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