Friday, August 8, 2008

Bent, Bound and Stitched Review

Last night, frankly, I was not thrilled with the boyz so I went out for a drive, and my car took me to Barnes & Noble, where I thought I'd look for a good button collecting book. Not-a-one in the shop, so I piled my arms full of whatever else caught my eye, including Bent, Bound and Stitched: Collage, Cards and Jewelry with a Twist, by Giuseppina Cirincione (whose name is probably easier to pronouce than it looks!)

Actually it was near the bottom of my pile. I managed to find a soft chair (yes, tonight I was one of those B&N shoppers) and parked my tired self in it. I started with a couple of new jewelry books. After about the 4,000th pair of wire and briolette earrings (I know, I'm guilty too) I was getting hungry and a lot harder to impress, so I flipped quickly through the last few tomes, which were mostly on mixed media this and that and everything looked kind of ho-hum and messy at that point. The last book I looked at was Bent, and I hastily flipped through the pages like I was fanning myself ;-)

I didn't take much notice of her cards and stitching the first time through, although the old photos and cute layouts made me feel all warm and cozy -- nice, fresh use of that imagery, in my opinion, and I'm impressed (now that I've looked at the book a few more times) at the ease with which she integrates such a variety of materials -- including metals, with fabric and sewing, in well-executed and well-composed projects.

I think it was the little wire coat hangers that registered the first time through, kind of on a pre-cognitive level. Then her bailing wire stands to hold paper cards and pictures made me blink a couple of times and shake off that over-stimulated mind boggle... she includes 3 varieties, with little wire or dice feet, and one is even multi-armed. Well, I rarely buy a book anymore unless there are several projects that interest me. So when I saw the cutout domino pendants, I was sparked. Further on, when I saw the copper etching projects? I was definitely turning the pages more slowly and ready to part with some cash. And then the wire alphabet letters templates in the back prompted me to jump up and head for the cash register.

In fact, on the way home I popped into a cafe for a cup of peppermint tea and a leisurely read through the whole thing. I love her unique chains, her button treatments, and her succinct intro to tools and materials in the front. The wire "bead caps" for buttons (or cabs) are brilliant and particularly useful for me right now.

I don't think I'd have been able to imagine how a book could cover sewing, paper collage, and jewelry without being disjointed or superficial, but she and her publisher managed it with a great layout, cozy photos, and really good quality project samples. Bent is a gem of a book, even richer the third time through. Takes a rare talent to pull that off!

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