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21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series Hardcover – August 2, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone who has a love of beautiful, unique and amazing contemporary jewelry, this is the book for you. Each stunning photograph showcases the amazing talents of a wide range of artists using conventional and not so conventional materials. Whether you are an amateur or an artisan, you can't help but delight in the craftsmanship and individuality of every piece shown.... This book will truly inspire you to push your boundaries, elevate your goals, and maybe even try something new." --Chicago Metal Arts Guild blog
“The most beautiful jewelry book to date from Lark Books and a must for everyone interested in contemporary jewelry.” - Harriete Estel Berman

“A fantastic compilation -- truly the best of the best.” - Cindy Edelstein
 
“A jewelry museum at your fingertips.” - Sig Wynne-Evans
 
“Visually stunning … (with) page after page of provocative work. And while all of that artistry is enough to feed the creative spirit, the thoughtfulness of experts who reflect on the best of jewelry in the past 10 years is even more compelling.” - Charlene Sevier
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“A monster volume of work -- a collectible book full of collectible jewelry designs from big name artists from around the world: Shihoko Amano, Karl Fritsch, Giovanni Corvaja, and Peg Fetter, just to name a very small number of the many artists presented. The book is gorgeous! It is packed full of inspirational, contemporary, and cutting-edge jewelry on a grand scale with a variety of materials and aesthetic perspectives.” - About.com Jewelry Making
 
“Among the most inspirational sources of jewelry design ... the best of the best.” - Bead&Button
 
“Eclectic, amazing, and truly bizarre pieces have been hallmarks of the jewelry in Lark's 500 Series titles published over the past ten years. This volume … dazzles with magnificent works created by an array of international artisans utilizing traditional precious metals and gems as well as such nontraditional materials as fabric, feathers, wire, paper, plastic, rubber, wood, leather, and even vegetables. The overall layout is clean and crisp, with the jewelry as the focus. This breathtaking compilation of outstanding and one-of-a-kind jewelry is recommended for individuals interested in creative art design and jewelry.” - Library Journal

About the Author

Marthe Le Van has written, edited, juried, or curated more than 40 books. She was the editor for all the jewelry publications in Lark's popular 500 Series, the juror for 500 Wedding Rings, and the curator for Masters: Gold. Marthe is a member of the Art Jewelry Forum and the Society of North American Goldsmiths. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Series: 500 Series
  • Hardcover: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts; 1 edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600595219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600595219
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shala Kerrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This gorgeous collection of jewelry makes the perfect coffee table book for people who are modern jewelry enthusiasts or crafts people.

It's huge, over 400 pages with 1 or 2 pieces shown photographed in wonderful detail and color. There are also thoughts of other artists as they looked at the pieces which give insight to the piece.

The jewelry in it is something which can spark conversation. Going through it, I laughed out loud at the humor in some pieces, marveled at the mathematical precision of some pieces and just fell in love with how beautiful some pieces are.

A lot of the jewelry challenges the very idea of jewelry. It couldn't be worn comfortably, or it's materials so fragile that wearing the piece in life would destroy it. The materials are varied and the juxtaposition in some pieces of the absolutely commonplace with noble metals and faceted gems is thoughtful and challenging.

The materials and techniques used will inspire crafts people to look at things differently in their own work. A lot of the pieces use re-purposed materials, rescuing them from the garbage or found items which are turned into artistic statement jewelry.

Some pieces seem less art and more jewelry, but earned their inclusion by their sculptural elements or detail.

Just an amazing collection of jewelry.
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Format: Hardcover
21st Century Jewelry is perhaps the most beautiful jewelry book to date from Lark Books and a must for EVERYONE interested in contemporary jewelry.

THE RANGE OF JEWELRY goes from traditional gold and diamonds to irreverent plastic, crotchet and found materials. No matter your inclination or interest, you will find examples that will excite your passion about jewelry.

THE LAYOUT OF THE BOOK provides a delightful experience. Each turn of the page reveals a new combination of images that resonate with the facing page. Marthe Le Van excelled in the careful placement of images.

THE IMAGE BACKGROUNDS are generally white with jewelry objects cut away from the background with a subtle shadow. This gives the book a more cohesive quality than the conventional matrix of rectangular photos.

MUCH OF THE JEWELRY IS DISPLAYED ON MODELS. Martha Le Van recently spoke at the SNAG 2011 Professional Development Seminar, where she expressed the point of view that "skin, skin, skin is by far the best background for jewelry." The model shots also reflect the best of the "500" series so you can be sure they represent the most extraordinary examples.

Definitely buy this book for your library. You will be pleased repeatedly with your decision.

Harriete Estel Berman

In the interest of full disclosure: I was invited to be one of 85 guest jurors to select work for this book. Some of my descriptions and quotes were used in the book along with an image for three of my bracelets.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like all of the books in this series they often seem to overlook some of the better craftsman for seemingly novel ideas. While it may be interesting to some to see objects on strings or odd ball bits of stuff made into jewelry it is no substitute for genuine craftsmanship. So if you are looking for great pieces of 21st jewelry you will find some here but not all you would like to see.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So I should have sent this back as I thought it was 20th century but it wasn't. My fault. I am saying that the book is a coffee table presentation, lovely photos, limited reading. If you are into 21st century jewelry you would rate it high.... just not my thing. Sigh.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you are a jeweler or a jewelry lover, this book is full of gorgeous, inspiring work. I go back to it again and again. It's also a nice compendium of items/artists who have appeared in some of the other 500 Series books. It's nice to have all types of jewelry in one volume, i.e. not just bracelets or polymer clay etc. I liked this book enough that when the first copy arrived wet and damaged beyond repair (thanks to poor packaging), I immediately reordered it, even though I was abroad and unable to return the first copy for a refund. That should give you a sense of how much I enjoyed it.
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By julie on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful and inspiring book with thought provoking commentary and amazing photos. It's a great collection of all types of jewelry & perfect for any jewelry enthusiast's coffee table.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book features many of the same photographs I have seen in other coffee books and 100 or 500 series. I was hoping to see more new pieces and also more international artists.
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Format: Hardcover
Something Uniquely Different

Our family, all eleven of us, recently visited Las Vegas. Together, we celebrated my husband's and my 60th wedding anniversary at the Venetian Hotel. My blog book reviews always describes some wonderful jewelry book publication. The Venetian Hotel reminded me of a beautiful precious jewel sparkling in the desert. As I perused "21st Century Jewelry," a part of the Lark Books 500 series, I could not help but make this comparison.

The creativity that comprised the artistic sensibilities in each and every page is also evident in the lush ambiance of this "all suites" hotel. Seainin Passi's droplet necklace resembled the azure blue of the pools with their gorgeous ever blooming gardens. As we strolled down the magical shopping promenade, the gondoliers summoned us with their lilting voices. We were enraptured by all the magnificent sights. Many of the amazing jewelry featured in this book had a similar effect on my sensibilities.

The Venetian Hotel is a rare specimen comparable to the Vesuvius Ring by Vicente Agor. Both showcase an abundance of color and beckon one in to experience its entire splendor. The Lark Books "21st Century Jewelry" with its captivating photographs and the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas will forever be etched in my memories.
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