Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review - Making Wire and Bead Jewelry and Free Tutorials

By on Thursday, May 31, 2012 9 Comments

There are already a number of wire work jewelry books out there.  So when I received Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley's new book for review, I was curious what these two artisans and instructors could offer that's innovative to wire jewelry lovers out there.

book review

Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques is definitely photo-rich given that there are just 24 projects. It's very clear that this book was indeed written by experienced teachers as the wire technique and finishing section at the beginning of the book has many tips. I particularly liked their neat solution on how to mark a round nose pliers so you can make a consistent wire coil. A round nose pliers and simple rods will suffice for people who don't have a lot of jewelry making tools

book review
Cascading Waterfall Gemstone Pendant by Janice Berkebile
The first part of the book covers simple metal work like how to make and use flattened wire (paddles) in jewelry designs. Many of the projects at the beginning could be tackled by determined beginners.

Moving a bit along, there are also a number of lovely spiral, coiled and wrapped wire projects. One of my favorites is the Cascading Waterfall Gemstone Pendant. These projects will require some experience with wire. As Tracy said in an interview, "After all, it's all about practice. Pick a technique and practice, practice. The more you have the tools and wire in your hands, the easier it will come."

One of the free pdf tutorials is for Tracy's Cascading Spirals bracelet design

book review and free tutorial
The latter part of the book is a joy. The instructors cover wire weaving to produce innovative frames in order to showcase beads and gemstones. One design I liked is the Cage It design by Tracy which does a fabulous job of forming a spiral bezel for a cabochon. The weaving is done behind the gemstone. It also works well for rings.

book review
Cage It by Tracy Stanley
The wire weaving technique is obvious for the other free tutorial, the Wire Pod pendant. It's a great way to encase gemstones, beads and perhaps other fun objects.

book review
Wire Pod Pendant by Janice Berkebile
The pièce de résistance is indeed Janice's Bloom Pendant, a delightful informal piece which can be adapted in so many other ways once the basic technique of form making is mastered. It's well worth the effort.

book review
Bloom by Janice Berkebile

Some of My Favorite Books:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Looks like a great book. Putting it on my wish list!

  2. Looks like a great book, nice big photos and easy step by step instructions. I especially like those acorn bead caps. That's something I'd like to learn. I may have to purchase it...:)

  3. Wow, this looks like a nice book! The PDF previews are also nice, I will definitely check it out!

  4. Yes, the PDF tutorials are an excellent way to see if you like the way the project is taught before committing to the entire book.

  5. Pearl, I don't comment often, but I check your Journal EVERY DAY because you really cover the waterfront on tips, trends, and techniques. This book looks like a wonderful "tool" for all us aspiring artisans - thanks bazillions for yet another great article!

  6. Ruth - thank you for the kind words! I really do appreciate your reading loyalty and the time you take whenever you do comment. By doing so, you do let me know that I am on the right track with the articles I chose to share.

  7. I have this book. I love it! I have already made a bracelet similar to the one on the front. And I want to try and make the bloom.

  8. I just picked up this book the other day and absolutely love it! I like working with wire yet the tips in this book are going to move my skills up more then a few notches. That and a lot more practice.

  9. It is a fabulous book but we have to be willing to put in the practice for sure! Yes, Linda - my favorite is the Bloom design too!