Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review - Absolute Beginner's Guide to Making Wire Jewelry

By on Saturday, March 31, 2012 2 Comments

Kalmbach Publishing has an awesome series of beginner jewelry making "textbooks".  By that I mean a book that can get you started on jewelry making without knowing anything about it and without the internet! It can also act as your personal instructor when there is none available.

book review

The latest one they sent me is The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Wire Jewelry by UK based Martine Callaghan. As with the others in the series, this one is thorough. The beginning of the book covers everything a beginner needs to know about materials, wire and tools. There are also many clear pictures.

The 25 projects start off with the very simplest tasks like how to do wire loops for earrings and build up such that the student learns how to do a variety of techniques like making scrolls, coiling wire, hammering, making jump rings and forming clover links all with just basic tools and without a jig.

Beginners though will have to be willing to practice. It looks easy enough to make clovers with just chain nose pliers but a few tries might be needed to produce consistent ones. The book also includes instructions on how to make clasps, ear wires, coil bails and cord ends.  

Some of the more challenging projects but still doable for a late beginner include the ever popular tree of life design only it is an apple tree in this reincarnation!

I also liked the well named Masterpiece Charm bracelet. It features loads of coiling!

Even though I am not a beginner, I still picked up a few tricks from this author here and there throughout the book.  One example is the double spiral link bracelet shown below which has two types of scrolls. One kind has only one loop on the outside and the other has two loops for connections. She starts forming the latter on the tips of her round nose pliers.

I highly recommend this faultless book (believe me, I really looked!) for beginners.  Click here to see a preview of the book including the contents page.

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  1. I love the last ones clasp..simple yet striking

  2. Really enjoyed reading your blog.