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Jewelry Designs from Nature: Woodlands, Gardens, Sea: Art Bead Jewelry Designs Inspired by Nature Paperback – August 30, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, I was disappointed for two reasons, which lowered it to 3 stars. One is that there's no real technical explanations so a beginner would likely have trouble. I'm not a beginner, but in this, there's really nothing new for me to learn. It's basic stringing practices, when normally I'd like to learn something new or be challenged.
The biggest disappointment is that she uses STUNNING and gorgeous beads and pendants. What's wrong with that? Nothing, except that after buying the book, you have to get access to these pieces which are not easily found. The majority of components are from small artists--good luck trying to find something even remotely similar. I went to some of the websites of the bead designers, and was unable to afford or find what similar options they had.
Thing is, if you had those gorgeous beads or pendants to start with, you wouldn't need instructions...they are lovely on their own. So I felt that too much of what was beautiful in this was dependent on having those as well. I may adapt some of the color schemes, but that's about the most I can get out of the book
I hope you find this review helpful.
Included in the book are more than 30 designs. Some designs include brief instructions for matching earrings or bracelet or a variation for creating an entirely different look. She also includes a sidebar for every single design explaining her thought process, inspiration, and design choices. It's kind of like crawling inside her brain. Photos are clear and include some step by step photos. The layout for the instructions is different than any other book I recall. The first page contains materials list and explains creating the components step by step along with photos of the components. On the 2nd page of the layout is a nearly full page photo of the finished piece with numbers pointing to the location of that particular step.
One of my favorite things about each layout is the inclusion of whose art beads she has used for that particular design immediately under the title of each piece. I personally get frustrated when art beads are used and the artist of the bead is not mentioned.Read more ›
Beads and pendants made by various artists out of various materials get the frames they deserve in this book. The techniques are simple, just right for a beginning jewelry designer to make pieces that are artistic and wearable.
The introduction includes the bead types and tools you'll be using. Basic wire working and stringing tools are all that's necessary for the pieces in this book. No specialty pliers or mandrels needed.
There are also good tips on getting inspired and how to use that inspiration to create beautiful pieces of jewelry.
The projects are wonderful. The focal pieces are well set in chains that carry the themes. One of my favorite things in the book is the use of baroque and stick pearls to emulate natural settings. It can be hard to find a use for those sorts of pearls that really suits their beauty.
The focal pieces are fantastic, and there is an artist list in the back of the book so you can find those pieces and other things made by the same artists. The techniques and ideas will also work well for pieces of a similar size that you get from artists at local shows.
My favorite piece in the whole book is the Birch Forest Bracelet. Having recently hiked through a birch forest, I can see the inspiration in the piece made with lampwork beads that have layers of colors that look like birch back and the seed bead part of the bracelet with it's leaves and accent beads looks luck and growing.Read more ›
Structurally, Jewelry designs from Nature is divided into the three sections referred to in the title: Woodlands, Gardens and Sea. In each section you will find irresistible, original jewelry projects to make with clearly laid out instructions. I love the way she has included close up, step by step photo instructions on how to make the unique components of a piece, and then a large annotated photo that serves as a "road map" on how to assemble the whole together. I was pleased to find so many unusual and cleverly conceived design components to learn, especially the pine needle clusters for the Evergreen Bracelet; the beaded connectors and cluster dangles for the Daffodil Fields Necklace, the wires leaves in the Flight of the Bumblebee Bracelet and the Wire tendrils in the Oh Nuts Necklace, to mention a few.
I am rating this book 5 stars because of its excellent content, wonderful projects, gorgeous photos, tribute to so many bead artists and the ever present encouraging voice of Heather Powers who is a skilled teacher of design and a cultural treasure. I feel honored to be one of the bead artists included along with so many others including Chinook Jewelry, Cindy Gimbone, Diane Hawkey, Earthenwood Studio, Elaine Ray, Gaea, Green Girl Studios, Lisa Peters, Lynn Davis, Miss Ficklemedia, Sea Urchin, Jade Scott and so many more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the second book from Heather Powers that I own and I love them both. Her style just matches my own. She has beautiful photos and lots of great ideas.Published 15 days ago by SouthBayDancer
Concise and easy to follow instruction. The designs are not predictable and lends itself to any season.Published 2 months ago by Bead Lady
I loved the inspirational pieces. Only I found I was a little deluded, discovering that many of the nature inspired beads have to be purchased. Read morePublished 2 months ago by cat
Heather Powers has a real talent for incorporating nature in her jewelry and and beads. This is one of my 'go to ' books when I am feeling blah about creating. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Barbara F. Bellatti
Heather has a way of making woodland adornments that look like they actually came out of the forest. I am in awe of her natural talents.Published 20 months ago by Meggie