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Volume 31 No.3 2008

Ornament Magazine

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Cover Feature: John Iversen


John Iversen The Artistic Impulse. 2008 Smithsonian Craft Show. Jewelry of the Classical World The Met’s New Greek & Roman Galleries. Marian Clayden Fusion of Art and Fashion. Robert Ebendorf Gems from the Abyss. Colleen Atwood Dressing Sweeney Todd. Micki Lippe Nature’s Magical Inspiration. Artist Statement Dolores Barrett. Artist Statement Sarah Wauzynski. Museum News Shanghai Museum of Art. Exhibition Review Framing: the Art of Jewelry / Touching Warms the Art. Exhibition Review Edge of the Sublime: Enamels by Jamie Bennett. Marketplace Sierra Pacific Casting.

John Iversen
by Carl Little
John Iversen as seen in Ornament Magazine John Iversen as seen in Ornament Magazine

The Artistic Impulse
A dialogue between making art and making jewelry lies at the heart of the collections that have brought John Iversen national and international renown. The conversation started when Iversen was a young man learning the metals trade in Germany. He was artistically inclined yet encouraged to follow a more stable livelihood. Today, Iversen embraces the back and forth as he moves forward, building on his vision—and his impressive success. “I don’t really sit down to make art; I sit down to make jewelry,” Iversen states. The initial concept may be obtuse and look like an art object, but the intent, he says, is “always to make a great brooch, a great bracelet.” Often starting with an impossibly huge or not so huge object, he will tone it down. “The artistic impulse always comes first,” he notes, “and then the piece of jewelry develops out of that.” Photographs by Robert Hensleigh.


   2008 Smithsonian Craft Show
by Pat Worrell
2008 Smithsonian Craft Show 2008 Smithsonian Craft Show

It is an exciting time in the world of craft. Every spring ushers in another much-anticipated edition of the Smithsonian Craft Show. As cherry blossoms carpet the nation’s capital and the world outside refreshes itself, our spirits are renewed by the inspiration of fine craft artists from across the country showing jewelry, wearables, ceramics, glass, basketry, wood, and more. But there is more to the excitement about contemporary craft. As the lines between art, craft and design increasingly blur, fine craft stands at the crossroads of acceptance into the larger world of fine art.


  Jewelry of the Classical World
by Robert K. Liu
   Metropolitan Museum of Art Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met’s New Greek & Roman Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, ranks among the premier institutions of the world, many of its departments essentially museums-within-a-museum. Such is the case with its Egyptian, Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas galleries, and now, upon the completion of a fifteen-year project, the new Greek and Roman galleries. In 2000, Ornament covered the opening of the new second floor galleries for Ancient Near Eastern Art, which were part of the overall gallery plan (Volume 23, No. 4), along with the first floor galleries that lead into the centerpiece of the new exhibits, the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court. With expanded space, it was possible to remove about fifty-three hundred artifacts from storage and place them back on display, as well as make the exhibit sequence logical again, difficult in the past due to closures and changes. In the ten months since the opening of these new exhibits, there have been over a million visitors, reflecting the public’s enthusiastic response. Photographs by Robert K. Liu/Ornament. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


  Marian Clayden
by Carolyn L.E. Benesh

Marian Clayden as seen in Ornament Magazine Marian Clayden as seen in Ornament Magazine


Fusion of Art and Fashion
For those with a keen appreciation of rock and roll and its history or for those of a certain age, think back to another era, its songs and its culture—“I, I love the colorful clothes she wears; And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair; I hear the sound of a gentle air; On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air,” the Beach Boys crooned in Good Vibrations. That 1966 hit single nicely encapsulates a time—the burgeoning hippie pandemic—and place—California, which one poster described as “Where Life Is Better.” This mid-twentieth-century American culture and geography casts a romantic, nostalgic glow, with its good and gentle vibrations emanating from those increasingly mythic distant times, yet still being felt more than forty years later. Photographs by Lars Seyer, Robert Clayden.


  Robert Ebendorf
by Glen Brown
Robert Ebendorf as seen in Ornament Magazine Robert Ebendorf as seen in Ornament Magazine

Gems from the Abyss
Murmurs from the past seem to surge and dissipate around the found-object assemblages of Robert Ebendorf with the measured rising, lingering and fading of breath: invisible, intangible, irrepressible. The objects of the artist’s acquisitive habit—toys, tintypes, shards, shells—inhabit the present yet wistfully recall lost moments in time only faintly and indirectly grasped through the evidence in aged and weathered surfaces. Detached forever from their earlier contexts while never ceasing to implicate them, these found objects play a vital role in a conjurer’s craft. Before them, memory is persuaded to disburden itself and mingle its dim contents with other more fanciful products of the mind, twining together the past and present, the credible and the fantastic in response to deeply ensconced conflicting needs for explanation and mystery. In this respect Ebendorf’s works are catalysts for mythology, generating chains of association that stretch beyond the viewer’s ability to evade, control or terminate. Photographs by M. True.


  Colleen Atwood
by Jill A. DeDominicis
  Colleen Atwood as seen in Ornament Magazine Colleen Atwood as seen in Ornament Magazine

Dressing Sweeney Todd
For over one hundred years cinema has captured audiences hearts' and attention. Viewers agree to temporarily suspend disbelief in return for access to imaginary worlds and characters. Screenplay writers, actors, directors, producers—all of these elements must align for a truly successful cinematic experience, but sometimes it is the more subtle details that allow a film to fully communicate the essence of a narrative. One such detail often overlooked is the costuming. Costume designers straddle a fine line: Their decisions must not distract from the narrative itself but serve to quietly complement and elevate it. The particular color of a shirt, the way a dress hangs just so, a certain stiffness and cut to a pair of slacks
these elements help silently set the tone of a film and fully define the characters within it. Photograph by Peter Mountain.


  Micki Lippe
by Robin Updike
Micki Lippe as seen in Ornament Magazine Micki Lippe as seen in Ornament Magazine
Nature’s Magical Inspiration
Germany, a nation admired for its state of the art engineering and precision manufacturing, is not the first place you would think of where a visiting artist might be inspired to loosen up her aesthetic, and, artistically speaking, let it all hang out. But that is more or less what happened to jewelry artist Micki Lippe after a nine-month stay in Leipzig, Germany, a couple of years ago. Sharing a studio in a five hundred year-old building in Halle, a half hour train commute from Leipzig, Lippe found herself working at a huge, heavy bench that was mammoth compared to what she was used to at home in Seattle. She was not sure she would warm up to the bench. But after an initial period of literally being pushed out of her comfort zone, Lippe ended up loving the big bench. Her reaction to it was one of many out-of-the-ordinary experiences that inspired her to reconsider how she thinks about jewelry and how she makes it. Photographs by Jennifer Howard Kicinski.

Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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