Yesterday I had my first attempt at wire work, thanks to a book I got out of the library. I got it out for two reasons; one because I’d never tried wirework, and two because I’m starting an occasional blog feature  – book reviews! I have quite a library of bead books and I’ve found it’s always good to read others opinions of books if you’re thinking about buying, or looking for ideas. It might also inspire me get stuck in to some projects at the same time :o)

So the first book in this series is Bead on a Wire, by Sharilyn Miller. I thought it was a good one to start with because I’ve never read about, or tried, the technique of wirework, so I was definitely approaching the subject as a newbie.

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Sharilyn Miller is a writer, artist and teacher. She has been editor of several major artisan magazines including Belle Armoire and Somerset Studio. Now she teaches workshops across the US, and continues to write books on jewellery making. You can see more of her work, and buy her e-books, on her website http://www.sharilynmiller.com

This is an excellent book for beginners to wirework. It clearly explains the tools you need before going into a comprehensive section on techniques with loads of excellent photographs clearly showing all the different stages for making everything from a simply spiral to twisted jump rings to coiled wire bead wraps. There are 44 pages explaining techniques! This is what I want from a book like this; of course I want  inspirational images of finished pieces (which this book also has) but I am always looking for clear explanations of how to make the component pieces. This is one of the best books I’ve read for this.

twinspiralbracelet

Of course there are also plentyt of projects to try,20 in all including earrings, bracelets and necklaces.I thought all the projects looked tempting, and with the excellent techniques section at the beginning they seem achieveable. Here’s an example of one of the project pages (from Sharilyn’s own website):

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The photography is great throughout; the finished pieces look lovely, and the step-by-step photos are very clear.

The only thing this book is lacking is a Gallery section. I love seeing what real artisans can do with a technique, I find it very inspirational, and it’s a shame there isn’t a section like this in the book. But that’s a small complaint, because the rest of the book really is excellent! If you’re a beginner to wirework and would like a book that covers all the basics and will let you make some impressive pieces I would definitely recommend this book :o)