Chain Style: 50 Contemporary Jewelry Designs (Interweave Press $19.95) by Jane Dickerson focuses on the amazing jewelry you can make using chain as the main ingredient. The fifty designs in this book include a combination of bead and wire techniques for the most part and illustrate how to create a variety of jewelry design by adding these to prefabricated chain.
The primary techniques used in this text are mainly wire based, such as forming wire wrapped loops, making hooks with wire, creating jump rings, and wrapping briolettes with wire. For the most part, all of these are very simple to do, but they offer a lot of design possibilities with chain since most can be used as methods for cold connections. Additional techniques include straighten wire, hammering wire, and oxidizing metal.
Along with a basic techniques and tools section, there is also a short section that describes the various types of chains you can purchase to incorporate into jewelry design. Eighteen different types of chains are shown in full-color photographs and include brief descriptions of each chain type.
Along with projects by the author, nine other jewelry designers contributed projects to this book so there various points of view from the minimalistic to the complex. For example, "Just a Bit" (a necklace designed by Jane Dickerson) combines chunky chain links with sections of black rubber tubing. This is a design that even guys might enjoy. Then there is the necklace called "Color Splash" by Karen Keegan that has tons of colorful lampwork glass beads dangling from a large link chain.
Of the 50 designs included, 16 of them are for bracelets and the rest are necklaces. There are no earring projects included.
A large number of the projects incorporate beads, charms, and pendants, and each project has a list of vendors that offer the supplies used. This is handy for locating some of the more unique components. There is also a resources list in the back so you can find the various chain vendors as well.
For anyone who follows the projects I post on this site, it is no surprise how much I like chain. So I have to admit that I'm partial to both making chain and using pre-fabricated chain in my jewelry designs. If you also like chain but haven't always felt comfortable working with it or figuring out ways to use just a little here and there is a jewelry piece, this is a great resource.
All of the projects are very do-able, and the majority of the jewelry pieces also look wearable to me as well. I especially could see this book in the hands of a beginner since so few techniques are really needed to accomplish a good number of the projects provided.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.