Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Book Review: altered Curiosities

This book is by Jane Ann Wynn. My DS got it for me for either my b-day or Mom's Day. I really enjoyed this book. This book may not be for every mixed-media artist. I think that my art friends, Harriet and Shari, would like this, but Sandy would not. Sandy's style is different. Her art involves more pictures and brighter colors. Sandy's background is more in scrapbooking and stamping.

I am especially fond of found objects and assemblages. I like to take old or ordinary things and turn them into something not so ordinary. She uses a lot of found objects and ordinary things in her book. There are simple techniques on how to alter animals, alter an egg, and how to control the breaking of a jar. The jar becomes a container or can be used as a small shrine. She has a page on how to drill through glass with a tile bit and Dremel. I thought it was a little odd that it was in there. I wondered what the hole was for. Then I realized that it might be for nothing and she is just showing the technique. One must be careful when drilling through glass. The bit might slip and go into the hand that is holding the piece of glass. You can also get a nice mark if the bit skirts on the surface of the glass. Watch out for small glass bits or dust so you don't get any in your eye or breathe any of it in.

She is not so much Michael deMeng. Her style is more natural. She uses much less paint. There is also a little bit of metalworking in the book. There is a section on turning a piece of metal into a cup, how to form a small bezel from a piece of pipe, how to etch metal, and how to patina it.. She goes on to show a bit of soldering with a torch. It continues on showing a how one can form a rectangular bezel andhow to add resin to a bezel.

Ms. Wynn has stories along the way. Interesting. The techniques are simple and there are picts to help you along. There is a section on projects which involves some more metalworking and wire. There are six jewelry projects and 5 token projects (hair sticks, drawer pulls, barrette, collaged box, and bird feeder). The last section of the book shows you how to create 6 different personal shrines.

I found the book very interesting. It was eye candy for me instead of a technique book. I already do quite a few of techniques which are similar. It did give me a lot of ideas and I loved looking at the finished pieces presented. The instructions are quite simple and the pictures for each step are definitely a plus. I especially liked the pin cushion and what she did with the drawer pulls. There were full sized pictures of each technique or project. You really got to see the detail.

I would recommend this book to artists who do found objects, metal working, funkier art jewelry, altered books, and shrine makers. I think that Michael deMeng fans would really enjoy this book. That's about it. If you have the book, then please leave a comment and let me know what you think about it.

1 comment:

Dawn Sellers said...

I actually pre-ordered this book from Jane's blog. I really like the odd and unusual so am enjoying the book. I also like DeMeng's book so I think your comparison is correct. They both have a bit of a darkness to their work. Jane's not as much as Michael's. I too enjoy found objects and am inspired by Jane's book.