ORNAMENT Volume 31 No. 4


Carol Young. An EcoAesthetic
Cari Borja. The Creative Habit
Spirals. The Journey Outward
Holly Anne Mitchell. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
Ancient Shell Ornaments Of The Americas

 
 

When I was doing my Ph.D. research in Jamaica, an artist and teacher said to me, ‘All these students, I don’t know why they’re thinking about becoming an artist because none of them have the habit of being creative.’ I wrote it down and I think I even quoted it in my dissertation,” Cari Borja remembers, while sitting in her Berkeley, California studio. “Years later, I realize that’s exactly what I like doing; everyday you come in, you have the habit of making one or two pieces and in the making you get the inspiration to take something further.

 

It is the kind of contemporary yet timeless piece that is earning Los Angeles-based Carol Young a reputation as a smart designer of good-looking, easy to wear, flattering and functional clothing for women.

 

It is said that art imitates life, and life art. Shapes and patterns have long been integral to this ancient expression of humankind. Among these is the spiral. Used since before antiquity, the spiral is a scintillating juxtaposition of two fundamental ideas.

 

Green jewelry, simply amazing!” “This is recycling at its best.” These are the comments of shoppers as they stop by the booth of Holly Anne Mitchell at an arts show in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, as they suddenly realize that the jewelry on exhibit is made from
newspapers.

 

At no time have people been more aware of the role of shell ornaments in the development of modern hominins, with the recent discoveries of perforated marine shells at Blombos Cave in South Africa (Henshilwood 2006), other even older Nassarius shells in North Africa (82,000 versus 75,000 years old for South Africa) and the oldest in the Near East (Israel, 100,000 to 135,000 years).