I'm a fan of these books which collect projects by different designers because the books are easier to keep than stacks of magazines, and the collections show the versatility of the techniques and medium which makes them a good place to go to for inspiration.
In A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings : 50 Fun, Fast Jewelry Projects, the projects are wearable earrings in many styles. They take inspiration from classic shapes, nature and also influences from other cultures.
In the introduction, there is an overview of tools and bead types, the bead type list shows photographs of a lot of the type of beads that you can find to use for accents. There are also a few collages of women from around the world wearing inspiring earrings in various shapes and colors. A well photographed review of basic techniques rounds out the introduction.
One of my favorite things about wire is how fast it is to make a simple pair of earrings on demand to match any outfit. If you don't have just the right pair for an occasion, but do have beads, wire and findings on hand, it's quick to make a pair. All of the projects in this book could be done in an evening or less for someone with some experience in working with wire and there are several pairs that could be done in a half hour or less.
The styles are a great range. Tendrils of twisted wire for young ladies with short hair, elegant tear drop loops to pair simply with a black dress, or wildly, long exotic earrings that have a lacy effect or very feminine earrings in soft colors and shapes are a few examples.
Simple hand tools are used for the projects.
My favorite pairs are
Harmony by Valerie MacCarthy, which combine smoky quartz with chain for a pair of swagged earrings
Hoopla by Anjanette Randolph, very elegant teardrops as shown, with different beads, they would also work for more casual dress, a very adaptable design.
Lisbon by Cynthia Deis made using filigree tear drops to create a large, showy earring that reminds me strongly of the pairs I wore in high school
Masquerade by Melody MacDuffie which are handmade filigree sparkling with beaded flowers and one of the more complicated pairs in the book. They would take an evening to make and would be an excellent tv watching project.
Like any other collection, not everything in this book is suitable for everyone. For example when making earrings for myself, I need lighter weight pairs so some of the more showy earrings which use heavier beads aren't my style. Neither are pairs with lots of tendrils because I have very long hair that I don't tie up often. I do think that most women will find at least a few pairs that suit them perfectly, and find inspiration to design and modify more pairs to fit their needs.
If you're in a rut with using mostly just head pins for earrings, there is a lot of inspiration in this book for trying new techniques like herringbone weaves, filigree and hammered paddle type pins.
There are not step by step photos or illustrations of the project. The parts illustrated are for clarification of the very well written instructions.
A great book for beginners to wire and people who are ready to expand their horizons past head pin earrings.
You can get this book directly from the publisher, Lark Crafts, or by using the Amazon.com affiliate link below.
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Lark Crafts provided this review copy of A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings to me free of charge.
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