There’s handmade jewelry and then there’s, literally, handmade jewelry. The major distinction being with the latter “handmade jewelry,” you’re actually creating all of the charms, pendants and other doodads that make the jewelry special, in addition to assembling the necklace, bracelet, earrings or rings.
“Custom Cool Jewelry: Create 200+ Personalized Pendants, Charms and Clasps” by Melinda Barta (Interweave Press, $22.95) skips the usual intro about jewelry tools and instead focuses on some fun techniques, with drawings explaining how to create some of the more intricate designs.
If you’ve already been creating jewelry for a while, this book will certainly inspire you to move to the next level. And if you haven’t quite gotten into jewelry yet, it might just be the push you need.
The sections on creating your own charms and clasps were easily the most interesting and inspiring sections of the book. In fact, the clasp designs in the book are so pretty, it’s a shame to hide them, destined to be covered by long hair. Of course, that’s the beauty of handmade items: Go ahead and design your necklace with the clasp on the front!
There are a few “patterns” for each technique in the book so you can practice and master the skills — and then let your creative juices flow.