Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry

Inspiration from Great Museums Around the World
By cRis Dupouy
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., $29.95, 2000 (English translation copyright 2001)
(212) 542-8081 or www.abramsbooks.com

cRis Dupouy makes jewelry as her second career. Her favorite themes are archaeology, primitivism and Baroque art. No the name isn’t spelled wrong. That is the way she spells it. Since she lives in Paris, I assume it is a French thing. The photography is wonderful and the process uses Fimo clay.

The supply list is usual with the exception of not including dental tools such as we use in the U. S. The author uses gold, antique gold, and silver paint for patinas. This book does not address using Precious Metal Clay (PMC).

It occurred to me that clay wasn’t the only way to go with these designs that many of the designs could be done with other media as well. That should encourage everyone to look at this book in a new and different light. It also occurred to me that looking in museums for an inspiration is great ways to teach yourself design and to stretch your artistic borders. Since the photography in the book is so wonderful, we are saved a trip to any museum to put this to the test. Each piece is photographed from the original inspirational piece and the interpretation pieces are clear and may well inspire you to a different direction.

The directions are quite clear for each piece. There are written directions and line drawings for using clay, but anyone who strings beads, works with small beads, knows bezels and how to use them or uses precious metals can adapt these directions. Or a clay person could embellish on the directions given and change the end product to her own choices.

I love the idea of taking primitive or archeology finds as being the basis for inspiration. What was considered beautiful and/or valuable in ages past, is a solid platform from which to launch your own jewelry in the present. Many of the pieces in the book are taken from paintings so there is a lot of room for latitude and experimentation in what you do with it. Many times paintings are rendered with the suggestion of a piece and not the details. What you see and interpret into your own rendition is yours.

Using this work as a place to “springboard” from, you can go to our local museums, Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado History Museum, the historic houses, and even the lights on Civic Center as design inspiration. That means the world all around you is waiting for your interpretation into design. This book is a good place to start the process. Then onto the world.