Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review : Unexpected Findings

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014 4 Comments

Do you have jewelry findings which have been languishing in your supplies for ages simply because you don't know what else to do with them?  The solution is to use in ways which they were not originally designed for.  One example is using several spacer beads together . Another is using bead caps as chandelier earring findings.

A new book I just received for review contains a whole lot more ideas on how to creatively use jewelry findings.  The book, Unexpected Findings: 50+ Clever Jewelry Designs Featuring Everyday Components is by Michelle Mach and a team of designers - Lorelei Eurto, Jamie Hogsett, Denise Yezbak Moore, Erin Prais-Hinz, Molly Schaller, Erin Siegel, Erin Strother, Barb Switzer, Andrew Thornton and Cindy Wimmer. .  It is also available on the Interweave site.

There are not just the 50+ Bohemian style jewelry projects (mostly necklaces with some earrings and bracelets) but many tips and tricks as well as suggestions for variations.  Most of the projects do not include any step by step photographs but the instructions are clear. This book does have a useful resource section which shares where the various supplies were purchased from.  Not all books have this.

One important point to note is that this book is not so much about technique. What's required are mostly basic skills such as stringing, simple and wrapped wire loops, jump rings,simple knotting, braiding and so on thus making this book ideal for beginners. It's strength though is in the creative arena. It's the sort of book which makes one slap one's forehead and exclaim, "Why didn't I think of that?"

The findings used so cleverly in unexpected ways were not always obvious at first glance.  Another delight was seeing how multiple findings can be grouped together in such novel ways.  One example is the Two to Tango earrings below which uses eyepins en masse.

The lovely  Vertebracelet was one of the projects which made me look carefully for quite a while before I spotted the 3 hole daisy spacer bars used in a horizontal fashion, not vertically as usually is the case.

One really innovative design was the pendant portion of the Dalle de Verre necklace.  It is made up of the connectors for ball chain necklaces. Only they are now filled with seed beads and spaced out with 5 hole daisy spacer bars!!

A bracelet made entirely out of metal cones?  I certainly didn't think of that before!

Watch this video which shows the lead author and designer, Michelle Mach talk about how she came up with 3 of her designs. It includes the time when she accidentally bought a gross of clasps!  I would have thought the cost of 144 clasps would have alerted her to the mistake. But then, she would have missed out on the chance on making a whole chain of them!  I also love her tip on using snap clasps!

This book certainly helps you look at findings in a whole new light and perhaps lead you onto some really unique designs.


Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. When I saw the title of your blog post, I thought ok I have already read 2 reviews of this book and participated in their promotional contest too, so what new thing am I going to get from reading this post. Then I said to myself, "No this is Pearl's review, so its bound to be different" and I was not disappointed. Your review and the pieces that you have picked out makes me want to take another look at the book. You are a great reviewer Pearl, and I think that you should work on a book of your own or atleast edit one soon

  2. Why, thank you Divya for your wonderful comment. I do try to review books from a jewelry maker's perspective.

    Yes, I am planning a book of my own. But it is slow going!

  3. I will have to check out the book! I love using findings in unusual ways :)

  4. I thought EXACTLY the same thing as Divya!

    Great review Pearl.

    I've been contemplating buying this book for a while Pearl.

    I've got such a variety of findings all around me and to have a different perspective of looking at them is certainly worth it. Sometimes all it needs is a little nudge to get those creative juices flowing again ....

    I've been waiting for this to come off pre-order and to see what everyone is saying about it.

    I also value your thoughts on it very much - as you well know.

    Thanks for another great review Pearl!

    So I guess I'll be buying myself a birthday present!