Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Resin Jewelry Book

"I immediately took the book to the fireplace and curled up with my pooch Daisy." (Photo courtesy of my husband, Mike)   

I opened up my mailbox to find an explosion of color.  This is both literally and figuratively speaking.  The Blue Brick’s,  Shireen X. Nadir just released her book Resin Jewelry (2nd edition).  It is now in hard copy or can be instantly downloaded  

 This luxurious jewelry instructional book is loaded with vibrant photos.  I immediately took the book to the fireplace and curled up with my pooch Daisy.  This book kept me captivated much the same way  best friends connect  over a warm cup of tea on a cool fall day.  Shireen has many talents and she exhibits those talents in her book through 16 step-by-step projects.  In addition to the guided projects, she offers tips on successful bezel creation, how to preserve flowers and foliage, resin mixing and pouring and how to circumvent challenges while working with resin.  First and foremost, she is an effective teacher, artist and communicator.  Her instructions are clear and concise from start to finish.  Each project has an abundance of photos and is written in detailed tutorial form.   It is an added bonus that Shireen is a professional photographer and captures action and still shots to demonstrate her lessons.  Her book is like ROY G BIV on steroids!!  The jewel-tone color photography seems to fly off the pages.  
Readers will be captivated by the projects and the work shared in the book. It is written for both the beginner and experienced resin jewelry artist.  What really made my heart sing was the thorough instruction on how to use the vacuum extractor to yield beautiful bubble free resin jewelry.  She does a superb job with describing and photographing the vacuum’s components and the entire bubble-free resin process from start to finish.  She even includes the name and website of the vacuum extractor she uses. 

For those that have tried the resin spheres, you may have found that it is nearly impossible to get those air bubbles out of the mold, or  trying to figure out the best pour method for achieving that oh so groovy three dimensional foliage sphere.  Well, this book is a great resource for that step by step process and I about hit myself in the forehead when I saw the simple tool used to fill the sphere.  We aren’t just talking spheres of hearty status flower;  we are talking delicate heads of fluffy dandelions encased in a sphere of resin!!  When I learned that Shireen was going to be covering making a dandelion sphere I was thrilled, as I haven’t been able to find a good source of instruction for doing this process until now. 

Of the many useful tools and tips covered in the book, Resin Jewelry, my favorite is the description of the best types of resins on the market.  Shireen has done her research with these resins and shares what she has learned about them to her readers.  There were a couple of resin products I had considered trying, but was a little overwhelmed with so many products on the market.  Before reading this book, I simply didn’t know which ones to use.  Now I do.  

This book has changed how I think about resin.  It has inspired me to want to make resin spheres, use texture molds and try my hand at cubes.   It gives me the information I need to dehydrate my own flat and dimensional foliage in my own home and makes the resin jewelry making process seem less intimidating.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore resin jewelry or to augment their current jewelry style, by adding resin components.  This book is a work of art.   



Monday, January 27, 2014

New Etsy Tutorial for Fringe Earrings and Tucson Bead Show

Hello Everyone.  We live in the Midwest and have gotten a good deal of snow and cold weather.  Cold weather and my mood have an inverse relationship; the colder it gets the lower my mood.  It is as if the cold and my mood "thermometer" have plummeted.  So, after much thinking about what to do about this, I cleared an area in my bedroom to put a folding table in front of a window just 24 hours ago.  Since this time, I have more productive creatively than I have in many moons.  I share this information with you in the event that you are also having these lulls in your creative inspiration during these frigid months.  Just pony-up a chair to a window and do some creative work or reading and see what happens.  It also helps to have some groovy music playing. 

Tucson Bead Show

About six months ago my parents announced that they were going to Arizona.  They offered to take me with them for the entire month of February.  I gave this some real thought, as I don't take many vacations.  I have many commitments here at home, including a family as well as an exchange student from Korea living with us.  And then there is our small pooch, Daisy. 
These Boots are made for walking: Daisy our Pooch (photo credit: Mike Barzacchini)

After many supportive discussions with my husband, I decided to go to Arizona and to the Tucson Bead Show.  I had no idea that Tucson boasts over 30 shows being held through the city of Tucson the first two weeks in February.  Thirty!!  Am I the last jewelry creator to know this?  Perhaps, but I am taking full advantage of being in town at that time.  I will take a two day Photoshop and Photography class by Doug Baldwin who is a professional jewelry photography artist.  This will be followed by a two day teacher certification class on torch enameling metals with Barbara Lewis using her Painting With Fire technique.  I look forward to sharing all of this with you on this blog upon my return in March. 

New Tutorial!!

I have just completed and posted my 4th tutorial:  Lotus Petal Fringe Earrings.  My first three tutorials are: 1.  Patterning Metals with the Compact Rolling Mill, 2.  Two Sided Patterned Puff Heart Pendant  3.  Hinged Wire Woven Earrings. The Lotus Petal Fringe Earrings can be found on my Etsy site by  clicking this link  Click Here to Wired Lotus Etsy
Lotus Petal Fringe Earring Tutorial

 I started creating this tutorial several months ago.  First, I start with the concept and then work on that concept over and over until I am satisfied.  Once I feel it is good to go, I then photograph every step.  In this tutorial there are 145 photos and 54 pages of instructions.  I take nearly 500 photos and choose the best of the group and then enhance the photos for viewer clarity.  These photos are then put in a digital folder.

  I then write step by step instruction with every turn and twist of the wire used to create the earrings.  The photos are matched up
with each written step and formatted in an easy to read step by step tutorial format.  Believe it or not, I then let all that is done simmer for a month or two.  I literally want to "forget" what I have done.  Why?  So that when I return to it I can make the earrings based on the tutorial photos and words.  It is a sort of check and balance system to make sure that it all makes sense and that all of my measurements within the tutorial are accurate.  I don't just make one or two, but rather multiples of the earrings.  I then edit the entire tutorial based on what I learned from creating the earrings. Everything is saved in PDF and then submitted to Etsy.  Whew, that is a lot of thinking.  Now my wheels are turning for the next tutorial. 

I do hope that you are all staying warm and cozy in your homes.  If you are in a warmer climate, please send the Midwest a little of that in a bottle.  We would give you many thanks. 

Namaste, Susan