ORNAMENT Volume 33 No. 1

Kiwon Wang. Making Conscious Decisions
Alexandra Hart. All About Form
Mobilia Gallery. A Showcase for Compelling Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2009
Ruth Funk. Creations in Cloth
Articles of Hope. Adornments for Justice


Early in her career as a jewelry artist Kiwon Wang settled on her basic palette of materials: pearls, paper and metals. Having grown up in a traditional Korean house with shoji screens used as interior walls, Wang has a deep connection to paper. “The first thing I remember seeing was those shoji walls made of paper. So as a child I drew on the shoji,” Wang says.


Standing or resting on the table in her San Diego studio, Alexandra Hart’s metal creations look more like undersea creatures or species from some futuristic terrarium than wearable jewelry. Her mostly gold, bi-metal and sterling silver pieces twist, writhe and unfurl, and are “all about form.”


The first time I ever visited Mobilia Gallery, located in a quiet, historic neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was astonished to see that the front window display was full of toast. Gallery owners (and sisters) JoAnne and Libby Cooper were showing an installation by artists John McQueen and Margo Mensing that recreated the famous wave by the Japanese artist Hokusai—made entirely out of toast.


Quite unlike the nigh perpetual summer of, say, Southern California, in Philadelphia one gets immersed in these vividly seasonal progressions. Taking place from November 11 to November 15, in the warmly decorated compound of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the thirty-third annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show seems to be perfectly placed for its theme and purpose, an enjoyable and satisfying five-day respite of exceptional art and craft amidst late fall and the onset of winter.


In retrospect, Ruth Funk concedes that she might have been influenced by the art-to-wear movement of the 1970s, though she has never considered herself part of it. Her creations incorporate a whimsical element while remaining elegant. Use of materials might be unorthodox, but not impractical. This is art-to-wear that can realistically be worn. And yet, though she makes her own clothes and might design a coat for a special occasion, most of her creations are intended for display as fine art.