The Absolute Beginners Series from Kalmbach Books is geared towards absolute beginners who are good visual learners. The steps are extensively explained and photographed.
This book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Wire Jewelry is for novices who want to try making their own jewelry for the first time. There is no soldering and very little special equipment needed to make classics like drop earrings or wire chokers. Since it is a beginner's book, it's too basic for people with more experience, but might be good as a guide if you're teaching someone basics.
The introduction covers the tools and materials, all photographed and explained. You'll learn what different kinds of pliers are used, get ideas for mandrels, and learn about hammers and bench blocks. The author gives tips for working on a budget when you first get started using alternative tools. There is a brief section that explains tempering and work hardening wire. It also talks about beads and findings.
The techniques are taught in the projects, which are all very wearable. Picking the beads and metals helps you design pieces to suit your personality from the start. Each of the projects lists on top of the page the skills you'll learn doing it.
Following the projects you'll learn how to:
- Make loops for eye pins
- Open and close jump rings
- Make eye pin connectors
- Shape wire with a ball tip hammer
- Make wrapped loops
- Make tight spirals
- Make spiral components
- Make open spirals
- Make shaped components like S curves and U curves
- Make jump rings
- Make figure 8 links
- Make double spiral components
- Make clover leaf components
- Make a pin
- Make a spiral around a bead
- Design your own simple decorative headpins
- Make heart and hook clasp
- Make secure earring wires
- Make chains
- Wrap a wire with a finer gauge wire
- Make coil beads
- Make a frame
- Twist wires
- Make coil ends and a coil bail for cord
One of the final projects is a charm bracelet that uses the techniques you learned in the book.
This is just a great book for people just starting out. The clear photographs and text make it easy to follow. While most of the projects are feminine, with the right cord, beads and metal, the coil ends and coil bail and the coil bead are very wearable by young men as well. I used the coil ends and bail project to make a drilled dice necklace for myself and my son wants the necklace!
If you are looking for a good book for beginning to make wire jewelry, this is a good choice. It's not intimidating and very well explained.
You can get this book below from Amazon.com (affiliate link) or at your local bead or book store, or directly from the publisher, Kalmbach Books
Amazon.com affiliate links don't affect your cost, and provide extra income to me personally, which helps support my book addiction.
Kalmbach Publishing Co. provided this review copy of The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Wire Jewelry to me free of charge.
To learn more about BellaOnline's review policy, please check our review policy.