Top critical review
106 people found this helpful
Good, but somewhat obvious for the most part.
on June 22, 2010
I'm getting into steampunk now, and I hate to be the only person on here writing a 3 star review. I hate to be writing it at all, actually, as I tend to review almost everything 5 star, but I have to say that I didn't really like this book. Or, I suppose you could say that if someone gave it to me as a present, I'd say, "Hey, cool! I love this!" And I would mean it. But I'm not going to spend my own money to get it. My husband and I sat at Barnes and Noble together and flipped through this book page by page and picked the projects apart, but we weren't overly impressed and decided not to get it. You may want to do something similar.
First of all, steampunk is really cool. I LOVE it. But a lot of the stuff you see out there is just too obvious. Like, ooh, I took a chunk out of a watch and glued some stuff on it and added a pearl and now my piece is steampunk. Or gears, too. Like, a crystal with a gear hanging off of it--that's steampunk. And it is, of course, and it's super cute. But it's obvious. This is what I'm talking about, and that seems to be most of what this book is.
This book is great if you already have a huge stock of watch parts and other hard to find objects just lying around your jewelry studio. If you don't have any of this stuff, though, or are just starting out, you really aren't given any super good information on how to create neat looking pieces with stuff you may already have on hand. There are a few charming projects in here (crystals woven onto a filigree finding, for instance, which was brilliant, and almost makes me put a fourth star on my review) and some great and fun information, but over all, I simply could not bring myself to purchase this book.
If you want a book that will give you a lot of information on how to take separate items and put them together in unlikely ways, one that focuses much on techniques and in setting you up for making many of your own future and awesome designs, get Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee. It's not specifically a steampunk book, but with only a couple of alterations and additions (for instance... watch parts and gears!) you can make many of your own steampunk gems. I'm using the etching process alone which I learned from this book to create my own pieces for my steampunk jewelry. I'm taking watch stamps and etching metal with their images and thus creating my own endless supply of watch-looking parts for my pieces. It's great!