Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Review - Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry

By on Saturday, August 14, 2010 7 Comments

When I received the latest jewelry book from Kalmbach Publishing, I groaned. Not because it was a bad book. On the contrary, it got the creative cogs in my brain going so fast, I had to set the book aside before my head hurt. It was a while before I could look at it objectively!

The book in question is Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry by Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen. The new book, at 96 pages, is slender but is packed with 36 projects. What I liked about the book was the sheer range of mixed media covered - paper, found objects, polymer clay, plastic, wood, fiber, resin, metal and glass.  These art charms are not complicated - they were designed to be completed in a single sitting. Impatient beaders, take note!

The authors cover a number of techniques, often with new twist. So if you were thinking of dabbling with new crafts say, polymer clay, or soldering glass charms, it's handy to have so many methods explained in one book. It's best considered as a starting point for anyone who needs some creative ideas to make unique charms and beads no one else has.

The authors do give a number of tips and  instructions on how to drill, apply eyelets, copper foil tape around glass slides and how to solder. As there are only a few projects per media, the reader will likely need to explore other sources for more in-depth information if a particular technique appeals. But as it is the book packs in a lot of information for its size.


One cool project was the mini-lotus book - a tiny folded paper book charm where you can write in something original or add a quote. You know those vase gems?  These are inexpensive flat backed glass marbles you get in craft stores. Well, they show you how to copper foil and solder backs and edges to these marbles after adding a picture - the marble magnifies the image.



The book will appeal to those of you who love art beads, crafting and mixed media. If you are primarily say, a bead worker, wire artisan, or chain maille artisan, perhaps not. 

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7 comments:

  1. That looks like an interesting book! I think I'll put it on my wishlist I already make for my b'day.
    BTW, come over to my blog and enter my giveaway. Who says you can't win twice? :-)

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  2. Wow... I SO understand your "groan"... because these look so intriguing. Most look like rather 'doable' projects as well... but I just don't have room for it in my 'beading mind' for now. BUT... the upside for me is that I know I can come back to The Beading Gem's Journal to find it when I am ready to try these!!

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  3. OMG- I had a good laugh when I read the first paragraph. I am almost afraid to buy this book, but I will be brave and get it!

    I am watching an episode of "Beads, Baubles and Jewels" that I taped. I would recommend watching it if you can get it in your areas. You can also go to their website and download the patterns.

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  4. Dagmar - I think I might have just won twice!

    Tamara- Do you know I do the same with my blog posts - they are my own notes to try all manner of new things.

    Thanks for the great tip about the TV show, Willi. Now even more free patterns to check out!

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  5. I just spent an enjoyable 10 minutes browsing through the book on amazon. i love the friendly, down to earth voice of the authors. I always have SO MUCH TROUBLE with resin, and reading the way they talk about it the things that can go wrong and how to avoid them made me feel a lot better. (no doubt I would not have had so many failures if I'd read their book first....)

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  6. Yes, their tips are praiseworthy as they save many a beginner the hassle of learning the hard way!

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  7. Great review Pearl.. I received my copy this week and am still flipping the pages and wondering what types of small pieces of art I will create next. Lots of inspiration.

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