Making Wire and Bead Jewelry : Artful Wirework Techniques is a wonderful book of projects with an artistic, intricate pieces that have a Bohemian flair.
It starts with an introduction to tools, supplies and techniques. The only torch technique used is drawing up a bead on wire to make a head pin. Everything else is done using cold working methods like forging, coiling, basket weaving and piercing. Just the introduction alone would make a wonderful booklet for learning the basics of wirework. It's written at an absolute beginner's level, explaining different bead types, how to coil and cut wire for jump rings, how to draw up a ball of metal on a wire for a headpin with a torch and how to turn spirals and make loops. As well as less used wire techniques such as forging flat paddles on wire and making them double ended on a short piece of wire on perpendicular planes. The introduction is finished up with an explanation of finishing methods. A lot of the pieces in this book should be oxidized to really bring out the wonderful textures and intricacy.
Then the projects. These are the sorts of projects that are my favorites. Hippie handmade chic at it's very fashionable and well-made best. Wonderful use of beads, combined metals, forging and shaping creates classic casual pieces that remind me of the sort of jewelry my mom used to wear.
The projects have a good range of difficulty. The Spiral Link Bracelet made out of copper wire is a good, inexpensive way to learn to turn perfect spirals and also uses a spiral curved S shape as a bead cap for the accent beads.
The Coiled Drop Pendant could easily be done in other shapes and uses spirals which are forged for textural interest, coil covered wire, basketweaving and sparkly faceted bead accents. It's a wonderful pendant and probably my favorite project in the book.
There are fancy scrolls that cascade and coiled wire settings that will work with a variety of shapes. Just a lot of great techniques that you'll use again and again, all very well explained with detailed text and lots of photographs.
Published by Lark Crafts
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provided this review copy of Making Wire and Bead Jewelry to me free of charge.
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