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We have added a New Section to the web site for book reviews

Watch for your favorite book or if you have one you would like to see reviewed, let us know


 Handcrafted Wire Findings, Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components by Denise Peck and Jand Dickerson
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
June 2011 - $22.95

ISBN 978-1-59668-283-2

This is a nice book on handcrafting your own findings. After all, it is always hard to decide what type of clasp would be perfect with your current project. With this book you can create what you want without going shopping. It is a book geared towards beginning wire workers that takes you through increasingly more complex projects. It covers basic wire work, texturizing, silver fusing, adding patina and traditional finishes.

Projects include several types of clasps, ear wires, beads and links and connectors with a few extra fun things thrown in. The basic technique section is a good resource for questions about what size or type of wire to use and the gallery section in the back has great inspiration! The 30 projects are well documented with step-by-step photographs and instructions.

The Beaded Edge: Inspired designs for crocheted edgings and trims by Midori Nishida and CRK Designs, Interweave Press,
Loveland, CO - January 2011 - $17.95

ISBN 978-1-59668-300-6

When I first glanced at this book, I thought that it was unusual in that all of the project photos were in the front of the book and the directions in the back. But once I started to actually read it I discovered why. It is a 2009 Japanese book that has been translated into English and all of the Japanese beading books I have ever seen are set up that way. I have several of the books and even though you cannot read the language, the illustrations are so good that you do not need to. It is not quite the same with a crochet book as the translations are not in a format that a English speaking "crocheter" would be used to. But the first three projects have step by step photos of the actual work being done so that you can get used to the unusual wording by comparing it to the pictures. Once you have done that you will not have a problem with the rest of the book.

These beaded embellishments can be used as edgings for knit, crocheted or even sewn items to give them a little sparkle. There are 18 projects that include household items as well as clothing. You can either make the edgings separately and then sew them to the object or just finish the edges with the embellishments. Some needle woven edgings are also included along with one project that can be used as an edging or a lariat necklace.

Enchanted Adornments: Creating Mixed-Media Jewelry with Metal Clay, Wire, Resin & More
by Cynthia Thornton,
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
November 2009 $24.95

ISBN 978-1-59668-157-6

Many of you will recognize the company name of Green Girl Studios and have bought the fantastic cast pewter pieces from them at many shows. Cynthia Thornton, the original Green Girl, started the business more than 10 years ago. I have not known her for quite that long but have always admired her designs. These days you usually see her Husband Greg at the shows while she stays home with the kids. People have been telling her for almost that long that she should write a book using her designs. The book has finally arrived. It is filled with Cynthia's art, projects, stories and much more. You have never seen a design and inspiration book like this one. You feel like you have opened Cynthia's design journal and are peaking into her creative mind. There is not a plain white background on any of the pages; instead they are filled with watercolors, shapes and drawings.

Anyone who thinks they might like to try mixed media jewelry can't help but be inspired by this book. It starts with a techniques section and then moves on to step by step directions and illustrations for 20 designs. Also included are insights into Cynthia's design process for giving each project its own magic.


Contemporary Copper Jewelry: Step by Step Techniques and Projects by Sharilyn Miller
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
September 2009 $22.95

ISBN 978-1-59668-143-9

The title of this book tells you that you will be working with copper. But do not stop there as the techniques will work with silver or other wire as well or be bold and combine the different types of wire. The techniques are all very well documented and photographed and cover coils, cold joins, wire wrapping, ear wires, charms, polishing and apply patina and much, much more. This is a great book for basic techniques and how to combine those basic wire principles so that they do NOT look basic at all.

There are 17 projects, by some of the top jewelry designers and wirework artists in the field, to get your creative juices flowing. Along with money saving tips for using your stash and other "finds" in your jewelry designs. If you are into wirework this is a good book to add to your library.

 simply needlefelt: 20 easy and elegant designs by Jayne Emerson
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
April 2009 - $24.95

ISBN 978-1-59688-1088

Jayne Emerson has branched out from her previous book, Simply Felt, to needle felting in this new book. She has a marvelous eye for color and form and walks you through the process of needle felting both by hand and machine to produce textiles to wear or decorate your home. She does not just use wool to do her felting, but incorporates fabric and yarn into her creations.

Unlike regular felting with wool, needle felting is done without water using a barbed needle and several other tools and it is no where near as messy as wet felting. The book begins with an introduction to the tools, materials and basic methods. You could get a sewing machine that is set up with multiple needles to do your felting, but you can also do the work by hand with just a single needle and a base to felt on.

There are 20 projects in the book including fiber jewelry, coasters, pillow covers, scarves, sweaters, blankets, bags and more. You will not believe what can be decorated using hand felting techniques and how easy it is.

This is a good reference book for anyone wanting to try needle felting or anyone who has tried it but wants to branch out from just using wool.

 Wire Style - 50 Unique Jewelry Deigns by Denise Peck
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
September 2008 - $19.95

This book, from the editor of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, is a collection of fifty designs from top wire artists highlighting the versatility of wire. It starts out really great by giving you information on wire styles and shapes and how to measure them using a wire gauge. It goes on telling about all the different tools used in working with wire and what their uses are. It covers pliers, hammering and finishing tools along with techniques for using all of the tools. Different styles of loops, coils and spirals, jump rings, hooks, and ear wires are all detailed with large, clear photos. All of this is on the first 25 pages and is actually the best part of the book.

The project section does have interesting projects and large full page photos of each project, but the instructions leave something to be desired. All of the instructions refer you back to the front "basics" section of the book, which by itself would not be a problem except that there are no other diagrams for any of the projects. Many of them could use just one or maybe two diagrams to clarify a step in the instructions. I can see a beginner being very confused and disappointed by the projects in this book, even though the information in the first section is invaluable to all levels of wire workers. There are both fun and fast projects that take very little time and more complicated ones that will challenge you.

 Crochet Jewelry: 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs by Waejong Kim and Anna Pulvermakher.
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
October 2007 - $24.95

If you like to crochet and you like to wear jewelry this is the book for you! It starts out by going over the basic stitches and stitch and shaping techniques and continues with tools and equipment needed as well and findings and notions you can use to finish the projects. Even if you did not know how to crochet before you started reading this book, you will when you are finished and have some great jewelry to wear as a bonus. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, pins, eyeglass holders and more are covered in the book using yarn, thread and wire. The best part is that you do not have to be an expert to make this jewelry.

Crochet has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years along with knitting and other needle arts, but is not just for fiber artists anymore. Whether beaders want jewelry using wire or to incorporate fiber into their work they will find designs that result in attractive jewelry. There are even a few designs that incorporate felting, another hot fiber trend that is crossing over into beading designs.

 How We Felt: Designs & Techniques from Contemporary Felt Artists by Carol Huber Cypher.
Interweave Press, Loveland, CO
October 2007
Carol Huber Cypher has brought together felting projects from 20 fiber artists for this book. A long time fiber artist herself, Carol has also included information about each artist and their inspiration for each project. Projects include hats, vessels, necklaces, boots, bags, dresses, scarves and much more along with a list of sources and artist contacts. One of the unusual, fun techniques described in the book is felting over a ball or balloon to create hats or vessels.

While there is a section on basic felting techniques, I would not recommend this book for beginning felters. It is, however, great for inspiration for anyone with at least a little felting experience and will get your creative juices running with the gorgeous photos of the projects and the gallery section that features less utilitarian pieces to inspire and delight.

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