from the editors


Dear Ornament Reader,

Our cover feature for this issue of Ornament, Volume 39.1 is Julie Shaw, and we call her the Stone Whisperer Extraordinaire. Stones have been an inseparable part of her jewelry for more than four decades. In her article, Robin Updike describes Shaw’s deep personal connection to them, one that is spiritual and uplifting. Updike writes, “Stones speak to Julie Shaw. Not in words, of course, but in signals and messages that are perfectly clear. The gunmetal gray hematite offers emotional protection because it repels negativity. Rose quartz stands for unconditional love and good will. Yellow-green citrine opens the heart to wonder and delight and is immune to ill will.”

      Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell delights with her review of “Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015,” now exhibiting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through August 21. She reminds that human history has been essentially a delineation of a man’s world, but she qualifies this with one exception, that being the modern museum world where women rule the fashion exhibitions. At LACMA though, one can view the unusual experience of solely menswear, three hundred years of sartorial splendor.

There are instances of couples working together on shared work projects, but they remain relatively rare and often considered fraught with peril. But there are success stories, as author Glen Brown approvingly acknowledges of James Thurman and Umut Demirgüç Thurman. “Combining in their collaborative jewelry the aesthetic advantages of their respective media just as they draw on the benefits of their different personalities and cultural backgrounds in their domestic relationship, Thurman and Demirgüç Thurman create unique works that unite enameled cabochons with frames cut from a substance called Thurmanite®.” It is affirming as well as instructive to have a lens into a creative relationship that works partly because of its fresh and innovative possibilities and that a firm measure of mutual respect brings to the table.

Another article showing how the art of the stone can be translated into works of immeasurable beauty is Carl Little’s on Lee Marraccini. Working for more than thirty-five years, Marraccini has reached a stage of refined minimalism in jewelry design, yet an opulent aura emanates from their strong and lucid presence.

Look for much more in this issue, including the International Folk Art Market, Saul Bell Design Award, and Beijing’s Ethnic Costume Museum. There is so much to enjoy and contemplate within—yet another instance of the celebration of life and creativity. Thank you for joining our Ornament odyssey: one of growth, change and endless promise.