Some say you can't judge a book by it's cover but I think Sherri Haab's newest book, Jewelry Inspirations: Techniques and Designs from the Artist's Studio has a cover showing the incredible inspiration you'll find in it's pages.
When I opened the book to the first chapter, Developing Creativity and Inspiration, I knew I was going to be hooked. Here's an excerpt from Sherri's discussion about helping students to overcome their frustrations. I found it particularly inspiring:
"It's coloring outside the lines; the imperfection, the emotion, and the soul that the cracks reveal. Lost and found edges, asymmetry, and unintentional marks are just a few examples of 'mistakes' that actually add to the character and charm of a piece. When we fear that our piece isn't going to turn out perfectly, this holds us back. Creativity is the ability to allow ourselves to be okay with something spontaneous or unintentional..."
One of the biggest stumbling blocks I've had in creating is the ever-present desire for perfection. If it isn't perfect, then it's rip-it, rip-it! How many times have you said "Oh the heck with it, I'm just moving forward" and been surprised at the results? It was so gratifying to read this from an artist who is known for her beautiful work. Yes, coloring outside the lines can be beautiful!
Sherri then goes on to say: "Life is busy. I find it impossible to stay as organized as I would like. I get so excited about new projects that I tend to start ten things at once..." I love this book! Sherri finishes the chapter with sources for inspiration, keeping your ideas organized, and finally a how-to on the basics of creating jewelry.
The remainder of the book is filled with gorgeous projects. The topics are divided into inspirational sources upon which the projects are based. Sherri shows you how to transfer beautiful images on to sea glass and drill the glass for pendants (Inspiration: By The Sea); how to knot silk (Inspiration: By The Sea); how to create beautiful flowers with polymer clay (Inspiration: Fairy Tales and Flowers); and how to knit with wire (Inspiration: Getting Groovy with Fiber) - just a few of the modern jewelry techniques covered. There are even two projects on working with PMC and one on how to etch metal. Both photos and step-by-step instructions will guide you through completion of each of the 29 projects in the book.
I really like this book. First, it's beautiful - the layout is very well done and inspiring. Secondly, I love Sherri's philosophy. And finally, I love how many different projects using different techniques are covered. It reminds me of Carol Wilcox Well's Creative Bead Weaving except that this one is for all other types of jewelry creation. If you're interested in incorporating a variety of jewelry techniques into your beadwork, this book is one I would give serious consideration to.
You can preview 20 pages of the book online from the publisher Random House Books. You can also purchase it directly: Random House Books. Or simply click on the title of this post for a direct link.
And to learn more about Sherri and to see what she's up to, be sure to check out her website: Sherri Haab