by Michelle Mach

So much for doing this everyday.  Been so busy.  Working on my studio.  Afew new crafts and some jewelry orders.  I found this blog today.  Thank you Michelle Mach for your Tuesday editorials.  I wish I could purchase every book you mention.

A Bit of Silliness (Thanks, Handcrafted Wire Findings)

Tuesday, August  2. 2011

Whale WireToday I wanted to share the new jewelry book by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson. I didn’t want to write a formal review of Handcrafted Wire Findings because I know them both. (I’m always skeptical when friends, family, or co-workers review books authored by their friends, family, or co-workers.)

My plan was to do a few projects from the book. I don’t have a torch at the moment, nor any sterling silver wire.  I also don’t own a tumbler (it’s on the wish list!).

But if you know me, you know that lacking a few basic essentials doesn’t phase me.  But when I flipped through the book, I learned I don’t even have the right gauge of wire! I only have 22-gauge; it looks like almost all the projects take 16- or 20-gauge.

Still, I really wanted to play with wire (I don’t give up easily), so I made two projects from the book: the “hammered s-hook clasp” using 22-gauge craft wire and a “figure-eight link” with 14-gauge copper wire.  The 14-gauge wire wasn’t bad.  I ended up bending it around a Sharpie instead of a ballpoint, just because I was afraid of hurting the ballpoint.  The 22-gauge craft wire actually survived the hammering to my surprise (no coating chipping off), but it’s still very flimsy.  (Eventually, I’ll want to get that 16-gauge wire to redo them both.)

I wanted to patina the patterned link, but by now I was feeling lazy.  I didn’t want to haul out the material to patina just one link, especially if it wasn’t one I was going to use.  So I used some blue acrylic paint, which I painted on and then wiped off, leaving the paint in the crevices.  If I were to use this on a “real” link, I’d also seal it.

The blue made me think that this link is actually a little whale and that’s when I started to get silly.  I found a blue piece of scrapbooking paper and made my little scene:  blue twisted Lucite beads for water and a nice, bright yellow Czech pressed glass bead for the sun.  The clasp is a cloud.

When I sit down in my studio, I always plan to make jewelry.  Some day the beads (and wire) have other plans.

Handcrafted Wire Findings

About the Book

Jewelry makers are always looking for ways to stand out in a crowd  and creating your own findings (clasps, ear wires, links/connectors) is a great way to do that.  The book includes: ear wires (8 projects), links and connectors (10 projects), S-hook clasps (4 projects), hook clasps  (4 projects), toggle clasps (6 projects) and two extras (a ribbon bail  and knot spacer).  There’s a basic technique section with step-by-step  photos.  The projects themselves all have step-by-step photos, too.  You will need a micro torch to create some of the projects.If you want to read what some reviewers had to say about Handcrafted Wire Findings, here are some links to check out:

August 1-6 is Book Review Week on my blog.  Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Creating Glass Beads.

                Posted by Michelle                                   in beads, book reviews, humor, jewelry                                                    at                 07:42                                                            | Comment (1)                                                    | Permalink

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