Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry by Jodi Bombardier (Interweave $22.95 US) combines techniques of weaving, wrapping, and coiling to create wire jewelry. In her introduction, the author mentions that basket weaving became the inspiration for what would become her signature style, and many of her jewelry pieces in the book do have a "woven" look to them. The 128 page book includes 25 projects, some of which are completely made using wire and some combine wire and beads.
Techniques and Tools
The first dozen plus pages cover the basics of wire, tools you will need, and then techniques used in the book. The tools required are primarily hand tools that are fairly common to jewelry making except for the addition of a rotary tumbler. The techniques section is illustrated with color drawings and is a combination of techniques many beginning to intermediate jewelry designers may already be familiar with (such as unwrapped loops) to more unique techniques that are not seen in all wire jewelry books (like wire weaving).
The 25 projects in the book include chains, pendants, earrings, rings, and bracelets. In fact, there were a large number of ring projects, which you don't often see in jewelry books. Bombardier prefers to use dead-soft wire, either copper, brass, or craft wire. So while metal prices may be on the high side, these lower-cost alternatives are good choices, and they actually look really good in her designs. For example, one pair of copper earrings in the book, called Abby's Earrings, are made using her weaving technique and copper wire. They look like hoop-shaped little baskets dangling from the ear hooks.
Projects are identified and organized in the book by level of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. There is a good mix of all three. Instructions include drawn illustrations with photographs of the finished pieces.
I use wire a lot in my own jewelry designs, but I'm not always fond of typical wire wrapping designs. They can tend to be a little too chunky for my taste. I was pleasantly surprised by the scale, and in some cases, elegance of the projects in this book. As noted by the author, and this should really be obvious but I'll state it any way, beginners should be prepared to do some practice and make a number of prototypes before they achieve success; however, I think jewelry designers with some previous wire experience will find much of the jewelry in this book very do-able and wearable.
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