Jewelry Designs from Nature

Heather Powers
Item #64285

Find extraordinary inspiration in the everyday.
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Heather reveals her creative process and guides readers through 30 lovely bracelet, necklace and earring projects that feature her beads and the beads of other well-known artists. Simple techniques such as stringing, wirework, and bead stitching are explained with clear step-by-step directions. Readers will use this view into artist Heather Power’s creative process to build a solid foundation in the basics of jewelry design. Drawing on the natural world, Heather shows readers how to balance color, texture, and scale to create 30 projects. Pieces are designed with simple techniques, chain, wire, findings, crystals, seed beads, and art beads in standard sizes.
Author: Heather Powers
Size: 8 1/4 x 10 3/4
Pages: 96
Color photos: 350
Black & White photos: 0
Illustrations: 0
Author Bio

Heather Powers is an innovative bead and jewelry artist, creating art beads collected by bead enthusiasts all over the world. Her designs have been featured on television, in magazines, and in books, and her work is sold at art galleries, markets, and on her website, Heather is the organizer and planner of the Bead Cruise, an annual seven-day event that combines travel to tropical islands with classes taught by nationally known instructors. She is also the founder and editor of the Art Bead Scene, an interactive blog that celebrates art beads and inspires those who use them. Heather graduated from Kendall College of Art & Design with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. She lives in San Antonio where she is a work-at-home mom, balancing business and family.

Table of Contents
Art Beads
Supporting Cast
Tools of the Trade

Part One:  Woodlands
Evergreen bracelet
Nurture Thy Soul necklace
Out on a Limb necklace
Birch Forest bracelet
The Sweetest Song necklace
Above the Tree Tops necklace
Be True necklace
Three Sisters necklace
Autumn Lariat
Winter Solstice necklace
Oh Nuts necklace
Interlude–Nature, Poetry, and Your Story: Discovering your visual language
A conversation with Mary Harding
Leaving Home bracelet

Part Two: Gardens
Daffodil Fields necklace
Tatiana’s Bower necklace
Interlude–The Design Journal
A Conversation with Kerri Fuhr
Medieval Medallion necklace
Flight of the Bumblebee bracelet
Zen Garden bracelet
Garden Gate earrings
Thistles and Blooms necklace 
Dragonfly Pond necklace
Forget-Met-Knot necklace 

Part Three: Sea
Effervescence necklace 
Into the Deep necklace
Bronze Nautilus earrings
Caribbean Waters bracelet
Jelly Fish necklace 
Tide Pool Treasures bracelet
Interlude: Color in Nature
A Conversation with D'Arsie Manzella
Aphrodite’s Charm necklace
Coral and Shell necklace 
Sea Urchin Necklace
Koi Pond necklace
Along the Reef bracelet

About the Author

Tough economic times have inspired many young college grads to pack up and leave Michigan after graduation.
Given this discouraging reality, I’m encouraged that jewelry artist and bead designer Heather Powers is returning to the mitten state after a post-college hiatus.
The 38-year-old jewelry-maker and bead designer is relocating to Grand Rapids this week after spending more than a decade in Texas.
The 1996 Kendall College of Art & Design graduate and author of the new book, “Jewelry Designs from Nature,” said, “Since my business does so well, I can work wherever I want.”
And she picked Grand Rapids as the new home for her and her husband and teenage daughters.
Powers grew up in South Haven, so family ties did play a role in her return to Michigan, but so did her experience selling jewelry at local art markets while she was an art student in West Michigan.
A self-taught jewelry-maker, Powers discovered the wonders of polymer clay “and totally fell in love with it” while an undergrad studying fine art painting.
When she moved to Texas, she said she was disappointed by the craft scene around the San Antonio area and started selling her work online.
She started blogging at, then founded Art Bead Scene, an interactive blog that features art beads and shows readers how to use them. Her online presence and dedication to marketing her work, has raised Powers’ profile and resulted in a strong following among jewelry-makers and collectors.
"I do a lot more marketing than the average craft business,” Powers said, explaining she is diligent about submitting articles to national jewelry and bead publications, blogging and networking via the Web.
Blogging has been a key part of Powers’ strategic plan to grow her business.
“I think a blog is really a way for customers to come in and take a little studio tour with you,” she said.
And artists and crafters who share their stories are likely to increase their sales because, “people buy from people they know and like,” Powers said.
Powers has been making jewelry for 17 years and started making art beads to sell to other jewelry designers and hobbyists about seven years ago — a move that helped her boost her profits.
“It’s easier to find a market to sell beads,” Powers said, explaining that the popularity of jewelry making means there are a lot of DIYers out there looking to buy her polymer clay beads that sell for $8 to $20.
For the past two years she said she has been able to make a living off her handmade business.
Powers teaches jewelry classes, too, and prefers to host her own classes and events. She rented a beach house where she will host a weekend retreat next month in South Haven. The weekend retreat is full, but there still is space available on Powers’ 2012 bead cruise slated for March. During the cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, Powers and a lineup of guest instructors will teach a variety of jewelry-making techniques.
“I plan my dream vacation and then invite people to come with me,” Powers says about the cruises she has been hosting for seven years.
Powers will be arriving in Grand Rapids just in time to promote her first book which is inspired by her childhood memories of time spent on the shores of Lake Michigan. The book features 30 necklace, bracelet and earring projects that are made using simple jewelry techniques and handcrafted art beads.
Blogging led to a book deal for Powers, who was approached by her publisher.
Writing a book is “so exciting,” Powers said. “It’s like having a baby.”
-Grand Rapids Living, Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

Heather Powers' Jewelry Designs from Nature is a collection of projects that are inspired by nature. It's mostly it's stringing and simple wire work designs with palettes chosen for their resemblance to natural settings.
Beads and pendants made by various artists out of various materials get the frames they deserve in this book. The techniques are simple, just right for a beginning jewelry designer to make pieces that are artistic and wearable. 
The introduction includes the bead types and tools you'll be using. Basic wire working and stringing tools are all that's necessary for the pieces in this book. No specialty pliers or mandrels needed. 
There are also good tips on getting inspired and how to use that inspiration to create beautiful pieces of jewelry.
The projects are wonderful. The focal pieces are well set in chains that carry the themes. One of my favorite things in the book is the use of baroque and stick pearls to emulate natural settings. It can be hard to find a use for those sorts of pearls that really suits their beauty. 
The focal pieces are fantastic, and there is an artist list in the back of the book so you can find those pieces and other things made by the same artists. The techniques and ideas will also work well for pieces of a similar size that you get from artists at local shows.
My favorite piece in the whole book is the Birch Forest Bracelet. Having recently hiked through a birch forest, I can see the inspiration in the piece made with lampwork beads that have layers of colors that look like birch back and the seed bead part of the bracelet with it's leaves and accent beads looks luck and growing. 
I also love the Aphrodite's Charm necklace, which takes it cue from Aphrodite's aquatic origin and has pale, translucent beads which show a watery feeling well.
Most of the pieces in the book are non-symmetrical and very well balanced to create a sense of movement that works very well. If you're a stringer or wire worker like me who tends too often to work symmetrically, it's a good way to learn about balancing non-symmetrical elements to create a dynamic pieces of jewelry. 
Just lovely pieces in this book, the styles remind me a lot of designer jewelry, the sorts of things you see gracing the necks, wrists and ears of stars in interviews. The components are just beautiful. I was absolutely charmed by Heather's idea sketches as well. 
-Shala Kerrigan, BellaOnline
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