Pre & Post Symposium Workshops at Pocosin Arts!


Hey Everyone!

Wishing you could have some extended time working in the studio with our fantastic Keynote and Capstone speakers, Andy Cooperman and Harlan W. Butt? We’re excited to share an amazing opportunity from Pocosin Arts! Harlan will be doing a Cloisonné Enameling workshop January 5th-10th, and Andy will be offering his Imaginative Captures workshop January 16th-20th. You can find more details in Pocosin’s 2018 Workshops Preview.

If you haven’t been before, Pocosin Arts is located only about an hour and a half from ECU, in Columbia, North Carolina. They have wonderful studios and you can stay right across the street in their lodge with beautiful views out onto the Scuppernong River.

Call 252-796-2787 to register. Capacity for each workshop is capped at 10 people, so act fast to claim your place!



Registration is Full! + Waitlist details

Hello everyone!

We want to thank you all for your tremendous enthusiasm for the Symposium! We are now at capacity for registration.

If you still want to attend, you can process your registration following the directions on our blog, and your name will be added to the waitlist. If a spot becomes available we will contact you to complete your registration.

We can’t wait to see you in January!

Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2018 ECU Material Topics Symposium: Deconstruct/Reconstruct!

This year registration is hosted through ECU’s Continuing Professional Education & Lifelong Learning Programs. The price is $95 for students and $120 for professionals. Here are directions for the registration process:

  1. Start by creating a username and password here.
  2. Once you have signed up, you can complete your registration on the 2018 ECU Material Topics Symposium Course Page.
  3. After adding the Symposium to your cart, you will have the option to add additional attendees, if you would like to pay for multiple registrations at the same time.
  4. After all attendees are added, you can select “Checkout”. Each attendee will be prompted to rank breakout session preferences, professional/student information, T-shirt sizing, dietary restrictions.
  5. Under billing information you have the option to pay the “Total Amount” immediately online with a credit card, or you can select “Invoice Me,” if you need to arrange alternate payment* (for example, to pay by check).
  6. Select “Next,” to review.
  7. If everything is correct, “Submit Order.”
  8. If you selected the “Total Amount” option,  you will be prompted to enter your payment information

If you need any assistance processing your registration you can contact  Continuing Professional Education & Lifelong Learning Programs:

We look forward to seeing you in January!

*Your registration is not complete until your payment is received. If you selected the “Invoice Me” option, and have not paid by November 15th your spot will be opened for people on the waitlist.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Sarah West


Sarah West is an artist living and working in Raleigh, NC. Sarah earned a BFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University and a Bench Jewelry Certificate from North Bennet Street School. Sarah splits her time between teaching at Pullen Arts Center, exhibiting her jewelry at retail craft markets and creating custom installations for public spaces. Sarah received a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship and her distinctive linear works have been selected for exhibitions nationwide including: Monochrome Noir at Velvet Da Vinci; Bijoux! at The Norton Museum; 11th Biennial: Making and Taking “Pictures” Reconsidered at A.I.R Gallery; and Teapots! 9th at Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery. Sarah’s jewelry has been published in the books New Earrings and Behind the Brooch and her steel and textile installations are in the permanent collections of Hotel Indigo in El Paso; The Renaissance Hotel in Chicago; AC Hotels in San Francisco and in Manhattan.

Sarah West Meridian Bracelet w_Marbled Vinyl

Breakout: Brazing for Fun and Profit

Sarah will introduce the aspects of brazing small gauge steel wire for jewelry and sculpture. We will cover soldering non-ferrous metal such as findings and prongs to steel and discuss ways to combine alternative materials like fabric, paper and plastics. Sarah will also share her experience navigating corporate commissions and the steps she takes to secure contracts.


2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Lisa Klakulak

'Rabun' series

Lisa Klakulak is a studio artist residing in Asheville, NC, an instructor of workshops worldwide and an avid traveler, observer and interpreter of her experiences into felt. Lisa received a B.F.A in Fiber Arts from Colorado State University as well as a K-12 Teaching Licensure from Tennessee Technological University during her 3 year artist residency at the University’s satellite campus, the Appalachian Center for Craft. Lisa has independently pursued the felt medium, developing unique methodologies and creating both body adornment and sculpture inspired by the vulnerability of the human experience. Her works have been published in Fiber Arts, Surface Design Journal, Fiber Art Now, American Craft and the Lark 500 Series. Lisa received a James Renwick Alliance Award of Excellence for Innovation in Craft in 2015 and continues to push her chosen media by experimenting with the extremes of high (thin) and low (thick) shrinkage of wool fiber.

Klakulak_AblationBreakout Session: The Necessity of Space: Felting around Armature & Free-motion Embroidery on Felt

We must create space for things to happen, both a void in the routine and high paced use of our time and in the physical juxtaposition of mass. Space allows for movement and is the most crucial element of the felting process. It is necessary for the individual fibers to come together, intertwine and transform into something new. Lisa will demonstrate how to encase wire armature in a continuous thin skin of felt. By strategically increasing the surface area around the object, one can create the space needed for the wool fibers to shrink into a felt that will fit snuggly against the form, revealing the contours of the enclosed object.

Additionally, Lisa will share how juxtaposing thin areas of fiber with denser areas of felt as well as non-felting materials creates surface texture through different shrinkage rates. These textures can be further exploited with the fine line and compacting tension of free-motion embroidery.


2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Anna Johnson

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Anna Johnson is a studio jeweler based in Asheville, North Carolina. Johnson’s work is exhibited nationally and has received recognition such as being named as “30 Exceptional Craftspeople Under the Age of 30” (2016) by American Craft week, and by American Craft magazine as one of 15 exceptional artists using unusual materials (2015). Her work has been published in numerous publications, including  “Cast: Art and Objects” (2017)  and she has taught at Penland School of Crafts (2017).  Her compositions consist largely of found objects mixed with semi-precious and precious materials. Johnson’s work is heavily influenced by nature, cultural ideas of value, and environmental preservation.

Aliis Vevere Brooch

Breakout: Transforming Found Objects

Casting can be a means to transform fragile, impermanent, unwearable, yet interesting objects into precious and permanent material. Anna will demo ways to cast found objects, as well discuss troubleshooting and alternatives with challenging shapes. She will also share and discuss her work, studio practice, processes, and her approach to consciously using elements from nature.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Harlan W. Butt

Butt_Glacier Vessel #4

Breakout: Repetitive Pattern Cloisonné Enameling on a 3D Form

Enameling on a three-dimensional surface offers certain challenges. Cloisonné on 3D poses additional obstacles but the results, when successful, are worth the effort. I will demonstrate the process I use for enameling on a vessel, which I learned while studying in Japan, and I will show my technique for creating repetitive cloisonné wire patterns using a jig of my own design.

For Harlan’s Bio and lecture info see our previous highlight here:

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Kim Winkle

Kim working-1

Winkle is a maker who creates furniture and objects using wood and paint; her work displays a balance of form, color and surface pattern. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including SOFA Chicago, Wanted Design NYC and the Architectural Digest Home Show. Her work has been included in a number of publications, including Fine Woodworking and Woodworker magazines and the books 500 Tables, 500 Chairs, among others. Winkle has been awarded several artist residencies, including the International Turning Exchange at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, the Windgate Artist Residency at State University New York (SUNY) Purchase, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Wingate Craft Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center and at the Appalachian Center for Craft. She was awarded a State of Tennessee Individual Artist Award in 2011 and the Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston) John D. Mineck furniture fellowship in 2014.

Winkle is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Art, Craft & Design at Tennessee Technological University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Ceramics from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Art in Furniture Design from San Diego State University. Her workshop teaching experience includes, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and the Appalachian Center for Craft.

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Breakout Session: Wearables in Polychrome Wood

Using a combination of power driven tools and hand tools, students will become familiar with methods for shaping wood. Explanation about the properties of wood related to structure and wood movement will be provided. In addition, I will share my techniques of using Milk Paint on wood. The material is unlike any other painting media in a variety of ways, including the surface qualities and its ability to amplify textured surfaces. Whether used alone or combined with other materials wood possesses great potential for use in contemporary jewelry.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Matt Lambert


Matt Lambert was born in Detroit, Michigan U.S.A. As a child he spent half the year in the urban city of Detroit and half in a protected forest in Ontario, Canada. He currently resides and maintains a independent studio practice in Detroit. Lambert holds a Masters from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Metalsmithing (2014) and has apprenticed as a leathersmith and antique rug restorationist. As well as studying Art and Design Lambert holds academic degrees and notations in Psychology/human sexuality, Art History and American Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit (2012). In 2016 Lambert became the first international jeweler/metalsmith to be an invited 6 month resident artist of the Swedish Arts Grants Committees International Programme for Visual Arts (IASPIS) in Stockholm Sweden.

Lambert’s work looks at the blurring of systems that function through hegemonic binaries and scales. His work combines technological and hand process to create hybrid/chimerical forms that directly engage or address the masculine body. Division of fields and spectatorship vs. participation become interchangeable to create a new vernacular that explores the body as being, object and commodity. The concept of linear time is fractured through the reconfiguring of objects made over long periods of time and go on to form assemblages and instillations. This enables the work to exist within a queer temporal framework. Lambert is the recipient of the 2017 Next Generation Award from Surface Design Association.

Lambert’s work has been collected internationally as well as being shown at venues such as ArkDes Sweden’s National Center for Architecture and Design (Stockholm Sweden) Kunstnerforbundet (Oslo, Norway) the Norton Museum of Art (Palm Beech, Florida), Craft Council of British Columbia Gallery (Vancouver, Canada), Handwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern (Munich, Germany) Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Collective Design Fair (New York, NY) and the Queer Culture Center (San Francisco, California).

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Breakout Session: Failing Epically

The only things you should ever count on is failure so expect it, embrace it and do it epically…..

Lambert will discuss the development of non material defined work from his studio using archival research as a starting point and his lack of fondness for sketching, or planning ahead in general and the failures that result from this process. Although not driven by a metalsmithing/jewelry practice through material Lambert will talk about the importance of the mentality of a smith when approaching his work both in physical objects and their digital representations. After a general overview of his practice Lambert will focus on the process of developing RAW, a system of woven leather, which incorporates the use of technological process and human error. The process will be discussed from both a theoretical research perspective and in relation to the materiality of leather. A physical demonstration of the weaving process will also be shown. Leather as material and additional working techniques will be discussed as time allows.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Judy Stone

Judy Stone is a self-employed self-taught enamelist who works alone in her studio in El Cerrito, CA to create contemporary enameled artifacts from ‘destructed’ copper vessel forms.

She is a former board member of the Enamelist Society and is currently head of the Enamel Department at The Crucible in Oakland, CA, where she teaches. She has taught enameling and crafts business classes all over the U.S. and abroad. She also produces large scale commissioned enameled steel wall pieces for housing projects in southern California. She exhibits and sells her work rarely these days while she nurtures the non-profit she started 4 years ago, the Center for Enamel Art, past its toddler phase.   Breakout: Enamel Layering on 3-Dimmensional Forms

Enamel layering is a great way to explore the ingress of 3-D color into 3-D form. It is exhilarating to keep enamel layering loose and painterly over several firings while at the same time rendering line, negative space along with transparencies , subtle tonalities, and tactile surfaces that draw on the full potential of the medium. This breakout session will focus on the tricky balance of applying enamel not just as a colorant but as narration to explain a 3-D copper form.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Breakout Session: Andy Cooperman

Breakout: It Ain’t Just A Drill

So, you’re a jeweler or metalsmith about to be stranded on a desert island. You can  bring only one tool. (Oh yeah, the island has electricity). What tool do you bring?

If you were Andy Cooperman you’d most likely bring your Flexible Shaft machine. It may be the most versatile tool at the bench yet for many it remains underutilized and poorly understood. Here’s a chance to gain a deeper understanding of this marvelous tool and expand your vocabulary of flexible shaft applications.

This two-hour demonstration only workshop covers the machine itself and the use of burs, bits, grinding, shaping and finishing aids.  Expect some innovative tricks as well.

For Andy’s Bio and lecture info see our previous highlight here:


2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing Capstone: Harlan W. Butt

BUTT_Harlan in AIR.ECU

Harlan W. Butt is an artist with over 40 years of experience working in metal and enamel who specializes in creating vessels inspired by the human relationship to wilderness and the natural environment.

Harlan was a Regents Professor of Art at the University of North Texas where he taught jewelry and metalworking from 1976 to 2017. He is past President of the Enamelist Society, past President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a Fellow of the American Crafts Council.

His work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of the Enamel Arts Foundation in Los Angeles, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Art & Design in New York City , the Mint Museum of Art & Craft in Charlotte, NC, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Denali National Park Visitor Center in Alaska, the Houston International Airport, the Wichita Center for the Arts, the National Gallery of Australia, the Cloisonné Enamelware Fureai Museum in Ama City, Japan and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Butt_Glacier Vessel #1

Capstone Lecture: The National Parks Project 2003-2018

The historical connection between artists and our National Parks has existed since their inception. In fact, artists were fundamental in the establishment of many of the parks including the first National Park, Yellowstone, in 1872. My presentation will include some history of the parks and the involvement of artists in their formation but I will also talk about AIR, the Artist-in-Residence program, that is open to all artists working in North America and beyond. The program supports artists at specific parks, offering them a place to do their creative work.

I will also show the enameled vessels I have completed reflecting the elements of the parks I have explored, including: Olympic (WA), Organ Pipe (AZ), Big Cypress (FL), Arches (UT), Black Canyon of the Gunnison (CO), Yellowstone (WY), Canyonlands (UT), Denali (AK), Grand Canyon (AZ), Acadia (ME) and Zion (UT).

Butt_Glacier Vessel #4

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Jina Seo

ECU_Jina Seo

Jina Seo is an Assistant Professor in Small Metals at Missouri State University. Seo earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2016 and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kookmin University at Seoul, South Korea in 2012. She was a recipient of the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University 2016-2017. She was chosen as one of the SNAG Emerging Artists 2016 at SOFA Chicago and received a Gold Award for the ITAMI International Craft Exhibition in 2010. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Munich Jewellery Week 2017; Germany, Craft Council of British Columbia Gallery; Vancouver, Canada, Brooklyn Metal works, Brooklyn, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL; Sung-Gock Gallery, Seoul, Korea, and (AV17) Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.


Lecture: Under the Layers

The extraordinary power of objects is obtained because people believe in them. The more mundane the objects are, the more powerful they become. When the body is absent, the empty, internal structure retains evidence of human existence. Jina Seo’s practice contextualizes the intimate and sensual energy that is submerged beneath the layers of garments. From the usage of the ordinary objects to the process of making, the lecture will explore her personal connections between body, clothing, sexuality, fetish, and space.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Shingo Furukawa


Born in Japan, somehow ended up in the East Coast of the United States, mostly on a whim. Received a BFA from University of Oregon, and an MFA in Artisanry at the UMASS Dartmouth, and currently works there, too, as a studio technician and an occasional instructor. Also has B.S. in Psychology, but he doesn’t quite know what it was for, or why. Lives/tinkers in Massachusetts. A lazy, impulsive maker that just can’t leave anything alone, often to a very ill effect. Makes (very slowly) kinetic sculptures, sheds, motorbikes (sorry Tim, your bike will be ready soon, I promise, it’s getting there), or whatever tickles his fancy – usually not a very smart idea. Doesn’t exhibit much, and never sold a single piece in his life, but won an award once. Dreams of imaginative automobiles, provocative motorbikes, fanciful aeroplanes, inventive treehouses, lovely furniture and so forth. And still on a sincere search for an old, mechanical artificial heart (please please let me know if you or someone you know have one sitting around, why is it so hard to find one?).

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I was once fined $1,000 for doing plumbing without a State license (it’s a very long story involves a lousy landlord, roof fire, and a pretty darn good plumbing job). That incident made me think about a lot of things, like, “did the chicken have a permit to cross the road?” We live in an exciting time in which technological innovation is encouraging self-developed, individually catered solutions, but at the same time, results are often strangely homogenous. I can’t make a big and profound statement about why my work matters (because it really doesn’t), and I sure can’t tell you how to become successful as an artist, because that’s a subject I don’t know anything about (don’t worry, I’m pretty sure that someone else will discuss that), but maybe I can share thinking behind why I make what I make, and share my thoughts on why it matters today, more than ever, to tinker. With feeling (and a purpose).

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Melissa Cameron

Escalation - UAV

Melissa Cameron hails from Perth, Western Australia and holds a BA (with honors, 2002) in Interior Architecture and a Postgraduate Diploma in Jewellery Production (2006) from Curtin University in that state. She relocated to Melbourne in 2007 where she received a MFA in Jewellery and Metalsmithing from Monash University in 2009, and moved from there to Seattle WA, in the USA, in 2012.

Melissa’s works have been exhibited worldwide, and she has had solo exhibitions in jewelry galleries throughout Australia and in Japan. Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Cheongju City Collection in South Korea, the Arts Centre Melbourne and Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery. Her work was recently displayed as part of the 2017 Schmuck exhibition in Munich.

She has participated in residencies in the UK, Germany and the US, and her pieces are featured in the publications Jewel Book, Art Jewelry Today 3 and Lark Books’ 500 Silver Jewelry Designs, as well as in the upcoming title, Tales from the Toolbox: Narrative Jewellery, edited by Mark Fenn. She is the recipient of multiple grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and a Fellowship grant from Artist Trust in Seattle. She has presented papers at many conferences and symposia, her writing appears on Art Jewelry Forum, and she is the current chair of Metalsmith Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Committee.

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Lecture: Body Politic

In this presentation I will tell the two-part origin story of my latest series of jewellery works, Body/Politic. I will trace the materials knowledge necessary to making these pieces back to a residency I undertook with Elizabeth Turrell at the University of the West of England in 2011. The flip side to that narrative is the story of how my practice began to incorporate political and social commentary, and the influence that moving to the USA in 2012 has had on my practice. To help explain the depth of research that goes into my work, I will take the audience on a guided tour of my Escalation series, recently exhibited in a solo exhibition in Australia, where the Body/Politic works were also debuted. Finally, I will chart the recent evolution of the Body/Politic series, in new pieces like resist and social unit, which are my responses to the outcome of the 2016 election in the USA, and the resulting continued unrest.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Mike Holmes


Mike Holmes was born and raised in California. A lifelong Westerner he received a Degree in Geography from the University of Alaska and studied Jewelry and Metalsmithing at the California College of Arts and Crafts, (now California College of the Arts). In 1991, Holmes and a group of jewelry friends opened Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, a gallery specializing in contemporary jewelry and craft-based sculpture. The gallery has organized more than 100 exhibitions including one-person and group shows. Focusing on international developments and political engagement in the field examples include: “Anti-War Medals: Artists Respond to the War” (in Iraq), “New West Coast Design: Jewelry and Metalwork”, “joyas joias: The New Jewelry from Latin America” and “Ferrous”. “La Frontera” focusing on issues surrounding the US/Mexico border toured Mexico and the US in 2013-14 will open at the Musuem of Art and design in New York in 2018. In 2003 Velvet da Vinci organized the Society of North American Goldsmith’s conference in San Francisco. Holmes has be a guest juror for the American Craft Council and CraftBoston shows.

Holmes has given talks about contemporary jewelry in the US, Germany, South Korea and New Zealand. His jewelry work has been featured in 500 Brooches and 500 Pendants and Lockets published my Lark Books. Mike Holmes lives with his husband sculptor Tom Hill in San Francisco with two brown mutts, Red and Chester.


Lecture: Velvet da Vinci

Velvet da Vinci gallery closed its doors in San Francisco this summer after 26 years. The gallery has been a leader in showcasing new developments in contemporary jewelry but it did not start out that way. When the gallery opened in 1991 it was as an alternative to the established big names in the jewelry world. We felt that we could shake things up a bit and the long journey of the business had begun. Lacking in experience but with buoyed along with lots of enthusiasm Velvet da Vinci was able to make decisions that sometimes may not have made good business sense but made for a better gallery.

Closing the gallery to help my aging parents provided another opportunity for the gallery to evolve. What would a Velvet da Vinci online experience look like? My talk will cover the history of the gallery and how challenges became opportunities and the various ways taking risks lead to a successful career in jewelry.

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing Keynote: Andy Cooperman


Andy Cooperman makes all sorts of things from all sorts of things and is known for applying the ethos and discipline of High Craft Metalsmithing to a wide variety of often disparate materials. He has been a jeweler and metalsmith for over thirty years and a writer and educator for close to that.

Andy’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in public and private collections as well as books and publications that include Art Jewelry Today (I, II & III), The Penland Book of Jewelry, Humor in Craft and many more. Recent exhibitions include Refined IX at Stephen F. Austin State University, Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, a solo exhibition at the Appalachian Center for Craft and most recently The Rabbit Hole, a large body of work created for the Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial Exhibition. Andy teaches and lectures nationally and has spoken at the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference, the annual CoMA (Colorado Metalsmithing Association) conference and as keynote speaker for the International Society of Glass Bead Makers.

Keynote Lecture: Venn There, Done That

Call it the selected set, the sweet spot or the middle ground, the strongest part of a system lies in the overlap, the areas of intersection between varying sets. At least that’s what one Seattle jeweler and metalsmith thinks.

Andy Cooperman will talk about his work and career and how he aims for those fertile and dynamic points where the head meets the hands, careful plans engage chaos and where gold, pingpong balls and 12 inch porcupine quills mate for life –while balancing a studio practice that blends commissions, custom, production and exhibition work.

2018 Artists and Lecturers

Thank you all for being so patient! We are making big big changes and bigger plans for the 2018 symposium. Without further ado, we are pleased to announce our 2018 line-up.

January 12th, 13th, & 14th, 2018

Stay tuned for individual highlight posts, but in the meantime, feel free to take a gander at these wonderful people’s websites!
We can’t wait to see you all very soon.