Making Wire and Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley

Wire and Rod Pendant.
Courtesy Lark Crafts.
Being that I started out as an embroiderer, embroidering beads in jewelry comes natural - give me a needle and something to thread and the beads just fall into place. What I have a hard time with sometimes is actual turning of wire into something I like. Making Wire and Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile really took the guess work out of it for me and made wire loops, arabesques and spirals look like easy.

Berkebile and Tracy Stanley indulged in many full color, step by step photos for each project. Some even have a photo for each turn of a spiral giving you the ultimate guide for turning metal wire. I appreciated this as once I grasped a new technique, I was ready to improvise in my own designs.

Making Wire and Bead Jewelry has 24 projects and over 500 photographs. The introductory chapters Tools and Materials, Wire Techniques, and Finishing, has everything you would want to know if you were a beginner jeweler and great looping and spiralling techniques for an advanced jeweler. My favorite project was the Wire Pod project (see image above) and I imagined a million things to fill the little pod with: mini shells found on the beach, favorite small beads, resin scraps from our art projects - the list goes on.

For inspiration for future projects, the Gallery at the back of the book showcases many different pieces from various artists with wire as the base. Some pieces solely contain spirals and loops of wire (Tracy Stanley's Egyptian Coil Bracelet from 2000 and Cascading Spirals Bracelet from 2011) show that even just wire can make a beautiful piece of wearable art.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton.