from the editors

45th Anniversary


Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.

— Maya Angelou


Dear Ornament Reader,

Thank you for experiencing the Ornament mission as we begin a new volume. You are soon to partake in the richness and diversity of our subjects, whether they be ancient, contemporary or ethnographic. In every issue we assemble, design and review Ornament to its conclusion—and before that final, no turning back, miraculous act of printing, we all feel a powerful force of creative fulfillment nearing, certain that wonderful discoveries will be there to energize us to another day. We can only hope that the result brings to you the same kind of joy and satisfaction that constructing an issue of Ornament gives us.

There is an intangible, magical process at work as we carefully proceed step by step, page by page, to the bound volume you are now holding. As we work through each article, large and small, there are sure to be periods of amazement, a fresh almost electrifying recognition of what is clearly taking place, almost as if we had no role in what is happening. They gradually become more and more alive to us, their words and images revelatory; and while maintaining a professional perspective, in truth, we also begin to live through them, our personal world influenced and shaped by the one inhabited by each of their particular narratives. We learn a great deal more about ourselves as individuals, and about each other, gaining some valuable insights into who we are and that we, too, are making something from nothing, just like all artists past and present. 

As members of similar communities in art and craft, we are all fellow explorers in the creative endeavor at its noblest. We hold with you a fundamental belief that we can help sustain a healthy and compassionate earth when we know more about our own and other cultures. Together we will make this world a little more meaningful, a little more beautiful, a little bit better—for that is the mission we all share as responsible and loving beings. This is a world filled with infinite possibilities. And each of us has the extraordinary privilege of bearing witness to it.  


With our best wishes,