Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review - Skunk Hill Studios


I know that most of you that do not play with seeds will not know who my friend Karen Williams of Skunk Hill Studio is.  Well let me tell you a bit about her.  I have been following Karen on her blog Baublicious for a couple of years.  She is a freeform goddess.  She lives in Seattle and teaches at Fusion Beads and she will be teaching her Lacework Cuff at BeadFest in Texas this year.  

Now I will tell you that I sort of still consider the word Freeform a swear word but she is working on that with me.  So she wonderfully sent me her book "Freeform Peyote Beading"  Now I was totally nervous in accepting this book because of my fear and aversion to anything freeform so when it came there was excitement and apprehension to say the least.  Oh what a book it is.  

Here is Karen's definition of Freeform...

"Freeform peyote is an abstract, organic art form based upon color, value, texture and line; each piece a unique creation unsuited to specific instructions or pattern."

Okay so any of you that know me know once I read that I thought no way, no how, not going to happen.  I will never be able to start without a pattern.  Okay Karen what are you thinking.  So since it came just before I had to take my little guy to swim I thought okay I will read on.  

Here is where she has changed my outlook on not only freeform but jewelry making in general.  In her description of design element, color values and principles of design I was completely blown away at what she taught me.  Here is a snippet of one of my favorite pages...

I could not get a grasp of using a color wheel.  I read about it, saw how others used it and still could not understand.  She has cleared up not only my confusion with the color wheel but color values, depth and contrast that I never thought I would grasp.

So I thought sharing this book with all of you would be great because it not only tells you about freeform but it can also bring the artist out in all of us.  

Thank you so much Karen for sending me this amazing resource and yes maybe just maybe I will attempt a freeform piece!  LOL

Kristen

13 comments :

  1. OH I am SP jealous!!! I want this book in the worst way, and even more now that you've given it such a glowing review!! I can't wait to see you put it into action!

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  2. Thanks Kristen! I'm so glad you enjoyed my book!

    And I fully believe you'll be an ace at freeform peyote once you let yourself try it. Just like you are with your other bead work! :)

    Anyone who wants to branch out into creating their own designs, whether freeform or not, can definitely benefit from studying the principles of design. I know I'm still constantly learning. Because freeform work relies on these design principles so heavily, I felt it was important to share those that have helped me the most.

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    1. Karen I am thanking you for writing it. I learned so much!

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  3. Karen's work is amazing and thanks to your review, I can see how she's able to achieve the exquisite color combinations she uses. I'm going to have to get this book so I can attempt a freeform piece myself....you've given me the encouragement I need to try this difficult-looking beading method!

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    1. You really should if this is something you want to try. She gives you a great foundation to build on.

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  4. I'll be in Texas too I hope to meet Karen there! Free form makes my heart go pitter pat....I don't do anything that has a pattern...I think it's funny that we are all wired so different, that's what makes it interesting for sure!

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    1. Oh I will expect a full report on your meeting! And you will have to hug her for me!

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  5. Looove freeform - no rules! Woohoo! CAn't imagine a book about freeform. Would love to see it.

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    1. If you love freeform this is the book for you! I was amazed!

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  6. I have her book, and fully agree. She led me down color paths, idea paths, and design paths that I didn't think I could go. It is NOT a book of patterns, but of learning how to hear your voice, and translate it into a beautiful art form.

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    1. Excellent way to put it my friend!!!

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  7. Great review! Seed beads are swear words to me, but I love looking at and wearing things made with them. Love the freeform look and the color wheel section looks brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I can tell you love seeing them Jennifer. Just like your glass scares me but I love and appreciate how you make them. thank you!

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