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The Sparkle Factory

Book Review: The Sparkle Factory

I was asked if I’d like to review this book, and I kind of surprised myself by saying “yes.” After all, I’m not the most blinged-out person you could meet, and I doubt anyone is using the word “sparkly” to describe me. Nonetheless, I was intrigued enough to look at the first few pages on Amazon. And when I saw there was polymer clay in this book, I decided it was worth a look.

Let me tell you a little bit about me and polymer clay. My first pieces were made (about 18 years ago) following the instructions in a book intended for kids. I did a lot of cutesy/crafty things before I started to get more serious/artsy about it. I’ve been a part of the polymer community for some time, and in the last several years, I’ve seen a collective focus on promoting the artful side of the medium. People have worked tirelessly to get polymer into museums and to prove its worth as an art material. There are some truly amazing things being done with polymer right now, and it’s been talked about all over the polymer blogs, Facebook, and Flickr.

Book Review: The Sparkle Factory

What’s funny to me, though, is that all of this focus on art has somewhat ignored the humble roots of this stuff. You don’t hear much (in my circle, at least) what the average person is doing with a pack of craft store polymer. Not everyone cares about sanding their pieces. Not everyone is looking to make a work of art. Not everyone even knows that there is so much potential in that little packet. Some people just want a lump of color they can mold into something wearable and fun.

Hey, that’s exactly what drew me to polymer in the first place: fast, easy, wearable. Done.

And that is how polymer is used in this book. It’s a means to an end, just another craft material that will get you where you want to go. And I find that kind of a relief. It takes some of the pressure off.

Book Review: The Sparkle Factory

The clay is only used in a few of the projects in this book, mostly as a colorful base for sparkly crystals and jewels, and sometimes as a molding material. Do you see that funky cameo up there? It’s not exactly my style, but I can definitely appreciate the way brightly-colored clay completely changes the mood from traditional to rebellious.

Throughout the book there are projects that celebrate color and inexpensive materials. You are encouraged to find your supplies at the dollar store!

There are several projects, but then there are also chapters where the author shares her story, and then provides encouragement for budding jewelry designers.

It’s an interesting book, and while I (probably) won’t be dying my hair pink, it’s got me thinking about injecting a little more FUN into some of my jewelry.

Intrigued? Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:
The Sparkle Factory: The Design and Craft of Tarina’s Fashion Jewelry and Accessories

(By the way, the usual disclaimers apply re: affiliate links and the free book I got as compensation for my honest review.)

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