our enamels! Bio: Charity Hall is a studio jeweler/enamelist in southwestern Virginia. She first learned metalsmithing from Dindy Reich at Colorado College … Continue reading

Symposium Presentors Part 1: Alison Pack


For our first presenter introduction we would like to introduce you to the lovely Alison Pack!

Workshop: Powerhouse Techniques

This demonstration and discussion will focus on unconventional raising techniques that are used to create non -vessel hollow forms. This demonstration is designed to push students thinking beyond the boundaries of traditional raising techniques. I like to make the techniques become part of the design.

Alison Pack’s work is based on telling stories through imagery that pursues stereotypes, misconceptions and clichés of womanhood. Often parts of the female anatomy morph with ordinary functional objects to create humorous fantasies with sexual overtones.  As a traditional southern girl, tools were considered inappropriate and unfeminine. Ironically, the development of her hand-skills through sawing, filing and forming proved to be powerful expressions of her femininity and sexuality as well as commemorative pieces enabling her to re-live some of her life experiences. Her small copper and sterling silver sculptures are created by the traditional metal working processes of shell forming, raising, fabrication and casting. She employs color on metal techniques using Prismacolor pencils and acrylic paints to allude to decorative surfaces such as fabric and icings.

Her work has been displayed nationally and was featured in “Refined VII: Inspiration” 2012, The Seventh Biennial Exhibition and Competition for Artists working in the metalworking and jewelry field, at Stephen F. Austin University. She also received a Juror award for the 25th annual Materials: Hard & Soft exhibition 2012 at the Greater Denton Arts Council, in Denton Texas. The Juror was Monica Moses editor in chief of American Craft magazine.

Also her work has been featured in, Humor in Craft, Art Jewelry Today 3, Art Jewelry Today 2 and About Art. She is an associate professor of metalsmithing and jewelry design at Radford University, where she has been since 2003. She is included in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Educators.  She is an active member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the Southwest Virginia Metal Arts Guild. She holds a BS in art education with teaching certification form Appalachian State University and an MFA in metalsmithing from East Tennessee State University.



Your Friendly Symposium Staff