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Create Delicate and Lovely Art Wire Jewelry

Updated on November 21, 2011

Lacy Wire Jewelry

Lovely, lacey wire jewelry
Lovely, lacey wire jewelry

Not Usual Wire Wrapping

Wire Wrapping, or the art of winding wire to make jewelry, has been in the forefront of wire jewelry making trends for some time now. The “look” of that jewelry is often chunky and/or with a bohemian flavor with wire connecting to beads for enhancement or with the beads taking first place. Wire is often used primarily to connect beads although certainly there are other "just wire" wire wrapped jewelry types.

But what if your creative sensibilities are different? What if you’re looking for something less bulky and crude? What if you wanted to create delicate and lovely wire jewelry instead?

Well, if you’ve already got some experience working with wire, I’d take a look at Lacy Wire Jewelry by Melody MacDuffee. This is a lady who loves wire and lace and has a great deal to offer. What Melody has essentially done in this book is translate her love of lace into some both simple and complex wire jewelry techniques. Unlike many of the authors and books we see pumped out by publishers today, Melody has some genuine originality to her designs AND they are well executed. When I’m evaluating any new wire work, I’m always looking first and foremost to see how good the designer’s hand control is. This lady knows her stuff and has a tight hand meaning that she knows well how to control her wire and can work in a fine or very small fashion. That’s not always easy when working with the thin gauge wires required for delicate wire work.

While much of this book focuses on making lacy and lovely settings for stones and cabachons, it’s the ending of the book that you’ll find most valuable. The Technical Basics here is very concisely put together and you’ll find a most fascinating twisted wire technique that I’ve yet to see anywhere else. This technique alone will allow you wonderful new avenues in your wire working.

The Real Meat in Lacy Wire Jewelry

I've counted a total of twenty-seven projects in all in Lacy Wire Jewelry by Melody MacDuffee. While there's some duplication in the techniques that are used throughout this book, Melody builds on some of the more simple wire jewelry making techniques, creating rather complex and highly detailed jewelry pieces. Here's a list of the different techniques and chapters in the book:

- Filigree

- Inset Bezel

- Wraparound Bezel

- Beaded Bezels

- Twisted Wire (wonderful technique)

- Sculpted Wire (for a more free form look)

- Culicue Lace

- Combination Projects - This is where you'll indeed find techniques combined into more complex wire jewelry pieces and they are quite gorgeous and beautifully executed

As I said before, the Technical Basics are the end of the book are extremely helpful and work well to provide easy reference technique learning. Wonderful addition to the book.

Learning Melody's unique style of wire wrapping will surely add to any wire jeweler's bag of tricks. The instructions in this book are quite clear and while there are many pictures, step-by-step, they are a bit small so a magnifier might come in handy. Short of that though, this is a supremely valuable and well done book offering that rare originality that is often lacking in many bead and wire how-to books.

If you're looking for good book reviews for wire jewelry how to books, check out

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