Reported by Sara McKenzie
I am always intrigued by how-to books for fun and funky jewelry, and the title Totally Twisted had me hooked right off the bat! This is the third jewelry book from artist Kerry Bogert, and the contents do not disappoint. Kerry has the good fortune/skill/hours invested to be an inspiration for making lampwork glass beads, as well as fun and unique ways to turn them into wearable art. As the subtitle states, this book is all about how to create innovative wirework and art glass jewelry.
As with all good how-to books, this one starts off with a series of pages on Materials, Tools, Techniques, and even how to use the Color Wheel in your own designs. The close-up photos are beautifully lit and most definitely enhance the instruction. Below is an example of the page which describes how to make a “wrapped loop”.
She also includes excellent instructions for making simple headpins, eye pins, clasps, spirals, and even your own jump rings (it really is easy!!). And not only does she use sterling silver wire, and inform us how to do it, she also incorporates color-coated copper wire for fun and added pizzazz.
What follows in the book are detailed instructions for 24 projects with catchy names like “Squiggle Wiggle,” “Chunky Monkey,” and “Flying Trapeze.” The projects include simple drop earrings, pendants, myriad bracelets and all manner of necklaces.
Here is her first page layout for the “Delightful” necklace, which is intended to provide a design that can use all of those leftover beads and chain from other projects.
My own take on”Delightful” is below. I had purchased all of these beads in three or four individual sets a “few” years ago (ahem), and this design gave me the perfect way to combine them altogether in what I think is a great look! For my design, I used 20 gauge soft gold-filled wire. And the coiled pieces were made with the “Coiling Gizmo” – you can find my review of that nifty (and inexpensive tool!) here on Craft Critique.
which is a bit of a challenge!
I also made matching earrings by copying the large wrapped loop, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale.
getting the large loops to be the same size, because I did not have a good
mandrel handy. Again, not perfect, but I won’t be ashamed to wear them.
Here are some examples of “BANG Gals” that the author provided. These were incredibly simple, with a large gauge wire used as the base, and then covered in coiled wire.
For my own piece, I simplified just a teeny bit. And again, the beads were from my own stash and I was thrilled to be able to put them to this design!
Totally Twisted is just that, in very fun and inspiring way! The author gives clear instruction which is accompanied by many excellent close-up photos. She even recommends that you tumble your finished works in a tumbler to give them a final polish- yes, even a kid’s rock tumbler will do. I have to admit that I have not been brave enough to do that yet…. Although I don’t know what is really stopping me, because she is the pro!!
List price: $22.95 ( but on SALE now for $13.77 – a bargain!)
24 projects plus instructions
- Really lovely and truly unique ways to combine lampwork glass beads with wire work
- Excellent instructions for even basic elements that you can use in all of your jewelry projects
- You don’t have to use expensive beads and wire to make great looking jewelry.
- Not exactly a con, but the elements do require practice. But that’s what is great about the price of copper wire!
- You really do need the right tools: a tapered mandrel, a bench block, chasing hammer and the right sets of pliers.
- The author makes her own lampwork beads, some of which are quite unusual. So you might be disappointed that the styles are not easy to reproduce exactly as shown.
- You do need to have the book next to you and be working on the wire to make some of the instructions make sense (but I have the same problem with some sewing patterns, so maybe that’s just life!).
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass Jewelry is available at Amazon.com.
Are you a jewelry buff? Have you tried any of Kerry’s other books? Let us know!