Book review: “Create Three Dimensional Jewelry”

October 3, 2014 , In: Book Reviews, General, Inspiration

For this freeform Friday – I bring you my first ever book review.
“Create Three Dimensional Jewelry” by Heather DeSimone

Front cover, and my dutiful ever present notebook. 
back cover description

Many of you may recognize the name Heather DeSimone as she and her mother Jan Parker are the women behind “The Beadin’ Path”. (The retail store has closed but there is an active Facebook page with sales and destash. Heather can also be found on Pinterest and Etsy  although the shop is currently empty.) I mention  this – because I knew of the Beadin’ Path as THE place to go for vintage pieces, especially Lucite. It makes great sense to me that Heather’s book focuses on utilizing many vintage and costume pieces in new designs. 

Miriam Haskell jewelry

She is greatly inspired by Miriam Haskell, a “costume” jewelry designer. Her work, from the 20’s on was known for its hand wired seed pearls hand set Austrian crystals… and helped define the genre of “Costume jewelry”. 

The  book is a must for someone who is interested in repurposing vintage pieces. There is good information on preparing a piece, removing old settings… 

I was especially intrigued by “lashing” – stitching/wrapping seed beads over an existing structure.

Many of the projects in the book employ the riveting tool.

Let me share a few thoughts, and opinions:

  • Good for someone starting out in mixed media and/or cold connections. Also – great for someone interested in repurposing vintage pieces. 
  • Many projects layer and stack elements. ( This isn’t my style per se. I prefer to integrate and juxtapose in more elaborate ways. ) 
  • Projects use fine gauge wire and use hybrid methods – part wire wrap and part stitching. ( I hesitate to use such fine wire as I do not trust its strength and longevity over time.)
  • A few sets of instructions seemed a bit too sparse for me. Specifically peyote stitch and drilling shell. I do not think a first timer could comfortably achieve either with the directions given. 
  • Overall design/layout of the book was a bit chaotic. The first sections regarding techniques were hectic visually and not always clear. The projects portion was much more cohesive. 
  • I personally am not a fan of the riveting tool. I have one, but find it more fuss than its worth. I prefer to rivet by hand, to me its faster and i have more control. 
All in all – it was informative and creative, if not really my style. I was happy to learn more about Miriam Haskell as Heather’s book sparked my interest. And I definitely could see adapting vintage pieces to use… I have a stash that belonged to my Grandma, and my lawyer sister always wants a funky statement piece. Holidays are coming… 
Thanks for reading. Would love to hear what you have to say if you have read this book, or think its for you! 


Winners of the October Component of the Month Challenge!

Lindsay Starr
Staci Smith
Sherii Stokey
I’m very excited that you will be participating. 
I will message / email you images to select a color from.
I can’t wait to see what you create!

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Jenny Davies-Reazor is a mixed media artist inspired by myth, folklore and the natural world. A proud Jack-of-all-trades, she concentrated in metals and painting in art school, turned to clay during her teaching career, and is truly happiest when mixing materials in unusual ways. From clay to resin, paper to polymer... Since leaving her ceramics classroom, Jenny is always in the studio: fabricating jewelry, creating ceramic shrines and decorative tiles, and teaching in a variety of mediums. " I love sharing my passion for art, and seeing sparks light up in student's eyes..."
  1. Reply

    Hi Jenny, I am a book junkie so I appreciate you book review. Thanx

  2. Reply

    Yay! Thank you!

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