Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Junk to Jewelry.....a review

Junk to Jewelry A step by step guide to using found objects in jewelry you can actually wear.
by Brenda Schweder
Brenda Schweder, author of Junk to Jewelry is a kindred spirit. Her love for found objects, or as my mother refers to them "other peoples trash" , is apparent in her writing and it strikes a chord within me.
Those of us that are pickers, sorters, and scroungers, who walk the beach with our faces to the sand and who enjoy spending an afternoon at the Salvation Army store will appreciate her advice.
Junk to Jewelry begins with a short chapter that discusses found objects both old and new and gives suggestions of where to look for them.
This is followed by the usual lists of tools and basic materials and the obligatory instructions for basic knots and wire and metal techniques.
Then we get to the good stuff!
The 31 projects in Junk to Jewelry range from simple to intermediate in degree of difficulty. They illustrate the use of found objects as obvious as vintage jewelry and as obscure as plumbing hardware.
The projects have supply lists and the detailed instruction for their completion. They are beautifully photographed. The pages are full of highlighted tips and alternatives several of which are worth the price of the book in themselves.
A Word of Warning!
You will not be able to reproduce these projects. The objects in them are unique. The projects and the accompanying gallery of work are meant to spark your creative ideas and to teach you assembly technique so that you may turn your stash of treasure into a wearable work of art.
Brenda speaks to those of us that share her love of finding things:
"That's probably the crux of it for us pickers, isn't it? Seeing the beauty in something so ordinary , so overlooked by the crows of the world who say only the new and shiny is valuable. My heart skips a beat when I see and old painted bit of metal on the sidewalk, a cracked piece of back-up-light reflector on the ground next to the gas pump, or and acorn............................. My brain surges with challenge-how can I turn this lovely bit of beauty into something resurrected, something others can appreciate?"
I encourage you to add Junk to Jewelry to your library and to flip through it frequently as you ponder your "found" treasures.
Happy Hunting!


  1. Thanks for this review! I always am curious about new books to add to my library. I haven't scrounged for components in a very long time but maybe I should give it a go again...

  2. Bonnie -- Thanks for the great review! I really appreciate your honesty! Ha! Here's my shameless self-promotion -- if you liked J2J, please peruse Vintage Redux, my latest book about up-cycling old jewelry! Also, look for my book on designing iron wire jewelry (Lark Books) due out Fall, 2010.

  3. You are welcome Brenda It is a great book. The Vintage Redux book is on my Amazon wish list.