Someone recently asked me a rather large question: "How do you make wire jewelry?" After sorting out a rush of my own thoughts, I decided to focus my answer on wire jewelry books.

Making wire jewelry is a fairly large subject encompassing many, many different wire jewelry techniques. Certainly wire jewelry has its roots in history. Add to that the surge in wire wrapped jewelry in recent years. Think about techniques when you want to learn how to make wire jewelry.

I've already mentioned the wire wrapping but also start to look around and discover the wide variety of other techniques available to wire jewelry lovers: crochet and knit wire jewelry, chain maille and bead maille. Woven wire techniques is a fairly large subject all in itself. Aside from the crochet and knit categories, their are all the basketry techniques that can be used for wire jewelry making. Then of course, there's braiding with wire both round and flat. You'll also certainly want to look at any new wire jewelry making techniques although they're few and far between.

One that comes to mind immediately is Melody MacDuffee's wire twisting technique that she does with beads. While I recognize this as an old method, Melody has taken and refined it quite nicely. As with all wire jewelry making techniques, it's what you design with the technique that's the key. You can learn all the methods and read all the wire jewelry making tutorials in the world but if you can't design something with them, you'll likely suffer from frustration.

In any event, getting to the point, one of the best ways to learn how to make wire jewelry is by deciding which of the many, varied techniques you'd like to learn and then carefully choosing wire jewelry books that address that technique.

Look around and do some research, find wire jewelry that you love, find out how it was made and then learn that technique. Wire jewelry making books can then be purchased to enhance and increase your learning of that particular technique. Then do the process all over again with another technique you admire. Before you know it, you'll have a whole repertoire of skills and wire jewelry making techniques at your disposal. And the wire jewelry books are all there to help you on your way. Read book reviews before you purchase to make sure you've chosen a good one.
 
 
A couple of months ago, my family and I attended a few of the Borders book store closings with certainly a bit of sadness. As a family, we've often gone out to dinner on a weekend followed by a much anticipated visit to our closest Borders.

We have wanted to instill in our kids a love of books, knowledge and reading. Either my husband or I read to them every night for many,  many years. More than anything we wanted to give them a love of learning. While those from my generation got their information from books, my kids go to schools where they don't use books but rather, the internet, to learn. I found this completely shocking first cut but now realize that their generation is different: they love learning from videos and ask Google to lead them to any clarifying information they need. That laugh at me when I'm trying to learn any new software and insist on having a reference book. Times have changed but I think I'll always love the feel and looks of books. Just as I loved browsing bookstores before most of them closed.

Books are all the more important when you're needing to learn a new craft. Those step-by-step photos and accompanying texts are so critical to getting things right. So it goes with jewelry making. And jewelry making books.

I actually received a Kindle last Christmas and did my best to warm up to it. It certainly does have its' convenience factor. For example, when I travel, wire and pliers (often the first to go into my suitcase) are essentials as well as at least two books. One of those books is inevitably a wire jewelry how-to book. The books are heavy and a Kindle would seriously help in this circumstance. At the time I got the Kindle, however, there weren't many jewelry making books available for it. No doubt that will change. And I'll look forward to that. In the meantime, however, I can't help but be concerned about what's going to happen to our books......the ones with all the gorgeous color photos. The ones that I can drool over sitting on my library shelves. With the latest publishing plans and moves from Amazon, what's the future of books? Will they also end up going the way music has?

I can't help but believe that some smart people somewhere along the line will realize that buying music and books thru stores is not just a dead or dying business model but it's about something more: our everyday life experiences. We promenade and engage socially when we shop: no folks, I don't thing the internet will ever replace that need no matter how much web 2.0 emphasizes social networking. We need to actually be together, enjoying our mutual physical presence as much as by being stimulated by enticing objects to buy and learn from.

Maybe all of this is more true for artists in general, I don't know, but I do know that that tactile feature of how-to jewelry making books is something I'm no anxious to give up......no more than I wanted to give up searching thru bookstores to hunt for the best books. Comments?
 
 
After much ado, the YouTube video on how to make my now famous hollow wire sugar cube bead is finished and uploaded onto YouTube. This video is short of four minutes and will teach you the few simple steps you'll need to take to start making these gorgeous beads immediately!

After having so very many folks download the free pdf file on making this bead, being able to actually show you live how to do it is most exciting. Please feel free to send me feedback on the video either thru the contact form here, on YouTube itself or email me at wired@beadifferent.com. Your feedback is very helpful to me in continuing to share my discoveries and provide you with new and interesting wire jewelry techniques. I hope you enjoy!
 
 
Check out the "What's New" section here to find five new articles on wire jewelry making where you're sure to find something interesting. There's a new review on the book, Soldering Made Simple by Joe Silvers, excellent book indeed. You'll also discover Melody MacDuffee who offers some wonderfully delicate wire work in her books. You might want to try some new textile jewelry techniques from Sarah Keay from the UK.

Check out the article on new wires for wire jewelry making as well.
 
 
www.beadifferent.com, my oldest website that originally featured my book, Make Wire Beads, is finally launched!! Many, many long months of work has gone into this site and you will find a rich and diverse selection of wire working tutorials for all manner of jewelry pieces. You'll also find book reviews, supplies and a small gallery. For more gallery pieces, please go to my reference site at www.wovenwirestudio.com.

As always, I love getting your feedback so please feel free to leave comments. All the best to you in your jewelry making endeavors!
 
 
Well, as the holidays approach, the ole brain starts running towards the best Christmas gifts I can think of for my long xmas list. With the economy in its slump, clever and economical gift giving is a priority this year. Having just started reviewing Andy Turner's e-book, Wire Writing Secrets, How To Make Personalized Wire Name Jewelry, I can't help but think about what great Christmas gifts these would make. With several nieces and women on the list this holiday season, wire name necklaces and even bracelets and pins would be a gift I'd be proud to give.

This would also be an economical way to give wonderful xmas gifts that would be very personal and a keepsake as well. Believe it or not, I still have the wire name pin my grandmother bought me when I was a kid. It's my oldest piece of jewelry and I still remember standing at the kiosk, fascinated by the hands of the man writing my name in gold filled wire.
 
 
Well, this little labor of love, Best Wire Jewelry Making Books, has expanded far beyond my original concept. While I originally thought I'd review a handful of my favorite wire jewelry how-to books, the more I've focused on this, the more wonderful books and instructions I discover.

I've also been very surprised at the amount of traffic this site has generated in just a few short months. I believe that means that folks are getting something here and maybe the book reviews are helping direct their book purchases more effectively. That was my purpose. Having bought many books myself that ended up being disappointing, I really wanted to see if I couldn't help others avoid that same experience. In any event, I also wanted to give you all the opportunity to comment or let me know if this site has been helpful to you. So please, feel free to leave any comments or suggest any new books you'd like reviewed.

While much of what I do necessarily focuses on making a living, this site is not about that but rather just enjoyment. It gives me alot of pleasure to work on this site and I've learned from doing these in-depth book reviews. Since I only review the best books I can find, this is a pretty positive experience.

Finally, another surprise associated with this website is that I'm now constantly looking for new and exciting wire jewelry or other jewelry making instructions for you. So you may see some rather unusual jewelry making instructional materials coming up. My latest is the fork jewelry DVD I just discovered but I've also found some interesting books on selling your jewelry that I'll be getting put up shortly.

Be sure to fill in the contact form (on the right near the top) with your email address if you'd like to receive some of my free wire jewelry tutorials and stay tuned for my newest discoveries in making wire jewelry!