Sherri Haab (1964–) Biography
Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1964, in Idaho Falls, ID; Education: Attending Brigham Young University. Religion: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).
Freelance illustrator; jewelry and craft designer.
Cuffie Award, Publishers Weekly; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award; Family Fun Toy Awards; Parents' Choice Award.
(And illustrator) The Incredible Clay Book: How to Make and Bake a Million-and-One Clay Creations, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1994.
Nail Art, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1997.
(With the editors of Klutz) Shrinky Dinks Book, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1999.
(With Laura Torres) Create Anything with Clay, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1999.
(With Laura Torres) Wire-o-Mania, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 2000.
Picture Bracelets, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 2002.
(With the editors of Klutz) Shrinky Dinks: All the Art, All the Shrink Plastic, Everything You Need, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 2003.
The Art of Metal Clay, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2003.
The Hip Handbag Book: Twenty-five Easy-to-Make Totes, Purses, and Bags, illustrated by Nina Edwards, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2004.
Holiday Picture Bracelets, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 2004.
Designer-Style Jewelry Techniques and Projects for Elegant Designs from Classic to Retro, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2004.
Designer-Style Handbags: Techniques and Projects for Unique, Fun, and Elegant Designs from Classic to Retro, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2005.
(With daughter, Michelle Haab) Dangles and Bangles: Twenty-five Funky Projects to Make and Wear, illustrated by Barbara Pollack, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2005.
The Art of Resin Jewelry, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2006.
(With others) Kids Travel, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1994.
(With others) Nancy Cassidy, Hullabaloo, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 1995.
(With husband, Dan Haab) Laura Torres, Disney Princess Crafts, Klutz (Palo Alto, CA), 2001.
Crafter and writer Sherri Haab has published a number of how-to and do-it-yourself craft books for young readers. Several of her books are written as part of a kit, providing young jewelry makers and designers with all the equipment they will need to begin crafting their own projects. Beginning with her first book, The Incredible Clay Book: How to Make and Bake a Million-and-One Clay Creations, Haab's books have been popular purchases, many of her titles selling over a million copies each.
Haab has worked with a number of mediums, from clay and metal clay to wire to shrinky dinks. Many of her titles, such as Nail Art and Picture Bracelets, are specifically designed to appeal to girl crafters. The Hip Handbag Book: Twenty-five Easy-to-Make Totes, Purses, and Bags and Dangles and Bangles: Twenty-five Funky Projects to Make and Wear are both geared toward slightly older readers, providing plans for twenty-five projects to make and either carry or wear.
The Hip Handbag Book shows crafters how to use household materials and easy-to-find tools do create handbags that are also works of art. "This book shows how to take items … and decorate them in your own dynamic fashion," commented Kliatt reviewer Sherri Ginsberg, who felt the title is appropriate for middle-grade and senior-high students. Most of the projects involve basic sewing techniques that even crafters unfamiliar with sewing can easily pick up.
With her daughter Michelle Haab, Haab developed Dangles and Bangles. From key chains to belts to decorative pins, the book covers a wide array of projects, some on the easy end of the spectrum, while others require more complex tools and equipment. "Funky may be the operative word here," wrote Ilene Cooper in a Booklist review; "diverse is another." Kliatt contributor Shirley Reis predicted that "girls will be inspired to create some stylish, yet inexpensive accessories." Augusta R. Malvagno, reviewing the title for School Library Journal, wrote: "Packed with wonderful ideas, this irresistible title will be popular with young crafters."
Haab once told SATA: "I was raised in Seattle, Washington. My sister and I spent a lot of time making things when we were young. I guess it's because of the rainy days Seattle provides—that and the fact that our mom took us to fabric and craft stores with her. I always found great enjoyment from art; it was my favorite subject in school. I was always the one kid so excited about working on a project that I was standing at my desk working while other kids were sitting. I was interested in anything made of clay: ceramics, bread dough, plasticine, even Play-Doh and homemade clays. I think that 3-D illustrations are one of the most interesting forms of art, especially in children's literature.
"For the first few years of my marriage I worked in a business office to support our family while my husband finished his degree. After he graduated I started my own business making jewelry out of clay. I didn't make very much money and worked very long hours to fill orders. Although it seemed like a failed business at the time, it gave me the experience that I needed to refine my art. My work led to a book that teaches children how to use the same clay I use in my own studio … polymer clay. It comes in a wide range of colors and can be cured in a regular oven. It is easily manipulated and holds detail very well. Clay can be made to look like many other materials, depending on the surface treatments used. I find it more versatile than other mediums. You can create any scene with any tone you desire; the sky is the limit!
"When I work it feels like I'm ten years old again; it's like playing on the job. I get a kick out of the creativity of the children around me—they aren't the least bit afraid to try something new. They are the ones who inspire me. My husband and I now live in a small town in Utah, with our three children, a cat named Susie, and a few assorted fish. Most of the day revolves around helping children with school, and getting them to piano lessons, softball, or gymnastics. I always stay up late to have time to work on current projects. I believe it is important to do what you love and find balance in all areas of your life."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, July, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Dangles and Bangles: Twenty-five Funky Projects to Make and Wear, p. 1914.
Kliatt, March, 2005, Sherri Ginsberg, review of The Hip Handbag Book: Twenty-five Easy-to-Make Totes, Purses, and Bags, p. 44; September, 2005, Shirley Reis, review of Dangles and Bangles, p. 42.
Publishers Weekly, April 26, 1999, review of Create Anything with Clay, p. 85; November 8, 1999, Marilyn Green, "Klutz Cornucopia," and review of Shrinky Dinks Book, p. 70; May 15, 2000, "Busy, Busy," p. 119, and review of Wire-o-Mania, p. 119; March 31, 2003, review of Picture Bracelets, p. 69.
School Arts, October, 2004, Eldon Katter, review of The Art of Metal Clay, p. 68.
School Library Journal, October, 2005, Augusta R. Malvagno, review of Dangles and Bangles, p. 188.
Threads, June-July, 1996, David Page Coffin, review of The Incredible Clay Book: How to Make and Bake a Million-and-One Clay Creations, p. 82.
Sherri Haab Home Page, http://www.sherrihaab.com (March 28, 2006).
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