Ornament Magazine

VOL39.1 2016

Ornament is the leading magazine celebrating wearable art. Explore jewelry, fashion, beads; contemporary, ancient and ethnographic.

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40 ORNAMENT 39.1.2016 Glen R. Brown T he ideals of marriage neatly conveyed by a triad of Cs—complementarity, collaboration and coexistence—are as relevant to the combination of two different art media as they are to the literal union of spouses. In both cases advantages come with the ability of each element of the relationship to enhance the inherent qualities of the other, the potential to combine these qualities in pursuit of mutual objectives, and, perhaps most important of all for the perpetuation of the relationship, the freedom to retain individual identities even while contributing to one that is jointly held. For James Thurman and Umut Demirgüç Thurman, the husband-and-wife team behind Denton, Texas-based UJ Design Studios, the exactitude of the parallel between an effective marriage of art media and success in matrimony is obviously more than just a matter of speculation. Combining in their collaborative jewelry the aesthetic advantages of their respective media just as they draw on the benefits of their different personalities and cultural backgrounds in their domestic relationship, Thurman and Demirgüç Thurman create unique works that unite enameled cabochons with frames cut from a substance called Thurmanite®. While these components coalesce in unified aesthetic compositions that play subtly with colors and patterns to produce a balance of harmonies and contrasts, they could not be more distinct from one another in material and technical terms. The enamel cabochons contributed by Demirgüç Thurman are substantively inorganic, though the behavior of the enamel in its liquid state during firing can be unpredictable, producing painterly expressive effects. The frames supplied by Thurman are materially organic, though they are given over to a strong geometricization of sculptural form through the mechanical process of lathe turning.

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