Have you ever seen a piece of random junk, or something destined for the trash, and thought, “That would make a great pendant!”? Once you become obsessed with beads and jewelry, it’s bound to happen. For some beaders, it’s a daily occurrence!
Brenda Schweder is a self-proclaimed Junque Artist, and an expert at turning cast-offs and everyday objects into unique and stunning wearable art. In Junk to Jewelry,she shares some of her most interesting and exciting designs, along with the techniques to make your very own jewelry with “good garbage”.
Like every good beading book, Junk to Jewelry begins with an overview of the basics, including Brenda’s tips on how and where to hunt for the best found objects. Essential jewelry materials and tools are covered quickly, including wire, cord, findings, and adhesives. Clear diagrams and photographs guide beginners through the foundation techniques for jewelry making, such as wrapped loops, wire bails, and knotting.
There are 31 eclectic and eye-catching jewelry and accessory projects to try, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and zipper pulls or key chains. Some use old objects and junk, while others incorporate new finds like paperclips and rubber bands. My personal favorite is a gorgeous necklace made with painted black safety pins and a rainbow of crystal bicones. Other interesting objects used in Junk to Jewelry include fishing lures, drawer pulls, plumbing components, bike chains, and even toys. Each project includes a full materials list, and step-by-step instructions with color photos to guide you through the design.
The book concludes with a handy resource guide, and a gorgeous gallery of found object jewelry, with designs by Becki Moylan, Ann Cook, Susan Dyer, and many more. Readers who feel drawn to pair anything and everything with beads will enjoy these inspiring projects, which challenge our notion of what makes a stunning piece of jewelry.