Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Review:Vintage Redux & Junk to Jewelry by Brenda Schweder

Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry

I posted a review about Vintage Redux over at my jewelrymaking blog on Craft Gossip, but will recap here because its such a great book and because I also got "Junk to Jewelry" from the library this weekend (Borders didn't have it of course!) and I love it too!!

I want to send an email to the author Brenda Schweder asking if she will be my new BFF. I think we'd have a GREAT time making jewelry together, and we'd be bad influences on each other by encouraging each other to pick up stuff from the street or being thrift shopaholics!

You can pick either book to read first, but you'll be happier if you just buy them both. Junk to Jewelry focuses on using found objects to create jewelry, while Vintage Redux has some of that but focuses more on using vintage bits. After you read these books, you are going to be asking everyone you know to give you all their broken jewelry and stuff in their junk drawers like I do. Ms. Schweder has a real gift for combining things you wouldn’t think would work together but do!

Everyone has a box or drawer full of broken jewelry, single earrings, hand me downs, etc Come on admit it, we ALL have stuff we just can't bear to throw away, even if we don't like it. Read these books and you'll be glad you kept it all, you'll digging through all your stuff and making fab new pieces!
If you are a bit squeamish about tearing apart something for fear it may be valuable, the Vintage Redux starts with a chapter ”What is vintage, Really” to calm those fears . That also has a section on cleaning, repairing and storing which is helpful. It then moves on to “How to ReDux”which talks about what makes jewelry up to date.
The first project is a restringing project, which eases you into making something old new again. Then the book is then broken into 4 sections: New Order Redux, Unexpected Redux, Heirloom Redux and Inspirational Redux. The New Order Redux section is vintage jewelry remade into new pieces. Unexpected Redux is all about using vintage found objects into jewelry and accessories. Heirloom Redux is all about working your heirlooms into jewelry without altering them by drilling or cutting apart. And the Inspirational Redux section is the gallery section of lots more eye candy including my favorite “Fob Nobbing”. This book really makes you think creatively about using all that stuff stashed in drawers and jewelry boxes.

Junk to Jewelry: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Found Objects in Jewelry You Can Actually Wear

"Junk to Jewelry" starts off with "Not lost but found. What to find and where to find it" as the intro. LOVE IT!!!!   She then shows the reader how to use a wide variety of objects in her projects.

 The projects are broken into 12 sections: From the Hardware Store, From the Jewelry Box. From the Office Supply, From Urban Digs, From the Junk Drawer, From the Sportsmans Lodge, From the Toybox, From the Sewing Basket, From the Game Table, from Soldiers and Campaigners, From Mother Earth, and From the Classroom. Over 30 projects in all!!

There are some CLEVER things in this book, and she makes even the lowly humble rubberband look good!!! A couple of the projects I really loved are the "Alotta Pull" the cover image and "Sharpener Image" pin in particular, but its hard to pick just 2 and not 22 of them!

I think everyone would find inspiration in these books.   I recommend both of these book as mandatory for any mixed media jewelry artist.


A Day in The Life said...

Barbe -- We can be BFF's! Who says someone can only have one 'best friend!' Thanks for another sweet (but true - hee!) review. I really appreicate it! And I'd love to see more of your stuff! -Brenda Schweder

Barbe Saint John/ Saints and Sinners® said...

Thank Brenda-you are the bestest!