By Jo Varney
When I saw this title on my list of books to review, I was instantly interested to see what could be achieved in 30 minutes. As a slow worker myself, I feel that speedy projects are beyond me to be honest and so was fascinated to see what this book had to offer.
The author, Beverly Mccullough has a background in textiles and specialises in sewing, embroidery, jewellery making and home decor so this immediately gives you an idea of what you might expect in terms of technique. She also has a passion for all things vintage and so as a consequence, up cycling of found objects is also very much a central theme to many of the projects.
Throughout the 60 projects covered, Mccullough gives us a basic understanding of many of the jewellery making techniques which form the building blocks of simple jewellery production. They are divided up into 30 minute, basic, intermediate and advanced so you can easily choose a project according to your jewellery maknig skill level and there is a useful quick reference guide at the front to help with this. You will learn how to use pliers and head pins, make jump rings and link chains but equally you will also use needles and threads, beading trays and polymer clay, making this book accessible from a variety of different angles. Stringing and wirework are also very central to many of the projects, helping to build confidence for the beginner and broaden the horizons of those with perhaps more traditional training (like myself). You will also find additional chapters covering equipment, jewellery techniques, embroidery techniques and patterns which provide a great backdrop to the projects, giving a fully rounded view of the subject as a whole.
Projects include; an Embroidered Monogrammed ring, (which uses traditional embroidery techniques along with a ring blank and setting base), Feather and Chain Earrings, (made from standard jewellery findings and cut leather pieces), Pearl Stacking Rings, (made from wire, crimp beads and pearls) and A Fabric and Leather Wristwatch (which is a great way to re-purpose an old watch with a broken strap). All of the projects are easily accessible and perfectly achievable which will give instant gratification to those who don’t have the patience for more time consuming designs. You will need a good findings supplier (but you are on the Cooksongold website reading this, so you have already found one of those) but many of the materials can be easily found around the house or sourced from local charity shops. In fact I think this will definitely become part of the fun of creating in this way, as you never quite know what you will find or how it will turn out. It encourages a looser, free way of thinking and designing which is truly refreshing.
Containing full colour photographs throughout, this is a great book for someone wanting to dip their toe into the world of jewellery or a frustrated crafter who is simply time poor and lacking in inspiration.