2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Exhibitions: Smitten Forum 2017

Smitten Forum 2017

On view January 5 – 25, 2018 in Wellington B. Gray Gallery’s African Art Room, Jenkins Fine Arts Building of East Carolina University. The opening reception will be 6:00-9:00 PM January 12th, 2018.

The annual Smitten Forum is a week-long invitational event organized by Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz. Artists are provided with a creative space to focus on their work, free from the distractions of everyday life. Invitees range from emerging to professional artists, as well as educators and professional jewelers. Now in its fourth consecutive year Smitten Forum took place at Mendocino Art Center located in Mendocino, CA.

A catalog of the event will be for sale including images of work made by each participant, in progress bench shots taken throughout the course of the week, several essays, and recipes of food and drinks made nightly by participants.

Artists include: Martha Banyas, Sara Brown, Andy Cooperman, Nicole DesChamps-Benke, Maria Eife, Jeffery Georgantes, Julia Heineccius, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Heidi Lowe, Beverly Penn, Marissa Saneholtz, Rachel Shimpock, Katja Toporski, Leia Zumbro.

You can find more info on their website at smittenforum.wordpress.com.



2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Exhibitions: Vitreous Voices

We are very excited to announce the 2018 Material Topics Exhibitions! For the next couple of weeks we will be highlighting each of the exhibitions that will be on display on campus and throughout the downtown area.

Vitreous Voices: The Enamel Tradition of East Carolina University 

On view January 5 – 25, 2018 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery, Jenkins Fine Arts Building of East Carolina University. The opening reception will be 6:00-9:00 PM January 12th, 2018 with opening remarks from Bob Ebendorf.

Vitreous Voices, curated by Bob Ebendorf and Barbara McFadyen, is an exhibition of enameled works highlighting East Carolina University’s enameling tradition begun by Linda Darty. Vitreous Voices honors 36 years of enameling at ECU as it recognizes the leaders who initiated the program as well as those who have carried its traditions forward. The exhibition includes works from 23 ECU alumni and 5 distinguished professors.

A fabulous catalog is in the works for the exhibition which will be purchasable throughout the Symposium weekend. We are only $345 short of making this beautiful catalog a reality! Visit our Go Fund Me page to donate, so the exhibition can be memorialized for years to come.

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2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlight: Otto Frei

As part of our sponsor highlight series this week we’ll be recognizing Otto Frei established 1930 in Oakland, CA. Otto Frei is family owned and operated with over 86 years of experience retailing in the jewelry field. Their online store caters to the needs of jewelers, metalsmiths, technicians, and hobbyists alike featuring a wide selection of tools and supplies. You can find quality jewelry tools from Switzerland, Germany, Italy, England, Japan, France, and United States all on their website at www.ottofrei.com.

Stay tuned next week for our Exhibition highlights!


2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlight: Society of North American Goldsmiths

As part of our sponsor highlight series this week we’ll be recognizing the Society of North American Goldsmiths. SNAG was founded in 1969 and has been a leader in the metals field over the past several decades. The yearly SNAG conference, Metalsmith Magazine, Exhibitions, and scholarship program are just a few of the many opportunities available to members of SNAG. You can find more information on their website at www.snagmetalsmith.org.


2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlights

In addition to our corporate and non-profit sponsors we’d like to recognize the many University and private sponsors who have supported this year’s Symposium. Thank you so much for your contributions!

Barbara McFadyen

ECU Metals Guild

ECU Gray Gallery

ECU School of Art and Design

ECU Office of Undergraduate Research

ECU College of Fine Arts and Communication

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlight: Pocosin Arts

As part of our sponsor highlight series this week we’ll be recognizing Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC. Pocosin Arts, located along the banks of the beautiful Scuppernong River, is a non-profit education center specializing in craft and other art media. Classes vary from weekend to week-long workshops in wood, ceramics, metals, and more. You can find more information about registering for classes on their website at www.pocosinarts.org.

2016 Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft copy

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlight: Emerge Gallery

As part of our sponsor highlight series this week we’ll be recognizing Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge Gallery in downtown Greenville. PCAC at Emerge offers youth and adult art classes for the Pitt County area, as well as exhibitions in their three gallery spaces, and a gift shop with local handmade artwork. Classes range from metals, ceramics, bookmaking, and more. You can find more information on their website at www.emergegallery.com.

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2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct Sponsor Highlight: Halstead Bead

This week we’ll be recognizing all of the amazing sponsors that have made the 2018 Material Topics Symposium possible. We really couldn’t put this event on without their support, so our deepest thanks goes out to them now.

Halstead Bead is one of our incredible sponsors this year. At Halstead you’ll find wholesale jewelry supplies for professionals. They are family owned and operated, supporting small jewelry businesses since 1973. Shop for high quality, ethically sourced chain, findings, metal and more at their website, www.halsteadbead.com.

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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

Current headshot

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: https://ecusymposium.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/2018-deconstructreconstruct-introducing-capstone-harlan-w-butt/

2018 Deconstruct/Reconstruct – Introducing: Kim Winkle

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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: ecusymposium.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/2018-deconstructreconstruct-introducing-keynote-andy-cooperman