This month’s topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community blog hop is a book review. I chose a brand new book, Resin Alchemy by Susan Lenart Kazmer.
I have taken a couple of in-person classes from Susan and enjoy her approach to jewelry. She is a master of cold joinery and non-traditional materials. I believe she will use literally anything in jewelry if she takes a fancy to it.
It is not surprising that Susan would choose to use resin in her work. In order to incorporate some of the things she wants to use, such as organic material, she has to find a way to stabilize and protect them, and resin is a perfect way to do that.
Now, about the book. The book itself is gorgeous, a little oversized, with big, beautiful photos of the projects and clear, up-close process shots. It is also well-organized, starting with a chapter on tools and supplies, followed by a chapter on the basics of working with resin. I liked that Susan included information on safety, as I think that is hugely important, especially if you have children or pets about. This chapter also discusses adding ephemera and special effects to the resin.
Then there is a chapter on making cold connections, with an emphasis on how to incorporate your resin pieces into jewelry. One method demonstrated is adding eyelets or rivets to the piece so you can hang it on something.
A chapter on making your own bezels follows, and then she gets into stabilizing organic or fragile material, casting molds and what she calls cold enameling, which is essentially adding color and then sealing it with resin.
Two or three projects are demonstrated after each technique chapter. I noticed that although specific supplies are listed, Susan also gives ideas of how to handle the project if you aren’t using the same thing she used, so you aren’t limited to copying the project exactly. I appreciated this feature, because I don’t have a lot of interest in copying other people’s projects, I like to put my own spin on things.
Throughout the book, Susan discusses design choices, which should be of interest to the serious student.
Overall, I was very pleased with the book. The projects are fine for a beginner, but those with intermediate skills will find interesting projects and ideas also. It’s also just a gorgeous book, and one I’m happy to have in my library.
Read what other members of the JAC have to say this month here: