Show Your Colors : 30 Flexible Beading Wire Projects by Jamie Hogsett and Sara Hardin Oehler is a book that focuses on designs which use colored beading wire as a design component.
Beading wire a fine, nylon coated cable that's very strong. It's finished with crimp beads much the way larger industrial cables are held with crimps. SoftFlex® is a popular brand.
Primarily a stringing book, this book starts with an overview of color theory with suggested palettes, beading wire information and an introduction to some other materials used in the book. It also explains how to crimp wire properly, and the basic wire working skills you'll need for the projects.
The projects are colorful without being garish. The palettes work very well and are mostly either analogous or complementary. Analogous colors mean colors that are close on the color wheel, like the yellow and green of the Melody drop earrings or the violet and rose tones of the Dream Baby multi-strand crystal necklace. Complementary colors
are opposites on the color wheel, like the lovely Fire and Rain necklace in turquoise and orange.
The book is separated by technique.
The first chapter, Not So Simply Strung is strung pieces, or pieces that use small sections of beading wire in the same way you would usually use eye or head pins. The colored wire works as a small accent on most of the pieces with the beads taking center stage. My favorite in this chapter- Emotional Fire- A chain with stations of beads and a focal bead. Simple, clean, classic design interperted with beading wire in place of metal pins.
Chapter 2 is Beyond Illusion, which uses the idea of floating beads held in place with crimps. The beading cord is much more part of the design in this chapter. My favorite in this chapter- Fire and Rain- a modern, fringed design that's easy to customize for individual tastes.
Chapter 3 is Knitting Spool, jewelry that uses knitted cording made from beading wire. This is my favorite chapter. The beads are included in interesting ways, and the technique is one that can be easily mastered and has a unique look. Combining a very old technique with a very modern material is a winner. My favorite in this chapter- Heart of Stone- open knitting with stones caged through the center make these earrings. The technique could be used for a pendant as well.
Chapter 4 is Sculptural, which uses the wire to create forms and shapes that aren't achievable with regular beading cords. This allows effects like open lacy loops. My favorite in this chapter- Elusive Butterfly-an open, airy design that works very well with the butterfly focal.
The final chapter is Braiding and Weaving, the wire is woven between components or braided into thicker cords for items like bangle bracelets. My favorite in this chapter- Malibu- this braided bangle could easily become a favorite project for it's simplicity and clean look.
A great book for stringers and color lovers, it's easy to understand with projects that work up quickly.
If you're more interested in bead weaving, check out my review of Jewelry for the New Romantic
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Kalmbach Publishing Co.
provided this review copy of Show Your Colors to me free of charge.
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