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 [email protected]. 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.