Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Community Room at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main St. Houston, TX 7700 (Map)

HCCC is pleased to present Resident Artist Talks by current residents, Rebecca Braziel, Amber Marie Smith, and Shiyuan Xu.

Discover the artistic process of working craft artists at this afternoon event. Learn about the artists’ works of art, influences, processes, and materials.  After the talks, explore the artists’ studios, where visitors are encouraged to ask questions.

Rebecca Braziel
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 papercutting, papermaking, 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

Amber Marie Smith
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

Shiyuan Xu
Shiyuan Xu was born in Hangzhou, P.R China. Shiyuan received her BA from China Academy of Art in 2012, and an MFA from Arizona State University in 2016. Recently, Shiyuan completed her summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.

Shiyuan explores the natural forms at the microscopic level, with her own interpretation of the scientific facts, to reveal the diversity and beauty of the unnoticed tiny things become visible. Primarily working with porcelain paper clay, Shiyuan hand builds structures with slabs and coils to create the intricacy of the form. Experimenting with various glazes, to form and freeze a growing motion. Through Shiyuan’s sculptures, she wants to deliver an appreciation to nature and life. Shiyuan will be with HCCC through August 2017. To learn more about her work, please visit:

HCCC’s Saturday Salon Series explores the many facets of craft through artist talks, curator-led discussions, demonstrations, and more.