Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Material Topics is a student organized intercollegiate metals symposium, sponsored by East Carolina University, focusing on materials, making and the future of the field.
This student organized intercollegiate symposium, Material Topics, was originally conceived by East Carolina MFA candidate, Laura Wood as a way to connect with fellow students and faculty from neighboring schools. With the support of our wonderful faculty and the hard work of both our graduate and undergraduate students, the idea rapidly developed into a two-day event including lectures, workshops and exhibitions. Educators, professionals and students of all levels came together to share their passion for materials and making.
Now in its second year, this East Carolina University sponsored event has drawn
participants from across the country. Co-chaired by MFA candidates Kat Cole
and Laritza Garcia, this year’s theme was Shifting Tradition, emphasizing new
techniques, alternative materials, and exciting dialogue on the current direction of
the field. Once again our students out did themselves, putting on a spectacular event.
As a graduate student at ECU, I've been fortunate enough to both help organize and attend this event both years. I was also fortunate enough to be asked to blog about this year's event here on crafthaus. Over the next few weeks I'll be blogging more in depth about the presentations, the exhibitions, and topics of this incredible weekend. I hope that through these posts you are able to get the overall feel of the event.
Just as a quick preview, here's a list of this year's presenters:
Michael Dale Bernard
More to come!
Logo by Abigail Heuss
I wanted to do one last post on the symposium. After a quick nap, and time to get gussied up, everyone heads to favorite local downtown hang out Tipsy Teapot, where we host a rock out cocktail party. We even have live music! It's a great way for everyone to just hang out and party down before heading home. This is a group shot of all the symposium participants this year who were at the…Continue
Tea Infuser, sterling silver, 1991 Our last lecture of the symposium was Tom Muir, who spoke in depth about his work. Unfortunately, I missed most of his talk, because I was busy making sure that we were ready to return work from the student exhibition, and also taking down the Art/Science Laboratory exhibition I co-curated. I was able to talk to Tom a little one-on-one, where we…Continue
Sorry for the three week hiatus, but I got super crazy busy with finishing up my MFA thesis. I hope you understand. After all the workshops, and lunch, everybody filed back into the auditorium for the last two lectures, starting with Michael Dale Bernard. I was familiar with Michael's work, having been fortunate enough to meet him at the Houston conference, but never really asked how he arrived at his imagery. It was interesting to hear him talk about growing up in the Mid-West, and now living…Continue
Ok, so here's the part of the symposium where things get a little spotty. I spent the first session on Sunday bouncing between Tom Muir's mechanism workshop and Michael Dale Bernard's powder coating demo. Mi Sook Hur, gave an incredibly thorough power point on her mold making and casting process, but I was afraid to pop in because it was very quiet and I didn't want to interrupt. I tried to see a little bit of everything during the first time slot because I was scheduled to assist in the…Continue
Our last event for Saturday was the opening for the Student Exhibition and this year, we also had a charm swap. All attendees to the symposium are invited to send a piece of work to be displayed for the duration of the symposium. Space is sort of limited in the case that we reserve for this show, so we ask that participants be mindful of size when choosing a piece to show. The work is shipped to us, and attendees pick up their pieces Sunday afternoon, so we at ECU don't have to worry about…Continue
photo credit Dejan Jovanovic After Nicole's lecture, all of the presenters and speakers participated in a panel discussion, answering questions compiled by ECU students. ECU grad Marissa Saneholtz acted as moderator. The first question presented to the panel, and one I was particularly interested in, was: Do you sell everything you make and how do you decide what pieces to keep for your…Continue
After all the workshops were over, everyone took a quick break before heading back to the auditorium for Nicole Jacquard's lecture, Technology and the Politics of the Handmade.Bob Ebendorf, Nicole Jacquard, and Linda Darty, photo credit Dejan Jovanovic Nicole gave a fascinating talk, and while I have a little experience with 3-D modeling and rapid prototyping, some of the things Nicole…Continue
So, as I said before, symposium participants attend two out of three workshops per day, which means there's going to be one workshop that you have to miss. Unfortunately, I missed Lisa Johnson's slip casting workshop. You just can't do it all. But I'm going to do my best with what I have at hand. Photo by Dejan JovanovicLisa was kind enough to put a hand out up on the symposium blog a…Continue
We're very lucky to have Ken Bova with us this year, since Linda is abroad with a group of students in Italy. And while we miss Linda very much, we're all super happy about working with Ken, so we asked if he would teach a workshop at this year's symposium.Ken Instructing Us on Color Ken has recently been working with mineral pigment temperas which he mixes himself. I've heard him talk a…Continue
I was surprised and thrilled when I found out that Caroline Gore was going to be our key note speaker this year. I've been in love with her work since even before I saw her solo show during the SNAG conference in Houston. Caroline's talk Shifting Tradition: A Journey Through Lineage…Continue