2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Ron Porter & Joe Price


Ron Porter is a retired University of South Carolina Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Joe Price is retired from the computer software development industry. They have been collecting art for thirty-four years together.


*Artwork credit: Keith Lewis

In the voice of Ron & Joe: Please join us as we present the birth and on-going development of our collection of contemporary art jewelry. Through audiovisual and real time examination of works in the collection, we hope to inform the participants of our process of building and maintaining a multidimensional survey of unique works of art.



2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Blaine Lewis


Blaine Lewis is widely recognized as one of the premier diamond setting instructors in the U.S. today. Blaine is the founder and director of “New Approach School For Jewelers” and has taught more than 6000 students from all over the world in both stone setting and metalsmithing.

Blaine began his career learning from some of the top jewelers in the country and spent years developing his own bench expertise. He has an innate ability to innovate and find practical solutions and apply them to stone setting techniques and jewelry making. He felt strongly about sharing his knowledge with others and therefore, began his teaching career holding workshops across the country.

He pioneered the use of high-definition, high-magnification projection during demonstrations of fine, precision work, allowing students to see every step of the processes as they were learning. In 1996, Blaine founded “New Approach School For Jewelers” and designed classrooms and teaching methods to provide superior communication between students and instructor. Students say that his technique of high magnification, is nothing short of transformational.

Today, Blaine teaches a variety of classes at “New Approach School For Jewelers”, located in Nashville/Franklin, Tennessee that range from five-day workshops to his twelve-week graduate bench jeweler programs. He continues to inspire, innovate and train, new generations of jewelers to help evolve the art of jewelry making.


Blaine will be demonstrating a number of his techniques in stonesetting using a magnification camera system to allow participants to fully observe his methods. Depending on available time, setting methods will include flush setting, prong mountings, an oval thick wall bezel set, channel and bead settings.

2107 Collective Voices – Introducing: Harold Nelson & Bernard Jazzar of the Enamel Arts Foundation


Bernard N. Jazzar is curator of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection, a Los Angeles-based private collection comprising over 3,000 works of art in all media. In 2007, he co-curated with his partner Hal Nelson Painting with Fire: Masters of Enameling in America, 1930-1980 which was accompanied by a book of the same title. More recently, Jazzar and Nelson have co-curated and co-authored Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the Present, a nationally traveling exhibition. The “Little Dreams” book is distributed by the University of North Carolina Press www.uncpress.unc.edu. Jazzar received his BFA in interior architectural design and MA degrees in art history and museum studies from the California State University, Long Beach.

Harold B. “Hal” Nelson is Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA. A specialist in decorative arts and contemporary craft, he currently serves on the board of the Enamelist Society. He received his A.B. from Bowdoin College and his M.A. in Art History from the University of Delaware.

In 2007, Jazzar and Nelson founded the California-based nonprofit Enamel Arts Foundation to increase public awareness and appreciation of modern and contemporary enameling through its collection, exhibitions, and educational programs. For more information, visit www.enamelarts.org


Collection of the Enamel Arts Foundation, Los Angeles: Anne Havel, Snakes in the River Brooch, 2015

Photo credit: Larry Sanders

Lecture: New Visions in Enamel

An outgrowth of the symposium Jazzar & Nelson organized at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art in the spring of 2016, this talk will feature work recently added to the Enamel Arts Foundation’s permanent collection by many of the leading figures in the contemporary enamels field. Among the artists featured are Jamie Bennett, Harlan Butt, Jessica Calderwood, Mary Chuduk, Kat Cole, Linda Darty, Nick Dong, Bob Ebendorf, Helen Elliott, David Freda, Gretchen Goss, Aurelie Guillaume, Charity Hall, Anne Havel, Mi-Sook Hur, Zachery Lechtenberg, Sarah Loch-Tess, Barbara McFadyen, Barbara Minor, Sarah Perkins, Barbara Seidenath, Rachel Shimpock, Ching-Chih Wu, and many others. The presentation underscores the Enamel Arts Foundation’s commitment to celebrating outstanding new work in the contemporary enamels field.




2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Abigail Heuss


Abigail is an Assistant Professor of Art at Valdosta State University, where she teaches metalsmithing courses. She received an M.F.A. from East Carolina University and a B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Abigail makes domestic and wearable objects with an unapologetically sentimental focus on narrative. Her work is based in the tradition of metalsmithing, but is largely multi-media.

Marriage of Metals: Patchwork and Pattern

Marriage of metals is a puzzle piece inlay technique. Learn to paint with alloys, using your saw and solder to create multi colored sheet metal! This elegant surface design technique is a great way to add pattern and imagery to your work.

2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Leslie Noell


Leslie Noell is an artist, designer, and educator who currently works at Penland School of Crafts as director of programs. She earned a degree in graphic design from NC State University College of Design and an MFA in artisanry from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Leslie studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and spent two years as a core fellowship student at Penland School of Crafts. She has been a resident artist at Caversham Press (Kwazulu Natal, South Africa), Jentel Artist Residency Program (Banner, WY), and the Winter Print Residency at Penland. Her work has been shown throughout the country in a number of exhibitions including the Hickory Museum of Art, Holter Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, and Mobile Museum of Art.

Leslie’s studio work has explored a range of media and process from drawings and prints to installations and objects. Themes trace the fine line between permanence and impermanence, clarity and opacity, real and imagined space. Her work is minimalist in feel and direct in means. She strives for a balance of refinement and touch. Though days in the studio are rare, creative concerns are a constant.

Lecture topic: Art After Art School: Myths, Opportunities, Words to the Wise

Words from Leslie:

I will give a quick overview of my own path as an artist/designer and talk about how an odd mix of skills and experiences led me to my current job as director of programs at Penland School of Crafts. This position requires me to assume many roles—mentor, critic, curator, art director, diplomat, and administrator—often switching from one to another several times throughout each day. From this perspective I will share observations and offer practical advice on everything from studio practice and writing to applying for residencies and building community. Myths will be named and discredited. Opportunities will be presented. In the end, I will pose some questions to you and hopefully answer some of yours.

This talk might be especially relevant to you if you are defining or redefining creative and professional goals—asking yourself the hard questions like why? and what’s next? It is also intended to be helpful to anyone—educator, mentor, administrator, or fan—who is working in support of artists and the creative process.

2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Melanie Bilenker


Melanie Bilenker is an American artist based in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania, who translates the historic art of Victorian hairwork into pieces that reflect upon the contemporary era, depicting ordinary moments of everyday life through self portrait photographs “drawn” in the artist’s own hair and set in gold or wood.  She received a BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2000 and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2010.  Bilenker’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of Scotland, among others.  mb_kitchen-window

Melanie will discuss her modern approach to hair work, while providing historic context.  She will then demonstrate some traditional Victorian processes used in the remembrance jewelry that first inspired her. Demos will include several forms of palette-work in which hair is glued down to a flat surface to create basket plaits, flowers, swoops or feathers.

2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Dustin Farnsworth


Dustin Farnsworth has gained national recognition for his intricate sculptures, captivating audiences through a mastery of craft, material, and storytelling. His work engages the viewer in an inner dialogue on the drama of life and death, suffering and redemption. Since completion of an undergraduate degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2010, his work has appeared in over 50 exhibitions nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Cameron Art Museum and the Huntsville Museum of Art. With the support of grants and fellowships, Farnsworth has continued his studio practice at a number of residencies including the 701 Center for Contemporary Art, the University of Wisconsin Madison, Penland School of Crafts, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. For the first 5 months of 2017, Farnsworth will call the McColl Center for Art and Innovation in Charlotte, NC both studio and home while working on a new project supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation.


Lecture: The Devils Work

 Beginning in the golden age of jazz, this lecture will weave the meteoric rise and tumultuous fall of the automotive empire with the evolution of my own studio practice as it shifted from a craft focus to societal commentary. A range of personal influences from product design to auteur filmmakers will provide insight to my work while details of process will demystify the construction of complex forms, commonly misidentified as ceramics or metals. I will speak about how the perception of my role as an artist continues to evolve, detailing exciting new projects that push beyond comfort zones. As an outlier in a symposium of metalsmiths, this lecture will also examine the importance of a jewelers’ attention to detail, both within technique and studio practice.

2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Jessica Calderwood

jessica calderwood3

Jessica Calderwood’s enamel work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally in curated and juried exhibitions. She has participated in artist residencies with the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program and the Mesa Arts Center. Her work has also been published in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, NICHE, Ornament, the Lark 500 series, and the Art of Enameling. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Ball State University.

jessica calderwood1

Break-out Session

This detailed demonstration will focus on different ways to make marks and render in vitreous enamel. Starting with copper sheet metal, demonstrations will be given on underglaze pencils, ceramic oxides, overglazes/china paint, and ceramic decals.

2107 Collective Voices – Introducing: Gabriel Craig of Smith Shop

Gabriel Craig - Photo by David Lewinski

Gabriel Craig is a metalsmith, writer and craft activist living and working in Detroit, Michigan. Craig’s interdisciplinary practice seeks to identify the cultural potential of craft by engaging diverse audiences in explorations of self-sufficiency, labor, consumption and tradition through performance, social practice projects, video, text, and craft-based media. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. His critical writing has appeared in prominent craft publications including Metalsmith, American Craft and Surface Design Journal. He has lectured throughout the country on his own artistic work, decorative arts history and contemporary craft. He has held residencies at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Warren Wilson College. In 2012 Craig co-founded Smith Shop, a dynamic metalworking studio in Detroit, with his wife and fellow metalsmith, Amy Weiks. Currently, Craig is working to further craft production in Detroit as the founder of the Center for Craft & Applied Arts, a center for craft manufacturing, education and advocacy. Craig received his BFA in Metals/ Jewelry from Western Michigan University and his MFA in Jewelry and Metalworking from Virginia Commonwealth University.





Break-out Session-  The Basics of Forging

This demonstration will comprehensively introduce attendees to the basics of forging metal. Through tapering, flaring, shouldering, and fullering this 2 hour session will focus on the isolation and redistribution of mass within a single bar. With just these four basic operations, bars of material can be transformed into nearly any shape. The workshop will proceed to cover functional forms using the spoon as a vehicle for exploring the use of these techniques in concert.

Lecture-   Smith Shop: Metalsmithing in the Heart of Post-Industrial America

In 2012, Amy Weiks and Gabriel Craig set out to find a broad, dynamic, collaborative, and solvent practice as metalsmiths that embraced function and the full range of outcomes that are possible in highly crafted metalwork. Five years on, Smith Shop has created a sustained practice that has won numerous design awards, been published widely, and has enjoyed commercial success–all while weaving together the contributions of nearly 20 metalsmiths. In this lecture Smith Shop co-founder, Gabriel Craig, will give an overview of Smith Shop, its collaborative practice, diverse projects, and growing legacy.

2017 Collective Voices – Introducing: Sharon Massey


Sharon Massey is an Assistant Professor of Jewelry and Metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Sharon’s jewelry was selected for both Schmuck 2014 and Schmuck 2015 in Munich, Germany. From 2012 to 2015 she served on the board of directors of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). Sharon received the Art Jewelry Forum (AJF) Emerging Artist Award in 2009. Images of her jewelry have been published in eight books, including The Art of Enameling and Art Jewelry Today 2nd and 3rd  and 4th Editions. Sharon received her BFA from Winthrop University in 1999 and her MFA from East Carolina University in 2006. She lives in a renovated commercial structure in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and their dogs.


Steel champlevé is a lightweight, inexpensive, and rigid alternative to traditional copper or silver champlevé. Steel champlevé can be used in a variety of applications for jewelry or sculptural objects, but it is critical to understand the differences from non-ferrous enameling. My demonstration on mild steel champlevé will include etching, enameling, and options for finishing the surface.

Introducing 2017 Capstone Speaker- Robert Ebendorf


Born in 1938 in Topeka, Kansas, Robert Ebendorf received his BFA in 1960 and his MFA in 1962. Following graduation, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the State School of Applied Arts and Crafts in Norway. He has taught at the University of Georgia (1967-71) and the State University of New York at New Paltz (1971-88). In 1995, he was awarded the American Craft Council Fellowship for his achievement in the crafts and commitment to the craft movement. Bob is co-founder and past president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and is represented in many worldwide collections including the Metropolitan Museum of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the British Museum, the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, and the Yale University Art Gallery, just to name a few.

In 2016, He retired from East Carolina University of Greenville, North Carolina after having served as the first Belk Distinguished Professor in the School of Art and Design and holding the artist in residence position for the Honors Program. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 He was awarded the 2010 North Carolina Governors Award as well as the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from SNAG. Until recently he held Guest Professorship status at the University of West England in Bristol, UK.

The Smithsonian institution invited him to participate in its Archives of American Art Oral History Program, and recently acquired all of his papers, photographs, drawings and models from his life and extensive career.


Capping it off with Ebendorf-

Bob will be enlightening us on the topic of artistic integrity and community as he presents his lecture titled “Forward Motion.”

Introducing 2017 Keynote Speaker- Tim McCreight

Demo in Dakar

Tim McCreight is a designer, teacher, author and metalsmith. He received a B.A. from The College of Wooster and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. He taught full-time for 25 years, first in Massachusetts and then at the Maine College of Art. Tim has taught hundreds of workshops throughout the US and in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Norway and the UK. He has written more than a dozen books, produced a half dozen videos, and created Apps for mobile devices. He has served on several boards including the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and is cofounder of the Toolbox Initiative, a program that distributes donated tools to jewelers in Africa. He runs a publishing company called Brynmorgen Press.

McCreight, Brooch

Good Work & Good Works: A Keynote in Two Parts

We all want our work to be good. Welcome to the artist’s path. Is my work good? Is it good enough? Is it better than it was before? This question follows us through our artistic lives, from the first bent wire ring to the gallery installation. Is this good work? Because it’s such a personal question, it makes sense to come at it from a personal angle. Tim will reflect on his four decades of working with metal to examine the various ways we measure the value or importance of what we do and the objects we make.

For some of us, the objects that trace our professional path are only part of the picture. What about teaching, mentoring, writing, and the many other ways the skills we hone in the studio carry over to our social lives? For Tim this includes a volunteer effort called the Toolbox Initiative. For the last three years, this program has collected tools and materials from metalsmiths and given them to jewelers in West Africa. It is an example of the way simple creative ideas propelled by good intentions can change the world.

2017 Collective Voices – Call For Entries!

MacGyver LOGO

with moves like MacGyver is a juried show that will examine the creative process at which a maker will go through to complete a piece that they did not originally have the tools necessary to do so.

Makers + smiths are a crafty bunch! This exhibition will highlight this as well as examine the creative practices of 15-25 individuals, giving viewers a glimpse at the processes these artists use to improvise, exquisitely craft, or get downright inventive to get the job done.

The exhibition will feature two pieces by each maker selected: one jewelry object or small sculptural piece displayed alongside a specialized tool that was created by the maker for the sole purpose of completing that object, with the premise that neither item would exist without the other.

Our hope is that a diverse group of makers will be shown in an effort to highlight the wide range of materials and ways of making that the field of metalsmithing and jewelry design represents.

Jurors: Tim Lazure and Randy Long

Entry deadline: October 1st

 Entry form, and additional information can be found here!



We are equally excited to share with you the list of presenters for the Collective Voices- 2017 Material Topics Symposium.


Keynote Speaker:       Tim McCreight

Capstone Speaker:     Robert Ebendorf

Lectures by:

  • Leslie Noell
  • Gabriel Craig of Smith Shop
  • Harold Nelson & Bernard Jazzar of the Enamel Arts Foundation
  • Dustin Farnsworth
  • Les LePere

Break-out Sessions:

  • Blaine Lewis
  • Ron Porter & Joe Price
  • Abigail Heuss
  • Jessica Calderwood
  • Gabriel Craig of Smith Shop
  • Hiroko Yamada
  • Sharon Massey
  • Melanie Bilenker

Gallery Talk:

  • Boris Bally

Look forward to future posts for more information pertaining to the schedule as well as posts concerning how to register. Registration begins Thursday, October 20th 2016 for the Collective Voices Material Topics Symposium (January 13th-15th 2017).

We will also be updating you with information about gallery openings and events that will be taking place along with symposium.