Customer Reviews: Bead on a Wire: Making Handcrafted Wire and Beaded Jewelry
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VINE VOICEon August 9, 2005
Many other books leave important steps up to the imagination, or show shoddy craftsmanship on the completed pieces. Sharilyn's step by step imagery is near flawless and the completed pieces breathtaking. I am a huge fan of Sharilyn's ethnic inspired jewelry and it warms my heart when someone with so much talent is willing to share their passion for art with others. I was especially taken by the pins and several of the silver link variations.

I noticed that some of Sharilyn's techniques (basic wire wrapping techniques) are a bit different than those of other metal artists, and I find it refreshing to see alternative (and better) ways to achieve the same goal. (For those of us who couldn't make heads or tails out of other artist's tutorials.)

I personally am not a fan of the white handled Lindstrom pliers that Sharilyn favors. I find them too small and hard on my hands. (I use the Swanstrom ergonomic line) When looking to buy tools - pick up one of Rio Grande's Tool Catalogs and take notice of the many different options available. Buy the best that you can afford, and make sure that the tools are the right size for your hands.

For goodness sake, stop reading my ramblings and buy this book! You will not regret adding this wonderful book to your library.

PS - Sharilyn! When will you write us a book showing how to make those wonderful rings?
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VINE VOICEon January 4, 2006
I found this book to be a super adjunct to my library of jewelry making books. I think that you need a small amount of experience or it might be ovewhelming to view the first section on tools, which is very comprehensive and could be daunting. However, if you really love learning, Sharilyn is just the person to teach you. With great photographs (and lots of them!), she properly demonstrates how to accomplish something as simple as making a jumpring (and how to open it correctly so you don't mess it up!). She then progresses to creations as fancy as making a festive and festooned charm watch you will want to wear right away, and some lovely bracelets, earrings and necklaces which are worth the time and effort. After all that, she throws in a description of how to oxidize (using a mindblowingly beautiful spiral bracelet she shows how to make, first) better than anyone I have ever read or listened to. She gives good advice about design and sturdiness (I hate thinking stuff I wear is going to break--that is why I like wiring to begn with) and she is generous in sharing her style. Take what you like fom this book, and go make something spectacular of your very own!
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on December 5, 2005
I agree with the other reviewers who praise this book. This is an excellent introduction to wire and bead craft. The instructions are all accompanied by step by step photographs and the necessary tools are listed and how to use them explained.

I looked through several books in the store and was extremely disappointed by what I call the "look at me" syndrome - that is too many pictures of the author's work and far too little instruction on how they did it.

In contrast, this book starts right out with the how to of the craft. The various techniques are nicely broken down into reasonable and clearly explained and demonstrated instructions. Then you get a plethora of lovely projects to practice on. Add to that, the photographer who shot the jewelry pieces is another scary talent in her own right. The pieces look gorgeous.

Now I must say, this is not the end all and know all of bead and wire but it will get you started making high quality jewelry. That is why Bead on a Wire made its way home with me while so many other similarly named books are still sitting pretty on the store shelf.

And as an aside, for as impressed as I was with just the book, I also checked out Sharilyn's web site. There are even more seriously cool looking pieces there. I would love to attend more than one of her classes!
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on October 10, 2005
I've been waiting for over 10 years for a book just like this one. Ever since I first saw the work of Lynne Merchant. Her wire work was elegant, gorgeous, and looked possible. Unfortunately she was in California and I was on the East Coast. I've tried and managed to teach myself some of the work, but Sharilyns book has answered all my questions and then some!

Sharilyn explains everything in this book, like she was sitting next to you explaining it while you work. She seems to anticipate the questions your going to ask, and gives the answers before you get a chance to ask the question!

The photographs are perfect, and totally understandable. They read well on their own most can be understood without the text, which is the sign of a good teacher.

One last thought, how many times do you buy a book because it teaches technique but the projects are either too simplistic or two far out to ever see yourself wearing them? Well, to my surprise, I can't wait to make everything in this book, they are all beautifully done and make you want to own them,and because of the way that the author writes her books, it is completely possible for you TO own every one of them!!!
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on March 26, 2006
There is a new benchmark for step-by-step books. Sharilyn Miller's book, Bead on a Wire, Making Handcrafted Wire and Beaded Jewelry, contains techniques and instructions in an easy to follow format that makes her book a must-have for the wire jewelry artist's library. This book is suitable for all skill levels. It will allow even a novice to learn the basics of wire work and progress to more complex designs. Bead on a Wire would be a bargain at twice its price.

Sharilyn not only makes beautiful, original jewelry but also produces a truly reader friendly book. She allows ample page space for photos and instructions. The layout for each project is the same: photo, project description, tools and materials needed, techniques that will be used in the project and step-by-step instructions and photos. She matches each photo with the accompanying step, and clearly numbers them. Elegant details are present that are found in much higher priced books. The jewelry designs Sharilyn shares with us are classy, fresh and original. There are no designed that might be considered `out dated' or `odd'.

I recently had the opportunity to take a 4-day workshop with Sharilyn sponsored by St. Louis lampwork artist Cindy Jenkins. Classes consisted of some of the workshops described at [...] Twining Vines, Ethnic Coin Necklace, Rings and Ten Trippy Tricks, although we probably learned twice that number. She is warm, friendly, easy going and so is her style of teaching. She has unending patience. Her finished work is absolutely perfect, as seen in the photos in Bead on a Wire. The last day, there was a unanimous demand for Sharilyn to return to teach. We learned a lot and had fun doing it. Come back soon Sharilyn!
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on April 7, 2007
Sharilyn Miller's BEAD ON A WIRE was my first book on wire working. I practiced on copper for my first piece and the result was so good, I still wear it today and get many compliments. I now consider myself an experienced wire worker (selling and teaching) and I owe all of it to this book. The instructions are clear and truly step-by-step. There is at least one photo for each step along the way unlike many books which provide one photo of the finished product and nothing else. This book gave me a solid foundation for learning to work with wire. I mistakenly assumed that all instruction books would be as well-written as Ms. Miller's book. They are not; however, with what I've learned from BEAD ON A WIRE, I can look at most pieces of wire jewelry and reproduce it without any instructions. BEAD ON A WIRE is by far the best book I've come across for wire working. Excellent!
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on July 14, 2006
This book had fantastic photos and relatively clear instructions! Sadly, no book can have moving pictures, which is what would really make some of the techniques more clear to the average designer. Very useful tips on making your own findings, but with the relatively inexpensive cost of commercial findings today, unless you need something in a custom size, I wouldn't waste my time making your own jump rings, eye pins, or ear'd never finish a project! The need to oxidize everything with Liver of Sulfur was redundant. Not to mention that chemical is not a safe thing to have around your house if you design at home. Just use some hard boiled eggs and a Ziploc bag to get the same result organically. And if you are buying this book to get design ideas for your own work, it is not for you. There are absolutely lovely designs included, but they are very few in number. This is a pure techniques book. Check it out from the library and skip buying it, unless you need a reference manual. I would not recommend this for the beader making everyday craft fair items. Unless you are a designer making custom, high-end pieces, this book is not for you.
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on July 10, 2006
This is the book that got me started on beading. I checked it out from the library and then I was hooked and I had to have my own copy! If you don't want to do heavy metal work - you can still make fantastic jewelry with this guide. A must have for a beginner and a great reference for the rest. I've looked at MANY books (at least 50-60 so far) and this is my Very Favorite!
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on September 20, 2005
I have read ALL of the books on creating wire jewelry on the market today and none of them compare with this one! There is no rock left unturned, so to speak, and each clear and concise photograph is a perfect rendition of each step. There is nothing that leaves the reader confused! The projects are beautiful and range from beginner to advanced, thus appealing to all current and future wire jewelry artists. The other important thing worth noting is Sharilyn's impecable workmanship. I see many photos of wire art jewelry and the workmanship is not always the best. Sharilyn is a top wire jewelry designer and instructor and it shows! I would recommend this book to everyone interested in making wire art jewelry and learning the correct techniques needed to create a professional look. If you love her book as much as I do, check out her website for classes she may be teaching in your area.
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on March 11, 2006
THIS is indeed the book I had been searching for, though I didn't know it until I actually had it in my hands and was voraciously turning the pages (when you live miles from the nearest decent book store and have to rely on descriptions and reviews, there are bound to be more than a few disappointments). I'd taken a hiatus from the jewelry making business for a couple of years after we adopted a puppy and then bought a new home (doesn't sound like much, but there's a whole lot in between the lines). Except for a few custom pieces here and there, I hadn't really been keeping up .. and when I began surfing around online I kept finding that wire was beginning to come into its own. All kinds of new and interesting weaves, beads, wraps, chain and embellishments were showing up on some amazing pieces. As one reviewer mentions, much of this stuff may be found elswhere .. but not so much of it all in one place. It was Connie Fox's site that really got my jewelry juices going, I'll admit .. and I've got all her Lapidary Journal tutorials, and have printed several from her site; but it's supremely delightful to work through from beginning to end and learn the individual component techniques before attempting what initially appears to be a daunting bangle design. The photographs in this book are wonderful. Those of you who have struggled to learn a particular skill using a poor tutorial will appreciate the care with which these lessons were designed. The other down side to living miles from anywhere (and several thousand miles from the west coast, where most of the best classes take place) is that one's only choice for learning these skills is from a well designed tutorial .. and Sharilyn Miller's book is perfect for anyone with some wirework already under their belt wishing to expand on their skills and start dazzling friends, relatives or clueless (and easily awestruck) customers! Yes, check out Connie Fox's site (she also describes how to set up a mini "jewelry photography studio" - an extraordinarily useful little tidbit for those hoping to sell their designs online), visit Eni Oken's site and learn something a little different .. but this relatively inexpensive book will most certainly prove useful and be well worth the cost. Buy yourself a ton of inexpensive copper wire in a wide array of gauges and get crackin'!
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