Irina Meich is one of my favorite wire jewelry book authors. It's not just because she is skilled with wire. She is blessed with a strong creative streak and can easily introduce a wide variety of designs to budding designers.

That's certainly the case with her latest book, Classic Style, Fresh Look: Sixty Jewelry Designs to Make and Wear which I received for review.  It's an unusual approach where she takes one classic style and shows the reader how to update it for a fresh look.

What I really like about Irina's book is her encouragement to not copy faithfully any design but change it up and make it your own. For example, her classic Pearl Nouveau bracelet is a vintage style with a nod to the Art Nouveau movement.  The filigree she used is a reproduction from that era. The pearl is mounted in the middle of the filigree. For the modern version, she used silver tones and a bead rather than a pearl. The filigree is also folded.

She also shows in her book that it's not just about just substituting elements for the fresh look but simplifying the design as well.  One of the most dramatic and loveliest of her designs is the Vintage Blooms necklace where an eclectic selection of filigrees shine together.

For the new look, she simply just used one filigree with added charms to form a pendant :

My most favorite part of the book is the section towards the end of the book where a number of her designs feature the wiring up of filigrees.  Check the PDF preview if you wish to read the following page more clearly :

Irina certainly does share her wire tips.  Her Orbital Spinner Rings are cool not only because they move but aren't soldered either.  It's a very simple but clever technique.

The book is geared for all levels but utter beginners might find the Basics section a bit too short. For example there is only minimal instructions for using liver of sulfur, without any warning for doing it outside or with very good ventilation.

However, the book does very well in its objective - to update 30 class styles with specific examples of how to do so.


Other Books by Irina:
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