Thursday, 13 July 2017

Book review - Mastering Wirework Jewelry by Rachel Norris

If you love to work with wire in your jewellery creations, you will almost certainly be familiar with the author of this latest wireworking book, Rachel Norris. A long-standing guest designer on Jewellery Maker TV, author of several DVDs and a regular contributor to the much missed Beads & Beyond magazine as well as other jewellery making publications, Rachel has brought together a collection of 15 beautiful projects for this, her first book.

This weighty volume of over 300 pages combines gorgeous gemstones and cabochons, wonderful wire and crystals to create stunning jewellery pieces. The focus is on statement necklaces and intricate brooches and you cannot fail to notice a flora and fauna theme throughout the tutorials. You could take a dip in the ocean with the Leaping dolphins necklace, Seahorse or Little fish pendant.  

Or why not take a nocturnal stroll through the woods with the resting moth brooch (featured on the cover), Golden-eyed owl necklace or Tumbling leaves necklace? Perhaps travel somewhere exotic with projects featuring an elephant, lion or gecko. Whichever tutorial you choose to start your journey, you will find clear main photographs, detailed step-by-step instructions and all the images you need to follow the process to create a visually stunning piece. Rachel is careful to provide lots of tips and notes to help you on your way and there is a comprehensive section at the beginning of the book covering all the techniques that you will need across many of the projects.

I must say that this book is not for the faint-hearted and probably not for newcomers to wirework. Some of the designs have over 100 steps so you certainly shouldn’t expect to finish something quickly. However, that being said, if you take your time and perfect the techniques first, then you will get great results. 
I know from editing Rachel’s projects for Beads & Beyond magazine over the years, that her clever approach in creating separate components in stages before joining them together is what makes her designs achievable and yet so visually complex. This Gecko brooch for example is made up of around 12 different components, allowing the main frame, cabochon settings and the beautiful gemstone details to be built up in layers.
Rachel provides all the tools, instruction and even templates to enable you to replicate her designs.

Now, it is customary for me to test out a design from the books I review but I have to admit to being a bit of a wire-phobic. So, on this occasion, I think I will hand over the challenge to our readers and members!

I have a copy of Rachel’s book to give away to one lucky wireworker. Just leave a comment on this post and tell me about your travels with wire and I will pick a winner at random on Monday 31st July after midday. 
Look out for a bonus opportunity for another entry on our Facebook page!

We’d love to share our winner’s first make from Rachel’s book so come on, don’t be shy!

Mastering Wirework Jewelry by Rachel Norris is priced at £19.99 and is available from GMC Publications

ISBN 978-1-78494-331-8