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Volume 32 No.2 2008


Ornament Magazine


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Cover Feature: Reiko Ishiyama


Reiko Ishiyama Floating in Space. Heather Trimlett A Garden of Glass Delights. Barbara Minor Expressing Color’s Nuances. Modern Gothic   Undeath in Fashion. Marjorie Simon The Future of the Floral. Mastering Feltmaking A Journey to An Open Destination. Craft Show CraftBoston. Fiber Arts Kansai Yamamoto. Museum News Harvard Art Museum. Exhibition 40 Years, From A to Zobel. Marketplace African Art Village. Venue Pasadena Bead and Design Show.

Reiko Ishiyama
by Robin Updike
Reiko Ishiyama   Reiko Ishiyama

Floating in Space
It is a sunny morning in Reiko Ishiyama’s spacious ninth floor studio in New York City. There is traffic noise on the busy streets below—Ishiyama’s studio is located in the bustling garment district—but the horns and sidewalk din are pleasantly muffled by the time they waft up to her wide, panoramic windows. The studio is in an industrial building and big by New York standards. There is a simple table with a few chairs, a sofa and low coffee table, a small kitchen and a jeweler’s workbench long enough to accommodate three or four people working at once. The potted plants and artworks carefully placed around the tidy room help give the studio an ambience of quiet serenity, a sunny aerie above the city. Photographs by David Katz.


   Heather Trimlett
by Jill A. DeDominicis
Beads hollow ring Heather Trimlett

A Garden of Glass Delights
The lively glass beads seem to dance and move with an energy all their own. Bright, often primary colors, portrayed in twists, swirls, dots, and spots, create a cheerful aesthetic for which Heather Trimlett has become well known. But do not let the playfulness fool you, Trimlett is a master glass beadmaker, and the key to her outwardly simple but highly sought-after designs resides in her quest for perfection and control. An exuberant and warm person, Trimlett’s spirited yet no-nonsense attitude comes through in her work. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Trimlett dove headfirst into glass beadmaking soon after her introduction to it. Like many other beadmakers, she was hooked from the first moment. Photographs by Robert K. Liu.


    Barbara Minor
by Glen R. Brown
Barbara Minor  Barbara Minor

Expressing Color’s Nuances
As a century of modern painting so dramatically revealed, color is at once the subtlest and most potent of elements in the expressive artist’s alchemical cabinet. The complex effects on emotion that color can inspire from its seemingly inexhaustible variety of combinations—what the Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin called “truly a Chinese puzzle”—account for the effectiveness of abstraction, which, deprived of its chromatic range, would quickly come to seem dull and diagrammatic. Even the stark energy of black and white, the extremes of the tonal scale, would soon dissipate if color were not always a potential foil. Color is the very pulse of abstract painting, and mastering its visual nuances and pressing it into ever more complex service as an expressive device are the principle challenges that draw painters repeatedly back to those difficult moments of initial confrontation with blank surfaces. Color enlivens. It animates the void, and the power to wield it is both cumulative and addictive as one explores its intricacies with an increasingly finer eye. Photographs by Ralph Gabriner.


  Modern Gothic
by Patrick R. Benesh-Liu
Undeath in Fashion      Modern Gothic

Undeath in Fashion
Death and decay have been popular and crucial subjects of Western society over the millennia. With the Medieval era, the widespread outbreak of disease and the Black plague became the focal point for much of the dramatic art of that time. During the Victorian period, a manic obsession with premature burial swept Europe, and again centered the Western mind on the subject of death. Famous literary figures would produce seminal works which immersed themselves in these themes. The countless wars and revolutions, famines, droughts, and disease, perhaps even the native cultural environment of Europe itself, helped shape a populace among which the color black was an everpresent, and important, representation of destabilized lives. As is often the case, some Europeans embraced, as we do, what they feared in an effort to deal with that fear. It was this preoccupation that would provide the seeds for the modern-day Gothic movement. The Gothic movement was birthed primarily through rock ’n roll music, in Gothic rock during the early 1980s that followed post-punk. Starting in the United Kingdom, the Gothic subculture spread and diversified over much of Europe and America, and to this day has adherents all over the globe. Photographs by Irving Solero.


Marjorie Simon
by Carl Little
  Marjorie Simon, The Future of the Floral Marjorie Simon, The Future of the Floral

The Future of the Floral
When she speaks about the fascination people have with flowers, noting that this attraction dates back to the Neanderthals who placed them in their graves, Marjorie Simon grows animated. “I think we’re hard-wired for flowers,” she says, then wonders aloud if that is putting it too strongly. Whatever the origin of this fervor, she acknowledges a deep personal connection to flowers; “and if I feel that kind of passion,” she states with conviction, “it might as well be in my work.” Over the past ten or so years Simon has explored floral and botanical imagery in her jewelry, bringing a fresh perspective to a rich tradition. She has employed a wonderfully diverse variety of techniques and mediums, from vitreous enamel to manipulated photographs, to fulfill her inventive visions. The inspiration for this work derives from equally varied sources, both historical and of the moment. Photographs by Ralph Gabriner.


  Mastering Feltmaking   
by Jenne Giles
  Mastering Feltmaking Mastering Feltmaking 

A Journey to An Open Destination
Feltmaking is an extraordinary artform that I discovered entirely by accident. In 2005 I needed a career adjustment from apprenticing as an architectural metalworker building large projects for homes and sculptural installations. After five years, the fumes, the grit and the general grimness of the metal shop became wearying. Given this impetus for change, I began my own art enterprise, a commercial business that I named Ink Operated. The “inkoperation” [incorporation] project is a play on words to describe how ideas move from concept to completion, sketchbook to reality and art ideas to business entity. Many of my art projects are inherently performative, so this business would be an art project in itself, a journey to an open destination. Faced with the challenge of making a living at what I love, I needed to find a medium that would combine my passion for materials, craft and exuberant self-expression and blend them with my talent and drive for a new creative outlet. Trial and error in various fields, along with a dash of serendipity, led me to felted wool. Photograph by Jenne Giles.



Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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