This is a unique jewelry design book, with techniques and designs I've never seen described before! And I LOVE it! Lacy wire jewelry shows you how to use fine jewelry wire---28 g--to design small open arches and curls that are amazing. You can create wire that will look almost like filigree, and make your own gorgeous chandelier designs for earrings.
BUT, for those of you who have no desire or no space to solder, you can also create a lacy bezel for cabs. Melody MacDuffee shows you various ways to do this, and how to shape it for rounds, ovals, pyramids, and even uneven designs to capture a sea shell. Some include small beads that can add interest to the corners or edges of your bead, adding more drama and personality.
In addition to an entire book with new designs and ideas, this book has a great format I have to tell you about. Since the actual method of creating the small, lacy loops and arches is basicalsy the same, she has that arranged in a technique section at the back of the book. There are several advantages to this. First, there are lots of close-up, detailed images and descriptions, so you get specific direction for each step. Second, with the instructions separate from the overall project, it seemed I had a lot more ideas of how to use these on my own, not limited to the fantastic 29 designs in the book!
Often, I like the designs in a book, but sometimes it seems difficult to generalize how to use a technique on my own project. With these techniques detailed separate from the specific design photos, it sparked a lot more ideas for me. There are also some extra details on how to alter the basic technique, like adding small beads to the lacy loops to add a bit more color and texture. Then she takes the simple technique of twisting wires to form beaded stems and shows you how to create beaded wire lace that can be twisted, curved and curled to add more flair to your pendant, or to a headband, hair comb, even earrings. Finally, learn how to thake a combination of twisted beaded wire and other wire to create a wire pendant.
Don't miss this book. You don't need advanced wire skills for this. You don't have to have any special tools. You can begin to create fantastic creations immediately. Congratulations to Kalmbach Books and Melody MacDuffee for a great new design book!
-Teri Baskett, S&T Creations
Wire jewelry is a hot topic! While the market has many books on solid, chunky wirework, there are few that teach lacy, intricate wirework done without soldering or casting.
In Lacy Wire Jewelry author Melody MacDuffee teaches easy techniques for creating the delicate, airy look of filigree wirework without soldering. MacDuffee, who has been designing jewelry for 20 years, teaches internationally and manages the class program for her local state-of-the-art bead store.
With step-by-step written directions, photos, and illustrations, Lacy Wire Jewelry presents intermediate level techniques. While the techniques may be similar to traditional wirework, the results are unique. Readers will find many options as they learn to twist and sculpt wire into 30 projects that include earrings, pendants, necklaces, pins, bezels, bracelets, rings, and hair jewelry.
In Lacy Wire Jewelry, readers learn how to make: Lacy filigree edging; Inset bezels to capture cabochons; Wrap-around bezels to hold dimensional focals; Beaded bezels for breathtaking adornment; Twisted-wire and crystal-adorned branches; Sculpted wire centerpieces; Curlicue lace decoration.
Lacy Wire Jewelry is filled with lacy wire jewelry projects that require no heat, no expensive equipment, and no hard-to-acquire skills. Instead, these pieces are made using, almost exclusively, the three inexpensive tools most jewelry makers already own: wire cutters, round nose pliers, and chain nose pliers. As for the skills involved, if readers can wrap a piece of wire around a pen or a nail or a knitting needle, they can learn to make lacy wire jewelry.
The book includes step-by-step photos and instructions. To make it easy for readers to learn, MacDuffee includes a series of Technical Basics that are the building blocks for every project in the book as well as an excellent way to practice techniques.
Readers will find a wealth of exciting options in Lacy Wire Jewelry. With just a spool of wire and a few tools, like MacDuffee, they will be conjuring elegant filigree, bezels, sculpture, curlicue lace.
The book contains 27 projects organized into 8 chapters based on a specific technique:
Chapter 1: Filigree
Chapter 2: Inset Bezel
Chapter 3: Wraparound Bezel
Chapter 4: Beaded Bezels
Chapter 5: Twisted Wire
Chapter 6: Sculpted Wire
Chapter 7: Curlicue Lace
Chapter 8: Combination Projects
There is a Technical Basics section which covers all the techniques you will need to create each project and which I found myself thinking of as a "toolbox" of sorts. For each project, there is a list of materials and also a list of which techniques you will use from the technical basics section. This is not a wire "basics" technical section like how to make a wire wrapped loop. Rather, it covers wire frames, how to anchor wire, how to bezel rows, how to make branches, and so much more.
As I read through the directions for various projects, I kept flipping back to the Technical Basics section to read through how to do each technique. If I were to make some of these projects, I would probably photocopy the "toolbox" pages so I wouldn't have to keep flipping back and forth.
The final page of the book is dedicated to the history of Soul of Somanya and the Krobo beads MacDuffee uses in some of her designs. It's a lovely story and I am so glad Kalmbach included it in the book.
As for the overall impressions of the book, the jewelry is beautiful even if it is not my particular taste. I have bought filigree before and wondered why because it is not my style. However, I do love the curlicue or loopy lace of chapter 7. Those designs very much appealed to my personal taste. It's very free form and not symmetrical.
One of the things I really love is the author encourages using craft wire. Let's face it, silver is getting ghastly expensive. It makes me almost ill everytime I look at the spot price. Any possible way to save some money on materials and still have a great looking product is very exciting.
The instructions are fairly easy to follow. Again, I would recommend photocopying the few pages of the Technical Basics section to simplify things and do less flipping back and forth. I decided to try a curlicue lace covered bead shown in one of the projects using red Parawire. The bead I used is a hollow bead I made forever ago and just never did anything with it except throw it in a bowl of other orphans. I used way too much wire for this bead, but it was fun, the instructions made sense, and it is a technique I will certainly keep and pull out from time to time.
One thing I would have liked to see in the book is larger photos of the various steps. Not all the pictures are clear enough to show what is being done.
Who should get this book? First of all, if you enjoy working with wire, or weaving wire or fiber, or you like the designs shown on the front cover, or like the look of filigree, this book is for you. This is not a beginner, "never worked with wire and what's a wire cutter level book." However, that is not to say a beginner couldn't pick up this book with some inexpensive craft wire and not have fun with it. It depends on the the person. Easily frustrated personality type beginners? Start with a beginning wire book instead. Work your way up to this one.
-Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions