Friday, April 27, 2012

Lark book review-500 Rings

I'm so excited.  Saturday I received a package with two Lark books inside with letters from Ray Hemachandra asking if I would like to review some of Lark's publications.  I could not believe that they accepted my offer to review books.  I'm in heaven.  First off I have to state here that this is one of the things that way back when I was a Sophomore at Ohio State trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up I wanted to do as an adult.  I wanted to work for a publishing house as either a editor or copywriter.  As you can tell, that didn't happen.  But now, I'm going to be given a chance to brush up some of those old skills and write reviews for one of the most successful publishing companies: Lark Books.

The first book that I am going to talk about is Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art JewelryLark has revamped their very successful 500 Series.  Showcase 500 Rings is a relaunch from the 2004 publication 1000 Rings.  This gallery book has taken 500 rings from some of the world's best jewelry designers from all over the globe to give you a book that will literally knock your socks off with dazzling eye candy.  You'll get to browse finding inspiration from 341 jewelers.  The variety of work is stunning and each page is filled with eye grabbing photographs that will trigger your Muse. 


Bruce Metcalf writes in his opening : This book is a celebration of the imagination.  Look at the wild variety of work we've included, the extremes of artistic approaches."  Mr. Metcalf looked at over 6500 images picking out these ones that show the traditional approach of rings to the kitsch designs.

 Each time I open a page of this gallery Showcase, my eyes delve into the picture getting lost in all the different textures and materials used in each ring.  The only thing that I wish after looking through the book many times is to actually see each of the 500 Rings in person.  Wouldn't it be fun to try them all on?  To see the designs from the simplistic all the way to the outrageous?

I am not going to post any pictures from this amazing book, but have decided to send you my reader on a trip looking at some of the websites of a few of the fantastic artist.  I'm sure that with each viewing of this book, I'll find that I need to search on Google to find another jeweler and launch into their mindset by taking a journey through their websites.

I start with fellow Buckeyes: Roberta and David Williamson.  I have been lucky to have seen some of their work at the Ohio Craft Museum's Best of Ohio several years.  The rings  that caught my eye are called Specimen Collection.   Here is a sample of their insect collection and one of their beetle rings.

Naturally, my eye caught sight of seed beads which drew me into the work of Aurelio Castano.  Page 216 is Garden Pond Ring.  The rings are just amazing to view and naturally I browsed the gallery and found beaded creatures.  I was in love with all of them.

The next artist that caught my attention was Felieke Van Der Leest rings called Candy Rabbit Rings on page 221.  They are all crocheted and so adorable I can see young girls (and older ones too like me) wanting to wear these just for fun.  If you check out her gallery, you'll see that she works with plastic animals along with other materials. Take a moment and look at some of her other pieces on her gallery page.

Anther artist that made me investigate further is Elliot Gaskin.  Silver Machine on page 309 has a blend of silver, wood, string to make a machine that once attached to your finger would keep to constantly wondering what does it really do?  And if you don't think an amazing ring will catch the public's attention that check out this amazing necklace will pulleys.

And who just doesn't love jewelry with model railroad landscape material?  Well, I'll raise my hand here as I love these rings from page 355 called Landscape Sample Rings by Sarah Hood.  While viewing her portfolio, I came across her organic series that just made me suck in my breath as they are so beautiful and the colors just called to me.

Time for one more?  Of course.  On page 398, I fell in love with Jillian Palone's Pseudopads. I just about feel out of my chair when I went to her gallery page and saw all these organic forms with colors that reminded me of the Hoh Rain Forrest or the slopes of the Napali Coast of Kauai.  I loved each and every one of her designs.

I've just highlighted six of the 341 artist presented in Showcase 500 Rings.  I am going to spend more time leafing through this gallery book and then going online to find more images and information about these artist in the upcoming months.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dive into design, color and imagination.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by  Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

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