Ornament Back Issues

Create or Complete Your Collection


Volume 29 No.4 2006

Ornament Magazine  Cover  Volume 29  No. 4, 2006

Purchase this issue


Purchase PDF of this issue







Folded Glass Beads An Islamic Innovation. Studio Jewelers of Salida, Colorado. Giselle Shepatin Confidence Without Limits. Sydney Lynch The Medium of Memory. Darbury Stenderu Original and Imperfect. Jean Stark The Art of the Intricate. The Influence of Custom on Xhosa Beadwork. Exhibition Bellevue Arts Museum. Artist Statement Gretchen Schields. Artist Statement Laura Fisher-Bonvallet. Ethnographic Arts Yemeni Necklaces.


Folded Glass Beads
by Sage and Tom Holland


At the end of the Roman and Sassanian reign in the eastern Mediterranean, the stage was set for a bead the world had not yet seen—a bead that one of us (Tom Holland) only became aware of in 1990. For a simple bead deserving volumes but with little written, it took five years of periodic puzzling to decipher its key. A few articles tried to describe how it was made but some basic steps were lacking. Our hope is to set a very basic foundation for better understanding of this intriguing bead and to describe some of the methods employed in creating our own folded beads. Photographs by Robert K. Liu/Ornament.


Studio Jewelers
of Salida, Colorado
by Robert K. Liu

JERRY SCAVEZZE BRACELET as featured in Ornament Magazine Delrin dies used in upper part of kickpress. as featured in Ornament Magazine

No jeweler ever wants you to drop in unannounced; in over thirty years of interviewing artists, every one has cleaned up or tried to prior to our visits. But I am not the only one wanting to see or be fascinated by jewelers’ studios; many with interest or knowledge of metalsmithing think that a studio can be deeply revealing of how an artist works. For a majority of jewelers, the layout of a studio is determined by available space or a desire to have everything at hand, to minimize movement and maximize efficiency, as is the case with photographic darkrooms. Others have sufficient space or the need to separate different operations of their studio, such as buffing or grinding from soldering. In 2003, when the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution staged a retrospective of noted jeweler Bob Ebendorf, it actually showed a simulation of his workbench, set up on a dais, under spotlights. His actual workbench and studio were then in Greenville, North Carolina. The popular jewelry website, Ganoksin, has a feature entitled The BenchExchange, where one hundred eighteen jewelers from fourteen countries show images of their workbenches, most with illuminating commentary. Photograph by Harold O’Connor.



Giselle Shepatin

by Chiori Santiago
Giselle Shepatin as featured in Ornament Magazine Giselle Shepatin as featured in Ornament Magazine

Giselle Shepatin loves soft. She makes deliciously feminine clothes of fabric that moves through air with barely any resistance. The velvets glide beneath her fingers, the silks flutter gently, the embroidered goods seem stitched on the surface of water. Collectors love the sculptural lines and unexpected touches—a softly ruffled silk hem, a mesh pocket filled with charms or a rare embellishment from Turkey or China. Her work is ephemeral, but Shepatin is a woman of steel.

While most people know her as a clothing designer, Shepatin still sees herself as the weightlifter who won the US National Championship eight times and set many American records. It is important to her to be both the woman who could lift hundreds of pounds overhead and the woman who makes garments that float and flow. The two occupations are intertwined, although they may not make sense to anyone else. Photographs by Earl Crabb.


Sydney Lynch
by Glen Brown

Sydney Lynch  as featured in Ornament Magazine Sydney Lynch  as featured in Ornament Magazine

On shelves and tabletops in Sydney Lynch’s Lincoln, Nebraska home, water-smoothed stones and bleached shells lie in carefully considered arrangements: temporary mosaics that span both space and time. Collected over the years since early childhood, the objects are bits of nature made personally relevant through a practice of selecting, preserving and organizing. Figuratively, this practice could be considered equivalent to the process of committing images to memory and later drawing new meaning from them by reviving them in different sequences and configurations. Each stone or shell, picked up in a specific moment of mysterious attraction, serves as tangible evidence of past experience. The arrangement of these souvenirs into harmonious compositions in the present is a reminder that experience preserved in memory is not an inert residue but rather a dynamic, even living, element. As metaphors for the active contents of memory, Lynch’s collections of stones and shells give clear insight into a method of jewelry design that involves nature, recollection of the past, and novel redistribution of form. Photographs by Alan Jackson.


Darbury Stenderu
by Robin Updike

Darbury Stenderu as featured in Ornament Magazine Darbury Stenderu as featured in Ornament Magazine


In Seattle, people who admire Darbury Stenderu’s one-of-a-kind clothing and textiles are known to alter their downtown walking routes by a few blocks just to pass Stenderu’s big, broad, old-fashioned shop windows and see what Stenderu has been up to lately. The windows inevitably showcase a few well-chosen garments artfully draped on headless, minimalist dress forms. Perhaps today there is a mid-calf length silk, bias-cut sheath in a swirling, elaborate, abstract print of sea green and azure blue. Perhaps it has a deep v-neck and is displayed as a second layer over a bias-cut, lingerie-strapped slip in a color that looks like the bluest Mediterranean sky. This is an ensemble that the fairy queen Titania might have worn in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night Dream. It is also a dress that any contemporary woman with an independent style and a taste for graceful, romantic clothing might wear to a night at the opera or an afternoon garden party. Photographs by Patricia Ridenour.


  Jean Stark
by Carl Little
  Jean Stark as featured in Ornament Magazine LIPPIZANER STALLION PENDANT ON CHAIN  by Jean Stark as featured in Ornament Magazine

Many jewelers are masters of a particular technique, and often that specific skill lies at the heart of their enterprise. Few there are who can claim to know three complex techniques inside and out. Jean Stark is just such a rare triple threat, a brilliant practitioner of a trio of extraordinary processes: granulation, cloisonné enameling and loop-in-loop chainmaking.

Over the past thirty-plus years, Stark has helped to shape the course of American jewelry. Through her remarkable arts, and her teaching and mentoring, a generation or two of jewelers have learned the meaning of mastery—the commitment and focus that are requisite to creating something that will be looked upon ages hence as great work. Photographs by Jean Stark.


  Xhosa Beadwork
by Stephen Long
  Xhosa Beadwork  as featured in Ornament Magazine Xhosa Beadwork as featured in Ornament Magazine
As a child growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, my interest in African culture, in particular that shared by fellow South Africans, started at the age of about five. The initial spark to my interest was from an elderly family friend who could speak Xhosa fluently and who had a few beaded artifacts as well. I remember staring in fascination at some of the transparent beads which looked so much more interesting than just pieces of glass because even then I knew that it was one of the most important aspects of Black South African material culture. I also knew then that to the Xhosa people, the dominant Black African ethnic group found in Cape Town, beads were used for much more than just ornamentation, but held and continue to hold, a much deeper importance, in particular with the amagqira or shamans, who play an extremely important role in the majority of their lives. Photographs by Robert K. Liu/Ornament.

Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


  Follow Ornament on...