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Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry

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Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry

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Book Name: Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry

Author: Scott David Plumlee

Publisher: Watson-Guptill

ISBN: 0-8230-2299-4

Cover: Paperback

# of Pages: 128

Illustrations: color photos

Experience Required: Intermediate

Book Review

In the beginning of this book there is a must read chapter called Getting Started which covers tools and supplies (wire and beads) accompanied by product photos, wire skills (step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos), Byzantine components (demonstrating the techniques for the Byzantine chain, the Double Chain and Inca Puno Chain), Assembly, Determining Length and Evaluating Chains. The projects portion of this book is divided into Linear Designs, Additive Designs, Combined Designs and Composed Designs. While there are clearly written step-by-step instructions accompanied by clear photos demonstrating the techniques they are quite involved so previous jewellery making experience would be beneficial in creating these pieces of jewellery. The author also provides the reader with the option of using bought jump rings to form the chains instead of creating your own.

Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry contains instructions for classic (Half-Square Bead Variation with pearls) and contemporary (Double or Twisted Spade Variation) styles of jewellery to suit everyone’s tastes. Additional descriptions (including the chain and bead pattern) for designs of some of the pieces of jewellery (i.e. the Rosary Design) are also included to demonstrate the possibilities of jewellery making. One thing I didn’t like about the content in this book is one of more of the designs for pieces of jewellery, (i.e. the Parallel Bead Design and Wave Bead Variation used in the making of a chain or a bracelet) is photographed with a matching pair of earrings but specific instructions aren’t provided on how to carry the design over to make the earrings. With a bit of experience making a design combined with the instructions for creating the earring backs as well as how to attach the earring design (provided in the Getting Started Chapter) one could create the earrings to complete a necklace and bracelet set.

What I really like about the jewellery making projects in Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry are the variations from the basic technique instructions that incorporate beads into the design. The incorporation of beading with chain making techniques leads to the creation of unique and colorful pieces of jewellery. Out of all the designs in this book my true favorites were the designs that where combined with beads because it makes the chains so much more colorful and this is my style preference. Some of the designs in this book are so distinctive they would make great personal gifts for special people in your life.


  • Large Ring Design (bracelet with charms)
  • Rosary Design (necklace)
  • Crown Design (necklace)
  • Crown Bead Variation (necklace)
  • Half-Square Design (necklace)
  • Celtic Design (necklace)
  • Starfish Design (necklace)

Overall Rating:


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