The Hidden Crafting of Pat Tseng
Handmade ornaments can be very deceptive, especially those that are well made and appear straightforward. How an artist designs a piece of jewelry usually cannot be deduced from the finished piece, unless one is aware of the artist’s mode of creating. But how that ornament is executed is often also hidden. Such is the work of Pat Tseng, a well-known California jewelry designer of exquisite simplicity (Bullis 1993; Liu 1995).
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Robert K. Liu is Coeditor of Ornament and for many years its in-house photographer. His new book, The Photography of Personal Adornment, covers forty plus years of shooting jewelry, clothing and events related to wearable art, both in and out of the Ornament studio. He will start teaching photography classes at the Ornament office in December 2015 and in January 2016. In this issue he reveals his astonishment at how little he knew about the intricateness of jeweler Pat Tseng’s methods, despite decades of writing and photographing her work, which encompasses both textile and jewelry techniques. Her hand-dyed, stuffed and meticulously sewn fabric tubes are especially challenging.