Materials, Supplies, and Techniques
The first part of the book looks briefly at the various lengths of necklaces, from short choker styles to super long opera length and rope styles. This is followed with a discussion on all different types of beads used in the book. Then other jewelry components and findings follow this. Most of the information up to this point is pretty standard in any jewelry book. Stringing materials gets a little broader with a look at beading wire, ribbon, hemp, and wirelace.
After the materials area, the tools are explained, and there is a wide variety used here, not just tools normally used for basic bead stringing. You will also find butane torches, crochet hooks, and craft knifes.
Techniques follows next with, again, some standard methods such as crimping and wire work, but there is also the addition of simple crochet chains, using a knotting tool, and making balled head pins using a butane torch. This area includes a combination of standard and mixed media methods and has photographs along with text. However, the layout in this area seemed to me to be a little crowded. It would have been nice to see larger photos and more white space.
Projects in the Book
The book includes a large number of necklace projects, a total of 40. So there is a lot to choose from here to cover a variety of tastes. Very few of the designs I would consider classic. Most are very contemporary in fact. The necklace "Kiss the Bride" is probably one of the more "almost class but not exactly" designs. It plays on a classic pearl necklace but with a literal "twist" almost as some of the strands of pearls are connected using spacer beads and seem to be woven together. Then there is a node to steampunk with "Watch Works, " a chain style necklace with funky watch parts dangling from it.
The large selection of projects is one of the good points to this book. Some of the designs I really liked and they looked very wearable as well as fashionable. On the other hand, though, I felt some of the designs were a little too over the top to work as functioning necklaces. Luckily, however, there are so many necklace projects that there is something in here that will appeal to just about anyone since personal tastes can vary. I also think that designers who are looking for unique uses of materials such as fiber and filigree will find some great ideas here.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy