Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Charming Exchange

A Charming Exchange by Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae
I first became aware of this wonderful book because I was participating in a charm exchange organized by Lynn Davis ( see December 1, 2008 post). I checked it out on Amazon and now it is in my ever growing library of jewelry making books. The theme of this book is collaboration, a theme that embodies much of my life. I love the energy and creativity that collaboration can ignite. And so it is always with enthusiasm that I join in on collaborative ventures. As the book points out, you don't need to live in an artistic community to have opportunities to collaborate with other artists: the internet has many online art groups for you to join, with many different media to choose from. Ah! And the best part of collaborations is that you find new talents and new ideas inside of yourself that you might have never discovered otherwise. The authors refer to this as "creating fearlessly."
What has really endeared me to this book is the wide range of techniques that have come together in such unusual ways. Although the book is not a step-by-step instruction manual to the projects described, it does highlight some of the unusual techniques the artists have used to combine disparate objects into jewelry. Since I am always looking for ways to make non-jewelry objects into linkable entities for jewelry, this book has been a treasure trove of ideas for me. Some of the unusual links they give detailed instructions for that really intrigued me are : coiled jump rings, capacitator charms ( I had some of these lying around, i.e. the capacitators), making a wire basket, eye of god links ,wrapped stone links, bar loop links, baby swing links, decorative swirl links, wire orb links, and I promise you, many more that I haven't mentioned.

Below is a photo of some of the charms that I created especially for the Blessings Charm exchange that I have been participating in. I had never made hand built ceramic charms before so I am so pleased that I dared to "create fearlessly" and came up with these.

You can purchase A Charming Exchange at or Barnes and Noble. You will love it I am sure.


  1. i'm so delighted that you are enjoying the book. your charms look wonderful, mary. thank you so much for your kind words about a charming exchange. it makes me so darn happy and proud to see it well-received. -happy smiles - kelly

  2. Thank you Kelly. Your book is a wonderful experience. And I am so pleased that you like my charms. I am looking forward to checking out your blog.


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