A jewelry designer shares images of her creations as well as the stories and inspirations behind them.
In this debut photography collection with elements of memoir, architect and jewelry artist Souther displays full-page color images of several dozen necklaces and other pieces from her self-made collection, with the story of each design on the facing page. Most of the origin stories involve Souther’s family and her personal experiences, so readers will come away learning nearly as much about the author as about the jewelry itself. The high-quality images give a detailed look at the intricately beaded designs, which are works of art as much as fashion. There is a clear sequence to the order in which the pieces appear, as individuals and topics, for example, the house Souther restored with the help of friends and family, make repeated appearances in the narrative, with additional details revealed in later pages. The stories of the designs are varied, showing the author’s wide selection of inspiring moments. Some of the stories are charming—“Crystal chips beaded into loops around a deep red, nearly black garnet take me back to fifth grade recess when we all broke up into groups and held snowball fights”—while others demonstrate the artist’s perspective: “That night I dreamed I was weaving, and in my dreams were patterns, patterns in squares, ovals, triangles.” Some demonstrate the author’s determination—“This was my beading breakthrough moment. In this moment I went from craftswoman to artist”—though others offer a bit too much information: “Perhaps I’m attracted to these cranes because, unlike me who married four times before I found my life mate, they are bound together when the male first dances and the female is eternally smitten.”
An attractive art book whose strength lies more in its intricate images than in its uneven narrative.