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Sneak Peek: Showcase 500 Art Necklaces

July 11, 2013, 14:59 pm  Posted by Lark
 

The pyrotechnics of Independence Day may have passed, but there’s more sparkle in store this week thanks to our dazzling new release, Showcase 500 Art Necklaces. Offering both traditional and boundary-pushing examples of modern neckwear, this intriguing collection is full of surprises, including a necklace made of glass that glows, a rather regal collar composed entirely of shoe heels, and a piece that features teabags (and an apt title: “Drink Me, Alice!”). Uncommon elements—computer parts, porcupine quills, dental floss, LEDs—abound in the book, but so do tried-and-true treasured materials like gemstones, gold, copper, and sterling silver. And there are beads galore—of course!

Materials aside, the pieces in Showcase 500 Art Necklaces are unified by a boldness of vision that’s truly exciting. Chunghi Choo, a professor of jewelry and metal arts at the University of Iowa and an elected fellow of the American Craft Council, juried the collection, choosing from 3000 entries submitted by an international group of artists. Take a look at the images below, and you’ll see why Showcase 500 Art Necklaces is a summer standout.

Time Jewel by Krisztina Németh

Palpitation Series Necklace by Tia Kramer


Kay by Abigail Heuss

Untitled by Pilar Agueci

Blossom Neckpiece by Mariana Acosta Contreras

You can find Showcase 500 Art Necklaces at Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.

 
 
 
 
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The cover of Showcase 500 Art Necklaces, juried by Chunghi Choo

Among the many things art jewelry can do is tell a story … or hint at one and give rise to the imagination. The cover of Showcase 500 Art Necklaces, a June book, has released, and I wanted to share it with you promptly, as well as on the Lark Jewelry & Beading page on Facebook.

The cover piece, created by Andrea Williams of Bound Earth Jewelry Design, is titled Vinculum, a 2012 necklace made of found beach stones, reclaimed sterling silver, and resin. Andrea’s techniques were simply carving and fabrication. The piece was photographed by Mark Craig.

A vinculum is a bond or tie, and I found the jewelry and photography bold and evocative in obvious ways. We played with different cover possibilities, but this piece and photograph are the ones I wanted to make work from the start.

Inside the book, the piece runs with a full-page bleed (it runs off on all four sides). In that original photo, which I’ve included below, the model appears to be an African American male (although, of course, I’m actually unsure). When the piece was cropped for best fit on the cover, it became less pronounced whether the person pictured is male or female. We had differing opinions internally as to how that impacted the power of the image as we finalized the cover design. We’d love to hear your thoughts when you get the book.

The work in Showcase 500 Art Necklaces is incredibly varied. Juror Chunghi Choo selected art jewelry from 456 artists in a few more than 500 pieces and photographs, so the range of visions — as well as materials and techniques employed — is unusually diverse. I think it makes for a fantastic and challenging collection of contemporary work. It’s a June release, so you’ll get to decide for yourself soon enough!

You can download a PDF of the cover here, or copy the cover image above for web usages. If you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to share the cover image widely! And I hope you love the book. ~ Ray Hemachandra

 

Vinculum by Andrea Williams as it runs on page 21 of Showcase 500 Art Necklaces

 

 
 
 
 
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500 Series Giveaway: Lark Jewelry and Beading Books

November 25, 2013, 12:10 pm  Posted by Lark
 

 

 

The holidays are officially here, so we’re channeling Santa: In the spirit of the season, we’re giving away ten jewelry books from our 500 series. One lucky person will win the fabulous stack pictured above, which includes the newest entries in the series (Showcase 500 Art Necklaces and Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry), as well as old favorites like 500 Wedding Rings.*

To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 EST on Sunday, December 1. One winner will be selected at random, and the results will be announced on Monday, December 2. Please click here for the official rules. This giveaway is now closed. A winner has been selected. Thanks for entering!

*Gingerbread man not included.

 
 
 
 
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UPDATE 1/9/2013: Congratulations to Colleen White of Bradenton, Florida, the randomly selected winner of this giveaway. Our thanks to everyone who participated: thank you for being a part of our community! ~ Ray

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Well, it’s the holiday season, and I hope you’re feeling in the spirit—or at least whatever kind of good spirit is meaningful to you!

The spirit I’m feeling today is genuine gratitude for all the kind community you share with us throughout the year, and that makes me want to give something special to thank you.

So I’m doing a spur-of-the-moment giveaway, and a big one: a random selection of 15 of our 500 Series books old and new from Lark Jewelry & Beading, including two especially precious ones that are out of print. Here are the books in the set, stacked nicely in a pile by my desk (okay, honestly, that’s not my desk or anywhere close to it; my desk is covered in papers and a stack of books would tumble over very loudly):

Showcase 500 Rings
Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry
500 Necklaces
500 Pendants & Lockets
500 Metal Vessels
500 Judaica
500 Silver Jewelry Designs
500 Plastic Jewelry Designs
500 Brooches (out of print)
500 Bracelets
400 Polymer Clay Designs
500 Gemstone Jewels
1000 Glass Beads (being taken out of print with more than 38,000 copies sold lifetime, and we have now run out of stock in our warehouse)
1000 Rings
21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series

How can you enter for a chance to win this fabulous set of 15 inspiring gift books? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 2. Any comment will do, but we’d love it if you’d write about something special: the most meaningful present you’ve ever given—and what made it so special.

One winner will be selected at random and announced on January 11, 2013. I encourage you to join us: Please “Like” the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page to see photos of contemporary jewelry and beading work and to be alerted to free projects and giveaways on this blog. Click here for the official giveaway rules.

Good luck. And, of course, we here at Lark wish you and your family a holiday season and new year filled with kindness, joy, laughter, and grace.

 
 
 
 
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This past week, Publishers Weekly named Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry among its 2012 Best Books of the Year.

Publishers Weekly is the trade magazine for the publishing industry — booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, and agents — as well as a newsstand magazine in select outlets. The magazine has been published continuously since 1872. In its 2012 “Best Books” recognitions, PW named a total of 120 books across 13 categories (top 10, fiction, mystery/thriller, poetry, romance, SF/fantasy/horror, comics, nonfiction, children’s picture, children’s nonfiction, and lifestyle) as the best books of the year, out of the truly countless books published. Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry is one of just three 2012 art or craft books so distinguished. So, the recognition is significant.

I learned about the honor a few weeks ago now, and I’ve had some time to reflect upon what it means. First, I shared the notice with the Lark Jewelry & Beading staff and complementary Lark Books and Sterling Publishing (our parent company) staff. The recognition is a testament to the work they do year-round and each and every day. I was hired at Lark as a senior editor six years ago this month, and the professionals at this company then and the professionals at this company now are simply the very best. Working with them has enriched me personally and professionally, and enormously so. They deserve this honor.

Three years ago, I moved from my work as a senior editor into a managerial role as a team lead, leading a group of editors and art designers to form the Lark Jewelry & Beading group. So now, having worked with the jewelry and beading communities for three years, I bring a perspective in looking at this recognition that reflects that experience.

It seems to me I’ve worked on a lot of books for a lot of outstanding art and craft communities to a fair amount of critical acclaim, including for these 20 or so books with my name attached to them and many, many others while working with very talented authors and editors. But this level of note is unprecedented for me … and it’s a beading book.

Or, more accurately, a gallery book of beading artwork — part of the 500 Series recently renamed, at least in its jewelry and beading incarnations, the Showcase 500 Series.

What this honor says to me is that contemporary beadwork has come fully of age as an artistic medium and can be recognized as both craft and — often — fine art. So, of course, what this recognition really does is honor the beading community itself, the many talented and devoted artists of which it’s comprised, those artists who were generous enough to submit their work for consideration in the book, and those whose work was ultimately selected to be included.

This week, we’re going to do some outreach beyond this blog sharing news of the award. But, for now, while my name is on the cover of the book — I conceived the idea, did artist outreach, juried the entries, and ordered the images in the book — that can get entirely overblown.

I’m indebted to and, more than anything, humbled and graced by the talent and generosity both of the beading community and of my wonderful coworkers, those who worked specifically on this book and those who make working at Lark so rewarding and enjoyable each day.

I thank you all.

Here is the original review for Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry that ran in the August 7, 2012, issue of Publishers Weekly:

Opening this gorgeous hunk of a book is like walking into a high-end jewelry gallery. There are 500 full-color photographs of beaded jewelry—necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins and earrings—created by 275 artists with beads, wire, filament, and fiber. Some of the artists are well-known to beaders, like Carol Wilcox Wells and Diane Fitzgerald, and some not-so-well-known, with their work published for the first time. This makes for a heady blend of inspiration, ideas, and expression. Editor Hemachandra selected the 500 beaded objects from submissions by 360 artists from 30 countries. To his credit, no single style—bead weaving, bead embroidery, bead stringing—gets short shrift. The photography is of high professional standards, no Instagram shots by amateurs posted to Facebook, and is also instructively illustrative of the beadwork, offering closeup shots that will help the aspiring bead worker reproduce some of the techniques. One quibble: it would have been nice to include the artists’ countries of origin just below the photo of their work instead of in the index, saving the reader a lot of flipping back and forth. A list of artists’ Web sites would have been nice, too. (Aug. 7)

You can ask for the book at your local bookstore, and it is also available on Amazon and BN.com.

 
 
 
 
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Summer Sale: Lark’s 500 Series

July 10, 2012, 13:53 pm  Posted by Lark
 

50% Off Summer Sale at BN.comTruly, it’s as if the holidays have arrived two seasons ahead of schedule–from July 10 through July 17, BN.com is hosting a 50% Off Summer Sale of incredible Lark books! Yes, half off armfuls of books, and the following beautiful list of 500 series titles are among the sale.

Give the gift of artful inspiration to yourself, your family, your friends, students, teachers, and colleagues this year–check out the following list of 500 series books at bn.com–happy browsing!

(Want to learn about ALL of the titles in Lark’s 500 series?

See the entire 500 collection on bn.com)

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21st Century Jewelry

………………………………………………………………………………….

1000 Glass Beads1000 Glass Beads

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1000 Rings1000 Rings

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400 Polymer Clay Designs400 Polymer Clay Designs

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400 Wood Boxes400 Wood Boxes

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500 Animals in Clay500 Animals in Clay

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500 Art Quilts500 Art Quilts

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500 Beaded Objects500 Beaded Objects

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Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry promises to be one of the fall’s most sought after gems. In this beautiful gallery book, nearly 300 bead artists present exquisite, innovative, and often fun and surprising works in bead weaving, embroidery, stringing, handmade beads, and more.

Color proofs of the book were sent to Publishers Weekly, the leading trade magazine for the book publishing industry, and here’s an excerpt from the very enthusiastic review that just released: “Opening this gorgeous hunk of a book is like walking into a high-end jewelry gallery. There are 500 full-color photographs of beaded jewelry — necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins and earrings — created by 275 artists with beads, wire, filament, and fiber. Some of the artists are well-known to beaders, like Carol Wilcox Wells and Diane Fitzgerald, and some not-so-well-known, with their work published for the first time. This makes for a heady blend of inspiration, ideas, and expression. Editor Hemachandra selected the 500 beaded objects from submissions by 360 artists from 30 countries. To his credit, no single style — bead weaving, bead embroidery, bead stringing — gets short shrift. The photography is of high professional standards, no Instagram shots by amateurs posted to Facebook, and is also instructively illustrative of the beadwork, offering closeup shots that will help the aspiring bead worker reproduce some of the techniques.” (You can read the full review — including two debatable criticisms! — online here.)

Our advance copies are in, and I’m going to give away one advance copy of the book signed by me. The winner will be the first person outside the company and book industry to see the book.

How can you enter for a chance to win? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 27. Any comment counts as an entry, but why don’t you let us know which bead designer inspires you the very most (tough question!). One winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, July 5. Click here for the official rules.

The book is available for preorder at your local bead store or bookstore, or online at BN.com or Amazon.com (go over, take a look, and please give the book’s page a “Like”). Be sure to join Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook for book and community news, as well as images of beautiful jewelry. And good luck!

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UPDATE: Congratulations to Adele Recklies of Brooklyn, New York. Adele was randomly selected as the winner of the signed advance copy of Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry. Our thanks to everyone who participated … and we hope you love the book!

 
 
 
 
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Here’s a fantastic summer sale celebration: From July 10-17, selected books from Lark Jewelry & Beading–including many of our most popular current books from our most popular authors–are on sale at 50% off on BN.com with their special summer sale. Plus you get free shipping when you place an order of $25 or more. It’s the perfect time to purchase all those books you’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about getting … and to load up on gifts for friends, family, and the holidays.

Look below to see all of Lark’s jewelry books on sale; you can click through on any cover to go directly to that book’s page on BN.com. Also, don’t miss the related posts for Lark Jewelry & Beading’s BEADING BOOKS, GIFT GALLERY BOOKS, or the overall sale page, including books in other categories from Lark and other publishers! Please spread the word (and this page’s URL link) with your friends and social media community right now, too … this special half-off BN.com sale only lasts through Tuesday, July 17!

So start browsing …

 

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
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What a summer celebration! From July 10-17, selected books from Lark Jewelry & Beading–including many of our most popular current books–are on sale at 50% off on BN.com with their special summer sale! Plus you get free shipping when you place an order for $25 or more. It’s the perfect time to purchase all those books you’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about getting … and to load up on gifts for friends, family, and the holidays.

Look below to see all the jewelry and beading gallery books on sale; you can click through on any cover to go directly to that book’s page on BN.com. Also, don’t miss the related posts for Lark Jewelry & Beading’s JEWELRY BOOKS, BEADING BOOKS, or the overall sale page, including books in other categories from Lark and other publishers! Please spread the word with your friends and social media community right now, too … this special half-off BN.com sale only lasts through Tuesday, July 17!

So start browsing …

Continue reading...
 
 
 
 
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SOFA Chicago photos

November 04, 2011, 20:34 pm  Posted by Lark
 

This is my first time attending SOFA, and I am LOVING it! It’s great getting to see all this amazing work in person, instead of in the pages of a book or magazine…and on top of that, so many of the artists are here, in the booths or giving lectures, so I get to meet them. What an honor. Here’s just a few of the people I saw today–artists, gallery owners and attendees–as well as some of the work:

Independent curator Gail Brown, wearing a brooch by Joyce Scott

Gallery owner Charon Kransen (on the left), the juror of 500 Bracelets

Artist Karina Guevin (on the right), wearing one of her lovely glass necklaces

furniture by Sam Maloof

Gallery owner Sienna Patti talking to jeweler Bruce Metcalf, right after his lecture. Bruce was the juror for Showcase 500 Rings.

Jeweler Biba Schutz (on the right) talking with a client