Instant Gratification Jewelry
by Annie Guthrie, phototographs by Julie Toy, published by Chronicle Books
Stringing beads into jewelry sounds easy enough, but it takes an artist to bring sophistication to mere cord and bead. In fact, make that two artists: Annie Guthrie (jeweler and author) and Julie Toy (photographer). Both women have come together to create Instant Gratifiaction Jewelery, published by Chronicle Books.
The actual idea of "instant gratification" made us examine this book a little closer. String and beads--how hard can it be? However there is more to it than that! Like any artistic expression, there is thought and soul invloved and Ms Guthrie does a wonderful job using a variety of techniques and materials to create interesting and inspired designs. And not just of necklaces, but hairbands, chokers, anklets, and more. Her designs are easy, clean, sophisticated, and modern; they allow the beauty of the material to catch the eye.
With Ms Guthrie's designs, Julie Toy takes craft photography to a higher level. If the title intrigued us, the photos kept us turning the pages. Soft edges, perfect props, and pin-point focus set everything apart from the ho-hum craft book.
Then reality set in. We had to find a sample project. We couldn't decide. Was it the jewelry designs or the photographs. Difficult to say. They are both equally enticing. We settled on the Candy Store Clips (page 96) for the simple fact that we had the materials--except for the clips, and they were easy to find.
The instructions seemed simple, too simple. A quick refresher at the begining of the book about findings and supplies was helpful. We crafted our clips in no time flat. Instant gratification? Not quite, but close. We had to wait for the glue to dry! And yet we still had time to add our own step to the instructions--a quick coat of clear nail polish to hold all of the beads in place and strengthen the project for wear...but other than that, we were very pleased.
Instant Gratification Jewelry should certainly give you some inspiration. The projects are lovely and the photographs are, well, wonderful. Don't be to alarmed if you find the instructions a bit simple. They are. Try not to read anything into them or make them more complicated then they are--just keep it simple--simple, pretty, and artistic jewlery.
Our "almost instant" Candy Store Clips, a fantastic way to use left-over beads!