Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review - Create Three Dimensional Jewelry

By on Thursday, March 06, 2014 4 Comments

Tired of stringing? Or are you just bored with the way your jewelry designs are looking? There are simple ways to jazz up designs without having to learn a huge amount of new skills. They will take your one dimensional jewelry to new heights - literally - with three dimensional jewelry!

Heather DeSimone whose new book,  Create Three Dimensional Jewelry which I recently received for review, covers the topic well. There are 21 projects demonstrating how to build up designs.  Her main inspiration comes from the legendary hand crafted and meticulously detailed designs of costume jeweler Miriam Haskell and her designers such as Frank Hess and Robert F. Clark.

One outstanding approach of the book deals with stacking and working with layers.  It is a simple but effective strategy using easy wiring or riveting. As Heather says, "you'll be stringing 'out' instead of 'across'".

Stitching with wire is yet another way to add depth to jewelry designs. Some of the designs use a filigree or ajoure base for wire wrapping beads.  The middle cuff in the memory wire cuff project shown below is an example of where the filigree has been covered with beads making it a very unique design.

The other wire method is lashing as shown by the design below.  The small beads were not beaded but lashed in groups - a lot quicker than beading!

Heather also covers how to do simple drilling. Very handy to know to create your own ajoure base out of virtually anything - for example a mother of pearl disc, bracelet blank or even some vintage Lucite earrings as shown below. She had drilled holes in the earrings below to facilitate the lashing of wire and beads.  She is a big fan of reclaiming and making over vintage jewelry and findings.

One tool she highly recommends is a new riveting device - the Crafted Findings Piercing and Riveting tool which makes it very easy to rivet via compression and without having to use a hammer. Almost all of her rivet work was done with this tool. However, traditional riveting tools can be used.

The last but not least for making three dimensional jewelry is to make custom components such as the wired bead clusters in the design below.

Heather Simone was astute enough to buy up a huge amount of vintage Lucite beads a decade ago when plastic beads were not that popular.  So her designs feature a great deal of her stock and may not be what you would have to use.  The book is meant as an inspirational guide for all levels into the basic techniques needed to create three dimensional jewelry.  She says, " As you read my instructions, keep in mind that jewelry in this style is best accomplished with our intuition and your free-thinking interpretations of my approach."


Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. love all the ideas - they are unusual yet useable

  2. The designs are unusual and unique to the designer largely because of her vintage lucite stock but her general techniques can be applied to one's own designs.

  3. Very talented ladies! Some people are good at thinking outside the box.

    1. Yes, a real inspiration to others! We should all try to do innovative things and not rehash the same designs time and time again!