Monday, November 7, 2016

a review of Creative Leather Jewelry, 21 Stylish Projects that Make a Statement, by Christina Anton

Creative Leather Jewelry
21 Stylish Projects that Make a Statement
by Christina Anton

As Christina Anton says in the introduction to Creative Leather Jewelry, "My jewelry designs are an expression of my background in design and architecture." She also explains why she has chosen leather as the medium of focus. She says, "You can easily shape, stamp, cut, dye, paint, and sew it into anything, which is especially good for crafting."
She notes that templates are included in the book so that the reader will easily be able to jump right in. 
She finishes the introduction by saying, "Whether you are a beginner or advanced, I hope to introduce methods that will spark your creativity and take your jewelry making to the next level."
Which is exactly what she does!
In the "basics" section she discusses tools, techniques, materials, and even the inspiration the reader might need. Delightfully, the author then adds that "the key is to have fun and let your creativity take over."
Colored, dyed cowhide in different weights is one thing the reader will be looking for. If you are Vegan, choose to go for Vegan options, which are available. Another material which is mentioned and which will make an appearance in this book is feathers (there is a fantastic bead, leather and feather necklace to look forward to, for example). 
Some of the tools which jewelry designers may or may not already have are: a rotary hole punch, a cutting mat, cutting knives and leather glue. The remaining tools and the components are items which most designers probably already have. 
In this basics section the author then demonstrates how to use a cutting blade, hole punching, opening and closing jump rings, making loops on a head pin, and more. Everything is photographed beautifully, in striking brilliant colors. The final technique you will learn is how to cap feathers for jewelry use. This was new to this reviewer and I really loved it.
The main body of the book comes next, along with templates. It is nicely planned out, with book flaps at the beginning and the end, so you can keep your place. 
The first project is Geometric Cutout Earrings. These are gorgeously colored leather earrings, cut out by hand, with three shapes per earring, each attached with jump rings. Really easy, really hip, and really pretty. 
Project number two is one of my absolute favorites. It is very similar to the first project however small embellishments of hand cut out leather are added to the bottom. These are perfect: bold yet beautiful! 
Following this comes a tutorial on how to make leather tassel earrings, and after that the reader will be introduced to the "Geometric Fringe Leather Earrings". These have so much going for them, they are ballistic. The description says, "Combine a fun fringed look with geometric cutout elements. Use the tassel technique and cut out a geometric lattice to hang in front of the fringe." The colors of the leather, combined with the great shapes, make these fascinating and fabulous!
The reader will see this sort of inventiveness continue on throughout the book. The leathers used in each project will be offered in numerous color choices, such as orange, hot pink and turquoise, purple, yellow and lime green, and turquoise, indigo and orange, all for the same project. This collection of choices for each project helps inspire the reader to really get her creativity flowing.
Later on in the book, metallic leather makes an appearance (as it does on the cover). The "Geometric Tassel Necklace" comes in three color offerings and it is a wow of a project. As the author says, "Create a layered geometric necklace with tassels. A touch of metallic leather can make any design have a high-end look. I like to use multiple shades of the same color on the tassels for added "pop". 
The designer's Leather Circle necklace and the variation, the Leather Geometric necklace, demonstrate even further how flat out amazing and artistic she is in her choices of color and shape. 
It is like studying with a great teacher, when you create a piece with Christina Anton by your side, using her book, Creative Leather Jewelry
You will not only learn how to work with leather, you will learn another way of understanding the beauty which is always a part of art. 
Creative Leather Jewelry, 21 Stylish Projects that Make a Statementby Christina Anton is a unique and lovely book which all jewelry designers should own!


Eileen Bergen said...

I love the tassel necklace and on the cover and learning their are more tassel designs in the book. Thanks for the review, Jean.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

It is a super book, Eileen!
jean xox