Friday, August 1, 2008

Books for Crafty Folk

Like Mr. McGuire in The Graduate, I want to say just one word to you: plastics.
Any number of colors, shapes, textures, sizes and uses are possible with a piece of plastic. For crafters, this can be a great source of inspiration. Tonia Davenport expounds on these possibilities with her book Plexi Class: cutting-edge projects in plastic. She begins with an overview of techniques for cutting, shaping, embellishing and drilling sheets of Plexiglas. The first half of the design ideas are for jewelry: rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. These pieces are very attractive and some of them are quite delicate-looking (I don't ordinarily associate plastic with delicacy, but it's all in the design). The second half of the project ideas are for a variety of accessories: hair clips, belts, notebook covers, purses, night lights, frames, dog collars and checkbook covers. The level of difficulty varies for these projects, but the results are all very fun. (I'm a total klutz, but if anyone would like to make me the adorable little clear box purse featured on pages 95-99, I'd be tickled).
If you are a paper artist who has become bored with the same old projects, let Giuseppina 'Josie' Cirincione introduce you to dimensional collage with Bent, Bound and Stitched: collage, cards and jewelry with a twist. Papers, cards, buttons, game pieces, trinkets and little mementos are cleverly layered together and attached with wire, thread, stitching and glue into little 3-dimensional artworks. To be perfectly honest, the projects in this book all look very similar and seem to run together after a while. BUT: each project uses a different technique, and once you've tried out these folding, stitching, bending and assembling techniques, you'll be able to let loose with your own ideas and inspirations. Think of this book as a practical guide rather than a strict recipe for art.

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