If you haven’t already noticed, there is a jewel of a new book on the market and its glistening above all other craft books currently on the market! The ever talented Mark Montano, the brilliant mind that brought you Dollar Store Décor, Pulp Fiction: Perfect Paper Projects, The Big Ass Book of Crafts, has just released his latest and greatest collection of jewelry and fashion accessory projects perfect for beginners and experienced crafter alike.
The Big Ass Book of Bling is like a multi-faceted diamond, each facet represents countless cute and clever jewelry and accessory projects which involve upcycling, and using plenty of stealthy craft supplies you probably already have on hand, from paper, plastic bags and pins to leather, rhinestones and lace this book features it all! But our favorite part of this brilliant new read is the chapter– Glassterpiece. In this chapter, Mark uses our Fuseworks Microwave Kiln to put his unique shine on fused glass jewelry as well as giving readers a completely new way to look at jewelry findings!
We absolutely love Mark’s style and his genius crafting resourcefulness, we just had to sit down and ask him all the dirty details on all of his “craftpertiece.” Read on to find out more about Mark’s style, inspirations and what he’s working on!
How did you get your start in the crafting industry?
The crafting industry found me actually! I wrote my first DIY book 12 years ago based on my articles in Cosmo Girl! magazine. It was called “Super Suite” and it was a bedroom makeover guide for teen girls filled with home decor DIY projects. I kept writing books, and doing TV and the whole time I was getting known for my DIY projects. I got invited to a CHA show in California and found an entire world of people who enjoy what I do. That’s how it happened.
What inspired you to write the Big Ass Book of Bling?
20 Years in the fashion industry in NYC. I was a fashion designer and I owned boutiques and had huge runway shows and I would make the jewelry that we sold and used in our shows. I left fashion for TV and writing and I missed it so I thought it would be fun to revisit my fashion career and write a book about the jewelry I used to make.
What was your favorite creation using the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln?
Probably the rings, they are simple and truly show of the unique qualities of the fused glass pieces. I love adding the brass stampings to them and even though they are clearly for women, I can’t help putting them on when I’m at home and wearing them around the house. They make me feel good.
What inspires you when you are creating something new?
Gosh, inspiration is a process for me. It comes from working with the materials and letting my imagination take its own road. Inspiration is a gift, don’t you think? I mean, when you really think about it, it’s something that comes to you. So, I work with the materials and wait for the universe to be generous with me. Sounds much more “new age-y” than I really am, but there you go!
What makes your designs unique from everyone else’s?
I think it’s because I don’t care about trends. Trend has the word “end” in it and by the time something is a trend I believe it’s over, at least for me. I don’t pay attention to them and just do my own thing. When people follow their heart and their own individuality, I think they are much more apt to find something unique and wonderful.
Who’s work, glass or otherwise, do you most admire?
To be honest, because of Fuseworks and my microwave kiln, I now admire all glass artists. It’s such a wonderful art form and I don’t think people realize how complex it can be. Now when I see hand blown glass or intricate glass pieces I’m much more blown away by them. I recently visited the Met in NYC and saw some terrific ancient glass and thought, WOW, that took some real talent! Before I wouldn’t take the time to really look at it.
What advice would you give other artists/crafters?
Dive in and get dirty. Nothing truly interesting comes from planning. When you’re creative, it comes from DOING!
What’s next for the fabulous Mark Montano?
I’m working on television project and have 2 books planned for this year. Actually, I’m already tired just thinking about it! I am going to be continuing my Youtube channel Make Your Mark! series because it’s just fun to do. Other than that, I’ll be getting dirty in my studio and seeing what I can come up with.
When out for drinks with your pose, what’s your favorite cocktail?
A vodka gimlet, straight up with Kettle One. It’s delicious and very 1950’s.
And there you have it folks, the inside scoop from the sparkling and illuminating artist – Mark Montano!
Stay up to date on Mark and his crafty happening by clicking the links below!