Beautiful Leather Jewelry applies traditional leather and jewelry-making techniques to truly cutting-edge designs. Jewelry makers will discover new methods for altering leather to create textures and patterns in a variety of necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, pendants, and more. In addition, they will learn how to work with raw materials and premade pieces using many tools they may already have.
• Create 20+ upscale, leather projects featuring custom and professional details
• Comprehensive Basics section teaches techniques and explains tools
• Includes tips from leather industry experts on stamping, engraving, knotting, making tassels, and dyeing
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Prehistoric people learned to make use of animal hides for many useful and decorative purposes. Leather jewelry has never gone out of style ever since. Artisans keep coming up with new ways of working with this warm, organic material.
Melissa Cable's new book, Beautiful Leather Jewelry, which I received for review, features 25 outstanding leather jewelry project tutorials. Her creativity is inspiring! The book is also a thorough guide on the different types of leather, tools and techniques needed to create contemporary designs.
The author understands it takes time to build up a collection of tools needed for innovative leather jewelry making so she included alternatives. Many of the tools needed to create and embellish leather jewelry are common to basic jewelry making, metal work and sewing. She also goes over other tools which are specific for leather work. A tube wringer works just as well on leather as metal. I didn't know there were such things as a licorice leather cutter (makes straight cuts) or a multi-blade scissors for making tassels or fringes!
Where the book really shines is the coverage of what to use and how to dye and color leather. What you use depends on the type of leather. Some of the projects use tooling leather which is vegetable tanned leather. One excellent example is the Dapped Leather band design which has been shaped. Tooling leather is very versatile as it can take embossing, stamping and forming when wet.
The projects are easy to follow with many tips and tricks. Many also include other materials like metal, faux bone, felt, wood and crystals in wonderfully creative ways.
Chrome tanned leather is the most commonly encountered kind of leather. It is used in the fashion and upholstery industries. This leather is more supple than tooled leather but is not easily shaped nor can you stamp or carve on it. However, the book does include many innovative projects using this type of leather. The Matrix leather bracelet uses flat leather straps while the Crystal Cavern bracelet is a clever way to adorn a hollow licorice leather strip.
One of my favorite projects from the book is the Her Bubbly Personality necklace which also uses fashion or upholstery leather.
The last section in the book covers how to make different kinds of leather beads - round balls, leather wrapped wood beads, spools as well as cylindrical beads in this striking vertical bead necklace design.
This book is best suited to those who love working with leather and have a liking for artistic embellishments. It also serves as an eye-opener to the wonders of leather jewelry making for those not yet charmed by this discipline.
-Pearl Blay, The Beading Gem's Journal
Have you ever considered leather as a jewelry-making material? I mean, aside from using it occasionally for a necklace strap or rawhide bracelet? Whether you've thought about it or not, you might be interested to know that Melissa Cable has been doing a lot more than thinking. In fact, she's written a new book, Beautiful Leather Jewelry just for those who've been looking for something new.
Before my copy of this book arrived, I found myself thinking, "Ok, fine. Some rustic looking jewelry (which I like, by the way) and some stuff made from leather straps. Whatever." I want to tell you I was totally wrong. Oh yeah, some of the projects are rustic looking, but many are elegant, classic, ethnic, and even futuristic. I'm not joking. There is a necklace that looks like something out of a Star Wars adventure.
As much as you'll be tempted to jump right into the projects, I would definitely suggest reading through the introductory material first. Most of us don't know as much about leather as we'll need to in order to get the most out of our making time. Then, it's on to cuffs, pendants, collars, rings, necklaces, earrings, and even BEADS! Yup, my life is now complete :-)
-Cyndi L, beading-arts.com
Melissa Cable has a knack for taking traditional jewelry-making techniques and applying them to various materials in an upscale, modern way. In Beautiful Leather Jewelry, she shares new methods for altering leather to create unique textures and patterns in a variety of necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, and pendants. Proper finishing techniques, such as snap setting, ensure polished, professional results. Aspiring leather jewelry designers will appreciate learning how to combine familiar materials such as Swarovski crystals, metals, wood, felt, and resin with leather cuffs, and cords.
Cable, widely published in magazines and books, formerly owner of Beadclub Bead store in Woodinville, has taught at bead stores and shows around the country, such as the Bead&Button Show, Bead Expo, and the Puget Sound Bead Festival.
Beautiful Leather Jewelry presents Cable's inventive methods for:
-Altering leather to create unique textures and patterns.
-Combining leather with crystals, metal, wood, felt, and faux bone.
-Mastering proper finishing techniques for polished results.
Readers work with raw materials and premade pieces to create 25 upscale leather projects. Plus, readers find bonus insider tips for stamping, engraving, knotting, making tassels, and dyeing leather.
Cable's style is honed from years of teaching beginners and listening to how students like to learn. Readers follow her directions and step-by-step photos to make beautiful leather jewelry. Along the way, they find bonus lessons: an overview of leather types and styles; an explanation of tools – those they absolutely must have, alternatives to traditional tools they may already own, and which tools to grow with later; five unique styles of leather beads they can make; technique tutorials that put the basics in action; plus 25 jewelry projects.
Readers use timeless techniques to apply familiar jewelry-making skills in exciting new ways: cutting, piercing, dapping, stamping, lacing and stitching, setting rivets and eyelets, finishing with snaps and other closures for professional results, and painting, dyeing, edging. They use innovative materials to work with a variety of leathers and embellishments for colorful results: crystals and other beads, metal accents, faux bone, felt and wood. Cable says that every material she works with has a lock, and it is her quest as an artist to find the key that unleashes its potential. This pursuit has taken her down many paths, but eventually the journey lead her to a key – an ‘aha’ moment – Water. Understanding how the leather moves once it is wet opens many creative options: one can stamp it, corrugate it, emboss it, and dap it. Projects in Beautiful Leather Jewelry begin with vegetable-tanned tooling leather. Readers learn different ways to inset beads into leather and how to use metal tools like corrugators and dapping punches on leather. Later, they learn about altering ready-to-go leathers, including pre-dyed chrome-tanned leathers, flat leather strap, and cording. Cable teaches readers how to deconstruct finished goods, like leather cording, and give it a new life as it is cut and shaped into new forms. They learn how to use leather to create stunning beads that can be combined to create cutting edge designs. Adding other materials, like wood and felt, increases the opportunity to layer color and texture.
Beautiful Leather Jewelry provides readers with a way to start exploring the versatility leather has to offer. Readers learn to create leather jewelry like they have never seen before by learning Cable's unique approach to leatherworking. They follow her easy directions and clear step-by-step photos to make beautiful leather jewelry.