Are you a beadweaver who only does beadwork? Maybe it is time to get out of your comfort zone and explore other forms of jewelry making. Not only will you add more skills to your repertoire, you will also move into new design pathways as you incorporate them into your core interest.
I just received Creative Seed Bead Connections: Using Wire, Jump Rings, and Chain for review. The designer and author, Teresa Meister does a fabulous job of convincing beaders to add metal to their work. There are 13 gorgeous projects but each is for a 3-piece jewelry set consisting of necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings. The beadwork consists of first making many small focal pieces before connecting them together with metal.
This truly inspiring book introduces beadweavers to wire work in 3 stages, starting with jump ring connections. She does make it look a little too easy as it will need a little patience to connect focal pieces together with a jump ring. There is not much exposed ring left to grab hold of especially with 3 focals to connect. So she includes the graphics to show the use of two pliers for this task – she used a chain nose and a bent nose.
The second part of the book called “Broadening” assumes the reader is completely new to any wire work so the author introduces basic wire work gradually. She begins with a simple wire wrapped loop for the pendant in the Gibsonia Girl jewelry set.
Teresa is the first author I have come across who uses the (one size) looping pliers a great deal to make consistent sized loops. She used them to make the loops on either side of the pearls in the design below so they became simple connectors. The wire butterfly connectors of the design were also formed with the pliers.
Every project is divided into a beadweaving and wire work section. The wire work sections included step by step photographs of how to form different kinds of links – wishbones, scrolls, S-links and so forth followed by a plan of how things are connected together.
The final section of the book entitled “Building”, is more challenging. The wire work is more involved like the Give it a Whirl design. The metal work do add visual interest to the beading.
The best is saved to last and my favorite from this collection. A Piece of the Past is an outstanding design which shows off the designer’s creative skills as she managed to combine metalwork, beadwork and chains all in one!
As with many instructors, Teresa shares some wonderful tips in her book including the clever uses of a folding ruler which bends at every inch.
-Pearl Blay, The Beading Gem’s Journal