Customer Reviews: Crocheted Wire Jewelry: Innovative Designs & Projects by Leading Artists (Lark Jewelry Books)
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on June 1, 2006
Excellent, excellent book! If you've been looking for a text on making jewelry by crocheting with wire, a book that provides excellent instructions plus inspirational projects, you've found it.

Given the burgeoning popularity of both wire jewelry and fiber arts (such as knitting and crochet), it comes as no surprise that the author has produced a book that celebrates the marriage of these crafts. Arline Fisch is famous, of course, for her classic resource text "Textile Techniques in Metal" (get this book, too, if you don't already have it). Her latest book focuses exclusively on the art of crochet for making jewelry. Wire is the medium; sometimes beads and found objects are also incorporated into the designs.

I appreciated the author's introductory chapters on the characteristics of various types of wire, including gold, brass, copper, fine silver, and other metals. She discusses the tools needed to crochet with wire, findings, etc. and then launches into a 17-page tutorial on crocheting with wire, including hairpin lace. Then, the projects!

The innovative jewelry designs made with single-crochet, chain stitch, bead crochet, double crochet and hairpin lace patterns are probably the main reason you will purchase this book. You'll drool over the full-color photos of gallery-worthy jewelry pieces (29 in all). The instructions are well written and illustrated with line-art diagrams. The only thing that might have improved this book would be step-by-step photos of each project, but that would have made the book much too long. Or the publishers would have had to reduce the number of projects to around 15. I believe that if you have at least a little bit of experience with crochet and follow the instructions offered in the tutorials at the beginning of the book, you will be able to make most if not all of the projects offered.

Begin with the first project offered by the author: a simple, multiple chain-stitch necklace. Then try making the multicolored bracelet, which is only slightly more difficult. Now you're ready for a challenge: crocheting wire over a form; in this case, a plastic cube. The pendant is truly unusual! By this time, you will have enough confidence to tackle the remaining projects. I really enjoyed the artistry of Arline Fisch, but also applaud her for including art jewelry projects from many other highly creative crochet-jewelry designers. You'll find lots of necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and fun earrings, too.

The book also includeds an inspiring gallery of crochet jewelry designs, a glossary of terms, extensive information on the contributing artists, and an index.

Highly, highly recommended by Sharilyn Miller, author of Bead on a Wire.
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on September 20, 2006
This book is inspiring for the depth and innovation of the projects shown. I expect the projects of professional artist to be pushing the limits of what can be done in the medium. I would not be interested in buying a "how to" book that showed me how to make ordinary things -- go to Michael's craft stores for such "make and take" classes. This type of book, with such a variety of projects, is meant to be used as a basis to make your own, unique pieces (not to make copies of other's designs).
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on July 3, 2006
I was very disappointed in this long awaited book. I teach wire crochet at a local craft store and had this book on my wish list for months. While the book had good clear instructions on the various techniques involved in crocheting wire, I found the projects to be way too bizarre to have any use for the average person. As a teacher of this technique, I feel that the person new to wire crochet will be overwhelmed with the oddness of the "over the top" designs featured here while the experienced wire crocheter, will feel let down by the perhaps one or two new techniques they may find as well as the designs being virtually non-usable in the average person's wardrobe. I am definitely feeling as though I wasted my money on this book, and as a previous reviewer stated, it is definitely headed for eBay VERY soon...
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on May 9, 2013
I was impressed by this book and had a lot of ideas while reading through the projects and instructions. The gallery of artist's work is also inspirational in showing just how far the medium can be pushed. However, reading some of the reviews here, it seems that a lot of the readers felt that the ideas and projects shown were too avant garde and not wearable or practical for the average, everyday person and that the projects were too difficult/weird to really learn the craft. I both agree and disagree.

First the basics. Arlene Fisch first goes through the different types of wire, explains gauge, explains needed tools and crochet hooks and provides a very basic stitch gallery. Very basic - nothing above a double crochet is shown in the directions. For people who want to try one or some of the many crochet shell or lace stitches, a separate stitch dictionary will be necessary. On the good news front, hairpin lace is explained very basically, as is a tubular/circular method of construction that uses a "four leaf clover" base of loops. Viking knitting is also covered in very basic detail. A person who wants to experiment with other stitches or with these other methods is going to have to do some googling or refer to some other books for stitch patterns and techniques. However, most of the projects use the basic stitches that are outlined, including hairpin lace, the four leaf clover and the viking knitting.

Many of the projects are based on chain stitch and single or double crochet or hairpin lace. Their avant nature is in proportion and scale. The first and easiest project is a necklace of chain stitch pieces worked in various colored wire and attached at the clasp. I think this is a project that could be done by the beginner and worn by the average person with a few modifications. Beginners can manage a chain stitch, could vary the color and number of the number of chains used in the finished necklace and end with a wearable piece. I thought some of the hairpin lace necklaces and collars with simple beads added were also achievable and wearable. I also thought that the piece on the cover could be modified in terms of size and proportion into a very wearable, airy piece - make shorter lengths of chain stitch and shorter loops when returning - a smaller, more wearable piece results that still has panache.

One of the downsides of the book is that the author assumes the reader and crocheter already knows basic to intermediate jewelry finishing skills and these finishing techniques are given short shrift in the projects section. It is possible to figure it out, but I say that and I have basic knowledge of jewelry finishing - a person with no knowledge of these techniques might be frustrated - especially a long time fiber crocheter who comes to crochet jewelry without ever having made jewelry with more traditional materials.

Instructions are very clear with the exception of the pieces that have wire crocheted over a wooden or plastic block or form. These weren't clear to me at all and I would just have to jump in and try them to see if I could make something work.

Finally, people spoke about the amounts of wire needed. I too was a bit dismayed by this - not because I am starting with fine silver or gold - I bought colored copper craft wire for practice - but alas, I didn't buy enough of it - not to self for a lesson already learned in other areas - always buy one more than you think you will need. But, I have run into problems with this rule of thumb too resulting in a huge stash.

This is not a book for the person who wants to follow instructions to the letter and not have to modify any part of the design or instructions to fit individual preferences, taste or materials. This book provides good instructions and projects that can be made "as is" to very bold effect and using lots of wire, or can be modified a bit to be more utilitarian for every day use. I loved the book and had a lot of ideas for both modifying the projects presented and for entirely new designs using the basic concepts. I think it is a winner but users and readers need to be willing to make the projects their own. Oddly, the reluctance to do this is usually fear - that it can't be done or that the crafter/reader lacks the necessary skill. Don't believe this - make the projects your own.
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on February 8, 2010
I've crocheted for nearly a quarter of a century and decided I needed something different, something with a flair. And this book creates perfect flair. Don't buy it if you're not familiar with crochet terminology and stitches. If you're new to crochet, I suggest thread or even thread with beads before wire. But back to this book: I actually read it. I didn't just jump into the patterns. Wire is new to me so I needed to understand wire, guages, etc. Time well spent; I loved my first experiences. They weren't perfect, rather messy actually but so much fun and the technique has so much potential. This book gave me everything I needed to go from thread to wire and understand what to expect. Perfect for me.
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on August 14, 2007
I found this book very inspiring. There are many interesting projects. I especially liked the projects done with tiny stitches, and the cube pendant. This book covered the basic techniques, but went beyond them. I have referred back to the book many times and will continue to do so. Every time I look at it I springboard off with new ideas of my own.
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on July 20, 2011
This is a great book. Most of the usual wire crochet books have boring project that looks like what you'd make at a Michael's craft workshop. It's not bad, but it gets boring. This book has a beautiful gallery of real artworks made with wire, with artists names which gives you the possibility to research more images (even a photo of a full dress made of wire crochet). Not your every day thing. It explains the same basic stitches any other book explains, in photo, just as well as the other books. The projects patterns are better though, they are simplified versions of the extravagant artistic designs. A little more wearable, but still very funky (and as you learned the technique, you can easily figure out how to make the artistic one too). It would be more for a fashionista with a real design taste.

There are more advanced techniques, like making your own clasp from scratch, which require cutting gold sheet metal, soldering and such. But if you don't feel up to it, you can find clasps that will work just as well pre-made on the market. Although most material in this book seem to be pretty common, the editor also has a website where they link to all kinds of craft stores where you can buy the harder to find items. It gives you access to different stuff.

A lot of time I think the images in books look like a messy knitter made them: the stitches are uneven and crunched; not in this book, the objects look impeccable. If you like the cover, you're likely to like the book. Some patterns are simpler and a little less "night out" jewelry, but some are really out of this world, cool, but require a certain swag to have the guts to do it. I would certainly think "that girl his high hand" if I'd see you in the street with that and a well styled dress!

I you want jewelry to wear at work and you are not the funky type, you might not like half of the projects, but don't take me wrong, some are more tame and most could be cooled down to a humbler form.

I didn't try the patterns yet, they look well explained, but I have no clue if they contain mistakes. I will update if I find any.
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on July 22, 2013
I first hesitated in buying this because of the reviews about the projects, then read some of the positive reviews...the price is so cheap now, what's to lose? Turns out, nothing! If you are the type that will only follow instructions word for word to make each project exactly as pictured, it's probably not for you. However, it has some great introductory information, and then wonderful, inspiring projects and description of techniques. So, maybe a 19 strand necklace is too much for you? So, make it with 3 or 4 strands. So, you'll never make a wire scarf? Well, read through the instructions and learn the techniques and maybe you'll use them in a necklace.
But, I'm one to buy books for instruction and examples and description of techniques, and not for cookbook recipes to make an exact piece. Though, you could if you wanted to, the instructions are fine and with good illustrations and pictures.

Note: My book came with a different front cover, but the project pictured on amazon as on the cover is still on the book.
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on June 25, 2006
I was very disappointed in this book. The instructions were very detailed in explaining the basic stitches -- however, the projects were not what I was expecting. The projects were all above and beyond what the average person would attempt, or wear if achieved. I will be selling this on ebay soon! Sorry!
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on June 30, 2016
I ordered this book recently and just received it. The book contains a lot of helpful information. I am a long time knitter but do know how to crochet and had just crochet a beautiful wire cuff with small beads on it prior to the arrival of this book. With this book, I am looking forward to crochet more with wire as there are ideas in the book that I definitely like. A great book to have if you know how to crochet and want to try to crochet with wire.
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