Symposium Participant Exhibition Deadline is Fast Approaching!


Every year we like to show off our super talented participants during the symposium shindig! We will display the work in the cases outside the metals studio. If you would like to participate please mail one piece along with your filled out exhibition form (found at the bottom of the registration form you emailed to us) to:

2000 Jenkins Fine Art Building

Greenville, North Carolina 27858

Attn: ECU Symposium, Steven Hall

Please make sure your package is postmarked no later that January 4th!!!

Students will be responsible for retrieval of work on the last day of the symposium (January 20th).


It’s not too late to register!


While our offer of free housing has met its cap, accommodations here in Greenville are quite reasonable and the City Hotel and Bistro is offering symposium attendees rooms for a discounted price- just $74 a night. Rates are based on double occupancy; additional guests are $9 each. Just make sure to let them know you are attending the ECU Metals Symposium. Rooms must be booked by January 8th to receive this deal.

Happy Holidays from Your Friendly Symposium Staff!

What to Bring!

house-clip-art-7Greetings Friends!

For those of you being housed by our staff/students, please remember to bring air mattresses/sleeping bags, toiletries, and any other household items you may need. Some hosts may be providing these things, but there is no guarantee.

Also, for all of those attending, please remember to bring business cards, postcards for upcoming shows, or anything else that others may find beneficial or interesting!

We hope you all are as excited as we are about the upcoming Symposium!

Happy Holidays!

Your Friendly Symposium Staff

A Reminder!!!

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Many Thanks and Safe Travels


Another symposium has come and gone.  Exhibition openings, workshops, lectures, professional development, and panel discussions were a few of the things we did over the weekend. And a really excellent cocktail party that had us dancing the night away.  It was a blast to have so many new faces join us for this years symposium.  We hope you’ll come back next year when we do it again.  Until we meet again, all of us here at the Material Topics Symposium wish you all the best.

Safe travels friends,

Your Friendly Symposium Staff.

P.S.  Check the blog over the next week or two as we post photos to the blog and if you have a photo that you would like to send us please email

What is happening this weekend 2


Angela is a studio jeweler and educator residing in the mountains of NC. She currently teaches at Appalachian State University and maintains her own studio practice creating one of kind art jewelry. Angela has been metalsmithing since 1992. She attained a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She was a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts and has taught workshops at Penland in North Carolina and Arrowmont in Tennessee. Angela has received several grants and awards including a Ruth Chenven Foundation grant and a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation grant. Her work is exhibited internationally and has been published in several books and print media. Angela has been invited to lecture, teach, and present at many venues worldwide including SOFA Chicago (IL), Oklahoma State University (OK), East Carolina University (NC), Winthrop University (SC), and University of Georgia Athens Study Abroad Program in Cortona Italy (summer 2012).

Workshop Description: Details, whether bold or subtle, can make a piece successful or disappointing.  So what is it that can make ordinary work become memorable? Examples of elegant connections will be presented and demonstrated in this workshop. You will see jewelry and mechanisms that exemplify these elegant connections, transitions, and captures. Demonstrations of various mechanisms including a claw setting, a pin catch, and more if time allows will be covered. These mechanisms may look complex but are surprisingly simple and, of course, elegant in their design.

AMY TAVERN WORKSHOP: “Exploring Process, Building Form”

Amy received a BFA in Metal Design from the University of Washington in 2002. She has exhibited at Velvet da Vinci Gallery (California), Sienna Gallery (Massachusetts), and Aaron Faber Gallery (New York). In 2009 Amy was selected as an American Craft Council Searchlight Artist, an emerging artist honor. Amy’s jewelry has been published in numerous books such as New Rings and 500 Silver Jewelry Designs and was featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine’s 2011 “Exhibition in Print.” In addition to her studio work, Amy also teaches and lectures. Originally from Upstate, NY, Amy is currently a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts.


What is happening this weekend!

Lecture: Things and Thingness

RENEE ZETTLE-STERLING is an artist, object maker, and educator whose studio practice consists of exploring a multiplicity of media and technique to create small-scale body orientated devices, jewelry, and installations.  Her work explores issues surrounding our relationship with everyday objects, as catalysts for stimulating memory and informing identity.  She received her MFA in Sculpture/Installation, a MA in Metals/Jewelry from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a BFA in Papermaking/Fibers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She has taught workshops, exhibited and lectured on her work nationally and internationally.  Several prominent exhibitions include:  Metalsmiths Linking:  A Cross Cultural Exchange, Gallery Yu, Tokyo, Japan; Decorative Resurgence, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ;Stories to Be Looked At, Pictures to Be Read, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL;Extremities: Exploring the Margins of the Human Body, The Jung Center of Houston, Houston, TX; Jewellery Journey Air, Traveling exhibition: Detroit Artist Market, Detroit, MI, Galeria Isidro Miranda, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Museum of Art and Craft in Hamburg, Germany; Jewelry in Motion, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; and Transubstantial, Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle, WA. Additionally, Renee’s work has been featured in over thirteen publications, such as 21st Century Jewelry:  The Best of the 500 Series, 1000 Rings:  Inspiring Adornment for the Hand, 500 Metal Vessels, as well as Metalsmith Magazine, and American Craft Magazine.

JEAN CAMPBELL designs, teaches, and writes about beadwork. She is the senior editor of Beadwork magazine and has written and edited more than 45 books, most recently including Steampunk Style Jewelry and Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements. Jean regularly contributes to and is a Crystallized Elements Ambassador for the Swarovski Company. She has appeared on the DIY Jewelry Making show, The Shay Pendray Show, and PBS’ Beads, Baubles, and Jewels where she gives how-to instructions, provides inspiration, and lends crafting advice. Jean teaches off-loom beading throughout the United States. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her family and a whole lot of beads. Visit Jean’s website

Symposium Schedule

Hello All!

Here again is the breakdown of the wonderful weekend that is fast approaching!

Cheers! DJ

2012 ECU Symposium SCHEDULE

Material Topics: Merging Methods

Friday Jan 13 2012 – 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 – 9:00pm-          Mendenhall Opening Reception- Adroit II

Saturday Jan 14th 2012-

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

9:00- 9:40 –             Jenkins Auditorium – Opening Welcome: Renee Zettle Sterling “Thing & Thingness”

10:00-12:30 –         Breakout Sessions

Ceramics J102           Lisa Clague “Metal and Clay” Workshop

Room 1323                Angela Bubash “Elegant Connections” Workshop

Room 1325                Marlene True “Ordinary Material-Extraordinary Jewelry

Room 1322                NC Black “Basic Micro Forming” Workshop

Room 1327                Erin Gardner Professional Development Seminar

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

1:30-4:00-                Breakout Sessions

Ceramics J102           Lisa Clague “Metal and Clay” Workshop

Room 1323                Angela Bubash “Elegant Connections” Workshop

Room 1325                Marlene True “Ordinary Material-Extraordinary Jewelry”

Room 1327                Jenny K Professional Development Seminar

4:00-4:30 –              Coffee/tea break – Room 1320

4:30-5:15–               Jean Campbell Lecture- Speight Auditorium 1220

5:15-6:00-                Panel Discussion – Speight Auditorium 1220     

6:00 p.m.-                 Art of Influence Grey Gallery Reception

 Vendor set-up and Charm Swap, T-Shirts sale & Undergraduate Gorilla Show

Sunday Jan 15 2012

9:00am – 9:30-        Coffee, Tea and Breakfast hosted by ECU Metals Guild

9:30-10:00-              Laura Wood: Material Topics’ Roots

10:00-12:30                        Breakout Sessions

Room1323                 David Huang  “Vessel Chasing and Micro Finishing Wax”

Fibers Room 223-     Masako Onodera “Fibersmithing” Workshop

Room 1325-               Amy Tavern “Exploring Process” Workshop

Room 1322-               NC Black “Basic Micro Forming” Workshop

Room 1327                Ken Bova– Professional Development Seminar

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

1:30-  4:00               Breakout Sessions

Room1323                 David Huang  “Vessel Chasing and Micro Finishing Wax”

Fibers Room 223-     Masako Onodera “Fibersmithing” Workshop

Room 1325-               Amy Tavern “Exploring Process” Workshop

Room 1327                Ashley Brodie Professional Development

4:00-4:30                 Coffee Break

4:30-5:15–               NC Black Presentation- Speight Auditorium 1220

5:15- 6:00                Marlene True Lecture- Speight Auditorium 1220

6:00-6:15                 Leia Zumbro and Laritza Garcia Closing Thoughts

7:00-                          Cocktail Party

Monday Jan 16 2012 (Martin Luther King Day)- DEPARTURE DAY

Presenter profiles continued…

Hi all,

Here are some more profiles.  Enjoy!

ASHLEY BRODIE WORKSHOP:  “Sustainable Habits”

Ashley is a studio jeweler and teacher in Durham, North Carolina. She created her namesake jewelry line in 2005. She graduated with Honors from East Carolina University with a B.F.A. in Metal Design in 2001. She also studied at Montana State University and at the Gemological Institute of America.

Workshop Description: In this workshop, we will touch on how to run a sustainable jewelry business, as well as discuss the importance of both recycled metals and green studio practices to lessen the impact on our planet. Sustainability is a key element to Ashley Brodie’s metal work. Her sustainable practices include using repurposed/recycled sterling silver, steel and found materials, as well as using green production methods in her studio.


DAVID HUANG WORKSHOP: “Vessel Chasing and Micro Finishing Wax”

David was born, raised, trained, and is currently living in the Western Michigan region. He began his metalsmithing education at East Kentwood High School and continued on to earn his BFA with an emphasis in metalsmithing from Grand Valley State University.   Working full-time as a self-employed artist since 2003, David is represented by galleries around the US.  His work has been featured in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, and numerous other books and publications.

Workshop Description: “In this workshop/demo I will demonstrate various techniques and approaches used in chasing on vessel forms.  I’ll be using microcrystalline wax instead of traditional pitch, and will discuss how to safely fill and empty the vessels of the wax.  In addition to demonstrating chasing techniques I’ll also cover how to make your own chasing tools.  Audience questions are highly encouraged!”

To see more of both of our presenters wonderful work please visit their websites.


It’s getting close.  We’ll see you soon,

Your Friendly Symposium Staff



Presenter profiles continued…



Masako’s work features craft as a process to show the parallels between body beautification and the history of craft making. Craft played and plays an important part in the evolution of humanity. By utilizing craft techniques in her art, she connects the audience emotionally to the materials and practices employed. Masako has been honored with numerous scholarships and awards, for example, Ohio Art Council’s Individual Excellence Award in 2011 and the Society of North American Goldsmith’s student endowment scholarship in 2006 and 2007. Her work is featured in prestigious art publications and exhibited in the museums and galleries internationally. Masako’s art is part of many private and public collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Craft, OR, the Mobile Museum of Art, AL, and the Toledo Museum of Art, OH. Her work will be included to the exhibition Far Out: Jewelry For the Senses at the Museum of Art and Design, NY in 2012. The artist graduated with an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in 2008.


Workshop Description: Fibers can be manipulated in much the same way as a sheet of metal! Metal can be used as fabric and a wire can be used as a thread in your work. In this workshop, we will explore the possibility of fiber in your jewelry and metalwork


JENNI K graduated from ECU in 1985 with a BFA in Metalsmithing, and in the years following, she earned her Graduate Gemologist Degree from GIA.  In 1987, she opened Jenni K. Jewelry where she designs and creates jewelry for purchase in her store, as well as wholesales and Internet sales around the nation.

Look for more profiles in the coming days…

Your Friendly Symposium Staff


Continued symposium presenter profiles…

Hello All,

We’d like to continue profiling our symposium presenters.  So without further ado,


Lisa Clague is an internationally known sculptor. She received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts. She is the recipient of the Virgina Groot Award. Her work has been exhibited at the Macon Museum of Art (GA), The DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park (MA), The John Elder Galleryin NY and the Blue Spiral Gallery in North Carolina. Recently she participated in the 3rd World Ceramic Biennale in Korea.

Workshop Description: In this workshop you will explore the exciting possibilities of working with metal and clay. I will build a small torso demonstrating various surfaces, the incorporation of metal as well as the use of fabric and casting slip. You’ll see how these various materials can be used to create spontaneous and lively pieces. Bring metal such as forks, spoons, bolts, metal baskets, rods, coat hangers, nails, bailing wire or kiln elements. These objects must be steel or stainless steel; other metals melt at a lower temperature.

KEN BOVA WORKSHOP: “Feeding the Muse: Strategies for a Career in Art.”

Ken Bova is formerly from Montana State University where for eight years he taught the School of Art’s capstone class “Professional Practices – Careers in Art.”  He is a past president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and now teaches as an Assistant Professor in East Carolina University’ Metal Design program. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Racine Art Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum among others.

Workshop Description: Brief introduction on tips, techniques, ways, and means for your most creative endeavor ~ building a life as an artist. We’ll presume you’re already making art; this is about the other part: jobs, finances, exhibitions, networking, residencies, selling, teaching, and all the other stuff that lets you keep making your work.

Look for more of these in the days leading up to the symposium.

Your Friendly Symposium Staff


Coming in from all over…

Hello all,

I thought that you might like to hear about all of the different schools and professional organizations that are coming to this years symposium.  So without further ado.

Capital University
Radford University
College of the Albermarle
Western Michigan University
Indiana University
University of Georgia
Bowling Green
Caldwell Community College
University of Texas Austin
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
East Tennessee State University
Winthrop University
Virginia Commonwealth university
New Paltz
Umass Dartmouth
& wealth of independent artists

If there is any group we are leaving out, drop us a line and we’ll add you.

Happy New Year,

Your Friendly Symposium Staff

A special thank you…

Hello All,

We wanted to take a moment to thank the business partners and professionals who have generously donated goods, services, or time to making this year’s symposium possible.  We’d like to thank Starbucks Manager Maritza Moore and Jimmy Johns owner Pete Triebenbacher for their restaurants’ support.  We would also like to thank Andrew Herold and Cape Fear Tattoist Justin Essing for their efforts, and Rick Kofsuske aka DJ Castle for agreeing to DJ our farwell party at The Tipsy Teapot.

If at any time during the symposium it occurs to you that you really enjoy the coffee you are drinking, the sandwich you’re eating, or the music you are hearing be sure to thank the people or businesses above.

We are very fortunate to have such generous partners onboard to make this year’s symposium the best it has ever been.

We’ll be seeing you in a couple weeks,

Your Friendly Symposium Staff

Erin Gardner’s Professional Development Workshop

Craft / Product / Project
So you have an Art Jewelry degree, now what?
In this workshop Erin Gardner will discuss her approach to developing a practice based in art jewelry after academia.  Developing an identity by weaving together an individual art practice, a production company, collaborative work and curatorial group projects.  Within this framework we will discuss alternative strategies to promote art jewelry and elevate the field.

Gardner currently lives and maintains a studio in Portland, Oregon where she co-founded and manages the Opulent Project – a collective approach to promote the individual practices of emerging jewelers through themed collections and projects.

Symposium Exhibition Schedule…

Hello All,

One of the most fun and exciting parts about hosting the symposium is showcasing all of the wonderful exhibition spaces around town and this year is no different.  Below are brief descriptions of the exhibitions that are taking place during the symposium.

The Art of Influence is an exhibition that celebrates the ever-present relationships between artists, bringing together the diverse work of 47 artists from across the globe, who have influenced one another in a meaningful way.  The Art of Influence exhibition will take place at the Wellington B. Gray Art Gallery in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. Opening reception: Friday, January 13th 6pm-8pm. The exhibit will remain up until February 18th.The Gray Art Gallery is open Mon-Fri 10-4, Sat 10-2 and is free to the public.  Check us out at:

or on Facebook at

A reprisal of the Adroit exhibition from the inaugural Material Topics symposium is being held at the Mendenhall Student Center gallery.  Adroit II Opens on January 11th and runs through January 31st.  The opening reception is on Friday January 13th from 6-8pm.  Featuring work from the Ceramics, Textiles, and Metals guilds, this exhibition celebrates contemporary craft from students on the campus of ECU.  Refreshments will be served.




Material Topics Participant Exhibition

Each year we fill the cases near the Metal Design Area with work from the symposium participants.  And we are proud to once again highlight all the wonderful work that you have made.  A quick glance up at the cases reveals the varied and compelling work from students across the country.


Drawing in Space

Curated by sculptor and Metal Design Graduate Student, Dejan Jovanovich , the Burroughs Wellcome Gallery will play host to Metal design students and faculty who have been given the challenge of transferring their creative ideas into a larger scale.  With a maximum space of 5’x 5’ and a minimum of 3’x 3’, participants are encouraged to explore the media of their choice with or without a frame.   This could be a collection of things or one large item, the choice is up to you.  The exhibition will be hung in the Burroughs Welcome Gallery during the symposium and the opening reception will be Saturday 14th of January.

There are many more exhibitions around town and we encourage all of you to see as many as your schedule allows.  We’ll be seeing you soon.

Your Friendly Symposium Staff