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Showcase: 500 Rings (500 Series) [Paperback]

Marthe Le Van , Juror Bruce Metcalf
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 13.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 July 2012 500 Series
Rings have outsold every other subject covered by our 500 series, so it's only fitting that we begin the next generation of the series with Showcase: 500 Rings. This dynamic gallery volume looks at the jeweller's art as it's being interpreted by leading designers from around the world, some exploring dazzlingly innovative styles with highly advanced techniques and costly materials; others using simple, traditional methods and creating works of quiet elegance. What they all have in common is that every image contains elements of surprise and awe.

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Showcase: 500 Rings (500 Series) + 500 Silver Jewelry Designs (500 Series) + 1000 Rings: Inspiring Adornments for the Hand (Lark Jewelry Book) (Lark Jewelry Books)
Price For All Three: 44.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Lark; 1 edition (7 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454702885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454702887
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 20.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Need bling? Serious bling? Original bling? Finger bling? In "Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry", Lark Books--doing what it does best--offers the debut title in their redesigned "Showcase 500" series. And what an offering it is! From the medieval-inspired simplicity of Aliki Apoussidou's hot-forged Siegelring Rund to Kristin Diener's aptly named Ring Form: Contraption (truly, a party on your hand), juror Bruce Metcalf and editor Marthe Le Van have selected an eye-catching collection of jewelry from classic to quirky. My personal favorites ran the gamut. Would I wear Julie Lynn Romanenko's untitled elegant diamond and 14-karat gold set? Absolutely! Could I see myself wearing the polymer-clay fantasy that is Jeffrey Lloyd Dever's Convergence? The artful sprite in me is screaming 'Sure, you can!' This book lives up to the Lark Books' tradition. It's a jewelry store between two covers." --Diana Mains Welte "Love jewelry? While few of these rings might be actually worn, they are highly creative and inspiring to view. The uniqueness of the rings lies in design, concept, techniques and materials. While some jewelers use gold, precious metals and stones, others use everyday items like paper, hook-and-loop tape and synthetic rubber insulation tubing. Techniques are also diverse, including carving and photo etching to hot forging and welding. This is another of the terrific books in the "500" series. Well worth buying and loving." --Nancy G. Cook

About the Author

Juror Bruce Metcalf was a contributing editor to Metalsmith magazine for nearly two decades and taught at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His honours include a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship, a Fulbright Teaching & Research Fellowship in Korea and a National Endowment for the Arts Craftsmen's Fellowship. Marthe Le Van is a Senior Content Editor for Lark Jewelry & Beading. She has written, edited, juried or curated more than 40 jewellery books since 2000.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading cover photographs 28 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The cover photos shews wearable and precious rings.
These photos are misleading.
If you are seeking photos of sculptures adapted so that they are capable of being put on a finger, as opposed to being worn,this is the book to buy.

Non precious, sometimes inappropriately non-durable materials, predominate.
If some precious element is used, it is often obscured by that which is not.

One ring is made of lead and gold; a new take on the apocryphal poison-containing ring of the Borgias. [page 325]
With this, just get your enemy to wear it.
Lead poisons through the skin.

This was included without any annotation that it is not intended for wear, nor suitable for wear, and without giving the dangers posed to anyone who, in ignorance of them, decided to emulate the process.

Perhaps the jurors/publishers felt that to do so should mean that they should warn of the perils of the intake of sugar from the rings made of sugar, and not stop there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 500 rings 26 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As with the others in this series a lovely book, it is truly amazing what can be done with glass.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book 24 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful photos perfect text, superb. All the pages are covered with excellent photos and explanations and the colors are wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book 7 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A variety of rings, showcasing techniques of all kinds from the simple to more technical. Defin one to keep browsing through
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unutterably Beautiful and Moving Modern Jewelry Design Book of Rings! 23 April 2012
By Jean Baldridge Yates - Published on Amazon.com
This book of rings, Showcase 500 Rings, New Directions in Art jewelry, is a complete celebration of the human urge to communicate and join through creating. As we reach out our hands to each other, we acknowledge that we are separate from other creatures on our planet by our ability to use our hands as tools to create beauty and art. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the hands are the doorways to all that we hold to be dear and true in our hearts.
It is a lovely way to begin a new series of Lark books by dedicating it to rings. Rings say so much and in so many ways. They join people in marriage, they commemorate other important occasions, they even serve as seals or crests.
Showcase 500 rings not only gathers together a great collection of classically designed yet modern rings, it also offers the reader the latest creations from the greatest, innovative studio galleries.

As juror Bruce Metcalf explains in his introduction, there is a movement going on right now which validates any and all sorts of materials. This book will show you what he means. Not only are there rings in gold and other precious metals, there are also rings fashioned from all sorts of other materials. There is even a collection of rings which have been made of dried, hand dyed, and hand carved potatoes! And these potato rings (by Julie Usel) are not alone in their unusual nature, in this book. There is nothing which hasn't been chosen which is not worthy to be in this glorious book. You will see silver and gold and gemstones and glass enamel, and you will also see anodized aluminum which has been crocheted and fused. You will be moved by a ring which is almost spiritual in its sensibility, namely "Nest" by Euyoung Park, which is fabricated of resin, ink, and paper only. I was not attracted not only to the more classically styled rings. Rather, I was attracted to all the rings.
I cannot describe to the reader precisely what to expect when he or she pages through this incredible book because what I connect with the most is not necessarily going to be what someone else connects with.
The wonder which I hold as my strongest, most urgent feeling upon reading Showcase 500 rings, and marveling at the creations, will overtake you too, however. That I can guarantee. Here you will find a panoply of all sorts of different rings, created in all sorts of ways. Some are humorous yet have a powerful impact as well, such as Felike Van Der Leest's "Prima Ballerina Hippo-Lolita" , which is constructed of plastic animal, textile, bone, gold, and cubic zirconia. This is one of my favorite rings and employs crocheting, and also metalsmithing. There is nothing like the classic form of the hippo, which harks back to ancient Egypt, when hippos were revered. Add a reference to Disney's dancing hippos from the movie "Fantasia", and combine that with the common knowledge that hippos are among the most vicious animals on earth. "Hippo-Lolita" had this reviewer laughing a little and thinking a LOT simultaneously.
There are a number of what Juror Bruce Metcalf calls "clunk rings". These rings are a commentary on conventional preciousness. According to Metcalf in his introduction, in modern days, Karl Fritsch is the king of "clunk jewelry". I had never heard of this term before and I appreciated Metcalf's explanation of it. He traced it back to sculptor Jean Dubuffet in the 1940's. Clunk was a critical response to conventional sculpture, as Metcalf says. He also says, "Inelegant forms stood in opposition to the outmoded idea that art must be beautiful. Instead, it was proposed that art should be interesting."
This is just a small section of this excellent introduction to this book. Metcalf is a very refreshing observer, and very educated on his subject.
He later says, "I'm pleased to report forward progress in the areas of digital design and rapid prototyping, both of which are finally infiltrating the world of rings." Wow! This reviewer was bowled over by what Metcalf knows and how totally un-pompous he is in his introduction. I could easily take a course from this gentleman and really get something out of it. As a self taught jewelry designer, I usually rely upon myself alone to understand the jewelry world. However he taught me any number of things in his wonderful introduction. Additionally, as always, when Marthe Le Van edits a book, you know you are going to be getting something very special.

I wish to finish up my review of Showcase 500 rings by discussing two different rings which I really liked. The first one is a ring by Petra Class which is untitled. I have chosen it because it is 18 kt. gold, 22 kt. gold, green tourmaline and diamonds. It is a brilliantly colored ring which captures and enhances the beauty of the stones in a remarkably simple way, yet it is very dramatic and elegant. On the other hand, it is also modern and organic looking. The simple bezel settings, and the way the stones network (almost the way crystals grow) with each other, against the sunshine-bright colored yellow gold and the two accent bezel set diamonds is marvelous. It admirably fits into all the categories a beautiful, yet interesting design should fit into.

The other ring I wish to mention is actually a collection of rings, by Emily Klopstein. These are called "Precious Material", and are of all shapes and sizes. They are silvery white, clear, and black in color, and of all sizes and shapes. They are made of sterling silver, found objects, rubber, and water. They are cast and fabricated. The artist explains them above the starkly graceful photograph. "This set of rings questions how today's society defines a community and how our systems of value have the potential to change as natural resources grow scarce. The rings place common drinking water in a position of high importance, examining the value
it might hold in the future, even to the wealthiest of societies."

I was bowled over by this photograph and by these rings.

In the very first photograph, in the interior of Showcase 500 rings, the reader will see a beautifully manicured hand gripping a rock as a person crawls out of the ocean, which is shown in the distance.Upon her hand is a uniquely formed white ring of a plastic-like substance with tendrils waving upon it ending in beaded tips. It is as if the future, and our past...how we began, in this cycle of creation, are melded together. It is at once a breathtaking photograph and a wonderful way to begin this incredible book.

This is a book to treasure, and to look at over and over. I will never tire of this spectacularly photographed glimpse into what is in the hearts of my fellow humans as we journey onward toward our future, telling our story to the children who will follow us in this remarkable adventure which is life.

Showcase 500 rings, by Marthe Le Van and Juror Bruce Metcalf, is today's gift to future civilizations, from our modern artist studio jewelry community. It never follows the rules. What is more, it actually makes that which is interesting into that which is beautiful, at every turn.
Great book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book For Jewelry Designers - Recommended 11 May 2012
By C. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
"Showcase 500 Rings" is essencailly a gallery of ring designs from various artists that highlight what is possible, but not necessarily always practical. As a jewelry maker, I found that there are a lot of truly innovative and clever ideas to draw inspiration from in the works presented. There were also quite a few that you just have to wonder what the artist was thinking when they decided to move forward with making something that no one would ever want, or possibly even be able to, wear. That being said, this is a worthwhile addition to my collection.

Like most other "Lark Carfts" books, the pictures are top quality and could easily be used to teach product photography.



NOTE: The publisher provided me a copy of this book to review, but that in way influences my rating or comments.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter eye candy 8 May 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Showcase 500 Rings is exquisite! I'm so excited to own this book. From wacky to classic designs, the rings in this book are beautifully photographed and should be inspirational to any artist.

Especially if you are a jewelry designer- BUY THIS BOOK! It's a definite must-have for your studio's library of go-to inspiration for generating fresh and innovative ideas. The less 'wearable' pieces really get my creative juices flowing while the more traditional pieces still play with composition and symmetry, color choices and imaginative techniques. Every time I flip through this book, I find something new that makes me smile or say, "Why didn't I think of that?"

This is now definitely in my top 5 favorite books for jewelry design inspiration. I highly recommend it. Truly stunning work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on contemporary finger art 21 May 2012
By Iris Merkle - Published on Amazon.com
If you ever thought that to the concept of the ring nothing new can be added - take a look at this book. 500 artists from all over the world show their breaking ideas on one of the most classical bijouterie items of mankind.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and inspiring 11 May 2012
By Shopnmoka - Published on Amazon.com
I absolutely love this book! It's gorgeous and filled with so many incredible designs. Every time I look through it I find something I haven't seen before. If you're looking to see some truly unique ring designs this is the book for you.
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