The Afterlife – Call for Entries


Hello, just in time for Halloween! Here is another opportunity for all you artists out there to participate in another upcoming show, in conjunction with the annual ECU Metals Material Topics Symposium. Curated by Lisette Fee, an ECU alumna, and Barbara McFadyen, “The Afterlife” is asking for artists to breathe new life into work inspired by or using bones. Both 2-D and 3-D media will be accepted until November 20th. Please see attached prospectus for more detail.

The Afterlife Prospectus


Obsession- Call for Entries


Another Call for Entry! The theme of this show focuses on obsession, which is an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind and is often an unreasonable idea or feeling. This call supports those thoughts and encourages artists to embrace them in a creative way and is open to all medias. Curated by Phil Ambrose, an ECU alumni and current artist in residence at Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC. Please see attached prospectus for more information.

Obsession Prospectus

It Came From Under the Bench!


Deep from within the drawer, forlorn and almost forgotten… Do you have that special something that you’ve been saving forever, but still haven’t quite figured out what to do with it? This is your chance! This exhibition for the upcoming 2016 Material Topics Symposium presents a challenge for artists to use that special something and will be curated by current graduate students Hosanna Rubio and Sarah Loch-Test. Please see attached prospectus for more details.

It Came From Under the Bench Prospectus

2016 – Registration ((Closed))


Woah! It’s that time already. We hope that you all are excited to join us in January. The link provided will take you to our registration site, once you are there you will enter your info and pay your registration fee of $75. Just to clarify, there are drop down menus to choose your workshops, both Saturday and Sunday provide time for a morning and afternoon session. The third choice is there just in case we reach capacity for some of the rooms, so pick one for that as well. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!


We are also including previews for this year’s T-Shirts. Ideally, we would like to get an estimate on how many people are interested in purchasing one. They help fund future symposiums and are designed by our lovely and talented co-chair Kayla Staigvil.


Photography for the Artist and Craftsperson

Jason Dowdle Bio Photo

Jason Dowdle received his first camera at the age of 11 and began developing his own black and white prints. He received a BFA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. During the 1980’s, Jason was involved in the aerial photographic survey for archaeological sites. He later completed his Masters in Film and Television at University of Texas-Austin. Jason has over 20 years of experience photographing work for artists and is able to capture all media including glass, metal, wood, ceramics, paint and more. His work has been featured on the covers of many national magazines including American Style, Ornament, Art Jewelry, American Craft and Ceramics Monthly. Jason’s photographs have also been included in The Potters Eye by Mark Hewitt, Keepers of Tradition by Maggie Holtzberg, and several Lark 500 publications.

Jason Dowdle Demo Photo

Jason’s workshop is primarily presentation-based. It will answer the question of “Can (or should) an artist photograph his/her own work?” Jason will help attendees examine the technical aspects of producing high end photographs of jewelry and small scale sculpture. The goal of this presentation is to provide attendees with enough knowledge and technical information to execute good-quality images of their work and to provide an understanding of what level of photography is within the reach of non-professional photographers.

Creative Consulting

Leah Pierce Bio Photo

Leah Pierce received a BFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University. She has worked as a jewelry designer in the fashion and commercial industry for the past 10 years. Leah is currently a design consultant for companies including Marc Jacobs, Coach, Trademark, Aerin, and Bottega Veneta. She has successfully supervised the finalization of more than 250 designs per season, including the design concepts and ultimate completion of jewelry, hair accessories, belts, handbag hardware, and runway jewelry for men and women. She focuses on the development of emerging brands and the growth of existing jewelry categories. We are happy to welcome her as an Alumna.

Leah Pierce Lecture Photo

Leah will be giving a lecture based on the process of design for mass production. She will discuss the relevance of how her traditional metalsmithing education along with additional design knowledge has influenced the development and advancements of her career. Leah will be including her own personal knowledge on the materials and process of Fashion Jewelry Design.

Reminder! Registration Starts Tomorrow October 15th


Hello All!!

Just another reminder that registration will open tomorrow, October 15th at 9am. There will be a blog post explaining the registration form and a link included that will take you to it. The registration fee is $75 dollars and will be accepted through PayPal. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us. More information about the registration form will be posted tomorrow with the link, but it is fairly straight forward.

Deconstruction and Reconstruction

Lauren TIckle Bio Photo

Lauren Tickle is an artist based in New York, who works in a variety of mediums to reflect on social constructs. Currently her “Increasing Value” process takes the defined value of currency and distills it down to graphic elements which are then re-synthesized as an object of greater value. Lauren has a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited across globe including Gallery Four, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), Seoul Art Center’s Hangaram Art Museum, Dean Project, the Marino Marini Museum for Contemporary Arts, and the Galerie Sofie Lachaert. Lauren’s work can be found in numerous private collections both nationally and internationally including the permanent collection of CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. She has also been published in 500 Silver Jewelry Designs, Paper Craft II, Kunsthåndverk, and American Craft and was a winner of the prestigious Talente Prize in 2014.

Lauren Tickle Lecture Photo

Lauren will be giving a lecture based on her work and the notions of value relating to jewelry. She will discuss how objects of adornment often raise assumptions made by both the wearer and viewer. Lauren’s process of investigation and research is central to her theme of questioning value concepts. She will also speak about the creative process of developing this theme and will also touch upon how jewelry can be used as a research tool and conversation starter leading to the exploration of art, design and value.

Here and There

Stephen Yusko Bio Photo

Stephen Yusko lives and works in Cleveland, OH. He has worked as a studio artist for 20 years making forged, machined and fabricated steel vessels, furniture and sculpture. Stephen received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Akron, Ohio, was an artist-in-residence at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and received an MFA in Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He has taught classes at Haystack School For Crafts, Penland School of Crafts and was the 2014 Fall semester Windgate Artist-in-Resident at State University of New York-Purchase. Stephen’s work has been exhibited at the Metal Museum and the Society for Contemporary Craft . He has been published in several books of contemporary metalwork, including 500 Metal Vessels. Stephen has also been awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship, funded through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in 2013.

Stephen Yusko Demo Photo

Stephen’s workshop will include conversations about creating problems and how they can be solved through personal solutions. He will elaborate on the various ways to create pattern and texture on steel and will further explore the creative use the material once it has been manipulated.

A Crafted Career

Kate Lydon Bio Photo

Kate Lydon is the Director of Exhibitions at the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) in Pittsburgh, PA. She oversees the organization and installation of exhibitions presented at SCC’s main Strip District gallery and at the BNY Mellon satellite gallery in downtown. She participates in all decisions regarding exhibition development including the selection of work, touring of exhibitions and the development of public programming. Kate has more than 27-years of experience at SCC and offers a strong working knowledge of the contemporary craft field. Kate received dual degrees in Art History and French at Denison University in Granville, OH and her master’s degree from the Archival, Museum and Editing Program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining SCC, Kate served as registrar for The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh and exhibitions coordinator at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. She has participated as a juror for numerous art shows and competitions including the 2014 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC and Craftboston 2013, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA. She joined the Board of Governors of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN in 2006.

Kate Lydon Lecture Photo

Kate will be giving a lecture about her career at the Society for Contemporary Crafts, where she has helped organize over 200 exhibitions that have included work from more than 2,240 artists. She will speak about the community impact of art and the meaningful experiences that help transform communities through creativity. Kate’s talk will shed light on SCC’s exhibitions, including the 2014 exhibition ENOUGH Violence: Artists Speak Out and the current, socially engaged project Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art. Her talk will also touch upon her own personal journey through involvement with SCC and how they are changing the perception of contemporary craft.

Adorning Steel Surfaces

Ben Dory Bio Photo

Ben Dory received his MFA in metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale. His work explores metalsmithing, jewelry and book arts, where he uses techniques like damascene, salt etching and stone settings as surface adornments. Ben originally hails from the Kansas City area and currently resides in Asheville, NC where he works as a designer for FEHLŌ, along with working in his home studio. Ben’s work has been exhibited nationally and can be found in the collections of the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science and the Emprise Bank Collection in Wichita, KS.

Ben Dory Demo Photo

Ben’s workshop will demonstrate the process of damascene, which is an overlaying of thin metal foils into chased/chiseled surfaces. He will also explain how to make various small tools, like chisels, that can be used with a specific type of steel (A2). Ben will also include information on how he is able to build surface compositions on steel and if time allows, various techniques for flush settings stones.

Patchwork Patterns

Abigail Heuss Bio Photo

Abigail Heuss is an Assistant Professor of Art at Valdosta State University, where she currently teaches metalsmithing courses. She received her MFA from East Carolina University and a BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Abigail’s work focuses on domestic and wearable objects that reflect a unapologetic and sentimental narrative. Her work is based on traditional metalsmithing techniques, but often incorporates multiple medias.

Abigail Heuss Demo photo

Abigail’s workshop will be focused on marriage of metals, which is a inlay technique similar to connecting puzzle pieces. She will demonstrate how to create patterns using multiple colored sheet metal that become one and serves as an elegant surface design. It is a great technique that allows for subtle patterns and imagery, that can speak on its own or be further manipulated into complex forms. We are excited to welcome Abigail back as an Alumna of ECU.

Embracing Every Thing

Kathleen Browne Bio Photo

Kathleen Browne was head of the Jewelry/Metals/Enameling Department at Kent State University from 1992-2015. She received her BA from San Diego State University in 1983 and received her MFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1986. Kathleen’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work has been featured at venues including Schmuck, Munich, Germany, Museum of Art and Design, NYC, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. Kathleen’s artwork has been published in thirteen books and she has written for various publications. She is the recipient of five Artist Fellowship Grants from the Ohio Arts Council.

Kathleen Browne Lecture Photo

Kathleen’s lecture will be based on the art practice of non-linear thinking where major themes of her work begin to overlap, collide, recycle and defy categorization. She embraces the eclectic work as a part of the “natural order” and transitional nature of all things. Her work provides commentary on the human condition and the impact of everyday objects in our lives.

Reduction and Linear Design

C. James Meyer Bio Photo

C. James Meyer is Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University where he was head of the Metal and Jewelry program. Currently, he maintains a studio and teaches part-time in Cortona Italy, in association with University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program. He also teaches workshops for Arrowmont School of Crafts, Peter’s Valley, Touchstone Center for Crafts and Penland School of Crafts, where he is currently on the Board of Trustees. Professor Meyer’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally while also being featured in many public and private collections including the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), the Racine Museum of Art (WI), the Georgia Museum of Art (GA), the Gregg Museum, (NC), and the Nordenjelske Museum of Applied Art (Trondhiem, Norway). His work is additionally acknowledge through numerous grants, fellowships and publications.

C. James Meyer Demo Photo

Professor Meyer’s workshop will be based on the reductive properties of non-metal materials and small-scale forging. This demonstration will focus on the incorporation of PaperStone ® or Richlite®, (a recycled paper in natural resin) into jewelry objects. The properties of these materials allow for forms that are not easily achievable in traditional sheet and wire fabrication. The application of color will also be discussed along with linear design in contrast to carved forms.

Inspiration and Industrial Processes

Don Friedlich Bio for Demo Photo

Don Friedlich received his BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rhode Island School of Design in 1982. He has served as President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for Metalsmith magazine. Don has lectured at conferences and schools all over the U.S. and abroad. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim, Germany, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum among many others. Don will be giving both a lecture and workshop at this years symposium.

Don Friedlich Demo Photo

Don will speak about the development of his groundbreaking jewelry and the sources that have continued to inspire him. Attention will be brought to the sculptures of Isamu Noguchi and Andy Goldsworthy. Don will also address the simplicity of Japanese design and the vitality of the Southwest American landscape.

Don’s workshop will explore the use of industrial processes and the creative ways that artists can utilize them. His demonstration will present resources used in industry and give examples of how savvy artists were able to take advantage of techniques including photo etching, water jet cutting and rapid prototyping to help create one of a kind or production objects. An informal discussion period will follow.

Beyond the Basics

Barbara Minor Bio Photo

Barbara Minor is known for her distinctive enamel jewelry, innovative enameled beads and unique enameled vessels. She is a studio artist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Barbara’s recent work has been focusing on researching experimental techniques using enamel. These new works explore the use of liquid enamels in combination with powdered enamel on forms made of copper foil or screen and steel. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and abroad, both in galleries and major juried craft shows. Barbara also conducts workshops, lectures and demos on a variety of enameling and metalsmithing techniques. Her work has been featured in 500 Enamel Objects, The Art of Enameling and Art Jewelry Today.

Barbara Minor Demo Photo

In her workshop, Barbara will be demonstrating how to create complex images using enamel. Repetition and illusion of texture will be emphasized utilizing screen printing techniques with enamel. The layering of images will be shown using both opaque and transparent enamels. Dry silkscreen printing allows for results not possible with stencils or that are too tedious to complete by hand more than once. The basics of enameling will be given appropriate attention and Barbara will also demonstrate how to design, expose and mount screens for use with enamels.

Meddling Meticulously

Boris Bally Bio Photo

Boris Bally is a Swiss-trained metalsmith and designer working in Providence, Rhode Island, where he maintains a small studio business, Bally Humanufactured, LLC. Boris has been interviewed for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and his work has earned him numerous fellowships and awards, including two RISCA Design fellowships, first prize at the International Green Dot Awards, as well as being a finalist in both the 2013 Eco Arts Awards and the 2009 International Spark Design Awards. His work has been featured in numerous publications, international exhibitions and public collections, which include London’s V&A Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Art & Design New York, Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, Brooklyn Museum, Luce Foundation Center, Renwick Gallery and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Boris Bally Lecture Photo

We are honored to have Boris as our capstone presenter. He will be speaking about the development of his studio business model and the unique ways he is able keep his business fresh and exciting. His talk will include the evolution of post-academic life over three decades, the motivation behind his branding and also the progression of his personal aesthetic that helped drive it. Boris will detail his “four prong mission”, and how it has impacted his brand and business’ survival. He will give detailed examples of his failures, successes, and how they drive each other to overcome the constant challenges of our field.

Building a Narrative in Glass & Metal

Greetings all!

The introductions and descriptions for our artists will continually be posted over the next following days. The postings will give details on lectures and workshops as well as a bit of background info about our featured artists. Another reminder that registration begins on the 15th!

Martha Banyas Bio for Demo Photo

Martha Banyas previously taught printmaking, metals, and enameling at Mt. Hood College in Portland, Oregon. She began focusing on enameling and eventually resigned her tenured position in 1985 to become a world traveler. Her experiences in Indonesia, South East Asia and Eastern Europe have influenced her work. In 2005, she returned to the studio as a full time artist, where she seeks to create a unified system of imagery, technique and aesthetic intention. Martha has lectured and taught enameling workshops extensively in the US, Canada, and Japan and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally

“Guardians, Restoring Balance”, 2010 Enamel, copper, wood backing

Martha’s workshop will discuss how to develop a sculptural narrative in enamel. She will explain her process of drawing and pattern making. Martha will demonstrate the preliminary steps of forming, applying counter-enamel and base coats and the transfer of drawings. The successive steps of under glazing, firing, over glazing and finishes will also be explored.

We are honored to have Martha as our Keynote speaker for this year’s symposium. She will be examining the nature of experience, life’s fluctuations, coming to terms with illness and the recovery that follows. Barbara will also speak about her current work and the journey through its origins, iconography and history and the unpredictable outcomes that were a result of her explorations.

Announcing 2016 Presenters!


Our 2016 Presenters!!

This year we have another fantastic group of artists. We hope you are just as excited as we are for these presenters!

Keynote: Martha Banyas

Capstone: Boris Bally

Lectures by:

  • Don Friedlich
  • Kathleen Browne
  • Kate Lydon
  • Lauren Tickle
  • Leah Pierce

Break-out Sessions:

  • Barbara Minor
  • James Meyer
  • Don Friedlich
  • Martha Banyas
  • Abigail Huess
  • Ben Dory
  • Stephen Yusko
  • Jason Dowdle

Now that you know, you should keep looking forward to more information about:

Calls for Entry

Workshop and Lecture descriptions

Gallery Hop


Greetings All!

The blog lives! Classes are in full swing here at East Carolina University and we have missed you! Fret not; for we have not forgotten about you, in fact we have been planning, organizing and trying not to go crazy all spring and summer to bring you yet another exciting symposium. Registration for this year will begin on October 15th. Mark it in your calendar! We will be sure to remind everyone through the blog a few days beforehand as well, so keep an eye out.

This year our Co-Chairs include Barbara McFadyen, Hosanna Rubio and Kayla Staigvil.

Barbara McFadyen earned her BA in Creative Arts at Eckerd College in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing, and is currently in her second year of the MFA program in Metal Design at East Carolina University. Barbara’s work explores a variety of contemporary and traditional enamel techniques, including Basse-Taille and Limoges, with jewelry fabrications in silver and gold. Recently, she combines her love of metal and enamel with the art of bookmaking, drawing her inspiration from the natural world and her personal experiences of love and loss. Barbara has always been fascinated with birds and adores dogs.

Hosanna Rubio has a BA in Art Education from California State University Long Beach, where she also studied metals and jewelry, and is in her second year of the MFA program in Metal Design at East Carolina University. Her work uses a blend of techniques including enameling and casting, and draws from her personal experiences with issues such as health, medicine, and religion. She has way too many cats.

Kayla Staigvil earned her BFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing at Edinboro University, where she learned traditional smithing techniques. She is currently earning her MFA and is at the end of her second year in the Metals Design program at ECU. Kayla’s work incorporates filigree, antique porcelain, doll parts, pearls and other mixed media to create wearable assemblages. Her work deals with concepts of beauty, surrealism and the abject body. She is also self-described crazy cat lady.

Please look forward to more posts regarding:

  • Presenter and Workshop Information
  • Calls for Entries, we have many interesting themes for shows this year
  • Exhibitions, Pop-Ups, Gallery Hop, Oh my!