"Get Ready, Get set, Go!"
review by jean yates
The concept behind this exhilarating, freeing book is that a designer can create something spectacular in just a small amount of "play" time. As Marthe Le Van, who gathered together the forty-five designers, and chose the 60 projects which are offered, says in the introduction, "We invited top designers to break down the barriers that time itself builds up, barriers like self-consciousness,over-analytical thinking, voices whispering "try it a different way", and a hundred other obstacles that can get in the way of pure creativity".
This is how this book came about. The designers were each presented with the challenge to create a pair of earrings ... "flat, and just do it. Let go".
It is apparent from the way the book is laid out that certain skills are required, along with certain tools, for some of the earrings.On the other hand, there are beginner level earrings as well which will require far less in the way of tools and experience. Interestingly enough, I found that it didn't matter which skill level was being presented; each project had a vibrancy to it which followed the initial precept of the 30 minute challenge. You can't make something really quickly and over think it. It is true! Each pair of earrings had a wonderful sort of life and vitality. See for yourself!
Not only that, if a reader were to page through the projects in this sleekly presented book, he or she would note that there is a distinctly cool, modern museum-like feeling to many of the earrings presented. They are truly hip and truly chic. You will want to learn to make them.
After the introduction, there is a list of what is required for a bench tool kit, as well as a soldering kit, including the safety features for each. That is it for the beginning part of the book."Get Ready" and "Get Set" precede each project, and "GO" is the actual project being offered. It is very entertaining. Additionally, as all the earrings are pictured in the beginning of the book, you can take a look at what appeals to you and head directly to that page, if you are ready to get to work right away. If you find it is above your skill level, head back to the front photo of all the earrings again.I promise you, you will find something you love. Plenty of somethings to love!
I am going to give you a example of how this book works. I will choose the charming hedgehogs by Karen Rakowski on page 23, Project:"07". I have a pal who likes hedgehogs, and anyway, who doesn't like hedgehogs? These are gold-filled outlines of hedgehogs facing each other, hanging from simple ear wires. They pack a lot of humor and design punch.Your "Get Ready and Get Set" requirements are the wire for the hedgehogs, ear wires or posts, bench set as discussed earlier, and some fine point round nose pliers. You also get the finished size and a helpful note from the designer, who has included a template for each separate hedgehog.
In other words, pick a design and, like the designer who created it, get to work.
Do you like New York downtown style? Check out Melissa Muir's silver and copper earrings; project:26 on page 61.
You want some evening gypsy allure? Go to the "how did she do that???" earrings made of silver hoops within hoops within hoops by Ingeborg Vandamme, project:32 on page 73.
Help! I can't stop!
Would you believe there is a pair of fab earrings waiting for you to make which requires skills such as sawing, filing, sanding, drilling, hammering, annealing, soldering, finishing and forming? That is correct! For this 30 minute pair of earrings on page 91, you need both a bench tool kit and a soldering kit, plus a ring clamp or vise and a mandrel. Vicki Cook designed and made these beautiful, classic yet modern, twisted hoop earrings; project:41. If I were a person who wished to improve ALL my skills and end up with a gorgeous pair of earrings simultaneously, I would definitely try these beauties. From swirl shapes, to coat hangers earrings (yes! and they are great!), to copper sheeting curves, to the ones on the cover made of tubing lined with pale blue acrylic, every pair of earrings in 30-MINUTE earrings is great, new, and inventive. I am not a believer of your jewelry "wearing you", but I do love jewelry that gets noticed and is admired. Additionally, I love to make it myself.
None of these earrings are overdone. They are, in a word, smashing.
This brilliant book, 30-MINUTE earrings by Marthe Le Van, and her designing associates, accomplishes what is promised.
As is said on the back cover, this book will help you "break out of your routine and grow as an artist".
I am delighted to recommend it wholeheartedly!