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Volume 29 No.5 2006

Front Cover Ornament Magazine Vol 29 No5

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Early Navajo Textles and Silver The First Phase. Todd Reed A Rare Accomplishment. Doshi Mindful Creativity. Ellen Wieske A Cross-Disciplinary Universe. Tobias Hoheisel Making Magic in The Magic Flute. Lightweight Gold Jewelry From Kerala. Mauritanian Powder-Glass Kiffa Beads Decline. Revival. Imitations. Gallery Showcase Jett Gallery. Artist Statement Lauren Van Hemert. Marketplace Jacques Carcanagues. Exhibition Hatshepsut from Queen to Pharaoh.


Early Navajo
and Silver
by Cheri Falkenstien-Doyle

Early Navajo  as seen in Ornament Magazine Vol29 No 5 Early Navajo  as seen in Ornament Magazine Vol29 No 5

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Navajo weavers created textiles that today are among the most powerful examples of Native American artistic expression. With wool from their own flocks, Navajo women produced blankets and other garments to clothe their families, and engaged in a thriving trade that carried their products to indigenous and European peoples throughout North America. After 1849 when clashes with American occupying forces brought drastic changes to the Navajo, they responded in part by developing a new craft—silversmithing—that not only provided an aesthetic outlet but brought economic opportunity as well. Photographs by Michelle McGough and W. J. Andrus.


Todd Reed
by Glen Brown

Todd Reed as featured in Ornament Magazine Todd Reed as featured in Ornament Magazine

Sparkling—not with crystalline brilliance but with the hard, opaque glitter of pavement after a rain—the majority of gems in Colorado artist Todd Reed’s unique jewelry are as subtle in their attraction as the lustrous gray oxidized silver and coarsely brushed, or even scraped, gold surfaces that surround them. When one notices these stones, each distinct in color, surface and refractive capacity, perfection is not a word that comes immediately to mind. This is, however, precisely Reed’s point. No superficial conformity characterizes his jewelry, the beauty of which seems to derive rather from the dignity of things that with quiet inner strength persist in their individuality despite conventions that cast them as oddities. One might even speculate that the capacity to appreciate a kind of beauty where it is not immediately evident— in the way that Van Gogh discovered beauty in the pockmarked features of Sien, his model and mistress—accounts for much of the curious appeal of Reed’s work. Photographs by Azad.



by Carolyn L. E. Benesh
Doshi as featured in Ornament Magazine Doshi as featured in Ornament Magazine

As much as is possible in a post-twentieth-century world, Doshi balances a spontaneous, yet conscious, state of mindful creativity to affirm and inspire her artistic desires. For this, one needs to practice one’s work with a clear heart and mind, united as it were, uncluttered by the impediments we so often bring to our lives. Her spiritual advisor Gregory Penn named her nirdosh (without guilt or shame) sadau (a wandering monk in whose wake beneficial and good things happen without his knowledge or awareness). Choosing innocence and simplicity to illuminate what he saw innately within her, Penn helped inspire her personal rebirth. So Doshi is now a name more natively, inherently hers, a delightful lesson in living more purely and honestly, without premeditation. This is a very good place to occupy while living the artist’s life. Photographs by Jack Yonn.


Ellen Wieske
by Carl Little

Ellen Wieske as featured in Ornament Magazine Ellen Wieske as featured in Ornament Magazine

When she sets out to make jewelry, Wieske likes to give herself a simple assignment open to invention and exploration. For her exhibition at the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this past spring, for example, she knew she wanted to use non-precious materials—Popsicle sticks, felt and tin—some of them purchased at a craft shop. She covered her bench with samples and started to play with them, arranging them in different configurations. Scissors and hot glue were among her tools. Wieske looked upon the felt as a means for getting color into her work. “A lot of metalsmiths reach a point where they think, ‘What are the colors I have available other than the colors of metals?’ ” She shows off light-as-a-feather earrings made of bright layers of felt held in place by a piece of tin made into a button. Preparing for the Mobilia exhibition was a means to return to the past and she revisited some of her earliest work as a source of inspiration. Her goal was simple: “I wanted to take the pieces I had done in the past and make them oversized to see how they would translate.” Producing this work provided an occasion to consider where she came from and what had changed along the way. Photographs by Robert Diamante.


Tobias Hoheisel
by Leslie Clark

Tobias Hoheisel


She glides onto the stage, a vision of regal hauteur. Even without the Three Ladies heralding her approach, you know instantly that this is the Queen of the Night. She also happens to be wearing Elizabethan court dress, with swags of pearls around her neck and her hair towering above her head. The silvery brocade gown radiates an icy white brilliance as she moves, accentuated by the ombré effect of rhinestones flashing and glittering around the lower skirt hem. Though playing on an allusion to the historic English ruler, this is a heightened, luminescent incarnation of a queen. The reminder that behind even our most extravagant dreams and fables lie real human passions illuminates the Santa Fe Opera’s new 2006 production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute, thanks in part to the artistry of veteran scenic and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel.


  Lightweight Gold Jewelry
From Kerala
by Chitra Balasubramaniam
  Lightweight Gold Jewelry  as featured in Ornament Magazine Lightweight Gold Jewelry  as featured in Ornament Magazine

India is a dream market for gold jewelry. It is remarkable how a country which produces virtually no gold of its own has such a voracious appetite for it. The phenomenon is not recent and has its antecedents in hundreds of years of history when Indian spices and silks were traded for gold, silver and semiprecious stones. So large was the appetite that all forms of this precious metal were devoured from a seemingly bottomless golden bowl. India’s obsession still persists: In 2005/2006, Indians bought more than eight hundred tons of gold (source: Reserve Bank of India), and most of this gold was primarily for jewelry. Gold in India has been historically considered an investment, an asset which comes in handy in times of calamity. It is extremely liquid, can be pledged and is as good as cash. Buying jewelry invariably favors resale value more than the design. Its weight was and is usually paramount; so intricate designs, resulting in waste, are usually frowned upon by traditionalists. However, today there is a change in this perception. Gold jewelry is still considered an investment, but there is an increasing trend for acquiring it more for its design sensibility, wearability and fashionable qualities. All jewelry courtesy of Malabar Fashion Jewellery, New Delhi, India.


  Mauritanian Powder-Glass Kiffa Beads
by Evelyn Simak
  Mauritanian Powder-Glass Kiffa Beads as seen in Ornament Magazine Vol29 No5
It is believed that the manufacture of Kiffa beads commenced during the nineteenth century due to a revival of centuries-old Mauritanian traditions. Although no ancient beads resembling Kiffas have been found at archaeological sites or excavations, the process is said to originate from Tichitt (a village which existed in the eighth to fifteenth centuries in the vicinity of Tegadoust), and from there spread throughout southern Mauritania. During the second half of the twentieth century, droughts and famine, combined with an influx of modernity and progress, forced many nomadic families to change their way of life. While Kiffa beads had become highly desirable objects for western and Asian collectors, the craft was swiftly becoming extinct. Only a handful of master beadmakers, all of well-advanced age, could be located during the 1970s. Photographs by Robert K. Liu/Ornament.

Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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