Born To Be Worn by S & T Creations

Art Charms & Jewelry: Kalmbach Books

Posted on: February 13, 2011

Kalmbach Books

Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen define an art charm as “a tiny handmade work of art with a jump ring on it for attaching to something.” Art charms, by definition, are small, up to a max of 4 inches (on a charm necklace, for example). Art charms amaze me. How people can look at something and “see” how they would use it in an art form, when all I see is “stuff.” But Peggy and Christine, in the 36 projects in this book, gave me plenty of examples of seeing beyond a miscellaneous collection to design a lovely jewelry project.

I love the idea of themed jewelry, when it’s still quality and creative. Art charms provide exactly that! The many different types of objects were a pleasant surprise. They have sections for paper, polymer clay, plastic, wood, fiber, resin, metal, glass and found objects. Then, there is 1 more section called “Putting it All Together” that shows different ways to create jewelry to show off your new creations. You can tell that the authors put a great deal of time and thought into the creation of these projects and the “how-to” details. I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the authors when they talked about art charms, and their discussion of charm swaps, often available online. They recommend contacting someone and exchanging a swap one-on-one, so you can get some feedback on your creations.

Well, I did go through the book, of course, and found some great how-tos for several types of media. There are some really cool black and white clay beads, in odd shapes. My very favorite project uses aquarium tubing to create what could be really stunning beads/pendants! (no I’m not telling their secret, you’ll have to get the book). The wood and fiber section had some cool projects, but the resin section drew me in. I’ve made resin beads once and really want to figure out how to create more artistic designs. One of my favorites is a play on steampunk, using old watch faces as the resin mold. The glass section was one I read a little closer, because that is something else I want to try. My favorite design in the last section is one called a Princess Necklace. I like this because it truly highlights and showcases each charm indivdually, instead of a charm bracelet where they can get lost in the mix. I generally don’t think of working in small media and especially not using shrinky dink plastic!

But not only do the authors have some really tempting projects in this book, but they also taught me a great deal about the level of detail, planning and thought that goes into each miniature art work piece. I have a new found appreciation for this art form and for what swappers go through when they participate in a swap. Learn a new art form, be creative on a small level, or just expand your thinking to include more “treasures” with this Art Charms & Jewelry. There are countless number of projects you could do with a group of girls, so they make charms that they trade and create their own charm bracelet, starting with very artistic, personal mementos instead of a stamped pewter charm.

Kalmbach Books provided the author with a review copy of Art Charms & Jewelry. No remuneration or expectation regarding this review was discussed.


3 Responses to "Art Charms & Jewelry: Kalmbach Books"

Wow – what a terrific review! Thank you so very much for your kind words – Peg & I are delighted that you enjoyed the book. 🙂 We also cordially invite you and your readers to join our Art Charms Yahoo group, in which we are doing a book study & lots of swaps. Here’s the link:
Best, Chris

Thanks for the great review! We’re so glad you liked our book. Any time you want to swap with us you are most welcome. We have a lively, active, fun group of ArtCharmers with all different levels of experience. Just check out the book blog for info about charm swaps and other exchanges at

THIS was one of the most exciting books I ever saw—had to buy it!! It is SO informative—a great reference book as well as one with great pics and instructions…ideas galore!! I believe I went and posted all about it back when I was a first page member on the Hive (what a waste THAT place was!!!)…anyway, you will NEVER be sorry you got this book! I love it!

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