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jokat (london UK)

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René Lalique at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
René Lalique at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
by Maria Fernanda Passos Leite
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lovely gallery of laliques work, 23 April 2011
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I'm fairly new to lalique and have to admit I've not read all of this yet, but the layout is lovely and the work is exquisite with very good photography too. There are pictures of laliques work alongside laliques original sketches and drawings of those pieces, which is interesting to see.
There are also a few shots which show the front AND backs of pieces, which was good to see because I wanted to see how they had been constructed and put together.
All in all a lovely book, especially if your a fan of his.

The book arrived in mint condition from the seller and in good time too.

Enameling on Metal
Enameling on Metal
by Nuria Lopez-Ribalta
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.06

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting...., 11 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Enameling on Metal (Hardcover)
This book starts off with the history of enamelling - brief - for those that are interested. It then goes on to actually explain how enamel is made up and the difference between glass and quartz and the changes that take place when all the ingredients are combined together to give a vitreous enamel colour. This is useful to know at some point because when you understand something, you can understand better things that may or may not work.

Then there is a section on specialist materials, some of which are not fully covered in other enamelling books. This section has a good overview of all sorts of things that can be used in enamelling, tools, equipment, materials etc.. The book goes on to explain certain characteristics of enamel and its behaviour before you start to work - a good little section. Then we have the usual, cleaning of enamels, sifting firing etc.. but it also covers typical problems you may encounter and tells you why they may have occurred with various problem solving sections. There is then a section on making colour samples - which is really an essential part of an enamellers work and has to be done - (something I keep putting off!!)

The techniques covered in the techniques chapters are; painted enamel. Working with foils (and not just the tatty applied version!). Wet application. Opal Grisaille. White grisaille/limoges. Dry application. Oil painting/mixing enamel. Industrial enamels (enamelling on steel etc). Screen printing. Transfers. Champleve (with etching tutorials etc). Cloisonne. Finishing enamel - smoothing, texture, matting etc.. Etched bas-relief. Basse-taille. Punching, cutting, engraving, plique a jour. Enamel in relief. Protecting parts. Using metal clays and finishes. With the number of techniques covered, you can imagine they are not in depth lessons, they will introduce you to a technique and get you started.

There are then some step by step projects that I didn't like too much - aesthetically - but the lessons still good.
The book finishes up with a small gallery of work that's ok but not amazing.

Overall this is a good & interesting book with lots of decent instruction and knowledge. The work within it used to demonstrate isn't amazing - in my opinion - but the lesson is still there and its what you then do with it that counts (Also the actual application has been well done - its just the designs I wasn't keen on, but that's down to personal preference). I think a lot of this work has been done on copper - but you are still taught how to do it on precious metals too. Also, the work size varies, which is good.. there are some smaller pieces but also larger enamelling work is covered - which is useful for knowing how to enamel on different scales and also how to enamel 3dimensional objects - not just flat or slightly domed metal!

The author clearly knows her technique and I would say that this would be a useful addition to an enamellers book shelf..

Photoshop Masking Compositing (Voices That Matter)
Photoshop Masking Compositing (Voices That Matter)
by Katrin Eismann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £36.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent excellent!!, 11 Sep 2010
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So far this book is absolutely fantastic. It has taught me so much in such a short space of time and it is written and formatted in a way that is easy on the eyes - it seems more digestible somehow..
The 1st part of this book is going through the selection tools - which are really an essential tool set to master in photoshop for many reasons. There is an awful lot here that I didn't know about, even things that seem simplistic (such as rectangular marquee) have deeper uses for selections that make life easier! She demonstrates that there is no one tool or quick click to select objects, but by using the variety of selection methods together you can get excellent selections. There are loads of helpful tips and shortcuts throughout this entire book.

The author then goes on to show and explain ways to take those selections and make them blend in with whatever your going to use them with - how to soften the edges and play with all the various settings to get a seamless composition. (Over simplified, but this is the jist)

There is a whole chapter devoted to the pen tool - called "pen tool power".

She then goes on to teach about the layer masks and how to use them - layers and masks. Although I haven't reached this chapter yet, I have browsed the whole book and the techniques being demonstrated here look very exciting! Some really cool effects are shown that have been done with various masks. By revealing and concealing with these tools, it seems that there are limitless possibilities for great effects, seamless compositions and so much more!

The author then goes on to explain and teach more layering power and in depth layer masking.

Then there is a whole chapter called, "selecting and preserving fine detail"!! This chapter covers things like, selecting fine hair and details, selecting translucency and "green screen" techniques. Included in this chapter is "advanced selection techniques".

There is also a chapter on photographing composition and image execution.. this deals with things like, planning the image, models props & locations, format resolution & equipment, matching perspective, matching props, photographic essentials such as; lenses, exposure, shutter speed, depth of field, lighting (Qualities of lighting), shadow and background considerations. This chapter was an unexpected bonus for me - I hadn't expected to find lessons in this book on capturing great shots for use in photoshop, so was very pleased to find this.

The next chapter deals with photorealistic compositing and making impossible images look real, as if captured on camera. There is also a chapter on creative compositing, which is far more abstract and unreal.

All in all this is the best teaching book for photoshop CS4 that I have yet come across. It covers things very well and with a writing style that is not too complicated and has been easier to absorb and follow. It seems to be in an order that makes a lot of sense too.

I'm working my way through this book like a course, from start to finish, Following the written instructions and the helpful visuals and photographs - by the end I expect I will be accomplished at photoshop!

Highly recommended.

Lifesystems Mosquito Smoke Coils - Green
Lifesystems Mosquito Smoke Coils - Green
Offered by One Click Wonder
Price: £6.70

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars works!, 10 Aug 2010
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I've been having a job finding any shops that sell these in the UK. Finally found here on amazon. Thought I'd add a review since these are so effective at keeping mozzies out. It says to burn outside - but I have to admit, after trying lots of things for my bedroom (where I've been getting bitten to pieces every summer!) I burn these indoors, in my bedroom and by the window. I know it says to burn outside - but I had to find something because I seem to be getting a bad reaction to the bites this year and it disrupts a good nights sleep.
These things work better than anything else I have tried. I've tried the plug ins, and I think they work ok, but I have trouble finding a plug in my room that I can use - even so, when I did use them, I still had some mozzies. These coils though, when I burn them in the holder by my window, I seem to have a mosquito free zone and a good nights sleep. I recommend them.

UPDATE: Oct 2012..
Although I have no problem with the smoke (I only need to burn a few inches of a coil, not much is needed) we discovered that my partner couldn't handle it.. So, SOME people might have sensitivity to the smoke. These things are designed for using outside, where they work equally well btw.. but burning inside means putting them right next to a cracked/open window.
Probably shouldn't put this here, but the 'Jungle formula plug in's' are now my ultimate 1st choice after trying lots of things.. You'll need an adapter plug for them, they have the European 2 prong plug - there are UK to EU adapters for a few quid here on amazon.. :) (They're very good & no smoke or smell)
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2013 2:34 PM GMT

Jewellery Design Handbook
Jewellery Design Handbook
by Marta Serrats
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading title, 13 July 2010
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I have to agree with the previous review. This book was a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting jewellery design to be shown throughout the various stages of design development and through to a final image of the pieces made - perhaps with techniques used - it is after all called, "jewellery design HANDBOOK".. Some of the pages contain sketches and drawings, some have sort of watercolour montages with the finished work on the following pages - but its says nothing about the process or concept involved. There is some interesting work - but I think this book would have been better with a different title - more along the lines of "conceptual jewellery design showcase" - giving it a more accurate title would have avoided some disappointment perhaps.. It is more of a coffee table book of conceptual (quite "european") type jewellery with random sketches and scribbles included - and a very brief statement from the artists (BRIEF and not really about the work)Its more experimental work.
It's a nice book to have if your a collector of jewellery books - but its not a jewellery design HAND-BOOK.... The format and book itself is nice - it's about 2" thick and a bit squarer than a paperback novel.
I think some people will really love this book and some will not - but more might be disappointed because of the misleading title. If you expect it to be a gallery book of conceptual experimental and minimalist work, then you might be happier with your purchase. :)

Professional Goldsmithing: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Jewellery Techniques
Professional Goldsmithing: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Jewellery Techniques
by Alan Revere
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent course of actual learning, 19 Feb 2010
I saw the review that had been submitted and couldn't disagree more. This book is not like some of the books that are released on jewellery making now, that are filled with gorgeous pictures and techniques, but lacking real depth and technical know how - how a project is actually fabricated, from start to finish with real attention to detail and cleaness. The projects in this book are not particularly amazing, true, but I think the emphasis is meant to be on refining your skill and technical ability as a goldsmith. Plenty of people can solder and fabricate, but not everyone can do it cleanly, structurally and so that the finished article is utterly crisp and well made. This book is like a course - you start with the easier projects and work towards more challenging projects. There are things like hinge construction and tube setting, as well as bracelet catches for cuffs etc.. All has an emphasis on refinement of SKILL, not design. Once you can create simple things very well you can go for it with design - but if you can't fabricate well then you can sometimes compromise design ideas.
I'd say that when I started this book I was an average mostly self taught metalworker, and this book helped me to start working a full 2 years above my degree level. It helps you to start seeing more logical ways to construct and make and also to be guided very much along that process. I was the sort of person who would choose the most complicated way of making a piece - this book is helping me with this!
Its good - I recommend it, but at the current price, it might be worth checking it out at a library first! I believe it is due to be reprinted with lots of updates.. Its practical and will refine you. Of course, if your already an incredible goldsmith and can fabricate like a pro then no, you won't need this. But its not for beginners..

Moleskine Sketchbook
Moleskine Sketchbook
Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: £6.75

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moleskein is an age old travel classic, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Moleskine Sketchbook (Hardcover)
I bought a moleskein sketchbook some time ago to keep in my bag.
I loved the thought that these books had been used by "great thinkers" so many years ago - it added an element of charm & old age to them, I can imagine those books now with curling pages and worn covers filled with the lovely handwriting of Hemingway, Shakespeare and the sketches of van gogh - objects of beauty! They seem to look very smart and professional - even compared to copies, they stand above in terms of look, quality and "feel".. I'm not sure why they are so lovely to hold and use, but they are.

There was one mention of the colour of the paper in the sketchbook - saying it was a horrible yellow.... Its not yellow, its more a parchment or off white/antique cream and I thought that this added even more beauty to this little book, imo - making it look more substantial in quality and feel. I love the colour of the paper, I prefer it to stark white.
Once you get a fair few pages of this pocket book sketched in, it starts to take on a lovely look of interest and "design".
They are small, since they are intended to slip into a pocket or bag and travel with you without being cumbersome. As people have mentioned the paper itself is smooth and works nicely for pen and some fine pencils - I have had success with quick watercolor and watercolor pencils too, but if you like paper to have a tooth then try the watercolor pad - which is also very nice and is orientated in landscape, which is lovely. (The watercolor books pages are more white than the sketchbook.)

This is a surprisingly sturdy little book with the spine being strong enough to take quite a lot of abuse and flattening. It also has a very handy black elastic band that hold the sketchbooks closed - I hold a small pen/pencil within mine using this band and it has not distorted or ruined the book (as has happened in other similar products).

It is elegant in its simplicity and is a beautiful little book to have and use. I recommend it and am converted, even though i like to use large sketchbooks at home - for the purposes of travel and quick notes etc.. this is perfect.
Also, amazons price is excellent - these moleskeins usually range between £10 and £20....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2011 9:53 PM BST

500 Enameled Objects (500 Series)
500 Enameled Objects (500 Series)
by Lark Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.97

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars previous review a bit harsh, 16 Oct 2009
I'm just writing a quick review because I saw that this had been given 1star by a reviewer and felt this was a bit harsh. I got this book months ago and am pleased with it. It has lots of enamel work in many differing styles - its not all brash and sifted, there is a variety. As is the 500 series way, its just lots of beautiful photo's - no techniques.. Its a coffee table book for inspiration, ideas and collector/enthusiasts.
I'd reccomend it, but then tastes vary - what one person rates another dissmisses.. But its not 1 star, thats unfair.

Sustainable Jewellery
Sustainable Jewellery
by Julia Manheim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.32

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not very good., 2 July 2009
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This review is from: Sustainable Jewellery (Paperback)
I was very disappointed with this book. The cover looked interesting and the topic I thought would be an interesting look at techniques of recycling, incorporating etc.. As it happens its about numerous jewellers who use odd, found or recycled stuff in thier work. Some of it is interesting but in my opinion a lot of it is not - a lot of it, again only in my opinion, is highly conceptual and more in the realms of student experimentation art - not anything that would actually be worn or sold in a realistic market.
There are pieces in here that are beautiful and well made, but not enough to warrent my purchasing this book.(If I had flicked through it in a bookshop I wouldn't have bought it)
Some people will like this book, but for those who are looking for substance and technique or material reference, I'd imagine they'd be as disappointed as I was.
I am at uni at the moment, so conceptual work and "thinking outside the box" is very much within my current interest and research - and I still didn't like this book.
The pages are lovely matte bound with an attractive cover but the contents are just not worth it - I'm sorry, I hate giving bad reviews, but this book was kind of pricey.
For those seeking unusual materials and ideas I would recommend the new design & make books - "mixed media jewellery" "non precious jewellery" "jewellery with found objects"....etc.. these books were much more satisfying and informative and also had the all important eye candy that just adds the extra yum factor in a good book like this. (O:
I haven't sent this book back, but I would have done if the postage was refunded! (and if I wasn't a book collector - even ones I don't like that much I find hard to part with)
I don't see the point in beads set in soap bars or human hair wrapped around thread that looks like a mangy string that the vacuum cleaners cloughed up, or shadows that are projected onto the body via an OHP - again, its more sculpture or art that, isn't it?
A child can string macaroni cheese onto a bit of hemp -that doesn't make it clever because its "out the box" - or stringing leather through neon bottle caps and hanging as a pendant.... I just don't think its that creative & it's a tad pretentious if it's not a bit of a joke.
Anyway, only 1star from this reviewer.

Non-precious Jewellery: Methods and Techniques (Design and Make)
Non-precious Jewellery: Methods and Techniques (Design and Make)
by Kathie Murphy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic.., 29 May 2009
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I just recently got this book and have been carrying it around with me like a child with a new toy its so fantastic!!lol.
These new "design & make" books are really worthwhile. This one in particular covers; Design & make briefs, suppliers, rubber, plastics, wood, paper & leather, textiles, metals and stone, bone & others....
The book is filled with wonderful images and galleries of work using these various materials in all sorts of different ways. Even if some of the work doesn't appeal to your own preferences, it all definately inspires in the use of various materials. There are also wonderful "creative ideas" tags and "tips" - which I've seen in other books before, but never like this. Some of the creative ideas side bars in this book have given me more ideas than I've had in the last few months! There are some really golden tips here!
The books chapters covers the various materials, for example the section on plastics covers acrylic, resin, polypropylene, cellulose acetate and nylon..It then breaks it down into sub sections such as, material overview, cutting and piercing, joing and fixing, forming, colouring and dying, finishes and suggestions and ideas. It does this with the whole wealth of materials that this books deals with in a way that is like projects but NOT projects - its worth mentioning that there are no projects as such in this book, but the depth of info covered on each material process is like having projects with unlimited possibilities.. I can't imagine someone not having masses of ideas simply by reading these sections - they are really good.
All in all I am very very pleased with this book and recommend it highly to those jewellers who wish to explore these things outside the realms of traditional jewellery work. My interest is using these things alongside precious metals and stones - as I'm sure lots of people like to do. So this book certainly gives you a lot to go on with a whole variety of non precious materials (which are then made precious by artists!). The back of the book has an extensive and valuable suppliers and resource section on where to find all the materials covered in the book and all for UK suppliers too - which is amazing!!
Also, at the end of this book is the "design & make brief".. This is a section where loose ideas are presented for further exploration as a starting point for creating your own work. The chapter has the following heading;
"Having played around with some of the non precious materials in this book, the following briefs have been devised to help you produce a finished piece. This is the hardest part, combining your own visual research with the knowledge gained about a material, using aspects of what you've discovered through experimentation to come up with a design, which you then have to execute.."
There are then sketches and design briefs that start the process of ideas and creation..
Really good! What more can I say - (O:

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