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Volume 32 No.3 2009


Ornament Magazine

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Cover Feature: Jacquelyn Rice and Uosis Joudvalkis


Jacquelyn Rice and Uosis Joudvalkis A Margin of Uncertainty. Lloyd E. Herman One of a Kind. 2009 Smithsonian Craft Show. Gail Crosman Moore A Study in Contrasts. Davide Bigazzi The Textures of Tuscany. Elise Winters The Essential Lightness of Being. Idyllwild Arts A Wellspring of Creativity. Venue SOFA Chicago. Exhibition Elegant Armor. Exhibition Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry. Bead Arts Paiwan and Southeast Asian Combed Polychrome Beads. Artist Statement Kimberley Morris. Artist Statement Katherine Wadsworth. Design Study A Valentine’s Day Necklace.

Lloyd E. Herman  
by Robin Updike
Lloyd Herman   Lloyd Herman

One Of a Kind
In 1966 Lloyd E. Herman was a young man with an interest in the arts and a flair for public relations. An Oregon native who had dreamed of becoming an actor, he had worked his way through a couple of universities, acting gigs in Midwestern summer stock, and two years in the U.S. Navy before winding up in Washington, D.C., where he found himself working at the National Housing Center organizing trade exhibitions for the housing industry. He recalls that as public relations manager, “I worked very hard to drum up traffic to the visitor center, which was a four-story trade building where people looked at shingles and toilets.”
To help fill the vast footage he sometimes booked Smithsonian traveling exhibits of decorative arts. But shingles and toilets lost their allure and he was soon working as Administrative Officer to the Director of what was then called the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Herman’s job involved organizing traveling exhibitions about art, decorative arts and craft, and overseeing the restoration of an exposition hall. At the same time Herman noticed that the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, a historic, nineteenth century building two blocks from the White House, was in need of a purpose. The elegant building, designed by architect James Renwick Jr. for the banker and art collector William Corcoran, had been saved from the wrecking ball by Jacqueline Kennedy and other preservationists. It had recently been given to the Smithsonian. Herman wrote a six-page memo to the Director of the National Museum about using the building for craft. That memo forever changed the way America thinks of craft. Photographs courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.


   2009 Smithsonian Craft Show
by Carl Little
2009 Smithsonian Craft Show   2009 Smithsonian Craft Show

Despite the doom and gloom on the economic front, the 2009 Smithsonian Craft Show promises to be the outstanding showcase it has been for more than a quarter century. Featuring a geographically diverse assembly of craft artists—one hundred twenty hailing from thirty-two states and the District of Columbia—the twenty-seventh edition offers a wide range of aesthetics in a dozen craft categories. Past favorites, from jeweler John Iversen to ceramist Hideaki Miyamura to basketmaker Mary Jackson, will be displaying new work alongside an impressive line-up of forty-three first-timers. More than thirteen hundred craft artists applied this year, a sign of strength in the sector. On the other hand, individual artists accepted to the Smithsonian express concern about the economy as they develop strategies to maintain their art and livelihood during what everyone hopes is no more than a financial rough patch. Photographs courtesy of the artists.


    Gail Crosman Moore
by Alice Scherer
Gail Crosman Moore Gail Crosman Moore

A Study in Contrasts
At times her robust laughter fills the room, sweeping along her listener in a tsunami of laughter. Other times, she is soft, thoughtful, pensive. Much like her creative work, Gail Crosman Moore is very much a study in contrasts, now a ribald earth mother, moments later an aesthete, focusing on form, color and contrast. She works in borosilicate glass (boro’) and felt: hard materials and soft ones. The colors of her glass are yielding, evanescent, intriguing; the shapes primal, plant- or sea creature-like, with protuberant areas in clear glass that lure the eye inward and reward the touch with ripples and smooth, bumpy nodules. Her felt is extremely durable, but, at the same time, soft and playful. Ripples, folds and rounded forms encourage exploration and finger snuggling. Softly-rounded, lavishly-decorated pouches feel like repositories for treasures, ‘hold safes’ for meaningful objects. Her forms are about “new life,” about potential. “It’s usually round, it’s usually amorphous, soft or it’s hard. It’s void. It does allude to life. It alludes to potential and mystery,” she says, thoughtfully. Her felt pieces are embellished with tiny hard beads, sequins and leaves (the latter manufactured especially for her to her specifications), with small dense areas of embellishment and large sweeping areas of brightly-colored felt. Sometimes her boro’ beads hang at the ends or peek out from folds in the felt, looking like eggs in a clutch, intriguing. Photographs by Gail Crosman Moore.


  Davide Bigazzi
by Pat Worrell
Davide Bigazzi

The Textures of Tuscany
On the bulletin board above jewelry artist Davide Bigazzi’s workbench is a personalized postcard from Valerie Greene inscribed with the words “You empowered me.” Greene, left paralyzed and unable to speak from a massive stroke at the age of thirty-one, was determined to heal. It took years but today, she is a national motivational speaker and author empowering others to overcome their obstacles. Every day she wears Bigazzi’s Oak Leaf cuff bracelet. When it was first shown to her, Greene states, “I knew it was made for me. What an extraordinary creation of beauty, art and energy. Wearing it empowers me with courage and strength. The piece speaks volumes.”
“Sometimes I talk with a piece when I’m making it,” comments Bigazzi, whose handmade sterling silver and gold jewelry includes necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings. Organic and architectural forms lay easily on the body; curves and structures are rich with textures. A silver leaf is touched with a vein of eighteen karat gold. “I give a lot of attention to design. Every element needs to have the right balance,” says Bigazzi with a strong Italian accent. He stresses that his drive for harmony in design and perfection of technique always circles back to his traditional training.
Photographs by  Elisa Angelo and Azad.


Jacquelyn Rice and
Uosis Juodvalkis
by Leslie Clark
  Jacquelyn Rice and Uosis Juodvalkis    Jacquelyn Rice and Uosis Juodvalkis

A Margin of Uncertainty
For kaleidoscopic colors that re-engineer your imagination, an Arizona-based design duo is creating beautiful, functional clothing and accessories at a unique intersection of art, fashion and computer technology. Take a silk georgette swing jacket, with scaled-out pink-orange floral images adrift on rivulets of saffron yellow and chocolate red. Its colors quicken the senses, but are tempered and structured in a classic style for real life. Jacquelyn Rice and Uosis (pronounced “Wasis”) Juodvalkis, the wife-and-husband moving forces behind Gild the Lily, understand color, its quirks, nuances and temperament. “I see color as subject matter; it means something,” Rice explains. “Color combinations tell stories that have an implicit effect.”
Since their cooperative effort was launched in 1999 in Providence, Rhode Island, its creators seem to have found more freedom of expression following a move west in 2004. Rice and Juodvalkis have forged ahead spurning the social and cultural dictates of ‘good’ taste about the colors we wear. “Emerald green is a big taboo,” Rice says. “It’s not a fashion color and there’s a class issue too. Or take pink. It’s looked upon as kitschy and crazy. I’m very drawn to it and have been for ages.” Put two colors side by side, and other connotations crop up. “For example, orange and blue,” Rice points out. “If it’s a turquoisey blue and orange then you immediately think of Howard Johnson’s, and you don’t want to use it because who wants to think of Howard Johnson’s?” Adds a deadpan Juodvalkis, “The corporations have stolen our colors.” Photographs by Uosis Juodvalkis.


  Elise Winters
by Jill A. DeDominicis
  Elise Winters Elise Winters

The Essential Lightness of Being
A joyous expression spreads over her face as Elise Winters talks about her latest polymer clay jewelry. “I have never been this happy about what I’m doing, as excited and energized and charged up. I’ve always loved working, but the work I’m doing now feels like I found my voice and it’s flowing off my fingers,” she states. It is easy to see why she is satisfied—there is an energy of serenity in the work, but also a punch of drama; her polymer pieces are the kind of jewelry that gets noticed and begs to be touched. Winters’s color choices are stunning, and there is a certain quality of light that seems to illuminate from within. This shimmering characteristic calls to mind the radiant sunlight of early dawn or dusk, so loved by photographers because it draws out exaggerated shadows and highlights, leaving everything with a subtle, golden glow about it. While often abstract, the artist’s works are allusive and evocative of nature in this way, without directly referencing any particular shape, color or pattern found in the natural world.
Color, light, reflectivity, and translucence have always been of great interest to Winters. While pursing her first master’s degree, she focused on translucent ceramics, experimenting with the thickness of clay. When she began teaching photography, she took a second master’s degree in media studies. Her final project could have been in any format, but she chose a multimedia presentation called Morning Light, about the sun rising over New York City, near her New Jersey home. This fascination with light and color is all part of the process of discovery Winters feels is synonymous with being an artist. While she was not necessarily conscious of this unifying theme throughout her work, it all came together when she found polymer clay. Photographs by Hap Sakwa and Ralph Gabriner.


  Idyllwild Arts
by Carolyn L.E. Benesh
  Idyllwild Arts  Idyllwild Arts

A Wellspring of Creativity
Each scenic and unique, the various Southern California routes taken into the Idyllwild Arts campus are enriching in themselves as the basin which holds the multitudinous greater Los Angeles slides behind to gradually sink obscured by the surrounding grayish haze. (Hills are rounded, ever upward, and then mountains scaled, the bold and brutal San Jacinto, in fact: listen again to Peter Gabriel’s song of San Jacinto and you will re-imagine these unusual mountains and life anew). The village community of Idyllwild (once the summer home of the Cahuilla Indians) and Idyllwild Arts reside on the mountain’s westward slope, part of the San Bernardino National Forest, where Ponderosa, Coulter and Knob Cone pine forests and Manzanita trees thrive and wildlife abound in contrast to the austere desert-facing eastern edge, overlooking Palm Desert. Idyllwild is known for its mountain biking trails and rock climbing and for being totally laid-back; only a cup of coffee from Café Aroma is likely to jolt the serenity that seeps in more and more the longer the stay. Photographs by Carolyn L. E. Benesh.



Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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