As a lot of beaders get more and more into making jewelry, some of them find they want to learn metal working techniques to expand their art.
This book covers a lot of basic metal working techniques.
The author starts with her tools, listing tools that are used in metal working. A lot of them maybe things you already have, some will be things you might have to buy. There is also a page on unconventional tools, things that aren't generally in a jewelry makers tool box that she's found handy to have on hand. The tools are described including a description of how she uses them. The tone is conversational and easily understood.
Also in the introduction are the basic tool kits you'll need for some techniques and very well photographed and explained instructions for working with metal. If you're interested in cold joins, this includes rivets, wire wrapped loops and lashing. Also covered are sawing,drilling holes in metal, soldering with chips of solder, heating and folding, and finishing techniques. The last page in the introduction is a page of tips.
As someone who has worked with metal including hot techniques on and off for the last 15 years, the techniques are explained well and it is a good introduction for a beginner. The explanation of torch types is helpful and the photos and instructions for how to solder are detailed.
Then into the projects. Each of the projects lists the tool kit and techniques needed. While some of them may not be your personal style, the author likes bold, artistic pieces, the basic ideas can be adapted to your style easily. The cigar band adjustable ring can be made narrower with a simpler design stamped into it for example. Some projects use all cold techniques, some use a combination of hot and cold. Most of the projects use less expensive metals like copper and steel which is just wonderful for people who are just learning, especially given the price of silver these days!
In my personal opinion, this is a lovely book for people just starting in working with metal, and it's one that will have a place on my shelf. I'll be teaching my son metal working techniques from this book. The bold pieces are inspiring to him as well as me. The Nightmare Catcher with it's pierced and sawed skull lashed into a frame of wrapped wire is one of his favorite projects.I like the Urban Pinecone with it's dapped and drilled copper circles, and the same techniques used to make that could also be used to make custom end caps for big, special lampwork beads.
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