Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review : Convertible Crystal Jewelry

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014 2 Comments

Being able to wear your jewelry in different ways means you can change up the style to suit different outfits and occasions with ease.  One of the easiest examples is to knot up a long necklace in the front. This shortens the necklace as well as adds a focal without really dismantling the piece at all.  But are there more ways out there?




The book I recently received for review certainly does offer more ideas and ways to create such jewelry.  Diana Whiting's Convertible Crystal Jewelry: Reverse it, Twist it, Wear it Many Ways is a 25 project jewelry book which sparkles with great ideas.  All the designs utilize Swarovski crystals as the author has a long standing love affair with them.  She is also a Create Your Style with Swarvoski Crystals ambassador.



Diana Whiting is an experienced beader so it was inevitable many, but not all, of the projects are beadwork ones at the beginner and intermediate levels.  The simpler projects though are just as clever as the more advanced ones. The Sparkle Slider Pendant one is a prime example. 1 mm leather cords are used to knot up many crystal clusters which can be quickly added or subtracted as necessary. I can see a spectacular necklace loaded up with loads of these clusters!


The author also adds in "Technique Spotlights" for more explanations where appropriate rather than deal with the basics in a separate section. This is helpful for beginners and saves having to flip the pages.


A few of the easier projects demonstrated ways to shorten necklaces including the use of shortener clasps, sometimes called twister clasps  because they are often used for gathering up and then twisting multiple necklaces together.  These are hinged findings so the shortening is temporary. The wire lace crochet Disk-O necklace for example converts 4 ways - from a long necklace to a 2 strand using a shortener clasp, knotted as a lariat and wrapped around the wrist.


Some projects from the book used resin clay. One utterly ingenious idea was to use it to make custom magnetic clasps! The magnets are embedded inside the resin filled component. The 5 Strand Lariat with Tassels necklace went even further as one half of the handmade clasp was also tasseled thus allowing the design to be worn in 2 different ways.


The author used the term "Crystal Clay" for this project which is one of a number of brand names for epoxy resin clay. But she called the material epoxy resin clay or just epoxy clay in other projects. They are all one and the same.  A little inconsistency in the terminology so I thought I should mention it so people don't get confused.


One of the prettiest necklaces from the book is the Slides and Ladders one.  The beaded leader is used to make the cord and does just as well as any cord for making a lark's head knot for the gorgeous blue elongated donut, a Helios pendant.  But the added beaded sliders really make this design pop!

A number of the projects from the book are based on the reversible concept where the color schemes change on the opposite side.  But the Filigree Flip Reversible Pendant was outstanding because the designer used two different things for the pendant.  One side reveals a beaded bezel for a large pretty crystal and the other, a metal filigree with delicated beading around the edges.



Indeed, the two metal filigree projects from the book were my favorites. The filigree adorned copper colored bracelet is a brilliant button based project which allows you to switch out different focals for a basic square stitched cuff with buttonhole.  So you can easily ditch the ornate filigree for say,  a simple button design whenever you like.



This refreshingly different jewelry making book is sure to please those looking for new creative but not unduely difficult ideas to wear your jewelry in more than one way.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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2 comments:

  1. sounds like a very interesting book

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  2. Your book reviews are the best Pearl - hands down!

    You give the reader an oversight into the contents of the book that they wouldn't see normally and I think we are all very grateful for that.

    Thank you so much for all you do!

    Now - on to this book.

    What a lot of work Diane has put into this and what beautiful pictures!

    Swarovski Crystals really make anything superb, and to build a design like Diane does is a delight to see!

    Her reversible designs are simply stunning! It makes me wish I did this kind of work! :0)

    And saying that I'm going to pass on your review to my friends who do this kind of work all the time.

    Thanks again Pearl for such a great review!

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