Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Favorite Jewelry-Making Magazines

There are so many beading and jewelry-making magazines out there today, sometimes it's hard to know where to turn for the kind of material that you want.

What we look for in jewelry-making magazines are these:

(1) Presentation. Are the photographs clear and interesting? Is the prose concise and helpful? Are there more words than prose? Are the images too overwhelming? Are there too many ads?

(2) Variety. Are the projects plentiful and inspiring? Do they cover a broad spectrum of media and techniques, or is it all geared toward one interest? Are there many different kinds of articles, or just a few on the same subject? Are there only easy projects, or only difficult projects? Or is there a good mix all across the board?

(3) Information. Can anyone pick this mag up and then walk away knowing a little more about jewelry-making? Is the information up to date? Are the instructions difficult to follow? Are there many different people and places offered as resources?

With these three qualities in mind, we've gone through dozens of different magazines of all kinds and have carefully chosen three that we would call our favorites and recommend to other jewelry makers.

Creative Jewelry is an annual special-issue magazine published by Interweave Press. The pictures are large and, for the most part, clear. There are several extremely helpful articles, not just about beading, but about running your own jewelry-making business, too. In the 2010 issue, there is an article on how to take good pictures of your work and an article about blogging to reach customers and build a place for yourself and your work on the web. There are also dozens of projects to help you start jewelry making or expand your set of skills and techniques. It only comes out once a year, but it is definitely an incredibly useful resource to beginners and masters alike.

Stringing magazine is another Interweave Press publication. This is our favorite quarterly magazine! It's always jam-packed with projects and pictures and resources for jewelry makers of every skill level. There's usually an interview at the back of the magazine of someone who is either up and coming in the jewelry making world, or someone who has found success in their jewelry-making endeavors. Two-page spreads of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets keep you inspired as well as offer glimpses of trendy materials and where to find them. This is a fantastic magazine, especially for those who are just starting out in the biz.

Jewelry Affaire, by Stampington & Company, is the newest magazine on our list. In fact, spring 2010 saw the launch of its first and only issue so far. But everything is so promising! From the gorgeous photography that approaches the subject from an artsy perspective, to the interspersed articles and featurettes, this is a fantastic publication. While you will not be shown through most of the projects step-by-step, they are presented as loose guides for you in your own work. It is hard not to fall in love with the soft style of the photography; it's styled more like a coffee table book than a magazine, really. But we found it incredibly inspiring and could thumb through it for hours! There's always little treasures to be discovered in its pages.

We remain on the lookout for good jewelry-making magazines. If you find one that we haven't mentioned, please let us know. There's few things we like more than delving into the pages of a good, inspiring publication! What are your favorites, and why?

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