The most valuable item I collected from the recent Ann Arbor Art Fair is a book, Hot Connections Jewelry by a Boston-area jewelry designer, Jennifer Chin.
As an evolving jewelry artist myself, one with admitted serious deficiencies in the soldering aspects of joining metal together, I found myself drawn to this easy-to-read and follow manual. At last, a layman’s guide to the torch, with tips on how not to reduce your precious silver stock to balls of useless scrap! (A plus in a bad economy where the cost of silver has skyrocketed into the used-to-be price point of gold.)
The book also contains several projects ranging from relatively simple to fairly complex.
While it begins with language even a non-jeweler would understand, Hot Connections is by no means a Soldering for Dummies type of how-to. Just a quick glance provided me with useful information I had either forgot, ignored, or was never made aware of.
Of course, there’s the artist and her designs to consider as well. I met Jennifer Chin while booth sitting her stand at the art fair and in 15minutes fell head over heels in love with her simple, yet elegant pieces. Basic squares, circles, hexagons, and star bursts are joined together with the tiniest of silver headpins resulting in exquisite necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
While these modern pieces are geometric and quasi-industrial in form, they are also delicate, invoking an origami feel of perfectly creased angles and straight lines. The organic look of her “Shag” and “Evergreen” designs move with the wearer, and there is a playful feel to her joined hearts and honeycombs.
The photographs on the cover and within are gorgeous, offset by black and white and color sketches of tools, jeweler’s bench and the like.
Hot Connections is not only a wonderful reference, but a book to spark any artist’s creative fire.
You can find more information about Jennifer Chin and her jewelry at her website.