Current Artists-In-Residence



Rebecca Braziel was born in Savannah, Georgia.  She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fibers in 2008.  Since then, she has gained experience as an artist assistant, workshop instructor, middle school art teacher, and co-op member.  She has continued to be involved in the fibers department at SCAD, both as guest critic and
senior mentor.

With a fibers background at the core, she focuses on texture, process, material, repetition and attention to detail. A pivotal element in her work is material sourcing.  A lover of collaboration, she feels that found objects bring their own story to the table and provide an inspirational starting point.

Rebecca moved to Houston in 2013. Since then, her work has been shown at Galveston Art Center, Mountain View College, and Hunter Gather Project. Earlier this summer, Rebecca won the Texas Biggest 10 Award from Katy Contemporary Arts Museum.

Rebecca will be with HCCC through February, 2017.  During her six-month residency she will explore her passion for creating a contemporary twist on traditional textile techniques, including paper-cutting, paper-making, beading, and dye processes.  She strives to push her work further into the sculptural realm and take scale to the next level. To learn more about her work, visit

Above, from top to bottom: Rebecca Braziel. Photo by Paul Hester. Rebecca Braziel, “The Wood of Nahunta,” 2014 . Mixed media, 51 × 11 × 4 inches. Photo by Paul Hester.



Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, Lisa Hardaway has had an extremely diverse career as a musician, musicologist, photographer, ethnomusicologist, spinner/dyer/weaver and teacher. She has a BMus and MMus in flute performance (1981), and a MMus in historical musicology (1989) from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

Lisa’s interest in fiber arts began as a child. She learned embroidery, sewing, and crochet. Coupled with an interest in drawing and painting, she designed functional pieces that she wore and household decorative textiles. (She still makes most of her clothing). About 12 years ago, she taught herself how to spin yarn, and a few years later, she acquired a loom and began the process of learning how to weave.

Although she has woven very fine linen, cotton and wool, the spinning, weaving and dyeing of wool for rug making has become Lisa’s specialty. Inspired by the design and rugs of the Native Americans, Peter Collingsworth of England, and of the Swedish, she learned basic Navajo weaving techniques from Jennie Slick of Arizona, and learned the rug making techniques of Peter Collingwood from his son, Jason. She also studied traditional Rio Grande rug weaving and wool dyeing using natural dyestuffs at Tierra Wools, Los Ojos, New Mexico. She worked with Kate Smith and Norman Kennedy to learn repp rug weaving, Shaker weaving, and the use of synthetic dyes at the Marshfield School in Vermont. She also studied Swedish design on her own.

In a similar way that she combined her varied skills as a musician, photographer, and historian in the field of ethnomusicology, Lisa now combines traditional American weaving, contemporary English rug weaving techniques, and Swedish design in her work as a rug weaver. During her residency, she plans to further personalize her work by using images from her photographic archive and natural objects of significance. She will be with HCCC through May, 2017. To learn more about her work, stop by her studio on your next visit to HCCC.

Above, from top to bottom: Lisa Hardaway. Photo courtesy the artist. Textile by Lisa Hardaway. Photo courtesy the artist.



Amber Marie Smith was born in Redlands, California. In 2011, she graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, followed by post baccalaureate studies. Amber left California to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where she obtained her MFA in craft and material studies in 2015.

Using primarily clay and balsa wood, Amber recreates furniture and duplicates home environments. She investigates the way her mind alters memories–especially childhood memories. The intimate space of a bedroom allows for the representation of these distorted childhood recollections. The house tableaus she designs are missing parts, shifted in height and replicated. Amber often makes two of the same piece, mirroring the work, for more alteration. For Amber, the doubling is a way to hold on to something longer. If one possesses multiples of an object, and one thing is lost, then there are others to replace it.

Amber will be with HCCC through February, 2017. During her six-month residency, she plans to continue doubling and exploring the reflective surfaces of mirrors, glass and water. She also wants to expand her skills in making new objects, including ceiling fans, lamps and playground sets. To learn more about her work, please visit

Above, from top to bottom: Amber Marie Smith. Photo courtesy the artist. Amber Marie Smith, “Lullaby,” 2015. Balsa wood, clay. Photo courtesy the artist.



Eric Stearns was born near North Platte, Nebraska. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2003 from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, and then opened his first studio, Stearns Ceramics, in North Platte. After a couple of years teaching full time, working in his studio, and assisting his family on the ranch, he re-committed to his art and received a Master of Fine Arts in 2008, studying under Linda Ganstrom at Fort Hays State University.  Eric then returned to Doane College and is now associate professor and chair of the Art Department.

When not teaching, Eric spends time in the studio creating sculptural, pierced raku art. Through his work, he hopes to strike a chord with the viewer that conveys a fragile and fleeting existence.  He uses the raku process to accentuate the intersecting fragility of life, passionate connections, and the pain of betrayal, using the matrix of the objects to allude to those concepts.  With his interest in mathematics, he creates patterns and explores the relationships between those patterns, as well as the effects of the color and texture of the glazes he uses to elicit emotional responses.  He says, “Each piece created is an attempt at a reflection of who I am as a person and as an artist at the moment my hands touch the clay and then continues through the glazing and firing processes.  In this reflection, my hope is that a viewer can find a connection to their own experiences on this journey of life.”

Eric will be at HCCC through June, 2017.  To learn more about his work, visit  

Above, from top to bottom: Eric Stearns. Photo by Eric Stearns. Eric Stearns, “Paladin Shield,” 2016. Raku, 16" x 5." Photo by Eric Stearns.



Shiyuan Xu was born in Hangzhou, P.R. China. She graduated from China Academy of Art with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012. In 2016, she received her MFA in ceramics from Arizona State University. Most recently, Shiyuan completed a summer artist residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.

Shiyuan explores natural forms at the microscopic level with her own interpretation of scientific facts. Her pieces reveal the diversity and beauty of unnoticed tiny things.

Primarily working with porcelain paper clay, Shiyuan hand builds structures with slabs and coils to create intricate forms. Her chaotic lines create a harmonious volume within a single form, generating a unified whole.

Experimenting with various glazes, Shiyuan applies layer after layer, to form and freeze the growing motion. Through her sculptures, she wants to deliver an appreciation for nature and life.  Shiyuan will be with HCCC through August, 2017. To learn more about her work, please visit

Above, from top to bottom: Shiyuan Xu. Photo courtesy the artist. Shiyuan Xu, “#4,” 2015. Porcelain paperclay.4.5 × 4 × 8.5 inches. Photo courtesy the artist.