If I had to pick what I thought was the most popular as in "I-so-want-to-learn" jewelry making technique, it would be wire work. It's a cold connection method which means no torch or soldering. The results are also lovely especially wire weaving.
A wonderful wire work book I just received for review is Kaska Firor's Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry. The introduction thoroughly covers all the basics and materials. This instructor does use 1 hot technique - the balling of wire ends with a torch but reassures learners that it's optional - just scroll the ends. Many of the designs are patinated with liver of sulfur and work hardened in a tumbler. So the instructions are included.
The first chapter by this award winning designer and instructor covers all the different kinds of weaving, coiling and looping wire in a series of progressive skill acquiring instructional projects.She covers both over-under (basket) and over-over weaves - the difference is in the path of the weaving wire as it covers the thicker wire frames.
The over-under woven wire toggle clasp is an example of how to use a weaving technique to make your own findings for wire work bracelets.
One of my favorite projects from the book is the Twisted Ribbon earrings where the over-over woven wire bundle is beautifully entwined together.
As you can see, the author does use other forming aids like dowels and vices to help complete some designs. She also covers coiling thinner wire over a thicker one. Her snail and turtle wire coiling pendants (not shown) are delightful!
Another technique covered in the book is looping wire. This is not just a functional technique to edge cabochons but also to hold elements together. The book uses a good mix of actual photographs as well as clear diagrams to show the wire work.
Another of my favorite projects were the beautiful In Full Bloom designs which uses the circular weaving technique.
Chapter 2, the second half of the book truly lives up to its title " The Next Level". Here the inspirational projects puts together different combinations of the techniques taught in innovative ways. The Crystal Spiral Rings for example uses the woven wire ribbons coiled in an upright fashion.
The wonderful statement bib Bead Tapestry necklace uses a neat trick - the pearls were poured into the central frame and arranged before being wired together.
A truly delightful book, one which is now one of my favorites.
This book is not recommended for beginners. But it is a superb guide for intermediate and advanced wire workers who want to get the tips and the inspirations to take wire work to a whole new level.
Before You Go:
- Book Review - Build Your Own Wire Pendants
- Book Review - Absolute Beginner's Guide to Making Wire Jewelry
- Book Review - Spotlight on Wire
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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