Saturday, March 19, 2011

Book Review: Kumihimo Wire Jewelry

I was happy to receive a review copy of Kumihimo Wire Jewelry: Essential Techniques + 20 Jewelry Projects for the Japanese Art of Braiding by Giovanna Imperia.  I've done a lot of different sorts of weaving and have been looking for ways to incorporate weaving with wire jewelry. When I heard about this book coming out I was eager to see it. There are other kumihimo books, but this is the first kumihimo wire jewelry book.

One of the great things about Kumihimo braiding is that it doesn't require an expensive loom.  All of the designs in the book can be done on a Kumihimo disc or plate.  These are widely available for under $10.00 with kits including bobbins starting at $12.00.  If you do have a Kumihimo stand (loom), you can use it instead. 

The projects can be done by novice braiders.  There is a great deal of technical material in the book that also makes it attractive to more experienced braiders. Both solid and hollow forms can be made, and braids may be round, flat, square, lacy, or other shapes. They can be made of all fiber, all wire, or a mixture. Beads can be incorporated into the weave.  The braids can be used as necklaces to hold pendants, or as the necklace itself.  I found the designs done on the square plate to be particularly interesting.  Three dimensional and bi-directional designs can be made by rotating the plate 90 degrees and manipulating the weave.

The book is well done and profusely illustrated with both diagrams and color photography.

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