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Book Review - Handcrafted Wire Findings
Handcrafted Wire Findings : Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson is a great collection of instructions on making wire jewelry components.
I've been a fan of Denise Peck's style and clarity in explaining how to make wire jewelry for a while and since I have a strong interest in handmade findings, this book looked wonderful.
The introduction is in depth. Wire types are explained, and there is a chart which shows the most common shapes and gauges from a hefty 2 gauge to a fine 26 gauge in round, half round and square.
Tools are explained and shown. Cutters, pliers, hammers and mandrels are all explained, followed by descriptions of the torches and tools you'll need for some of the fused and soldered findings and finishing tools such as a rock tumbler to harden and polish the metal.
A short introduction on techniques provides a refresher for people who have worked with metal before and teaches the basic techniques to people who haven't. Then you get into the projects.
If I've worried you that maybe this isn't the book for you because it has torches, rest assured, there are a lot of cold findings projects in here. Most of the earring findings for example are made using easy wire techniques and common household supplies as mandrels.
There is a simple, humble and always useful kidney hook that's shaped using round nose pliers and a marker for a mandrel. There are some great decorative hooks. A couple of them do use a very simple torch technique to draw a bead on one end of the wire, but from there are shaped using cold techniques.
Links and connectors does use more soldering for projects like the hammered ring connector, but wired ring link which is worked on a porcelain ring in the example is made using cold joins only. Same with the lovely Textured Corkscrew Link.
The rest of the book follows the same theme, everything is well explained, so if you do work with torches, or want to get started working with them, there are some wonderful looking simple pieces made that use heat. But there are also a lot of gorgeous cold worked pieces.
The actual clasps are great. The Lashed Toggle Clasp is a particular favorite of mine and the graceful curves of the S hook with bead is also very attractive.
This is not a book with jewelry projects, it's all components to help you achieve your own designs, and I do recommend having use of a rock tumbler for hardening your pieces when you're done. This book is a fantastic resource for seed beaders who want to learn the basics of wire working to create their own findings.
You can get this book directly from the publisher, Interweave Publishing or by clicking the Amazon.com affiliate link below.
Interweave Publishing provided this review copy of Handcrafted Wire Findings to me free of charge.
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