Today I wanted to share the new jewelry book by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson. I didn't want to write a formal review of Handcrafted Wire Findings because I know them both. (I'm always skeptical when friends, family, or co-workers review books authored by their friends, family, or co-workers.)
My plan was to do a few projects from the book. I don't have a torch at the moment, nor any sterling silver wire. I also don't own a tumbler (it's on the wish list!).
But if you know me, you know that lacking a few basic essentials doesn't phase me. But when I flipped through the book, I learned I don't even have the right gauge of wire! I only have 22-gauge; it looks like almost all the projects take 16- or 20-gauge.
Still, I really wanted to play with wire (I don't give up easily), so I made two projects from the book: the "hammered s-hook clasp" using 22-gauge craft wire and a "figure-eight link" with 14-gauge copper wire. The 14-gauge wire wasn't bad. I ended up bending it around a Sharpie instead of a ballpoint, just because I was afraid of hurting the ballpoint. The 22-gauge craft wire actually survived the hammering to my surprise (no coating chipping off), but it's still very flimsy. (Eventually, I'll want to get that 16-gauge wire to redo them both.)
I wanted to patina the patterned link, but by now I was feeling lazy. I didn't want to haul out the material to patina just one link, especially if it wasn't one I was going to use. So I used some blue acrylic paint, which I painted on and then wiped off, leaving the paint in the crevices. If I were to use this on a "real" link, I'd also seal it.
The blue made me think that this link is actually a little whale and that's when I started to get silly. I found a blue piece of scrapbooking paper and made my little scene: blue twisted Lucite beads for water and a nice, bright yellow Czech pressed glass bead for the sun. The clasp is a cloud.
When I sit down in my studio, I always plan to make jewelry. Some day the beads (and wire) have other plans.
Jewelry makers are always looking for ways to stand out in a crowd and creating your own findings (clasps, ear wires, links/connectors) is a great way to do that. The book includes: ear wires (8 projects), links and connectors (10 projects), S-hook clasps (4 projects), hook clasps (4 projects), toggle clasps (6 projects) and two extras (a ribbon bail and knot spacer). There's a basic technique section with step-by-step photos. The projects themselves all have step-by-step photos, too. You will need a micro torch to create some of the projects.
If you want to read what some reviewers had to say about Handcrafted Wire Findings, here are some links to check out:
August 1-6 is Book Review Week on my blog. Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Creating Glass Beads.