Two posts in less than a week, can you believe it? Today I decided to do a book review on Exploring Resin Jewelry by Heidi Boyd. I recently received this book not to long ago through my Crafter’s Choice book club (if you don’t belong, I will place the info below – great way to get lots of book inexpensively). There are very few books out there that focus primarily on resin related jewelry, so I jumped at the chance when this book arrived as a choice. These are my opinions on the book and am reviewing it purely from the resin aspect.
Exploring Resin Jewelry is published by North Light Books with a retail price of $24.99 (available through Amazon for $16.32, link below). It features 128 pages with approximately 20 of them being the standard introduction, materials, random resin is dangerous safety warnings and disclaimers, and some jewelry and finishing techniques. For a beginner, this information I can imagine would be very helpful but if you are past the beginner stage, this will be a section you will likely flip right past.
The book is a project based book featuring 25 projects from making scrabble pendants to the pretty transparent piece you see on the cover. Coming to you as someone in an advanced resin category as I have been working with it since 2000, I have mixed feelings on the projects. Especially when you don’t get to take a test run of a book in a bookstore, you never really know what you are going to get. There is a strong focus in the projects on the jewelry aspect. I would say 50% of each project tutorial is on average putting the jewelry together. A quick run down of the projects includes:
- Scrabble pendants.
- Sprinkles in a bezel.
- Circuit board in a bezel.
- Map in a bezel.
- Scrapbook paper and a scrapbook embellishment in a bezel.
- Faux typewriter keys using a bezel.
- More paper in a bezel earrings.
- More images in a bezel bracelet.
- Polymer clay bezel using UV resin.
- Steampunk pendant using copper pipe.
- Resin as a sealant for an element in a pendant.
- Doming resin on an image.
- Resin to seal an image.
- Shell embedded resin pendant.
- Resin bangle with credit card embedded pieces.
- The transparent pendant seen on the front cover.
- Another image embedded in a mold.
- Faux sea glass.
- Resin in a flower mold.
- Making a mold putty mold and using it.
- Faux cloisonne earrings.
- Fabric in resin.
- More embedded items in resin mold.
- Image transfer on polymer clay and UV resin pendant.
- Stamped image on resin clay.
I will start with the good things. Her projects use some unconventional materials which was nice to see. There is also a project for making faux cloisonne which I really liked. The pictures are nice and clear and close up. For someone just starting out, it shows a lot of beginner resin techniques in the tutorials.
On the downside of the book (again coming purely on the resin aspects of the book), Ms. Boyd has quite a few jewelry making related books but from what I can tell doing a quick search of her blog has never posted anything about resin. The reason I even looked was because many of her resin pieces in the photographs in the book show issues and being the perfectionist I am, I had to check. Maybe I am being picky here but I expect someone being published about resin to be an expert in that subject matter. I also found that some steps to the finished piece were skipped, mostly in the glazing aspect. There is one piece in particular that I know when the original came out of the mold it was a bit hazy and in the finished photograph it is just as sparkly as can be but no where in the project is she glazing the item. I know this from experience also as the mold used produces more of a satin finish on pieces. You would expect that all steps to the finished piece would be shown in each tutorial. I also found that so many of the projects feature images or items in bezels. I would expect a book with exploring in the title would include more advanced techniques than just bezels even though it says simple techniques.
All that being said, it is not a bad book by any means. If your out of ideas, this might give you some inspiration to get you going again. If your searching for a book on marrying your resin to jewelry, this would probably be a very helpful book. If your a newbie resin user, this would be a helpful book to you. If your looking for an advanced resin technique book, I would recommend Youtube, forums, and a quick search of Google to find your answers.