Caroline Gore’s Introduction….

This introduction was so lovely we thought we might post it.

Shifting Tradition: A Journey through Lineage

As I sat down to write an introduction to help set the tone for a weekend of shared experience…. I saw the words Shifting Tradition in a couple of differing lights…. and I checked back in with the symposium description which offers participants a lens on emerging talent, new techniques and the future of our field.

Tradition is a loaded phrase in and of itself, and I ask you to consider what comes up, both in this context and more broadly… For me what comes up is expectation… and I am allergic to expectations.

We work within a field where some of the same tools are used today as in Renaissance times…. I find this so romantic. Equally important is the unique history of skilled tradition in our field, which I deeply respect. What we make has always held a prominent place in cultures since antiquity – signifying human experience, either through wearing or using pieces. In our field – from the very beginning we are wrought with traditions… and beautiful ones at that.

What seems politely left out of the description, but is somewhat implied in the phrasing of Shifting Traditions is a “changing of the guard”… Generationally there is a heap of collective knowledge in this room alone, we will always have aesthetic and material differences…. and it should be stated that there is nothing that is passé’…. as our past greatly inform our future. We owe a great debt to those who have come before us, and to the institutions that have given space, validation, and the resources needed to grow the field…. We have been given huge intangible and selfless gifts by our mentors…

We are all a part of shifting tradition no matter where we are in our careers… established, mid career, emerging, fledgling graduate, or a very beginning student…. we are all part of the same fabric and wonderfully supportive community regardless of differences in our materials and methods. There may be distinct differences among us, we should form exhibition collectives, we may organize around this and that topic – what is most important is that we are all actively participating in this vibrant expanding communicative and skilled field of making…. whether we self identify as an artist, a metalsmith, a jeweler, or a materialsmith…. or any combination of the aforementioned categories.

Perhaps we are worrying about the outcomes of “shifting” all too much in the present?
Traditions shift over somewhat extended periods of time…. changes occur naturally and smoothly like the twists and turns in a riverbed, they flow from one place to another smoothly and are not abrupt. Of course we may encounter rapids, and waterfalls in our individual careers, and in times of great creative rainfall small streams crop up from our center as we chase a tangent, but this always settles out and returns to a calm and productive flow…. sitting at the bench everyday.

To move the field forward is to actively participate, as we are here in Greenville this weekend. In addition to this community participation we must be true to our own distinct individual voices, and stop the influence of the market, or trends into ones individual work. Instead simply make your work with a tenacious unquestioning self-belief that what you have to say, and how you choose to communicate with both materials and methods is uniquely IMPORTANT and VALID. I challenge you to look inside rather than looking out over the fence for answers in your work… Know when to put down the books, or the laptop, and when to pick up a hammer. It is crucial to realize that creating and analyzing are two distinctly separate activities, one should not influence the other too greatly, as both processes give their own unique gifts. You need to know when to turn on either one or the other, as well as turning them off, and know when the two can be in the same room and have a conversation. If you are worried about making a living – authentic work practically sells itself…. viewers feel the purity of the energy within it….

In an age of style surfing, perhaps our charge for shifting should be a call for individual independence, and freedom from self-imposed expectations in our work…. loosen it up, don’t worry so much, find and nurture your own distinct style and voice, and have the courage to surf back to the self and allow yourself to work from your core – know when to shout and whisper gently. This weekend lets focus on what we uniquely have to give to one another, how we can support one another, and also lets get down and dirty with one another in the studios with the exciting workshops that are planed….

Caroline Gore
January 2011


sketch book book information…

Hello everybody,
Those of you who are interested in participating in the final publication, don’t worry! There is still time. If you wish to be included in the publication please email a scanned copy of your sketch book page, along with your name with the subject line “sketch book” to the ecusymposium gmail account.

2011 – Many thanks and safe travels…

This year’s symposium has come and gone but the energy and spirit of the event will carry forward as we head back to our studios and sit down at our benches. From all of us at ECU–thank you so much!!! We have heard so many wonderful things from so many of the participants who shared our home this last weekend and they are appreciated. Keep looking to the blog for the next couple of weeks or so as we will be posting pictures and updating information about the sketch book publication etc. We look forward to reading your comments and suggestions for next year and wish all of you safe travels back home. Thank you.
The ECU Metals symposium people


This exhibition will be opening Friday 14th, from 7-9 p.m. in conjunction with the symposium.

This is a traveling exhibition curated by artists Justin Klocke and Michael Ruta.  The theme of the show is simple: twenty rings by twenty artists made in a three week period.  The show first opened in Chicago in November, it will be stopping here in Greenville second and then on to Athens Georgia on January 21st.   Please join us for the opening reception at U.B.E. Uptown Art!

You can also visit the web page here:


Hello Everyone,

A couple details if you have not been receiving emails:

– Please email us ( your 2 workshop preferences for both Saturday and Sunday. ASAP

Saturday Jan 15th Workshop Choices (Pick 2):
Ken Bova – Working with Mineral Pigments
Dan DiCaprio – Woodcarving for Jewelry
Lisa Johnson – Breaking the Mold: Exploration of Found Objects in Cast Porcelain

Sunday Jan 16th Workshop Choices (Pick 2):
Mi-Sook Hur – Mold-Making and Casting Processes: Achieving Special Casting Effects
Michael Dale Bernard – Powder Coating Workshop
Tom Muir – Enhancing Work with a Catch

Materials to bring for workshops:
– Sketchbook for taking notes
Tom Muir:
– saw frame
–  file
Michael Dale Bernard:
–  small items (small enough to fit into a toaster oven) to experiment on
Lisa Johnson:
– Exacto Knife
– Dust mask
– wooden clay tool

We are still working on getting information together for housing!

2011 Symposium Schedule

Here is the most up to date Schedule:

2011 ECU Symposium SCHEDULE

Friday Jan 14 2011 – Travel Day – plan to arrive before 11pm.  ECU students will host you and contacts will be made prior to arrival. ECU faculty will host visiting faculty.

6:00-9:00 p.m. –            Mendenhall Tin Show Opening Reception

7:00-9:00 p.m. –             Ring Show Opening at Uptown Art

Saturday Jan 15th 2011-

8:30 am – Coffee, Tea and Breakfast hosted by ECU Metals Guild

9:00am – Jenkins Auditorium – Opening Welcome and Presentation:

Shifting Tradition: A Journey Through Lineage by Caroline Gore, Associate Professor of Art and the Area Coordinator for Metals/Jewelry at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

10:00-12:30  –             Workshop Sessions

Room 1322-                        Ken Bova Workshop: Working With Mineral Pigments

Room 1321-                         Dan DiCaprio Workshop: Woodcarving for Jewelry

Room 1327 –             Lisa Johnson Workshop: Breaking the Mold: Exploration of Found Objects in Cast Porcelain

12:30-1:30 –                         Catered Lunch- Room 1320

2:00-: 4:30- Workshop Sessions (repeat of morning)

Room 1322-                        Ken Bova Workshop: Working With Mineral Pigments

Room 1321-                         Dan DiCaprio Workshop: Woodcarving for Jewelry

Room 1327 –             Lisa Johnson Workshop: Breaking the Mold: Exploration of Found Objects in Cast Porcelain

4:30-5:00 – Coffee/tea break

**5:00-5:40– Presentation: Technology and the Politics of the Handmade by Nichole Jacquard.  In her lecture Nicole will talk about how she has come to use innovative technology in her own studio practice.

**6:00-7:00- Panel discussions with guest faculty:

Nicole Jacquard, Daniel DiCaprio, Mi-Sook Hur, Lisa Johnson, Tom Muir, Caroline Gore, Ken Bova, Michael Dale Bernard

7:30 p.m.-             Symposium Exhibition Reception with Charm Exchange and  Specialty T-Shirt Sale

Evening entertainment- ECU Grad Students!

Sunday Jan 16 2011

8:00am –                         Coffee, Tea and Breakfast hosted by ECU Metals Guild

8:30-10:30-                         Workshop Sessions

Room 1322-             Mi-Sook Hur Workshop: Mold-making and Casting Processes- Achieving Special Casting Effects

Room   225-                         Michael Dale Bernard: Power Coating Workshop

Room 1327 –                         Tom Muir Workshop: Enhancing Work With A Catch

11:00-1:00-                         Workshop Sessions (repeat of morning)

Room 1322-             Mi-Sook Hur Workshop: Mold-making and Casting Processes- Achieving Special Casting Effects

Room   225-                         Michael Dale Bernard: Power Coating Workshop

Room 1327 –                         Tom Muir Workshop: Enhancing Work With A Catch

1:00-1:45 –                         Catered Lunch

2:00-2:40 – Jenkins Auditorium- Presentation by Michael Dale Bernard, Coated and Coded:  Urban image Metalsmithing.  This lecture will be exploring representational imagery in jewelry and metals.

2:45-3:00- Room 1320- Coffee/Cookies to take to Critiques!

3:00-3:40- Jenkins Auditorium – Presentation, The Birth of Containment: Ceremony, Ornament and the Vessels of Tom Muir.  This lecture spans 25 years of Tom Muir’s distinguished and diverse hollowware career.

3:45-6:00- Critique /Conversations- Invited Faculty with all students

7:00- Cocktail Party

Monday Jan 17 2010 (Martin Luther King Day)- DEPARTURE DAY