Arte Es Vida

Wire Work Books By Krause by arteesvida
December 10, 2006, 12:21 am
Filed under: Book Reviews, Wire Work

On of the most common requests lately has been for wire book recommendations. I’ve recommend a couple in the past, but as you might have noticed, I’m a bit fussy about what I recommend and there are a lot of books on the market that don’t thrill me. But I explained my dilemma to Krause Publishing a few weeks ago and they came to my rescue with four AMAZING new wirework books to review…some really wonderful resources! Check them out below!

Jane Davis Decorative Wirework is a wonderful source of simple, elegant projects. If you find most of the wirework projects out there to be too large, or busy, or just plain complicated then this is the book for you! With a nice starter section on wirework basics including making wraps, clasps, jump rings, and spirals, the book is then divided in to two sections…jewelry projects and home décor-style projects. The jewelry projects include and open spiral jewelry set, many head pin projects (including some gorgeous rings!), graduated tear drop designs, stylized leaves, treble clefs, 3 different cage wrap variations, and a my two favorites – a green and gold circle pin perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and a pendent project designed to show off your favorite beads (perfect for that horribly expensive diachronic glass piece you just had to have). The work is exquisite and has the same stylized simplicity you see in the early Egyptian wirework pieces…timeless designs! The directions, photos, and drawings are in-depth enough even for a beginner. I’m super-picky about my wirework books, but this is one I will use again and again!

I’m a big Barbara McGuire fan. I cut my teeth on her polymer clay books so I was really tickled to see she had written something about wirework! Wire In Design By Barbara McGuire is a wonderful source book for wirework artists much as The Art of Beadwork is for beadwork artists. Barbara starts out by covering the history of wirework and overviewing how wire is created today. So much wonderful information I never knew! Besides a well thought out section on materials and tools, the book goes a step further to really explore the elements and principals of design. If you are at that “stuck” place design-wise this is a one-of-a-kind resource to get your creativity flowing! The book also includes a wonderful gallery style spread featuring the work of some premier artists who use wire not only for adornement, but as an art medium all its own. Inspiration abound! The projects in the end of the book include many non-jewelry projects (including a neat wire spiral bound book!) and several jewerly ideas including some lovely bali bead and wire earrings, and a very mod wire-linked glass necklace. Many of the other projects involve wire with polymer clay (no surprise since this is Barbara’s forte)…so if you are looking with new ways to work in clay this is a wonderful place to start!

If you have walked down the jewelry making aisle of your local Michaels any time in the past several years, you have surely seen Wild Wire products on the shelves. Besides offering a wide range of colors (annealed over a nice copper base) and gauages they have a wonderful selection of inexpensive tools including pliers, hammers, the Twist ‘n Curl (allowing you to easily do coiled work), a Jig (I have had a Wild Wire Jig for several years now…it’s a wonderful value for the money!), and the very unique Wire Writer that allows you to literally write with wire on your jig to create names, messages, or simple drawings. The Wild Wire line is very reasonably priced to begin with, add in the often-published Michaels 40% off one item coupon from the Sunday paper and you can access some wonderful tools for just a few dollars! The parent company, NSI Innovations, also owns the Bedazzler so the first part of this book includes directions for using all of the Wild Wire and Bedazzler tools, including directions for making the very funky double and triple wire coiled beads! Most of the projects in the book utilize the Twist ‘N Coil or the Jig. Wild Wire By Martin Ed. Albert is a WONDERFUL source of Jig patterns that you can use in many different ways, not just in the projects shown. Don’t like the ponytail holder? Use the pattern with some beadwork to make a fantastic choker instead! Besides the basic element patterns, the book also have jig patterns for flowers, hearts, stars, basic words, and even dog bones! Many of these elments can be used in jewelry and in home décor projects. My favorite project, the Twisted Heart Set uses the Twist ‘N Curl to quickly create a time-consuming mandrel wrap design…I gotta get me one of those!

Fiber jewelry is so incredibly popular right now! It is lightweight and easy to wear, colorful, versatile and always unique. Fiber variations will make each piece look different, even if the designs are the same! Fiber-Wire Beads And Jewelry By Lisa Vann is a wonderful resource full of amazing creations, many with a gorgeous, ethnic sensibility to them….the Autumn Chips Necklace is one of the most gorgeous mixed-media pieces I have seen in a long time! Lisa demonstrates many different mandrel twist-and-wrap techniques that incorporate beads and wire together. She also wraps over pre-made jewelry objects (such as metal cuff bracelets) for gorgeous results. If you are a fan of crochet, you will also enjoy her section of fiber and wire crochet jewelry…a really interesting take on an old art form!

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