ORNAMENT Volume 34 No. 2

Judith Kinghorn. Intuitive Expression
Christina Kim. Sustaining A Vision
Jesse Monongye. Catching the Stars
Randall Darwall and Brian Murphy. The Landscape of the Cloth
Kit Carson. Renaissance Cowboy
Caitlin Hyde. Coaxing the Flow


In art, flowers are almost never merely flowers. Their emotive potential as forms is too difficult to resist for any artist who aspires to more than pedantic transcription of nature. Given the usefulness of flowers as formal elements in expressive art, it is no doubt significant that Minneapolis artist Judith Kinghorn developed the distinctive floral vocabulary of her recent jewelry only after years of working in a more architecturally inspired vein in which representation did not figure.


Stepping into the Dosa factory in downtown Los Angeles quickly uproots any preconceived notion about what a factory might look like. The expansive, wood-floored space feels more like something gracing the pages of an architecture magazine than a place for manufacturing a global clothing, accessories and house wares line. It is what designer Christina Kim calls a “deliberately democratic” space—an open, communal kitchen, a sewing factory and showroom sharing a large, natural light-flooded space.


At an event celebrating his recent exhibit opening at the Heard Museum, Jesse Monongye talked about his grandmother’s teachings. “She always told me not to point at the stars like this.” He gestured with his pointer [index] finger in the common way. “But instead to do this.” He opened his hand and extended it with palm pointing up. “That way you can catch the stars as they pass.”


Recently, renowned master weaver Randall Darwall and his life and business partner Brian Murphy—known for their acclaimed line of wearables—have been making quilts. The quilts are amazing, lush pieces, a patchwork of fabric gleaned from their extensive travels together, and of course Darwall’s gloriously-colored woven cloth—both new and vintage. The quilts are a perfect metaphor for Darwall and Murphy’s enduring personal and professional relationship; their collaboration is so rich and textured that it could easily be likened to a tapestry or quilt.


It might seem surprising to see so much color in a desert, but come springtime there will be all the more, in the form of millions of flowers. The southwestern desert constantly gives lie to the stereotypes associated with the term, as it is full of color and life, always containing a surprise. Metalsmith, sculptor and jeweler, Kit Carson is in that way emblematic of his environment. That environment is a sprouting spot of rusty iron surrounded by the otherwise undisturbed wilderness of New River, Arizona, bordering the Tonto National Forest.


Caitlin Hyde thinks of herself as a glass artist even though she makes jewelry. She likes to create things out of glass, especially small objects. She also loves pattern and repetition. All these passions led her to beadmaking. “And if you make beads,” she notes, “you probably ought to make jewelry out of them.” Her ongoing challenge is figuring out how to take the beads and make the most interesting ornaments out of them. Her goal in glasswork, she has stated, “is to temper the ancient tradition of flameworking with my contemporary design viewpoint.” Based on the success of her glass jewelry, so far, so very good.