Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review - Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 2

By on Thursday, December 02, 2010 6 Comments

There is a whole ton of wire work jewelry books out there. They vary in quality and also in approach. If you are already an intermediate or advanced wire worker, you might be interested in this new book I received from Kalmbach Publishing.

Irina Miech's Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 2 is the follow up to her first book, Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders: Creative Wirework Projects for All Levels.

While there are a few beginner projects, this one is better suited not only for those with some wire experience, but also for those with a hankering to dip toes, or rather fingers, into some metal smith techniques. Rest assured, these are all cold connection methods - no soldering!

The designs were all lovely - there wasn't a single one I didn't like. Vintage style jewelry lovers will be inspired by her designs. However, to cater to less experienced wire workers, there were a few projects which require findings I felt would be hard to find if beaders want exactly the same thing. For instance, that bracelet at the left of the index page above requires filigree findings which are soldered rings in a circle. However, the general concept will work with other filigree findings - just a matter of finding the right ones.

Eternity knots are just two short coils of wire intertwined together. But Irina came up with a truly pretty design using these classic wire knots.

I also loved her version of informal wire wrapping where she added small touches of individuality.

Where the book really shines is in the advanced section. Shown below is my favorite - her ammonite pendant. She also included some wonderful inspirational variations based on it.

She does not include any projects which require the jewelry saw. This will please the beginner metal smith! Metal techniques such as hole punching, riveting (for attachments) and doming are covered. So if you are planning to expand your jewelry making repertoire, I highly recommend getting the relatively inexpensive tools in order to do those things.

Some of her cleverest designs are based on what she describes as rectangular sterling silver wire. They look like metal strips and can be trimmed with cutters and filed. Her ribbon fibula (brooch) design shown on the contents page above is one wonderful way to use these strips as in "Look Ma, no jewelry saw!" Her copper moon ring below shows how wire and metal work combined can be spectacular!

Just one tiny complaint. Irina uses double or thick walled sterling silver crimp tubes as small tube rivets.  I would prefer better specifications other than 2 mm. Is that width or length?  I would assume she meant the diameter not the length. But having the length would help too as that is critical to get the flaring just so when hammering flat. Otherwise, it's a delight to see tube riveting done so easily.

This book is totally awesome. Now I really need to go update my favorite book section (right side bar).


Other Book Reviews :
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. I don't know, I might have to purchase the book just to look at that pretty sea glass bracelet!

  2. Thank you so much for reviewing my book! I really appreciate that you took the time to put together such a thorough review. I'm flattered that you think the book is "totally awesome"!

    I wanted to clarify the sizes of the double-walled crimp tubes. I am using crimp tubes that are 2 mm in width. When I use a single thickness of metal, I use a tube that is 2 mm in length, and when I rivet two pieces together, I use a tube that is 3 mm in length. For example, in the Butterfly Dreams chapter, the connector holes are riveted with 2 mm long tubes, and the butterfly is riveted the piece with 3 mm long tubes.

    Thanks again, and I hope that this is helpful!


  3. Well, it is, Irina otherwise I wouldn't be saying it! I wondered if you had used the 3 mm length ones so I am pleased you confirmed.

  4. Hi Pearl, I just won the Irina's first book in a giveaway and am waiting anxiously for its arrival. Your review makes me want to get the second one as well... maybe I should let Santa know!

  5. I have several books by Irina Miech and this is one of them. I love it and her work. She makes wirework soo easy to master. Her techniques are easily duplicated. I've learned a lot from Irina.