Hardwear: Jewelry From a Toolbox by Hannah Rogge

Bibliographic Information: Rogge, H. (2006). Rafter, M. (Ills). Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox. New York, NY: STC Craft.  ISBN: 1584794801.  144 pages.

Plot/Content Summary: Shopping for supplies in a hardware store is nothing new for most do-it-yourself (DIY) crafters, but making beautiful, elegant and even delicate jewelry out of hardware store basics might be a bit more of stretch.  Enter Hannah Rogge, a designer of exhibits and displays, who needed holiday gifts for her friends who “are creative, interested in innovative design, and have great taste,” (p. 9).  The problem: Hanna had very little money to spend on gifts for her stylish friends.  The solution: jewelry made out of common hardware store items.

Hardwear contains detailed instructions, illustrations, and photographs for making 24 items.  The book is organized buy chapters that focus on a particular piece of hardware: washers, rope, metal connectors, nuts, and vinyl, plastic & rubber.  For each item crafters are advised of the supplies and tools that are needed and then numbered and illustrated step by step instructions walk users through the process of creating the jewelry piece.

Critical Evaluation: Teens interested in DIY jewelry making will be excited and inspired by Hardwear.  With easy to understand instructions and budget-friendly projects, this book is very user-friendly.  The writing is casual and approachable, and Rogge encourages her readers to have fun and experiment.  Not only are there 24 projects, but there are many opportunities for creativity, as most projects can be adapted in multiple ways to create a totally different piece.  The book has a hard cover, but is psiral bound, allowing it to lie flat, which is helpful when reading directions while working on projects.  Fill-color photographs of the finished product allow users to see what they are trying to achieve.  A glossary explains the items used in the book in detail, and Rogge has also included a page of online supply sources for those items not found in the neighborhood hardware store.  From washer chain earrings and hair hinges to hexagon necklace and coupling nut choker, these designs are sure to intrigue and inspire.

Reader’s Annotation: Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox details how to create beautiful jewelry from items found at the local hardware store.

Information about the Author: Hannah Rogge is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and she is currently works at a custom design and fabrication studio.  She is a creative thinker, who is inspired by everyday objects.  “For me, the contradiction in making jewelry out of hardware is perfect because I love breaking boundaries and challenging the ‘norm.’” (Rogge, 2006, p. 10).

In addition to creating window displays and other cool stuff for her day job, Rogge has written a book about what to do with t-shirts for DIY crafters: Save this Shirt: Cut It. Stitch It. Wear It Now.

Genre: Non-Fiction

Category: DIY, Crafts, Jewelry Making

Curriculum Ties:  Art

Booktalking Ideas:

  • Hold up a coupling nut or washer, etc. and ask people if they can picture a piece of jewelry that this item could be a part of.

Reading Level/Interest Age: Ages 14 to Adult

Challenge Issues: none

Why is this book included?  As a craft lover, I immediately looked for this book when I saw it on the 2007 Annotated Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list.  Crafty teens love making things themselves and the low budget nature of the supplies makes this book accessible and fun for many teens.

References:

Rogge, H. (2006). Rafter, M. (Ills). Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox. New York, NY: STC Craft.