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Volume 31 No.4 2008

Ornament Magazine

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Cover Feature: Carol Young


Carol Young An EcoAesthetic. Cari Borja The Creative Habit. Spirals The Journey Outward. Holly Anne Mitchell Here Today Gone Tomorrow. Ancient Shell Ornaments of the Americas. Venue 2008 Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair. Fiber Arts Valéria Fazekas. Exhibition Review Style in the Aisle. Exhibition Review Nancy Worden. Publication Reviews. Marketplace Reactive Metals Studio. Bead Design Bead Earring Design.

Carol Young
by Robin Updike
Carol Young  as seen in Ornament Magazine Carol Young  as seen in Ornament Magazine

An EcoAesthetic
Her dove-gray, jersey, reversible three-quarter length Angel Tunic is an elegant piece of clothing no matter how you wear it. Pull it over your head one way and you are wearing a soft tunic with a simple, uncluttered neck that circles the collarbone. Flip it on the other way and what was the back becomes a deep V-neck held in place by a delicate ribbon of fabric. The three-quarter length sleeves are slightly bell shaped and the side seams are gently gathered above the hem, creating a soft shirring effect. It is the kind of contemporary yet timeless piece that is earning Los Angeles-based Carol Young a reputation as a smart designer of good-looking, easy to wear, flattering and functional clothing for women. But there is something else about the tunic that also appeals to many of Young’s customers; the tunic is made of forty-four percent organic cotton, six percent spandex and fifty percent soy. Photographs by Peter Kim and Katherine Tessier.


   Carl Borja
by Jill A. DeDominicis
Carl Borja as seen in Ornament Magazine Carl Borja as seen in Ornament Magazine

The Creative Habit
“When I was doing my Ph.D. research in Jamaica, an artist and teacher said to me, ‘All these students, I don’t know why they’re thinking about becoming an artist because none of them have the habit of being creative.’ I wrote it down and I think I even quoted it in my dissertation,” Cari Borja remembers, while sitting in her Berkeley, California studio. “Years later, I realize that’s exactly what I like doing; everyday you come in, you have the habit of making one or two pieces and in the making you get the inspiration to take something further. That for me is how it works, in that habitual practice.” Borja’s dedication transformed what seemed like a passing statement into her reality: “I want to make clothes for the Sirens,” she had uttered while honeymooning in Italy on the fabled island of the Sirens, off the coast of Capri. Photographs by Jock McDonald and Carl Borja.


by Patrick R. Benesh-Liu
Forearm Fandango by Kent Raible Spirograph  Sculpture by SarahGraham

The Journey Outward
Mathematics is normally associated with all things inorganic and rigidified (calculators, high school textbooks, math teachers). What many forget and few explore is its foundation for all living things. Fractals, geometric equations—all are part and parcel of flowers, spider webs and many other of life’s infinite designs. It is said that art imitates life, and life art. Shapes and patterns have long been integral to this ancient expression of humankind. Among these is the spiral. Used since before antiquity, the spiral is a scintillating juxtaposition of two fundamental ideas. A spiral resembles in many ways the circle, which is the purest form of the infinite. A circle has no beginning, and no end. On the other hand, the spiral definitively has an end and a beginning, though which is which can be subject to interpretation. The other essential form of the spiral is that of growth. From land-bound snails to marine mollusks to the teeth of pre-historic sharks, the spiral is a shape implicitly associated with the process of expansion and maturation. Photographs by Barry Blau.


     Holly Anne Mitchell
by Pat Worrell
Holly Anne Mitchell As seen in Ornament Magazine Holly Anne Mitchell As seen in Ornament Magazine
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
“Green jewelry, simply amazing!” “This is recycling at its best.” These are the comments of shoppers as they stop by the booth of Holly Anne Mitchell at an arts show in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, as they suddenly realize that the jewelry on exhibit is made from newspapers. “People react to the jewelry for its ‘green’ aspects but more so because they realize it’s made from something they just read that morning, the newspaper, and probably threw in the trash,” comments Mitchell. “They’re surprised first, then pleased that it’s green. It feels good as an artist to see people’s reactions.” From brooches, neckpieces and bracelets to earrings and cufflinks, each piece is repurposed from discarded paper. Newspapers are the number one recycled material in the country. But what motivates Mitchell more are the aesthetics of the unconventional material, particularly its textural aspects. “I want my jewelry to be aesthetically pleasing, both on and off the body,” she states. “My goal is to inspire people to take a second look at everything around them and discover the beauty in the most common, ordinary items.” Photographs by Jerry Anthony.


  Ancient Shell Ornaments of the Americas
by Robert K. Liu
Spondylos Bead od Pre Columbian Peru Sinu shell necklace and beads by the prehistoric Coulumbian peoples
At no time have people been more aware of the role of shell ornaments in the development of modern hominins, with the recent discoveries of perforated marine shells at Blombos Cave in South Africa (Henshilwood 2006), other even older Nassarius shells in North Africa (82,000 versus 75,000 years old for South Africa) and the oldest in the Near East (Israel, 100,000 to 135,000 years). When dealing with perforated marine shells, obviously there is concern and need to verify that the holes for stringing were not made by wave action or predatory snails, but by intentional human action, and that such holes show signs of use, by the presence of string wear in the perforation. But a note of caution should be instilled in all who research shells, by the remarkable observation and deductions of Carpenter (1977) on prehistoric shell beads in Arizona. Photographs by Robert K. Liu/Ornament.

Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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