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Book review: Kumihimo Wirework Made Easy

Christina Larsen has come up with the next logical crossover skill in jewelry making: kumihimo performed with wire instead of cords!  In Kumihimo Wirework Made Easy, Christina teaches three fairly simple kuihimo braid structures that she then goes on to turn into fabulous pieces of jewelry, both with and without beads.

Even if you have never done kumihimo with cords before, fear not.  The instructions are very complete, and Christina has lots of tips to help you speed through the learning curve.  You do not need expensive equipment or tools to do this...just a few basic wire tools that you probably already have, and one of the inexpensive foam disks.  Since wire doesn't slip out of holes once you've moved it there, you don't need to worry about the disks "wearing out" quickly.  You do have to worry about tension, though, and Christina shows you all her best practices for choosing, straightening, and moving wires, and for maintaining tension as you work. 

The wirework lends itself perfectly to bracelets, but there's much more to be explored in this book.  Rings, necklaces, and earrings projects are included too.  One of my favorite pieces is a pair of earrings that spiral beautifully (shown above) called Chandelier Earrings. 

The final chapter of projects includes leather cording mixed with wire.  I love the look of a lot of these, but my favorite is the Framed Leather Bracelet shown below. 


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