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Jewelry of Burning Man

Greetings Everyone!

I am pleased to announce the arrival of my second book, Jewelry of
Burning Man. Since 2006, I have been teaching jewelry at the
festival. Little did I know how much beautiful and inspiring jewelry
was really out there. For the last two years with my two
collaborator, LadyBee (Christine Kristen) our historian and curator
and George Post, a well re-known jewelry photographer, we collected
hundreds of images for a book based on LadyBee’s vast collection of
jewelry and the archives at Burning Man Headquarters.

Karen Christians and Christine Kristen (editor). 2015. The Jewelry
of Burning Man. Karen Christians: 191 pp., hardbound $50.00. Burning
Man is an annual event at the largest dry lake or playa in America,
located at the Black Rock Desert of Nevada; since its inception
there in 1991, it has become a mythic place, drawing up to or over
seventy thousand visitors, who set up a temporary city that
disappears at the end of the festival. To those who know the
Southwest, it is shaped like a very enlarged Pueblo Bonita, at the
ancient site of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. This new city hosts
innumerable art showings, culminated by the burning of a huge wooden
man-shaped sculpture. Burning Man is governed by ten principles, one
of which is Gifting. The author, Karen Christians, is a jeweler and
has taught jewelry workshops at this event since 2006, while her
editor, Christine Kristen, is a collector of Burning Man jewelry,
and an early attendee. Well-known craft photographer George Post,
also an early participant and collector of gifted jewelry since
1993, has annually documented Burning Man photographically from that
time on. Thus this book was born of the efforts of a jeweler,
jewelry lover and photographer of jewelry, with Post becoming the
principal photographer of this volume. Each of the above has written
short essays, augmented by profiles on the primary makers of Burner
jewelry. Most of the book is devoted to photographs of the jewelry,
some arranged chronologically, with some nice process images. Since
each year has a theme, much of the jewelry can be categorized as
commemorative. The stylized symbol of Burning Man is predominant
through the years, and much of the jewelry is cast metal and strung
on leather thong as a pendant, understandable given that the giftees
often had to make hundreds. The collections of jewelry shown reminds
me of those seen at SNAG Pin Swaps, although reciprocity is not
expected among Burners. A few of the pendants were of fabricated
metal, and many hi-tech processes are evident. I liked those made of
wood, as well as those made of fired, lakebed dust. Many gifters
spent considerable time prior to each year’s event to design and
make their jewelry and for most it must have been a labor of love.

Karen Christians