I will freely admit, I am not into seed beading, complicated techniques or big-opus projects. Especially seed beading. Ugh.
Oh....don't get me wrong! I LOVE looking at it, and happy to wear or own it. Happy for YOU if YOU enjoy it!
I just don't enjoy it.... I'll take my tedious elsewhere, thanks! LOL Seed beads have their place as accents, for me; I always have a nice little stash. But a whole piece out of seed beads....with me at the helm, the designer, making it?
Then I found this book at one of my little trips to Barnes and Noble bookstore:
While it has a goodly section on seed beadery---you can tell right there from the cover--I was so intrigued by the TITLE. Jewelry ARCHITECT? Hmmmm.....
I knew about Kate McKinnon. You know that little file you have in your brain that associates a picture with a word, a place, a name? In that file associated with Kate McKinnon were images of structural pieces made of PMC. If I had seen a piece of structural PMC on the cover (although that amazing focal on the bracelet is PMC) I would never have picked this book up. Again that work is GREAT....it's just not what I am 'into' at this time in my creative journey.
BUT..... I would have been a big loser had I not picked it up.
I am SO GLAD I picked it up AND bought it!! because it turns out Kate McKinnon is an awesome teacher with a very unique, valuable philosophy: build structure and durability into your pieces by careful care to your connections and joins.
This volume comes with a DVD; that seems to be the trend now. Some DVD's that come with books are simply a complimentary overview and rather like a commercial for the book. This one isn't, and for that I am so grateful. I just watched it this morning and feel as though I'd taken a mini class.
I really enjoyed the last section on the DVD about wire, because I do like to play with wire and am aware that, for the most part, my skills are pitiful to rudimentary.
Kate demonstrates how to make a perfectly round eye-pin style wrap and then how to join it to another piece. That was worth the price of the book RIGHT THERE, for me.
The book gives directions for a number of very interesting projects, most of them a little advanced for me but at the same time, things to which I will aspire. Even if you are very, very new to jewelry making, between the DVD and the book, you will learn things you SHOULD learn, at the very beginning. Then, as time goes on, you can plan to work on the rest.
Kate mentions that she used to make jewelry on the 'hundred year plan'....meaning that with care, examination, and constant improvement on technique and methods used, her pieces could last a lifetime.
But over the course of her lifetime thus far, she realized that with constant attention, jewelry making skills could and should be improved, and that her durable pieces could be made to last 1,000 years. At least that's the goal!
Let Kate be one of your teachers. Get the book, read it carefully, and watch the DVD over and over until it is imbedded into your brain. I learned something about myself and my own creative philosophies by reflecting on hers. I wish the same for you.
This book gets an A+++++++++++++ five stars across the board from B'sue. I may check into whether or not I can carry it as a staple at B'sue Boutiques but until then, here is a link to the listing at Barnes and Noble online: