March 12, 2010

Book Review: Jewelry Inspirations by Sherri Haab

 I recently had the good fortune to receive a copy of the book Jewelry Inspirations: Techniques and Designs from the Artist's Studio by Sherry Haab.  As soon as I received it and gave it a quick look, I knew it was going to be a delight!  I was able to spend some time with it on a long car ride, which was a great way to peruse it in full, daydreaming about all sorts of inspired crafty projects while enjoying each page.  

This book is all about inspiration, but it is chock full of technique as well. The first part of the book talks about creativity and studio space, giving lots of great tips for setting up a work space for optimum creativity and using sketchbooks to record your ideas. The next section is full of handy techniques for basic jewelry work and shows the many tools that are available and the different tasks you can accomplish with them. There were some great ideas I picked up in the basic section, including tips on making molds and working with resin.

The later chapters are organized by different types of inspiration.  The chapter heads are beautiful collages of vintage and contemporary materials, artfully arranged to set your mind drifting and dreaming.  Some of my favorite inspirations from the book include: Memories, which encourages using personal keepsakes in jewelry designs; Collections, which gives you a good reason to dig in that old vintage button jar for materials; and Blast from the Past, which uses pop culture history reference as inspiration.  I especially love the Hobbies chapter, which draws inspiration for jewelry in common household crafts like cooking and gardening.

The project ideas in the book cover a wide range of techniques.  There are the basic jewelry making techniques, of course, but it is full of different materials and ideas for even the most seasoned jewelry maker.  I found myself learning about things I have never done like knitting wire, casting resin, precious metal clay, shrink plastic, and resin clay.  By the last page of the book, I felt like I had thought about materials that I had already known in new ways, and was excited about materials I had never heard about before.

I think Jewelry Inspirations has a lot of charm and appeal for anyone who is interested in jewelry making, especially those who would like to try a variety of materials and techniques.  But more importantly, it guides the reader to think about different sources of inspiration for jewelry making, helping them learn to look around and see the world with the eyes of an artist.

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

*FTC compliance disclosure: the book mentioned in this post was provided as a promotional gift from Watson-Guptill and Potter Craft Marketing, Crown Publishing Group, Random House, Inc. for review purposes.*


  1. How wonderful for all of US that you received this new book! I can't wait to see your new creations...cause I just love what you've been doing...and now you will probably blow us away with your creativity inspirations!

    Thanks for sharing


  2. Melanie, what a glowing review. I admire those that have books published and share their passion with the world. But also those who can eloquently express the book itself.
    It's on my wish list.

  3. Wow, what a great review! I love looking at vintage jewelry for ideas for my own designs. I will have to think about picking this one up!

  4. It is very nice post.I loved it...........!

    Thanks for more sharing........

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