Irina Miech's book starts with an introduction that explains that she wants to share her inspirations with the reader. The layout of the book starts with basic techniques and skills, and adds to them. So working through the book, project by project, is an excellent primer for absolute beginners who want to learn to make jewelry by stringing and various cold worked metal techniques.
The introduction also includes photos of the tools you'll be using, and overviews of the techniques. As well as how to find the right components, choosing colors, achieving balance in a piece and watching trends.
While some of the materials for the projects may be hard to find, it's not hard to improvise looking for beads and focals that are about the same size that fit your vision.
Starting with working with eyepins and jump rings to make a layered pendant with a beaded accent chain, then working through to pieces that include some seed beads, or a dapping block,stringing, stamping techniques or customizing brass filigrees to fit a piece, this book is full of some wonderful ideas that are explained well.
If you're a beginner to beading, you'll learn a lot about balance working through the book. Even the asymmetrical pieces have a wonderful balance to them. The styles range from a casual beach stone necklace made with sterling that would be perfect to wear in summer to the very luxurious Elizabethan Pearls set that works for the most formal occasions. Some pieces are office perfect, and some would be lovely for a bride to wear. A few pieces use seed bead techniques like peyote or branch fringing.
My favorite pieces in this book are:
The Elizabethan Pearls Set- a set of pearl necklaces that are very well balanced, and wearable one at a time for day to day use, or all at once for a very lush effect. This one teaches balance in a gorgeous way and it's you can work just one necklace at a time until it's done.
Shades of the Ocean Necklace combines crystal beads and charlottes (small seed beads with a facet to make them really shine) to make a delicately shaded multi-strand necklace with lots of shine. This shows how to use a bead stopper and bead cones.
Hawaiian Isles Bracelet teaches how to use copper mesh chain and crimp ends for it, and it's a a floral embellished bracelet that's lovely for casual events.
Victorian Cameo Necklace combines filigree pieces, beads and a cameo into a lovely vintage inspired necklace. This one teaches how to modify an existing filigree shape to fit your needs, in this case, as a prong setting for the cameo.
You can get this book directly from the publisher,Kalmbach Publishing Co. or by clicking the Amazon.com affiliate link below.
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Kalmbach Publishing Co. provided this review copy of Irina's Inspirations for Jewelry to me free of charge.
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