Crafting Book Review: Steampunk Emporium by Jema Hewitt
Created by wilhelminaframe on 8/2/2011 2:03:28 PM

New Editrix de Mode, Wilhelmina Frame reviews the new jewelry crafting book <i>Steampunk Emporium</i> by Jema Hewiit and her adventuress alter-ego Emilly Ladybird.


Image courtesy of Jema HewittSteampunk Emporium (North Light Books) is the new jewelry and oddments crafting book by UK costume and jewelry designer Jema Hewitt. The book chronicles the adventures of Jema’s alter ego Emilly Ladybird. Emilly travels the world searching for fantastic artifacts for her employers Dickens and Rivett. The curios she discovers, including a pendant that is also a key to the Gate of Atlantis or a pair of Green Fairy Cufflinks that will gain you entrance to the exclusive Verdigris Club, can be reconstructed by you with her step by step instructions.

Image courtesy of Jema HewittEach project is introduced with an entertaining and witty anecdote from Emilly. Notes about the teapot collection of a clockwork creation named Kizzywik or a narrow escape from a pesky air kraken make the book entertaining as well as instructional. The projects range from jewelry and medals to small objects like wine charms. In addition to jewelry components, found objects, gears and watch parts, Ms. Hewitt employs stamp, clay, and resin techniques. The instructions are well photographed and illustrated but the breadth of techniques and materials employed in some pieces can be a bit intense. That is not to say that I perceived any of the projects to be difficult to understand, but due to my own lack of familiarity with some of the materials employed I know that I would experience some trial and error working on these pieces, so fair warning. At the back of the book is a helpful reference section covering tools, materials and auxiliary techniques such as watch disassembly.

All of the projects are versatile. While not every design appealed to me, I could easily see how I could swap a gear for a flower or change the colors and supplies to ones better to my liking. It’s easy to see where you can put your own individual stamp on Ms. Hewitt’s designs. This is a book that could be enjoyed by a whole range of crafters, not just the steampunk ones.

Whimsical photography and sepia toned art direction make the book a delight to peruse. It’s fun to read and look at even if you never pick up a pair of pliers or mix up a batch of two part epoxy. Once I clear the decks a bit, I plan on trying out a project or two and I’ll post the results. If you make anything from the book share with us!

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You can get your own copy of Steampunk Emporium directly from North Light Books or other fine online retailers.



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