Monday, October 19, 2015

review by jean of Fast & Easy Earrings,100+ Projects, by Erica Swanson

Fast & Easy Earrings, 100+ Projects

by Erica Swanson

"Welcome to boundless possibilities!"  invites the introduction by editor Erica Swanson to this terrifically fun earring design book.
Fast & Easy Earrings, 100+ Projects is just the book to get you in gear if you have been thinking to yourself that it is time for some new inspiration. 
We all love fresh earring ideas, and this book is packed with them! 
To find a collection of one hundred projects in one jewelry design book is very rare. To find that the projects are, each and every one, this diverse and lovely demands the reader's attention. 
You will be delighted to discover that your favorite designers are represented here. I noted Lori Anderson, Candie Cooper, Fernando DaSilva, Loreli Eurto, Denise Yesbak Moore, Irina Meich and many more in the pantheon of great contributors to this book. 
In fact, there are forty seven contributors by my count. You will be familiar with all of them and will love the diversity of styles they offer!  
This marvelous showcase of easy-to-follow projects employs crystals, glass, metal, gemstones and much more.
Fast & Easy Earrings delivers tons of inspirational incentive to beginners, yet the designs are sophisticated enough for any designer. They range from delicate and feminine, to arty and hip, to punchy and ingenious. To add to the enjoyment and help encourage the reader's exploration of her own personal style, there are exceptional tips, hints, and alternate choices for color options for many of the designs.  
After the introduction, there are sections on materials and techniques. These sections are simply presented yet thorough. They are great for refreshing you, if you feel a bit rusty. As well, they provide all the information necessary for new jewelry designers. 
After that come the projects. These are divided into sections titled "Crystals","Glass","Metal and Wire", "Stones", "Pearls", and "Mixed Materials". The list of contributors and how to contact each of them is at the end of the book.
As I looked through "Crystals", I couldn't help but flip for the "Diamond Drops" designed by Karen Karon. These creations made using are faceted clear crystals and silver sparkle and fascinate. They open this section with a burst of beauty. Using very few materials, Ms. Karon designs an artful and modern earring you will jump to try yourself.
In the "Glass" section, I fell immediately for Kristina Henning's design, "Pretty Palettes", a luscious concoction of clustered green beads accenting a larger crystal briolette. The design alternative for this project is featured on the cover of the book. It is a smashing and simple wrapped drop with a few tiny beads in the wrap. It would look stylish on anyone, any time, any place.
Moving on to "Metal and Wire", I was intrigued and inspired by Naomi Fujimoto's project, "Quick Chain Mail". Using colored enameled rings to make chain mail earrings in a diamond shape makes these classically pretty.  The option of changing the colored rings from blues, lavenders and silver to greens, yellows and gold is very appealing. It looks just as nice either way you try it! 
In "Stones", the "Ruby Dangles" juxtapose circular shapes with delicate and swingy red beads. This dressy design by Jenny Van is so feminine and delightful, it is irresistible! You can't not have a ball making these earrings and then showing them off!
Ah, "Pearls"! Who doesn't adore them? You will find a wealth of different styles here. One I found to be especially unique was "Pearl Starburst" by Glenda Paunonen. This design, which uses white freshwater pearls on sleek stems of silver and coiled silver wire is the ultimate in chic. 
When you get to "Mixed Media", you are going to have a ball trying "String Art" by Ariet Soldevilla. What fun insight this designer has into art! It is expressed through both of her choices of stringed jewelry shapes which you can make and wear.One of the pairs of earrings has been made using bangle bracelets as the base for the string. It is terrifically innovative.

I found tons to think about as I looked through this collection of one hundred projects. I found even more that I am excitedly looking forward to making. You will, too, when you open your copy of the treasure that is Fast & Easy Earrings, 100+ Projects. Any page in this fabulous book is superb. It is a must have for any jewelry lover who enjoys making her own jewelry! Try it and love it!


Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Great review, Jean. It looks like this book has something for everyone - at least everyone who loves earrings. As you noted, I see many of my favorite jewelry designers in the list.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

thanks, Eileen! xox jean :)

Cyndi L said...

This is one of my top picks for Christmas gifts this year! I love the way the book is organized :-)