Monday, April 9, 2012

The Yummiest of Books

 So....after a few days of pulling myself up by  my bootstraps I'm back :)

And I'm back to talk about something that helped me through a little patch of depression....the amazing book....

21st Century Jewelry
by Marthe Le Van

When this one first arrived I had a hard time putting it down and it tended to go with me from room to room.  It has to be the most inspiring book of jewelry I've ever seen and I can't recommend it enough. can be overwhelming and humbling to see such freaking awesome jewelry designs but if you can put intimidation aside and just soak in the pure brilliance of the work it will lift you, inspire you....and take the blues out of any day :)

I just chose two photos to give you a sneak peek....and I could have chosen any so I just let the book open where it wanted and it gave me two/three perfect pieces to illustrate how wide ranging this book is.

The first is simple elegance in the rings of Yesim are "Deco Bride" and "Gothic Bride". Gee...the Gothic one makes me consider getting married just so I could have this one on my finger.

And from simple we go to sublime in this amazing piece by Vina Rust, "Eastern Cottonwood Defense".  The organic quality of this piece is staggeringly beautiful though I confess I wouldn't want to wear it.
Why wouldn't I want to wear it? Because I wouldn't be able to see it!!! 
I could look at this piece for ages and would rather frame it and hang it right in front of my desk!

Eastern Cottonwood Defense 2008

Though the pieces I've shown are metal, do not be deceived this book contains jewelry in just about every material out there.....from plastic & ribbon to post-its (yes, post its!) to precious metals.  It illustrates perfectly that if you have an idea you can create it with any material corn, OMG!

I don't know how I can recommend you buy this book more than saying "Just do it", if you have to search through the sofa for loose it!
You will not regret it :)

The second book I'm going to talk about is also by Marthe Le Van (I want her job ;))  and is about one of the crazy challenges that happen in the jewelry community.....this one is also the title of the book

Ring A Day

Some one came up with the idea to challenge people to design a ring every day for a year....use whatever you have wherever you are.
This makes for a very interesting book that also shows us there are no limits to supplies if you're willing to think outside the box.

And to illustrate that here's one by Maria Apostolou..."Olive Leaf"

Ring-A-Day #1, 01/06/2010 "Olive Leaf"

Now this one may not have a long life but you have to admire the innovation and the design...and from here, where could you take it?  A silver leaf sewn with gold thread?   I've always been one to search for inspiration in unusual places (the color palette from rotten fruit) so this book makes me smile and inspires me further.

As a lover of sushi this one totally appealed to me, created by the extremely talented and Volcano Roll eating Lora Hart with, of all things, plastic sushi grass.  

RAD 51/365

This is a totally fun book!  And if you want to learn where inspiration comes from this is like 'Inspiration 101'. Want to learn how to come up with original designs?  Buy this will make you smile, it will make you laugh and you'll be teaching your muse to think outside the box without even thinking about it!

Do Google the designers, I did, and I was amazed at their creativity!

So....two more from the pile of awesomeness from Lark Books.
These two definitely lifted my sagging spirits and made me feel that excitement about designing deep in my soul again.  Maybe they'll do the same for you :)


  1. Hi:-)
    'Modern-modern',but not too modern-maybe I am too much oldfashioned,but this is absolutely not in my style and if the jewelry of the XXI century is to look like that-thank You very much-I'll get stopped making mine at once.Maybe the book is 'funny',but for me all the designs showed there are simply ...abominable.
    'Ring a Day' is also a little exaggerated: who will make a ring a day for a whole year?Only someone crazy about rings,or maybe one,who wants to make things by force.If I made a ring a day-they will be certainly looking like the whole 'art' in this book:-))

  2. Halinka....Sorry you don't like the designs I featured....there are some more classical designs in the book too but it definitely is a book that leans to contemporary designs and if you don't like contemporary you won't appreciate it.
    I think to call the designs "Abominable" isn't very nice...just because they aren't your style there's no need to be rude.
    Lots of artists did the Ring A Day challenge....these challenges are more about stretching yourself design wise, getting out of thinking in the same old ways. It's a shame you don't see that.
    But not everyone likes everything and lots of people don't like "different".

  3. I don't understand when it became so acceptable to make rude comments on other people's blogs and Facebook pages.

    Obviously "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder", especially when it comes to Art, Design, Creativity.

    There is nothing wrong with not liking something...and there's nothing wrong with saying that you don't like something...but there's no need for rude comments about another artist's work.

    I love to see what other designers and artists are working on and creating, whether their work is to my personal liking or not!

    And I always love to see what happens when artists challenge themselves to work outside their comfort zone, or outside of their personal "box"...challenges like this tend to push the boundaries and this is often where the best ideas are born!

    Thanks for the reviews Mikki...and that silver necklace, "Eastern Cottonwood Defense" is amazing!

  4. I agree with everything you say Vimala. I think it's totally fun to see something like the Ring A Day book. Because it's crazy to have to do a ring a day it makes people go to the roots of design and you get to see where ideas come from.
    I look at the plastic sushi grass and thing..."what would happen if you made that in metal?" Maybe it takes a really open mind...but I have that so I can look at a book like this and get a lot out of it and feel sad for those who can't.
    And yeah "Eastern Cottonwood Defense" is to die for....the whole organic feel of it....*sigh*

  5. Thanks for this great review, I'm sure it's a stunning book full with pretties and great ideas. It's unlikely that I just simply "don't like" a piece of jewellery, usually there is something I will find inspiring about it. Maybe the colours, the shape, the material, the structure or anything could be. It's great to see that others are out there to make our world prettier :) Thanks Mikki, I'm sure there are many who will love this book and many how will check it out because of your blog post ;)

  6. Could we share her job?
    Our next Bead Retreat challenge is to create a necklace that is out of our comfort zone. Since I'm an off-loom weaver, by choice, that necklace (Eastern Cottonwood Defense) would certainly do it. Although I don't think there are enough hours in 11 months to gain the kind of experience that job would require! Have to think up another out of the comfort zone necklace.

  7. I'm a freak and constantly challenge myself to get out of my that retreat sounds right up my street. I can see the ECD done in bead weaving. And yes....I think even if you don't like the overall look of something you can appreciate something....even if it's just the dedication of the artist and their time and vision. Artists being down on other artists....hmmm.....


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