Friday, December 5, 2008

Book Review Custom Cool Jewelry

Custom Cool Jewelry: Create 200+ Personalized Pendants, Charms, and Clasps by Melinda Barta.

The full title of the book reads: create 200+ personalized pendants, charms, and clasps.

This book is like a treasure trove of techniques. As jewelry designers we are always looking for ways to add a unique touch to our creations. I suspect that is why we love art beads. We want jewelry that stands out from the crowd, offering more than the ordinary. You'll find an abundance of inspiration within the pages of this creative and artsy collection.

Custom Cool offers ideas for taking store bought components and transforming them into little works of art. Most of the projects featured are elements to add to your own designs. Rather than show completed jewelry Melinda offers suggestions for bead combinations that would work with the different components. I love this idea since I read books for inspiration and techniques to incorporate into my own style. If this is what you look for in a beading book, I highly recommend this one. She does end the book with a gallery of complete jewelry designs showcasing a few of the techniques to further spark your creativity.

If you have wanted to make your own art beads, but weren't sure how to get started there are some lovely and simple designs using polymer clay, Shrinky Dinks, fabric, rubber stamps and more.

Custom Cool Jewelry was one of my top picks for Holiday Gifts for your beady friends and if you don't have it on your shelf you may want to send Santa a little note!

The clasp on this bracelet was inspired by one of the projects in the book. The toggle is made from beads on a headpin. The clasp section of Custom Jewelry has quite a few ways to add something extra so that no part of your creation is an after-thought.


Rose Clearfield said...

The book sounds fascinating. I will check it out. Thanks!

Andrew Thornton said...

This is one of my favorite beading/jewelry books at the moment. It's really great. It addresses the DIY aspect of making things your own perfectly!