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Many of you will recognize the company name of Green Girl Studios and have bought the fantastic cast pewter pieces from them at many shows. Cynthia Thornton, the original Green Girl, started the business more than 10 years ago. I have not known her for quite that long but have always admired her designs. These days you usually see her Husband Greg at the shows while she stays home with the kids. People have been telling her for almost that long that she should write a book using her designs. The book has finally arrived. It is filled with Cynthia's art, projects, stories and much more. You have never seen a design and inspiration book like this one. You feel like you have opened Cynthia's design journal and are peaking into her creative mind. There is not a plain white background on any of the pages; instead they are filled with watercolors, shapes and drawings.
Anyone who thinks they might like to try mixed media jewelry can't help but be inspired by this book. It starts with a techniques section and then moves on to step by step directions and illustrations for 20 designs. Also included are insights into Cynthia's design process for giving each project its own magic.
The title of this book tells you that you will be working with copper. But do not stop there as the techniques will work with silver or other wire as well or be bold and combine the different types of wire. The techniques are all very well documented and photographed and cover coils, cold joins, wire wrapping, ear wires, charms, polishing and apply patina and much, much more. This is a great book for basic techniques and how to combine those basic wire principles so that they do NOT look basic at all.
There are 17 projects, by some of the top jewelry designers and wirework artists in the field, to get your creative juices flowing. Along with money saving tips for using your stash and other "finds" in your jewelry designs. If you are into wirework this is a good book to add to your library.
Jayne Emerson has branched out from her previous book, Simply Felt, to needle felting in this new book. She has a marvelous eye for color and form and walks you through the process of needle felting both by hand and machine to produce textiles to wear or decorate your home. She does not just use wool to do her felting, but incorporates fabric and yarn into her creations.
Unlike regular felting with wool, needle felting is done without water using a barbed needle and several other tools and it is no where near as messy as wet felting. The book begins with an introduction to the tools, materials and basic methods. You could get a sewing machine that is set up with multiple needles to do your felting, but you can also do the work by hand with just a single needle and a base to felt on.
There are 20 projects in the book including fiber jewelry, coasters, pillow covers, scarves, sweaters, blankets, bags and more. You will not believe what can be decorated using hand felting techniques and how easy it is.
This is a good reference book for anyone wanting
to try needle felting or anyone who has tried it but wants to
branch out from just using wool.
This book, from the editor of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, is a collection of fifty designs from top wire artists highlighting the versatility of wire. It starts out really great by giving you information on wire styles and shapes and how to measure them using a wire gauge. It goes on telling about all the different tools used in working with wire and what their uses are. It covers pliers, hammering and finishing tools along with techniques for using all of the tools. Different styles of loops, coils and spirals, jump rings, hooks, and ear wires are all detailed with large, clear photos. All of this is on the first 25 pages and is actually the best part of the book.
The project section does have interesting
projects and large full page photos of each project, but the
instructions leave something to be desired. All of the instructions
refer you back to the front "basics" section of the
book, which by itself would not be a problem except that there
are no other diagrams for any of the projects. Many of them could
use just one or maybe two diagrams to clarify a step in the instructions.
I can see a beginner being very confused and disappointed by
the projects in this book, even though the information in the
first section is invaluable to all levels of wire workers. There
are both fun and fast projects that take very little time and
more complicated ones that will challenge you.
If you like to crochet and you like to wear jewelry this is the book for you! It starts out by going over the basic stitches and stitch and shaping techniques and continues with tools and equipment needed as well and findings and notions you can use to finish the projects. Even if you did not know how to crochet before you started reading this book, you will when you are finished and have some great jewelry to wear as a bonus. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, pins, eyeglass holders and more are covered in the book using yarn, thread and wire. The best part is that you do not have to be an expert to make this jewelry.
Crochet has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years along with knitting and other needle arts, but is not just for fiber artists anymore. Whether beaders want jewelry using wire or to incorporate fiber into their work they will find designs that result in attractive jewelry. There are even a few designs that incorporate felting, another hot fiber trend that is crossing over into beading designs.
While there is a section on basic felting techniques, I would not recommend this book for beginning felters. It is, however, great for inspiration for anyone with at least a little felting experience and will get your creative juices running with the gorgeous photos of the projects and the gallery section that features less utilitarian pieces to inspire and delight.
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