I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I do. In addition to covering the basics of working with shrink plastic, Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk by Kathy Sheldon, also provides a handy lesson on design. Shrink plastic, like sheet metal, is inherently flat, yet can be worked into shapes. Anyone who is struggling with their sheet metal work will find simple ideas in this book for beginning to add that third dimension to their work.
The book shows all kinds of ways to add color to the shrink plastic as well as methods of connecting items made with the oven baked plastic that goes beyond the simple jump ring through a hole.
There are some fun, almost interactive designs, such as teapot scatter brooches where the teapot is pouring into the teacup. Other pieces use layering in an attractive way.
I’m more likely to add a bit of shrink plastic to a metal piece for a bit of color than to make a piece entirely out of the plastic, and this book gives me everything I need to do that.
Like all Lark books, this one has lots of color pictures, clear general instructions and step by steps for each project. The projects are from a number of designers, so you get a variety of styles.
Overall, a thumbs up, a definite “buy it” rating if you want to make shrink plastic jewelry, are looking for fun projects for a tween girl’s birthday party (not to imply that this is only kid stuff.) It’s also a “buy it” if you want some design training — sometimes it’s easier to see the ideas in a different medium than your usual one.
You can see some projects from the book here: http://www.larkcrafts.com/jewelry-beading/shrunk
You can find the book online: http://www.amazon.com/Shrink-Shrank-Shrunk