ORNAMENT Volume 35 No. 1

Dukno Yoon. Raw Engineering and Incidental Beauty
Frankie Welch. Americana Fashion Specialist
Emanuela Aureli. Spatial Recognition
Cecilia Frittelli and Richard Lockwood. Weaving the Past and Present
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2011
Across the Chinese Freshwater Pearl Border. Entering the Transformatron

 
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Dukno Yoon, who is currently in his second year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Metalsmithing at Kansas State University, comes by his appreciation of incidental beauty as a consequence of the environment in which he spent his early life. A self-described “city boy,” he was born in Seoul amid the kind of all-encompassing urban milieu that can make of the manufactured and mechanical an effective substitute for nature. “The machine is really interesting to me,” he explains. “There are people, especially artists, who get inspired by nature. I was never much exposed to that, but I was around machines a lot.”

 

Frankie Welch is one of America’s great scarf designers. Like Tammis Keefe and Vera Neumann before her, she created colorful and popular textiles, but instead of cute mid-century imagery or bold 1960s patterns, she drew upon the political themes and corporate identities so iconic of the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

“My work is big,” says Emanuela Aureli, widening her eyes for emphasis. This ironically comes from a small, fineboned woman with raven hair who tends to dart around her Santa Fe studio like a dragonfly, pulling out pieces of jewelry or demonstrating how she uses calipers to measure metal wire thicknesses, something her Italian grandfather taught her. Aureli’s pieces are powerful, hollow construction making them almost weightless.

 

“We kind of feel like we are in the farmer’s market,” Cecilia Frittelli and Richard Lockwood explain. It is not the typical comparison you expect from the Saratoga Springs, New York, clothing artists, but a closer look at their enterprise reveals some similarities between their handsome, handwoven wearables and the flourishing farmer’s market and local foods movement. Like the food craze that has swept the nation, Frittelli and Lockwood’s garments celebrate a return to a more direct relationship with those who supply us with goods, and whether the goods are comestibles or clothes, many of the same tenets ring true.

 

It is the combination of atmosphere, a well-chosen stable of craftspeople, and the rotating element of an international invitational that makes the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show the extraordinary one that it is. Change is the spice of life, but foundations are mighty comforting. A good life keeps a balance of both, and it is that which is so warmly expressed here.