Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book Review~ Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads by Stephanie Sersich

I love books. Especially GOOD books. I recently purchased 2 jewelry books by 2 awesome artists to stir my creative juices. Today I'm going to review the book by Stephanie Sersich, Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads, and have you peek at what I've done using Stephanie's projects as my inspiration.

Now, how exactly do I review a book? Its totally based on my opinion & taste. Everyone is different and what I like, others may not and what others like, I might not. So please just take my point of view as just that.

What I look for: I know I like a book when, it is easy to follow, has great pictures (if its a picture kind of book), keeps my attention past the first page....well, okay, chapter and, if its a how to book, it gives clear instructions. The projects also have to be appealing, of course! I want to feel like I've learned something from the book rather have it rehash something that has appeared elsewhere or something I already know.

Designing with Glass Beads gets 5 stars from me! Oh, and 5 stars is the tops!! Right from the start, this book grabs you. The cover is simple but colorful, a trademark of the artists work. The book reads like Stephanie is talking to you making it very personal. She gives insight into her growing up with beads and her sources of inspiration. Stephanie also provides a brief history of glass beads, making glass beads and then what I think is the most important ingredient: Elements of Design. I teach art and the elements & principles of design are essential content to the art curriculum and this little chapter happens to be, in my opinion, what sets it apart from others.

The projects: Stephanie's projects are wonderful. Her very popular Spiny Knotted bracelet is among the projects offered. I love how she has used a simple macrame technique found in many different sources (I've taught this knot to second graders as the basis of a friendship bracelet for years) and made it her own incorporating her colorful glass beads and other elements. One of the best parts of the spiny knot technique is that no ones is going to look alike. You could not possibly "copy" since the bracelet is layered with many different beads.....and individual character.

The project I was inspired by was rather simple. Its the Berber Style Necklace found on page 96. Its a multi strand necklace with a tie closure. I won't detail the directions here and I haven't even taken a picture of the page to show you the necklace. I hope you go to the store and pick this book up to add to your collection! But shown below is my interpretation of this idea. Yesterday was oppressively hot outside and I just couldn't make beads. Instead I took my jewelry stuff out onto the porch and created this.....
I happen to love it!! I took the concept of Stephanie's construction and made it my own using my beads, my colors & my style. People often associate bright colors or a certain shape as "someones style". I think not. Color is color and shapes are shapes.....its how you choose to put it all together that makes it a YOU.

In closing here I'd like to say again that I think Designing with Glass Beads by Stephanie Sersich is fantastic. I've met Stephanie and know that she is a wonderfully kind, giving, and talented person. Stephanie's book is simple, straight forward and the projects are great. I hope you will choose to invest in this book.
:) Linda

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