from the editors


Dear Ornament Reader,

The ineffable power of spring is casting its persuasive life-affirming demeanor as it begins flourishing locally and across the world. In our San Marcos, California, home garden, flowers aplenty, Iris, Poppy (Aunt Mary’s gift to us), Rosemary, Cymbidium, Lavender, and Mexican Marigold are sprawling across our personal landscape in the ground or inside pots. And there is more to follow as one plant or tree after another, their exquisite timing intact, reveals its special, unique character.

      Their absolutely magical predictable presence bestows both an exciting and somehow comforting, reassuring note to the much, much larger, unknowable global terrain. The world happenings so far this young year portend a destabilizing 2016, perhaps dangerous and destructive, perhaps filled with positive opportunity. We certainly encourage and will build on the latter. If we understand and accept that renewal and transitions are part of life’s immutable nomenclature, we are off to a much, much better place to begin another wild ride in whatever adventure is part of our pathway.

Welcome to our new issue, another celebration of life in all its pomp and majesty as well its discrete and reserved reminders of the bounty that surrounds us, permeates us and gives measure to the lessons that are there to learn, if we so choose to open our heart and mind to them. Glen R. Brown writes the instructive cover feature of Chunghie Lee who shifts her life between her native Korea and adopted home at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she teaches students in the art of cloth, especially the time-honored Korean patchwork bojagi. For this modern master of and advocate for an ancient tradition of quilting, practiced by unknown women, Lee expands to include a metaphor for life: “We may feel ourselves to be as random pieces of fabric, alone and without meaning,” she says, “but God’s hand places us together in a beautiful composition which has great harmony and meaning.”

Her widened vantage point has grown over the years to become much richer and deeper, more flexible, altering her life and others who become part of her worldview. “As I reach a more advanced age,” she explains, “I find that I am a lot less rigid seeing things. When I was young I thought that one perspective was best. At that time, making mistakes was something that I would not allow. Now I find that there is a great joy in discovery through mistakes. I am ready to embrace any situation, any perspective.”

Thank you, again, for joining our Ornament odyssey: one of growth, change and endless possibilities, and with much more to come over the years.