Thursday, January 07, 2010

Jewelry Making Reading List for 2010...

I'll admit it – I'm a bibliophile. It's not as bad as it sounds... well, actually it is. I've got an extensive collection of books in my library and even more still in storage. (While I was moving, the towering mountain of boxes of books made up the brunt of my possessions AND the weight dragging down the back of the van!) That's why I've got to be discriminating when it comes to adding books to the collection. What follows is a very short list of either books on jewelry making that just came out or will be coming out in 2010 that are must haves for the New Year!

(This list is by no means comprehensive and there are dozens of recent and forthcoming titles that are worthy of recognition and the inclusion to your jewelry making library, but I'll get to those later.)

Of all the craft and jewelry books in my collection, Enchanted Adornments: Creating Mixed-Media Jewelry with Metal, Clay, Wire, Resin & More by my sister (Cynthia Thornton) has played the biggest role and has had the greatest impact. It could be because I helped work on the book and have an intimate knowledge of what seems like every page, but it's more than that. This is a good book! Not only is it loaded down with tips, tricks and useful techniques, but it's also entertaining! Along with all of the invaluable practical information, Cynthia has created a narrative story that follows along with each project and is painstakingly illustrated. The book has something for everyone and is as perfect for the beginner as much as it's most excellent for long-time beaders and jewelry-makers.

I contribute project designs for magazines. Often times those magazines will base their issues and deadlines according to the seasons. Barb Switzer, author of Four Seasons of Beading, is closely aware of this process. She knows firsthand just how big of a role the seasons play in jewelry design. Her latest book is a sampling of designs from a diverse group of jewelry-makers all focused on the different seasons. This is a great source for inspiration and includes an awesome resource list of art beads and components. A good resource list is worth its weight in gold and then some. Barb has done a most excellent job creating and gathering some really posh designs. (And... I'm also featured in the book as a contributor. That alone is a reason to run out and grab it!)

While I was at the BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) show in Oakland this past November, I had the pleasure of seeing the delightful Christi Friesen. She also had with her some of the new Steampunk creations that are featured in the pages of her polymer and mixed-media sculptural component how-to book. Of course Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Projects wasn't out then, but I got a good look at some of the inventive and absolutely charming techniques she's incorporated in creating whimsical, mechanical, and futuristic originals. Even with metal clock gears for eyes and seemingly cybernetic prosthetics, her polymer creatures have an adorable, cartoonish sweetness to them.

Another great Steampunk book is Steampunk Style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings by the talented Jean Campbell. This is more than just a jewelry book! It's loaded with additional content supporting and expanding upon the style of Steampunk. Each facet adds richness and depth to an imaginative and fantastical topic. She also includes designs by a diverse group of artisans, all approaching Steampunk their own way. This is totally a must have item, and I'm not just saying that because I'm one of the contributing designers either! Jean has done an incredible job capturing a movement.


SueBeads said...

Thanks for the overview, Andrew! Looking forward to adding to my reading list!

kate mckinnon said...

Thank you, Andrew! I agree with you about Cynthia's book- it's a multi-layered masterpiece. And I can't wait to see Jean's!

Thanks for including me in your list-

ChatElaine said...

They all sound really great, I dont know when we will get them here in UK, I feel books are always difficult to buy without looking inside them to see what sort of projects there are. Will look out for them, thank you.

Jean Campbell said...

Thanks for putting together this great list and including Steampunk Style Jewelry, Andrew! Can't wait for folks to see your fabulous piece...happy new year!

Jeannie said...

What a great list to consider.

In 2009 I purchased only one beading book, guess who's.

I did get a peak at Jean's book and I was blown-away. You know when you watch a movie and it's so good you never want it to end? It was like that.

Unfortunately for me I won't be buying any books until I make some sales and can justify any spending.

Erin said...

Hehe! Yep, me too! :P Sounds like you and me have a lot in common regarding the jewelry books! My appetite is insatiable when it comes to them but, I am trying to be a bit more picky these days.
BTW, I wrote a little post about your sister's book on my blog and I ordered 2 copies of Four Seasons of Beading! One for me and one for my family! They love seeing my pieces in print! I CANT WAIT TO GET THEM!!! I'm so excited! Thank you, Andrew!