Ebendorf, an internationally known master metalsmith and jewelry designer, received the
Ebendorf helped found the 43-year-old organization and served as its president for nine years. The society has grown from 64 original members to more than 3,000 studio artists, educators, students and others working in metals, alternative materials, and contemporary art, design and jewelry.
"The award is very humbling," Ebendorf said. "The acknowledgement from my peers means a great deal."
Trained as a professional goldsmith, Ebendorf's designs incorporate cast-off objects, making used things new again, while pairing unusual items like board game pieces and tin. He often finds inspiration and trash-bound discoveries on his daily walks between his home and the
Take a crushed soda can. He turned a can into a brooch, which led to "Keep It in the Can," his latest exhibition featuring a series of pins made from discarded aluminum cans.
"I'm fearless about putting broken glass or bone or pieces of road kill together with a pearl or gemstone," Ebendorf said.
"Problem-solving for me is the exciting journey," he said. "Taking an idea and bringing it into form - what skills do I use to bring this idea into reality?"
As ECU's Belk Distinguished Professor of Art, Ebendorf is often asked to speak at seminars, conferences and universities across the country.
"In that role, he has really enhanced the reputation of our
It's during guest talks that Ebendorf shares his own experience as an art student and his lifelong struggle with dyslexia. A
"Take a chance. Don't count yourself out of the ballgame; you need to give it a try," he said. "I think that's where mentoring comes in for me."
Ebendorf has taught undergraduate and graduate students for the past 16 years at ECU.
"Passing on to them technical information, scholarly pursuits and how to work with others, has been a real joy," he said. "Helping them develop their own voice and the social skills to leave the university and become responsible in their own community."
Four years after receiving the Fulbright, Ebendorf returned to
Before joining ECU, Ebendorf taught at the
Examples of Ebendorf's work are in 29 museums around the world, including the
In 1995, Ebendorf was awarded the American
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