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Book Review: Altered Curiosities

Altered Curiosities
by Jane Ann Wynn

Altered Curiosities is an excellent name for this book. Instead of starting with the usual list of supplies and tools that every altered art book feels obligated to include, Jane Ann Wynn jumps right into techniques. My kinda girl! Fearlessly, she plows into soldering and cutting apart small plastic animals, drilling, breaking glass, and cutting shapes into egg shells. This is not your average altered art book!

Just when you think your brain is going to explode with all the new ideas, Jane Ann plunges you right into the heart of the matter…storytelling. Assemblage without a story is just not as interesting. It has no soul and no real meaning. But, assemblage with a story…well, that’s worth making and viewing!

Many projects are included in the second half of the book, but it is stressed again and again that you really shouldn’t try to slavishly follow her directions, using the exact same items she’s used. Good luck with that anyway! Many of these items are unique and old. There are resources listed in the back, but it’s much more fun, I think, to follow your own creative path and become a collector of curiosities that beg to be altered. If you’re not a collector already, that is!

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