ORNAMENTUM celebrates 10 years of publication in 2015 as it continues to record our delight in the pursuit and pleasure of discovering and promoting interest in the decorative arts in Canada. This retrospective adventure maintains our ongoing off-angle approach to the many aspects of the decorative arts and the images they create of our historical and contemporary identities in evolution.
What better way than to engage and appeal to our readers for their comments and suggestions with a personal focus or an imagined theme with collective dimensions. This open call to readers, subscribers, and the public has brought a wide variety of responses which the editorial team is now using to construct a broad mosaic of decorative objects and unexpected contents for our two anniversary issues in 2015.
We begin in this issue with the search to understand how First Nations contact with European traditions went beyond necessity to aesthetic and ethnographic expressions of life and experience; the display effects of maritime geography and community through sailors’ valentines of love and home, made of scallop, conch, and other shells; the birth of the auto age preserved in the early pumps of “Gasoline Alley” revisited in the oil sands centre of Canada; the contemporary evolution of artists/artisans in extending and rethinking the technical and material uses of traditional resources. To be continued in the second issue of 2015.
Finally, we wish to acknowledge here our thanks to Marian Bradshaw for her initiative and energy in creating “project Ornamentum” and serving as the founding editor of this first Canadian magazine dedicated exclusively to promotion of the decorative arts in Canada. A letter of congratulations and best wishes from her, recently received in this 10th year of publication, is a reminder to us of her leadership and still watchful eye upon the current editorial team and our efforts to match the high standards of her time as editor-in-chief until retirement to Victoria, B.C.