ORNAMENT Volume 36 No. 4

Chinese Glass Beads. Export and Minority
Prince of Prints. The Legacy of Arthur Lasenby Liberty
Ben Dyer. Poetry in Gold
Selma Karaca. A Whirling Dervish of a Designer
The Broken Telephone Project. Making Meaningful Connections
Communities. Tucson Marketplace
Exhibition. Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age
Exhibition. Wendy Ramshaw: Rooms of Dreams
Ethnographic Arts. International Folk Art Market


In the late twentieth century we have progressed beyond the mistaken opinion of bead experts that China did not make any glass (van der Sleen 1973) to the recognition that it was a major maker and exporter of glass beads (Francis 2002). Despite the widening interest among Chinese and Western researchers in Chinese glass, especially ancient glass and that involved in trade along the Silk Road (Gan et al. 2009, Zorn and Hilgner 2010), much remains to be learned.


Since their introduction in the late nineteenth century, Liberty prints have never truly gone out of style. But suddenly, the small, delicate, floral patterns are everywhere, blooming on boots, bags, ballet slippers, and even bikinis. Today, “Liberty print” has become a generic term for any textile with a small, floral pattern. However, the phrase actually refers to one visionary design entrepreneur, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, founder of the Liberty of London department store.


Ben Dyer lives in Hillsborough, a historic town in central North Carolina, and prefers his quiet home to the crowded craft fairs. “Really I like my private life in my studio. Even in my little town, I’ve wanted to keep myself private to some degree.” He enjoys gardening and walking in the woods, and his interest in the natural environment subtly permeates his work. He strives to keep his studio ecologically friendly, using recycled gold, handtools and techniques that do not require chemicals. His studio is in town, but a large picture window looking out into a wooded area helps him maintain the aura of a rustic, isolated setting.


Selma Karaca’s spiral pieces fit like a glove yet because they often have a slightly tulip-shaped ease in the skirt they are flattering, so flattering that Karaca calls them her “hotcake” dresses. “Women love them,” she laughs. “They sell like hotcakes.”


Remember Broken Telephone? Or maybe you knew it by another name like Whisper Down The Lane or Grapevine. Whatever the name, the game was the same: one player would start by whispering a sentence into another’s ear, then that player would whisper the same phrase (or what was thought to be heard) into the next player’s ear and so on, down a line or around a circle, until the last player announced the phrase to the group. This game was the inspiration for The Broken Telephone Project, a collaborative art experiment that I debuted in a keynote presentation during the Synergy3 International Polymer Clay Conference in Atlanta in March 2013.