There is nothing wrong with buying findings and components for jewelry making. There is something very gratifying to be able to put a design together quickly. But if you really want to make your designs as handmade as possible, then you've got to consider making your own findings - both the functional ones like ear wires and clasps and the decorative variety.
I just received a new Kalmbach book for review on just this topic. Decorative Wire Findings is written by designer and instructor Melody MacDuffee whom I have featured on this blog before. See Jewelry by Melody MacDuffee and the Soul of Somanya and her online video tutorial class giveaway. This new book is her second. I previously reviewed her first called Lacy Wire Jewelry.
I actually found it best to read the Basics first because the foundation of all her wire squiggles, coils, loops, curlicues, bezels, spiral links, bails, clasps, bail and even post earrings back are found there. By doing so, the project designs and instructions are then easier to read and understand. That is because Melody often incorporates several design elements and components in a single design.
She really makes handmade components work very hard. For example, the type of double loop connector shown in (A) below for her 5 Strand Earrings is used to connect beaded wires together as well as link to each other. Perhaps a few more step by step pictures would have made this particular project quicker to grasp.
Having said that, most of her projects are easy to fathom with the help of the Basics section. The Make Ahead table on each instruction page shows the different elements needed. For example, the bracelet design below uses hand cut jump rings,a basic hook and eye clasp, and 11 strand basic connector and an awesome 11 strand spiral spacer bars (linked wire coils are underneath). The ability to make your own findings means you don't have to compromise your design vision just because you cannot find the right number strand connectors.
Melody's bezel work is lovely. Her twisted wire bail shown below is a fine accompaniment to the design as with the various links and clasp.
One of my favorite design elements is her floral post earring component with a handmade post earring back as shown in the earrings below. She also has a floral wire bead cap design reminiscent of this element.
Her creativity shines with her brooch designs. This delightful horse brooch is one. It has a handmade pin back.
The book has numerous examples of how to create wire connectors and how to mix it up with beads. They form the basis of many of her necklaces and this bracelet selection below :
I also liked how she hid the clasp behind the lacy skirt of the Floral Botswana Agate necklace.
One absolutely stunning design which encapsulates this designer's style and approach is the Raspberry Agate Marquise necklace. Her wire work looks like filigree wire work which requires soldering. Melody's techniques only requires basic tools and easy to master wire skills.
All that silver work is difficult to photograph so some of the backgrounds used just didn't do some of the lovely designs justice. But the book is still a worthy one for the library as there are lots of ideas and clever innovations. Highly recommended for late beginners and intermediate jewelry makers who want to make their own decorative wire findings.
If you'd like to win a copy of Decorative Wire Findings, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.
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This giveaway is international.
Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.
It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Thursday, April 30, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or remember to come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!
Before You Go:
- Book Review - Timeless Wire Weaving
- Book Review - Unexpected Findings
- Book Review - Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips