The Teach Yourself Visually series has lots of clear photographs that work with text instructions to be learning tool. The books are like classes in book format.
This one, More Jewelry Making: Techniques to Take Your Projects to the Next Level is written by Chris Franchetti Michaels. It takes various techniques and breaks them down into step by step instruction that are easy to follow.
The first chapter explains the tools that are used by jewelry makers, with good photos and ideas as well as more specialized tools you'll need for certain aspects. The second chapter explains the techniques you need to know, such as making loop, jump rings and basic stringing. The third chapter covers various metals and gauges.
Then into the techniques. In this book you will learn with clear photographs and well written text from an experienced teacher how to punch, pierce, shape and cut metal. There are various finishing techniques. Those range from very easy like using and sealing alcohol based ink to more involved processes that use chemicals and heat. Cold fusion techniques, and how to make your own rivets, working with resins and glues, how to use metal clay and a bit about working with leather. Each technique is shown in detail.
At the end of the book are projects which use the techniques you've learned. Each project has a "Techniques by Chapter" section, a complete list of tools and materials you'll need and full instructions. The projects are all great starting points for your own designs. Like the Mixed Verse necklace which using cutting, stamping and rivets to make a necklace with leaves that fan out from a central point could be turned into a wonderful piece for a grandmother or mother with the names of children and their birth dates. The basic technique you'll use to attach a prong setting to a piece of filigree for a ring could be used to accent a brass butterfly with stones then carefully bend it to fit your ear like an earcuff.
If you're interested in learning more about working with metal using mostly cold techniques, or if you have a friend who is a beginner who wants to learn about it, this is a great beginner's book. The only techniques that require heat are some of the finishing techniques and working with metal clay.
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Wiley provided this review copy of Teach Yourself Visually- More Jewelry Making to me free of charge, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion.
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