ORNAMENT Volume 31 No. 3

John Iversen. The Artistic Impulse
2008 Smithsonian Craft Show
Jewelry of the Classical World. The Met’s New Greek & Roman Galleries
Marian Clayden. Fusion of Art and Fashion
Robert Ebendorf. Gems from the Abyss
Colleen Atwood. Dressing Sweeney Todd
Micki Lippe. Nature’s Magical Inspiration


It is an exciting time in the world of craft. Every spring ushers in another much-anticipated edition of the Smithsonian Craft Show. As cherry blossoms carpet the nation’s capital and the world outside refreshes itself, our spirits are renewed by the inspiration of fine craft artists from across the country showing jewelry, wearables, ceramics, glass, basketry, wood, and more.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, ranks among the premier institutions of the world, many of its departments essentially museums-within-a-museum. Such is the case with its Egyptian, Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas galleries, and now, upon the completion of a fifteen-year project, the new Greek and Roman galleries.


Marian Clayden’s textiles and her later more fully developed fashion ensembles date from those days. One of her primary contributions to the contemporary art-to-wear movement has been the commingling of her textile designs and elegant garment shapes, forming a comfortable natural unity over time, creating a seamless whole.


Costume designer Colleen Atwood understands these nuances of design, and in her case, the artistry she brings to films has not gone unnoticed. Nominated six times for Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Atwood took home her first award for director Rob Marshall’s Chicago (2002), and a second for Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).


Germany, a nation admired for its state of the art engineering and precision manufacturing, is not the first place you would think of where a visiting artist might be inspired to loosen up her aesthetic, and, artistically speaking, let it all hang out. But that is more or less what happened to jewelry artist Micki Lippe after a nine-month stay in Leipzig, Germany, a couple of years ago.