I always love when I get new jewelry making books to review. Back when I lived in New Mexico I took a geology class and I’ve been fascinated with gemstones, fossils and other “rocks” ever since. When I saw Beading with Gemstones by Valérie MacCarthy I was excited for the chance to get to know a little more about gemstones.
Semiprecious stones are the main focus of “Beading with Gemstones” and right in the beginning you will learn a little about what a gemstone is and some of the qualities of a gemstone. If you don’t know what your birthstone is there is a chart for you to figure it out. My birthstone is Turquoise and I’ve always felt very lucky because I LOVE TURQUOISE. Or maybe I love turquoise so much BECAUSE it is my birthstone?
Beading with Gemstones starts out with ‘Learning what a Gemstone Is’ and then goes on to cover Accent Beads, Precious Metals, Tools and Supplies, plus a section on basic jewelry making techniques.
And then the projects begin. There are 20 beginner projects and 10 Intermediate Projects for you to choose from. I felt that they were truly beginner and intermediate projects. Not difficult looking at all.
Here are some other things about the book that you might like to know:
- 128 pages
- Paper back
- Includes; basic gem information, basic jewelry making techniques, a wire gauge chart, standard stone and bead sizes and an Appendix: Identifying Gemstones
- Basic & intermediate jewelry design techniques
- Includes 30 projects for you to make
- The MSRP is $17.95USD and is available at amazon.com for $15.90USD
So now it’s time to test it out and create a project of my own.
I chose to try the Fireworks necklace. I had originally thought about using brighter colors but when I went shopping through my bead stash I kept seeing these pretty turquoise blue and pearl discs. So I decided to got for a more “beachy” look.
I found the directions easy to follow and I’m quite happy with my finished piece. Unlike some of my other reviews I tried to stick as close to the project as possible and while I was in the beginnings of the process I kept feeling like I’d done something wrong as my piece wasn’t nearly as striking as the one in the book. But I kept after it and in the end my project looks very much like the one in the book.
My only concern with this project (and it’s not a concern about the book over all) is that the sterling silver headpins, which are soft and easily bent, might just get bent and ruin the look of the finished piece. Only time will tell.
Overall, I would consider this a good book for a beginner jewelry maker and there is lots of inspiration to be found for jewelry makers with more experience as well.
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