From the Editors 34.4


Dear Ornament Reader,


At Ornament, we consider it a critical part of our mission to make each issue count as a source of knowledge, inspiration and enlightenment, ever mindful that humans have always strived for enduring beauty not only in good times but during difficult periods, both as a means of maintaining hope and with an intrinsic understanding of the therapeutic importance of aesthetic expression. It seems to be built into our DNA, a kind of beneficial survival component.

While this issue has much to offer in its ninety-two pages, our feature articles comprise a wonderfully diverse and vibrant mix of topics, including Jill DeDominicis’s dynamic timeline of developments in polymer clay, one of the twentieth-century’s newest and strongest craft mediums. Ornament was one of the earliest to give exposure and support to this medium.

In clothing and textiles, we have articles on very different aspects, that of chenille, written by Ashley Callahan, of a once popular American fashion item, contrasted with the elegant clothing of couture star Cristóbal Balenciaga, whose dramatic pieces have strong cultural and historic overtones drawn from his native Spain. The creative process takes many forms as Tamara Hill describes how his “devout religious beliefs also reflected upon how he worked—with a focused discipline and an obsessive exactitude, especially in regard to his legendarily uncompromising fittings.”

In contemporary jewelry, Robin Updike writes on this issue’s cover feature artist Sarah Hood, with her strong commitment to nature and landscapes, often in an ephemeral manner. Updike notes that Hood has “degrees in metals and poetry—and her interest in Eastern philosophy, she says, gives her ‘an equanimity, a way of seeing things that doesn’t elevate one thing above another, but rates everything equally.’” Lisa Vershbow has combined the art of jewelry with the art of diplomacy in her life. Carl Little reveals that for more than three decades Vershbow has accompanied her diplomat husband to the foreign posts his work takes him and, consequently, Vershbow, who carries a compact metalsmithing studio wherever she goes. “I think my life as an artist has benefited from this sense of being swept along with the tide,” Vershbow says.

Glen Brown piercingly describes Linda Threadgill’s development of sophisticated techniques. “Nothing,” he states, “is superfluous. Nothing could be removed from these compositions without simultaneously violating the visual harmony of the linear patterns and weakening the physical strength of the assemblage as a whole—yet, the works could hardly be called austere as a result.”

We close our features with a brief overview of prehistoric Southwest artifacts and the sites in which they were found. Occurring in one of the most beautiful regions of the United States, the sites are very much worth a personal visit by our readers, and a living reminder to be respectful of this treasure we inhabit. The photograph of the two of us on this page was taken at Mesa Verde, Colorado, one of the most striking array of ruins.

Visit us online at our beautifully redesigned website,, where you can find web exclusives, additional to what you can partake from the magazine itself. We invite you to introduce Ornament to your friends and family; there is much more to discover together.

Thank you for sharing our world,


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Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


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