Paul Smith, curator and former director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, NY
"He was thinking about the world, he was thinking about politics, he was thinking about nature, he was thinking about responsibilities of his being on earth."
Helen Drutt, Philadelphia gallerist, curatorial consultant and educator
"I would put him beyond American silver. I would really place him in the history of American art. Now if it's a matter of choice and selection, of course I would put them next to Rauschenberg, I would put them next to Kleinholz, I would put them next to a Schwitters."
Glenn Adamson, former director of the Museum of Arts and Design, NY
"Jewelry is often ... very status oriented. It marks you out as being wealthy ... So it's a very hierarchical medium. And what Fred does with jewelry is to make it completely horizontal. So he is an artist of supreme democratic spirit. And that’s such a powerful idea. It makes jewelry into a politically progressive medium when of course that's precisely the thing it wasn't always. And I think that's the kind of liberation I associate with him most strongly, the sense that jewelry can be re-imagined as something fundamentally egalitarian."
Patricia Wheeler, artist and Fred´s wife
"It's amazing the variety and breadth of his technical abilities. But really the thing that I see more is the personal way that he relates to each student. How he wants to draw them out of themselves and find out who are they, he almost disappears. It's about them."
Rosanne Raab, curator of craft and design
"To me Fred has always used his art to tell a story, to commemorate ... an issue of the times, and take it to the material culture where he's using very often material that's been trashed, and giving it another voice."
Robert Shetterly, artist and political writer
"Fred's little war medal, Come Alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation is subversive, cause it's really a medal given for imperialism that suggests the mask of America. It's all smiles, being young, being happy. But there's a dark side."
Eleanor Moty, Metalsmith
"There’s no reason that you need to use precious materials ... to make your voice known. The fact that he (Fred) has for all these decades spoken the issues of our political scene and our social scene and our environmental scene that's why I say that he's the social conscience of our field."
Claire Sanford, former student, Haystack Life Trustee
"His ability to break down a complex process into parts that are digestible and understandable are things that I've tried to emulate"
Tim McCreight, Metalsmith
"Ron Pearson was the hero of the story (about the genesis of Precious Metal Clay). ... So Ron said brilliantly 'we don't know what we're talking about here. We've got to have a kind of work session. Gotta get some experience with this'.... so we went through a list and both of us suggested people (for a Haystack work session). And Fred was on the top of that list."
Jim Cotter, metal artist
"Small wearable pieces ... blown up they would be beautiful sculptures. Down small they're still beautiful, they just happen to be worn around the neck instead of hanging on the wall."
Larry Moffet, adult student
"The most amazing thing when I think of Fred as a teacher is the way he teaches young people and high school students. No matter what they do he can fix anything."
Sarah Doremus (Fred Teaching Assistant)
"That's what Fred does in classes. He allows people to have material like that (Altoid boxes) and come away with (ahhhhh) I just created the Taj Mahal!"