Karlas Top Seven Jewelry-Making Picks

Karla Rosenbusch
is the managing editor
of Jewelry Making Daily

and associate editor of
Lapidary Journal

Jewelry Artist.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Do you have any big plans for the holiday? Personally, I plan to spend the day in my favorite way-curled up in my easy chair with a good book. Yes, I admit it. In addition to jewelry-making, my other big passion is reading. My apartment is full of books with bookshelves in every room stuffed full of my favorite reading material. And lately, I've been adding some fabulous books on jewelry-making to my book collection. For your reading pleasure, here is a quick list of my favorite jewelry-making books (as well as a couple more must-have resources).

Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass Jewelry
By Kerry Bogert
I really love this book! Not only does it give you great tips and techniques for working with wire, but it incorporates fabulous lampworked beads. The projects that Kerry Bogert includes in the book are definitely works of art. It's both a great teaching resource and a very lovely book.
Create Jewelry: Stones
By Jamie Hogsett and Marlene Blessing
By far, my favorite materials to work with when making my own jewelry are gemstones. I love to incorporate a wide range of stones in my jewelry-from well-known stones like jasper and agate to more unusual stones like mookite and unakite. This book includes some terrific information on gemstones, their properties, and how to make the best use of different stone beads. And it gives you step-by-step instructions for numerous projects covering all beading skill levels and techniques.
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry-Making Techniques
By Vannetta Seecharran
Since I love to experiment with new techniques and materials, I was delighted to find this book! It gives clear and concise instructions for working with a variety of metals and wire at all skill levels. And there's also a large section on making jewelry with paper! In addition, you'll learn all about working with some spectacular "alternative" materials like plaster, wood, ceramics, and even concrete.
Wire Style: 50 Unique Jewelry Designs
By Denise Peck
Whether you're a novice wireworker or a more experienced artisan looking for new methods and projects, you'll love this one. The book's wireworking projects cover every skill level, and it includes tips for basic and advanced techniques. You'll also find lists of all the tools you'll need for your wire projects as well as invaluable pointers for working with each tool. And I was thrilled to hear that Denise's next volume, Wire Style 2, is due out next spring and available for preorder! I'm looking very forward to the next installment.
Handcrafted Jewelry
By the editors of Beadwork
This is actually a very special issue from the editors of Beadwork magazine that shows you how to make mixed media jewelry. It includes projects from some of the top mixed media experts, including Lisa Niven Kelly, Gail Crosman Moore, Susan Lenart Kazmer, and more. Techniques like braiding, stamping, embossing, drilling, hammering, etching, and burning are combined with more "traditional" methods like stringing and wirework to create some incredible one-of-a-kind jewelry. Look for the 2010 edition to come out later this year.
Mixed Metals: Creating Contemporary Jewelry with Silver, Gold, Copper, Brass, and More
By Danielle Fox and Melinda Barta
If you're looking for way to incorporate metal into your jewelry-making but are still a bit "torch-phobic," this is a great book for you. Rather than focusing on soldering and metalwork, this book gives you some delightful projects which use metal beads, charms, chains, and other metal components combined with wirework and stringing techniques. I found that this approach was right up my alley-at least it will be until I finally "take the plunge" and pick up a torch for myself.

Metalwork: Wire Fusing & Other Micro-Torch Techniques
By Denise Peck
And once I do take the torch plunge, I'll have this on my shelf to help me out. Okay, it's not actually a book, but once you've decided to step up to basic metalwork using a micro-torch, this DVD is a necessity. Denise demonstrates micro-torch techniques for making your own findings and jewelry with easy-to-follow lessons and step-by-step instructions. It's like taking a micro-torch class in your own living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading any one of these books and playing around with the projects and techniques in their pages is my idea of a great way to spend the Labor Day holiday. Of course, a lot of people think of Labor Day as a time to hit the sales and go bargain hunting. The good news is that you can do both today! The Interweave Store is having a Labor Day sale, and these books are included along with tons of other books, projects, videos, DVDs, and more. Check it out! But make sure to do it today as this is the last day for the sale. Then come over to the Jewelry Making Daily forums and tell us which books you would recommend to your fellow jewelry makers!

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