Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Wire Jewelry Paperback – Dec 14 2010
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About the Author
Jodi Bombardier is a self-taught jewelry designer who discovered wire wrapping in 2005. She is a regular contributor to Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry, and she sells her jewelry in boutiques throughout Arizona and Utah. Bombardier is a small business owner of Jewels By Jules, a unique handcrafted jewelry line. Both her web site, Jewels-By-Jules.com, and her blog, Online-Wire-Wrapping-Instructions.com, offer tutorials. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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The book begins with a patient,detailed introduction and insight into tools of trade and various techniques that would be used to create the projects shared in the book.The photos are clear and the sketches are precise and very useful.Each project begins with a note about her Design Inspiration,followed by Project notes,where she gives an insight into what might be useful to keep in mind when creating a specific piece ,and also any special tips to calculate wire measurements to precision,wherever needed...and this sure is a very valuable inclusion.to me,it is a sign of a thoughtful artist,designer and writer who's gone out of her way to enable her readers to create what she promises can be created.
The projects are categorized into Beginner,Intermediate and Advanced levels and graduate beautifully from one project level to the next.There are lots of rings to be created and techniques to be practised at each level. They're all equally fascinating and promise to be a great launching pad to create one's own ring designs,if one makes each of the rings presented in this book.The pendants,earrings and the bracelets are very fascinating too.The beads and stones and other supplies included in some of the projects are easily available.
I have long been searching for one comprehensive guide that would take me along and help me develop my skills at wire wrapping,and often my stumbling block has been the wire length calculations...and this book promises to address that issue perfectly,besides suggesting alternatives to explore a given design further.With a specific number of wire wrapping techniques included,it also ensures that the reader does not get overwhelmed by the variety of techniques one might need to incorporate in a single design to create a 'masterpiece".In fact a repetition of skill and techniques to create new projects ensures that one masters the techniques well enough to go ahead and play with them to innovate designs and even reinterpret the existing ones:).
This is a happy book with a lovely intent,and that shows through each page,at every step,literally:).Like me,you might have any or all other books related to wire work and wire wrapping,but this is the one you've been most wanting to have.You'll bless the author for how generously she shares and how warmly she guides one along.
I am all set to begin creating happier,sturdier,more confident wire wrapped jewelry,starting tonight,thanks to Jodi Bombardier:).Her new book's promised to be my guide and I know she means it:)!
Now the not so good. I'm not sure who makes the call about whether to describe something as a beginner or intermediate project, but the very first one in the book, the Diamond Pendant, is described as for beginners. Not so much. I am not a beginner and this project was frustrating and ultimately unsuccessful for a number of reasons. She does give measurements for how much wire to cut, but I find that it was usually inaccurate, and I've now tried about half a dozen projects. Usually, the amt. given is a underestimate. When making smaller items like jewelry component (e.g., pendants, earrings, etc.) size and scale are important. So if the directions call for making a loop on each end of a 4.5 inch wire, it's important to at least give some ballpark idea of how big a loop. Should I use the tips of the round nose pliers, go half-way up? Eyeball it? This is a good way to end up without enough wire or with proportions that are out of whack. That's a problem all through the book. The Diamond Pendant calls for fitting two diamond shaped weaving frames one inside the other and doing some coiling and weaving to connect the two. This calls for working in a very tight space, VERY tricky for a beginner. There's also a lot of taping, removing taping, etc. to access different areas of the pendant for weaving. I guess the author felt that made it easier, I found it tedious and not helpful, again because the instructions about where to place the tape were not precise. Also, even using painter's tape or masking tape is awkward because it leaves some glue residue when removed and then that has to be cleaned off or your weaving wire gets all gunky. Not good.
Also, although the photos are clear and it's good to have close ups and enlargements so you can see detail, keep in mind that they are enlarged! The earrings in particular look as if they are about 3 inches long, although the finished size is given as 1.5 inches. Frankly, what attracted me to the Coiled Drop Earrings was the size! I like the larger, "statement" kind of jewelry. So although I was a little surprised that they called for using 16 gauge wire for the frames, the apparent size of the finished piece seemed to justify it. My bad. I should have paid closer attention to the fine print. Although I seldom use anything larger than 20 or 18 gauge for earrings like these, I decided to be by the book about it follow instructions to the letter. It's really a PITA to bend 4.5 inch lengths of 16 g wire into a curvy W shaped frame. Not impossible, but again, this is supposed to be for a beginner, so why not smaller gauge or larger earrings, which would be easier to manipulate? Bombardier also instructs you to cut 1 inch lengths of 26 g wire for some of the wraps! You'd need fingers the size of an anorexic 3 year old to work with that! Someone more experienced would know that, but why screw with the head of a beginner? And some of the instructions are out of logical order. You are instructed to make loops at the ends of the frames, then use that 1 inch length of wire to wrap the looped end to the frame....For that you need to open the loop! Why not do the wrap first, then form the loop? Things like that seem trivial, but it's frustrating especially for a beginner. And one expects that an authot has made the item and thought these steps through.
There are a few really neat looking rings, and I decided to try the All Knotted Up project, also classified as for beginners. Why? I guess I just never learn. This is another Definitely Not for a Beginner project. The materials are fine. 16 g dead soft wire for the frames is a good choice as it makes for a sturdy shank and stable weaving frame. Step 4 is a bit of a head scratcher. After beginning the weaving, you're told to continue "until you've completed about 1.5 inches of unwoven frame wire...." Huh? Until you've completed 1.5 inches of UNWOVEN frame? Is this some kind of "if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it" philosophical puzzle? I eventually assumed what was intended was for there to be 1.5 inches of bare frame wire at each end. I guess. From here on, things get even murkier. Which is a shame, because this is the tricky part. The diagrams are misleading and the text is not as clear as could be. As I said, I'm an experienced wire worker and I had a lot of trouble. I have not yet been able to satisfactorily duplicate this design. Not saying it can't be done, but you definitely have to go off the page to figure it out.
On the other hand, the Ocean Waves bracelet is just beautiful and the photos, diagrams and text are crystal clear.Ditto for the bow tie ring, Sublime Dreams bracelet, All Coiled Up Ring, and the Evolution Ring. Most take some practice and close attention, but result in a nice finished piece. Those are the only ones I've tried so far, so I can't say about the others.
This book is worth having, but save yourself the grief if you're a beginner. This is not for you.