School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

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Wellington B. Gray Gallery Exhibition

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge


Barbara McFadyen
Graduated 2017

Barbara McFadyen is a metalsmith and enamelist who has been designing jewelry in gold, silver, and enamel
for five decades. Barbara received a BA in Creative Arts from Eckerd College in 1974 and was awarded her MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University in 2017. Nationally recognized through exhibitions with the American Crafts Council, the Smithsonian Institution, SNAG, and the Enamelist Society, her work is found in the collections of The Mint Museum and The Enamel Arts Foundation. Barbara enjoys teaching workshops throughout the US, Japan, and Italy. She maintains her studio practice in Chapel Hill, NC on a 50-acre farm where she also enjoys the practice of Beekeeping.

My work is about remembering, love and longing, and finding solace through reflections of the past. By preserving memories and the stories they hold, in paper, metal, and enamel I am reconnected to those loved and lost and able to find my center in the present. Using historical reference to mourning and sentimental jewelry in their framework and design, the brooches I create act as a portal to the past, as well as a form of protection. As I explore wearable forms of jewelry or the artist book, I am able to find respite and carry the memory or person with me. Through shadows of the silhouette or gaze of one loved and lost, I endeavor to create a sense of intimacy, sacred space, and connection to those held dear.

My memories, thoughts, and emotions are deeply connected to the natural world and further inspired by humankind’s relationship with nature. I believe that the awe experienced, by the raw beauty observed within the flux of nature can serve to remind us of our place in the world. By connecting with this subtle beauty in nature through imagery in my work, I am able to find respite and a renewed sense of self. Within my work, I seek to transform reflections of nature’s wild beauty into distilled moments of tranquility into timeless forms of adornment.


Shadows of Falling Lanterns, (front and back)Vitreous Enamel on copper, sterling silver, 3,625″ x 2.625″ x .625″, 2017










Barbara McFadyen with Professor Robert Ebendorf

Barbara McFadyen with Professors Scott Eagle and Mi-Sook Hur

Barbara McFadyen with Petey