2020 Breakout Session and Lecture Artists

Nick Dong


Bio – Nick Dong is a multidisciplinary artist whose experiential mixed-media sculptures, wearable objects, and installations combine an advanced knowledge of materials and technique with a gift for elevating an audience’s experience beyond the optical. By seamlessly integrating sophisticated engineering and metalsmithing components, supernatural movements, light, sound, and various interactive or situational strategies, Dong’s practice creates a fully immersive event, only complete once a participant’s encounter is initiated.

Dong’s work has swiftly gained international attention, with an exhibition record which belies the artist’s youth. Since the early 1990s his work has been shown extensively in galleries in Taiwan and throughout the United States. In 2003, Dong’s work was included in the Cheongju International Craft Biennial in Cheongju City, Korea; in 2008, he was one of twenty metal artists from thirteen countries selected for “Artitude 2008” at Kunstbanken Museum in Hamar, Norway. In 2012, Dong was one of 40 artists born since 1972 chosen to appear in “40 Under 40: Craft Futures,” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. (and other subsequent venues). The Washington Post review of “40 under 40” noted: “Illumination comes from Nick Dong’s ‘Enlightenment Room’ installation… Dong’s room challenges the viewer to forget about traditional categories and revel in the handcrafted.“ In 2016, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum invited Dong to exhibit his large-scale mixed-media work “Patterns from Heaven and Earth.” Dong was recognized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts with a solo show, “Specular Reflection,” in 2017. In 2019, in addition to “Mendsmith Project,” a solo show at Mercury 20 Gallery of Oakland Calfornia, Dong gained even greater visibility with the most immersive exhibition “Light-Scape” at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angelos.

Dong holds a BFA in Mixed Media and Painting from Tung-Hai University in Taichung, Taiwan and an MFA in Metalsmithing in Jewelry from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in media outlets including CBS’s Evening Magazine, 7×7 magazine, KQED’s The California Report, and numerous appearances in Metalsmith magazine, which most recently highlighted Dong’s work in a June 2013 feature article by Brett Levine. Dong lives and works in Oakland, CA.

Keynote Lecture – Truth ’N’ Dare 

In this post-truth cultural moment, with generational mentality of “inaction is the wise action”, Truth or Dare is no longer a party game but an emergency wakeup call. As an artist, try place yourself under the spotlight of Truth and Dare, would you chose to skip and play safe? or would you chose to share your most vulnerable truth and reveal your most daring expression.  In this lecture, Nick Dong will illustrate how he chose to disrupt the status quo and evolve .

Christopher C. Darway

head shot 2 2015

Bio – Christopher Darway has been working in metals for over 45 years as a designer, teacher and artisan. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in New Jersey, he received a BFA in craft design from the Philadelphia College of Art. Over the years he has sold and exhibited work through galleries, shops and craft shows, including ACC and Smithsonian Craft Shows. He is a two-time recipient of the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Award. Work has been exhibited in Germany, Japan (International Pearl Design Contest, prize winner) and England. He has taught at the University of the Arts, University of Delaware, and Montclair State University, NJ. He’s been a senior PMC instructor for Rio Grande, former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths, and writer for Art Jewelry Magazine. He currently teaches at the Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA and the University of the Arts, Master Lecturer, Continuing Studies Program, Philadelphia, PA.

Capnote Lecture –  ”Materia et Consilium” ( material and design) .

Materia, topica, temorarius and clarus are Latin roots for this symposiums title. Would “Materia Topica Contemporarius Clarus” make for a more interesting symposium or a doctor note why you missed the talk? One definition of symposium is a “drinking party or convivial discussion after a banquet”. Um. Looking up words has provided material for a talk, a talk about materials, physical material. After 50 years working with metals, I realized I had never worked with Platinum! I was mortified. I have worked with yellow, pale yellow, green, white and pink golds in 14,18,22,24 K plus bronze, brass, nickel, bismuth, pewter, Oil-lite bronze, ZAMAK, lead, aluminum, steel, stainless, iron, fine silver, sterling, 950, 810, Electrum and Argentium. Plus, copper, bronze, nickel, silver and gold metal clay. Bronze, steel and aluminum epoxies. So, I missed one.

Kat Cole


Bio – Kat Cole is a studio artist in Dallas, TX. Cole received her MFA at East Carolina University and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is co-founder of the online and pop-up project Jewelry Edition and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Society for North American Goldsmiths. Kat Cole’s work is internationally recognized and has been published in Lark Books’ 500 Enameled Objects, Schiffer Publishing’s Art Jewelry Today 3, Metalsmith Magazine, Ornament, American Craft and Art Jewelry Magazine. Her work is in private and public collections including The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, Racine Art Museum, the Enamel Foundation and Houston Museum of Fine Art.

I find meaning through the observance and intimate awareness of the places I inhabit. With each geographic change, I have become more attuned to the natural and man-made attributes that make a location unique. I look to the built environment, the city in which I live, for the formal qualities of my work: materials, forms, color and surface quality. The steel and concrete structures that surround us are evidence of human inhabitants- past and present. Monumental structures are interpreted into the intimate scale of jewelry and are completed when worn on the landscape of the body.

I work in steel and porcelain enamel, both materials predominately used industry, but on the small scale of the body. The combination allows me to create unique and lightweight forms with distinctive surfaces and colors. Enamel is sifted or painted onto the surface of the hollow steel forms and fused in a kiln at 1500 degrees.

Breakout Session – Industrial Enamel: liquid-form enamel for small and large applications

Industrial enamel, porcelain enamel, liquid-form enamel- the material goes by a lot of different names. As the most versatile enameling technique, liquid-form enamel is often under utilized and misunderstood by the metalsmithing community. We will look at this material’s history and the wide variety of applications, demo liquid enamel for small scale jewelry and discuss how artists could save a dying industry.

Troy Hines

th_headshot-1Bio- Troy’s interest in human adornment permeates her research spanning pre-history through modern day.  She is regularly lecture on the history of Functional Objects at events and universities throughout New England.  Combining Fine Arts scholarship with industrial pragmatism, her unique perspective connects seemingly disparate cultural and artistic concepts.  Troy investigates the various ways we, as humans, express our relationships to each other and the world around us from within the context of our time and society.   Specifically, by finding commonalities in the diversity of objects we create as tools and symbols, she illuminates cultural parallels across centuries and continents.

Troy Hines holds a BFA in Fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA in Jewelry / Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  She is a former Penland Core Program Fellow.  Currently she is Head of Design and Product Development for a Division of Swarovski, and adjunct faculty at Rhode Island College.

Lecture – Beyond the Hand

There are important questions and dialogues in the current craft field with fascinating origins. We will briefly overview the history behind some of these topics. It is impossible to address all aspects of this vast conversation, but we will overview relevant cultural, economic, social, theoretical, and technological factors that have contributed to the development of Craft. We will also make some educated guesses as to where the field is headed in the digital age. This is a time where the boundaries created in earlier times are being examined, challenged, or simply ignored which makes this a crucial turning point, and a thrilling time to be a maker.

Ellen Wieske


Bio – Ellen Wieske is an artist who works in many materials. Primarily a metalsmith, she received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She worked in the Detroit jewelry industry for 18 years as a jeweler/stone setter/designer. She teaches internationally. Wieske maintains Dowstudio her studio/gallery with wife and potter Carole Ann Fer in Deer Isle Maine. She has also been the Assistant Director at Haystack Mountain School of Craft since 2003.

Breakout Session –  Hold the Line

Wire is a wonderfully direct material. Utilizing few tools, it is possible to make a variety of objects from small jewelry scale to architectural elements with the same information. We will be working exclusively with black annealed steel wire, which most resembles a pencil mark. Beginning with a brief look at the how wire has historically been made, this workshop will demonstrate and highlight working methods based on Slovakian Tinkering.

Frankie Flood


Bio – Frankie Flood is a Full Professor and area head of the Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design area at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Flood previously served as Director of the Digital Craft Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Flood is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he received his Master of Fine Art degree in Metalsmithing.

The potential that Craft has to serve local and global communities through design and fabrication has been the focus of Flood’s recent research as he continues to combine traditional craft practice with digital technology. His recent research regarding 3D printed prosthetics and one of a kind adaptive devices has spread worldwide and his creation of the Digital Craft Research Lab has created new areas of study for students interested in digital fabrication.


Breakout Session – Reimagining the Cameo via Digital Craft: 3 axis CNC Routing/Milling

This workshop will cover how to output a 3D scan self portrait to a 3 axis CNC router/milling machine. Workshop participants will learn about generating 3D scans using a structured light scanner and learn how to create g-code that can be sent to a CNC milling machine. Utilizing a CNC machine, participants will be provided with a demonstration on subtractive carving forms to produce a plaster negative mold for slush casting wax (for metal casting) or a positive acrylic self portrait that can be incorporated into a cameo project. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the use of a CNC router/milling machine as well as gain insight into the basic maintenance and components of a CNC router. This workshop will also provide resources on types and brands of CNC routers, CAD and CAM software and information on building a CNC router.

Lecture – Digital Craft: Connecting Craft with Community

The potential that Craft has to serve local and global communities through design and fabrication has been the focus of Flood’s recent research as he continues to combine traditional craft practice with digital technology. His recent research regarding 3D printed prosthetics and one of a kind adaptive devices has spread worldwide and his creation of the Digital Craft Research Lab has created new areas of study for students interested in digital fabrication and metalsmithing. Flood’s talk will focus on his research in Digital Craft and ways in which he and his students have created bespoke objects to assist people in their daily lives.

Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez

Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez

Bio – Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez is a Metal artist and educator from Mexico City, Mexico. He received his MFA and BFA at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), School for American Crafts, where he is currently a Professor in the Metals and Jewelry Design Program. Carlos is a New York State Foundation of the Arts Fellowship Recipient and a Craft Alliance of New York State Career Development Grant Recipient. His work is in several publications including On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets and Breaking Ground: A Century of Craft Art in Western NY both by Suzanne Ramljak; Art Jewelry Today, Dona Meilach, and 500 Bracelets, Lark Books. He has lectured at Hongik University, Konkuk and Seoul National University of Science and Technology, all in Seoul, South Korea ; Kendall College, Grand Rapids, MI ; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria Australia ; and Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO among others. His work includes the creation of several public sculptures including National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Pieters Family Life Center, ArtWalk Rochester, NY, Rochester Institute of Technology and Fairport Public Arts Committee, Fairport, NY.

Breakout Session – Exploration is Bi-Metal

The workshop will explore various techniques for carving and acid-etching bi-metal surfaces to create renditions of organic forms and geometric patterns. By utilizing the contrasting colors of bi-metal, students will learn how to maximize its graphical possibilities and design potential. I will also demonstrate techniques for photo plating metal and fusing cooper/silver sheets to create our own renditions of bi metal.  I will discuss my background, the influences on my work and practices that I utilize in my creative processes. My work often revolves around the themes of strength, fragility, life and death. It embraces a dialogue between the past and present by manifesting the sacred entity and symbolic representation of the spirit of the object. I will show past and recent work that reflects these themes.

Anne Havel

Anna Havel

Bio – Anne is an independent studio artist for 18 years, teaching workshops and exhibiting in juried fine craft shows. Work is included in the permanent collection of the Enamel Arts Foundation as well as numerous private collections.

Recent accomplishments:
Contemporary Jewelry Design, by Loretta Lam, upcoming Schiffer publication
The Art of Fine Enameling, Revisited, by Karen Cohen, upcoming Globe Pequot Press publication

Recent invitational exhibitions:
The Art of Enamelling/The Enamelling Technique, The Technical Museum in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
2018 Blaze: International Art Enamel, National Taiwan Craft Research & Development Institute and Chinese Taipei Enamel Arts Association
Contemporary Enamel, traveled to Turkey, Italy, and North Carolina

Current Treasurer:
The Enamelist Society
Pocosin Arts
Enamel Guild North East

Educational Endowment Committee, Society of North American Goldsmiths


Using a torch, graphite line creation and imagery within an enamel piece will be demonstrated. By applying layers of sifted enamel, graphite drawings, and sugar fired clear enamel we will discuss how to keep your drawings as strong and clear as possible. If time permits, painting applications along with the graphite will also be demonstrated.

Michael Nashef


Bio – Michael Nashef has earned his B.F.A. in Metals/Jewelry Design from Kendall College of Art and Design. Throughout his career, Michael Nashef has managed a jewelry store, worked as a CAD designer, and launched his fine jewelry company Intersecting Hearts, during which he taught as an adjunct teacher, where he found his passion for teaching and academia, that led him to pursue his M.F.A. in 3D studies from Bowling Green State University. Michael worked as the area coordinator and lecturer at Towson University in Maryland, and currently he is a working artist/instructor at Kalamazoo Institute of Art.

Breakout Session – Alternative material into jewelry and small object

Explore the possibilities and processes of introducing alternative materials into jewelry and small object making. Learn Michael’s techniques of using concrete/cement in conjunction with color dyes to create colorful pieces. From employing traditional and advanced mold-making techniques to mold making and problem-solving using 3-D printed materials.

Peter Antor

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Bio – Peter Antor Received his MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and his BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Grand Valley State University in 2011. Peter Works with a wide range of materials from precious metals to concrete and wood, his body of work ranges from sculptural jewelry to functional lamp work. He is heavily influenced by architecture and says it plays a huge role in his work and designs. Peter is currently working as a visiting professor at Grand Valley State University.

Breakout Session – Implementing Movement:
Incorporating movement in your small sculptures and jewelry is a great way to engage your audience or wearer, but it can also introduce complications such as over-extension or loss entirely of the kinetic element. This workshop will investigate the ways you can control movement within your works by taking a closer look at the proportions of the moving element in relation to it’s stops and the overall piece into which it is incorporated.

-ball sockets
-fulcrums/pivot points

Heidi Lowe


Bio – Heidi Lowe received her BFA in Metals and Jewelry from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. She went on to receive her MFA at the State University of New York, New Paltz. Heidi then moved to New York City where her gallery experience began as assistant director at Leo Koenig Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. In 2006 she opened Heidi Lowe Gallery, exhibiting contemporary art jewelry by internationally recognized artists. Heidi also has an active art practice and exhibits at galleries around the country.

After opening the Gallery, Heidi recognized she had little education about running a business. For years Heidi mentored students through an internship program at HLG, but realized many creative entrepreneurs might be in the same position. Since receiving her business coaching certification Heidi leads workshops and coaches private clients from the US and Canada, helping creative professionals get real about what they want and why, create realistic plans, and determine how to remove roadblocks as they surface.

Breakout Session – Abundance for Creatives
This workshop is about setting yourself up for success. Creators sometimes take on the mindset perspective of lack, of having some form of deficit. In reality, you can shift your mindset and cultivate abundance. In Abundance for Creatives, we will look at your goals and dreams for the future. We will consider where you are, what is working, and what needs improvement. We will cover mind reframing techniques, including meditation and visualization, as well as logistics so that you can put into motion the things you want to attract. Abundance for Creatives will provide tools for you to have the most successful year to date!