Wirework is a popular method of jewelry making because it creates strong, metal jewelry without the need for expensive or hazardous equipment. In Making Colorful Wire & Beaded Jewelry: 35 fabulous designs, jeweler Linda Jones walks the beginning wire worker through 35 projects using basic wire working techniques. Her tone is casual and encouraging, and her original projects will appeal to a broad range of design tastes.
The book begins with a brief but interesting history of wire jewelry making and a discussion of standard wire working tools and supplies. These sections are followed by step-by-step demonstrations of essential beginning wire work techniques. These techniques are used and expanded upon in the thirty-five projects which follow. They range from a simple wire finger ring to an elaborate bead charm necklace and framed wire-wrap "Aztec Tree of Life" pendant.
Ms. Jones has included some very colorful, striking projects in this book and several designs which made me think, Wow, that's a really good idea! For example, one of her most basic projects is a scarf/sarong slide, which is practical as well as pretty. The author's technique for creating round or oval bead-drop frames is fun and interesting, and her wire daisies open up a world of design possibilities.
Most project components can also be used for non-jewelry projects, with a little imagination. I immediately pictured the daisies, elegant hammered leaves, chain "waterfall," and colorful spirals as possible home decorating elements. Other notable projects include a beaded cross, knotted leather shell-drop necklace, and several ornate wire chains.
This book is for beginners, and I think it does a pretty good job of explaining basic methods and detailing projects. The introductory tools and techniques sections are a little short, and the photographs there are slightly small. However, the photography for the following projects is outstanding, with lots of close-ups to help the reader understand how things come together.
I like that the projects aren't "boring," even though (ironically) the project chosen for the cover photo is one of the duller projects in the book. Overall, I think most readers will find a lot of inspiration here, and beginners will be motivated to develop their wire working pursuits.
Making Colorful Wire & Beaded Jewelry: 35 Fabulous Designs is available on Amazon.com.
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Today's reviewed book should not be confused with this earlier book by the same author (and with a very similar title!). It contains more interesting looking projects influenced by classic jewelry styles.
This book contains projects with more elaborate themes, including fancy, flourishing pendant wraps.
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