from the editors

45th Anniversary


“And it’s very strange to me that a lot of the very best people always have this feeling, ‘Hmmm. I got away with it.’ And I think the reason is this: if you are creative, you’re always, every single time, you’re going into unknown territory and you cannot guarantee that it’s going to work. You want a guarantee it’s going to work? Then just use a formula. Just do something derivative, same as you did last time. It won’t be a disaster and, of course, it won’t be very interesting. But if you’re really trying to do something new each time, trying to stretch yourself, you never know when it’s going to be a disaster, so you always feel, I don’t really know what I’m doing. And if it comes off, you just feel you’re lucky.”

— John Cleese


Dear Ornament Reader,

When you are in the art of making something from nothing, you are absolutely occupying the land of the unknown, the unexplored, with no guarantee that it is going to work and that whatever you are making might fizzle and collapse in a heap. Another bust! But if you work with a big helping of tenacity to nourish you along the way, the exhilaration that comes with making something actually work is huge. And yes, if it comes off, you just feel so lucky.

We don’t know where this comes from. What a mystery it all is. But artists know that meaning is discovered through quest and questioning, that these take us to a next level of understanding, that they lead to unfamiliar places and beyond. It is in the nature of artists to achieve fulfillment through their objects; difficulties are resolved in action and productivity. So work is a strong motivational tool and a powerful stimulus to achieving life’s dreams and goals. Work is, in a way, a love affair with life and living, with their forward and positive motion. We are always in the process of becoming, of expressing our true natures. When we focus on the whole, things have a better chance of working out and obstructions are overcome. And we feel such gratitude for this success.

When the works are the subjects of Ornament, we remember that from earliest history the complex intertwining of artist, object and world culture has rendered an artform intrinsically bound to the human body, beautifying, ennobling, as well as sanctifying it. The results have sometimes been extraordinary and their impact continues to this day. Contemporary personal adornment has expanded the traditional definition of artwear; and artists are sharing professional and personal experiences as energetic participants in this historically unique time, with reference to the new materials, processes and ideas that drive, shape and influence us all. Some have been useful, others not so much. But one of the better aspects of living today is when an illuminating revelation happens, it can quickly reach the entire world. We all can share in the great good fortune that bringing creations to fruition mean.

We invite you to delight in this issue. You will find many, many artistic epiphanies to explore and to share with others. Serendipity is everywhere and waiting for you!  


With our best wishes,