I love Melissa Cable's books, she has a talent for creating projects that are easy to customize to your own tastes, teaching new skills and making it very easy to learn.
Metal Jewelry in Bloom- Learn Metalworking Techniques by Making Lilies, Daffodils, Dahlias and More shows that skill beautifully starting from the introduction. The introduction explains the techniques you'll need to learn, and the tools needed to create detailed, multi-layered petaled creations inspired by nature. Working through the projects also teaches very valuable cold metalworking skills such as cutting, creating prone type settings, riveting and basket weaving with wires. There is some torch work in the advanced section, but it's very minor. Using a torch optionally as a way to finish metal like copper and using a torch to draw up a ball on wire.
The projects are fantastic. She includes templates in the back of the book for the petals, and the projects explain how the texturing, shaping and centers of each design use the same basic skill set to create a lot of different types of flowers.
My favorite project is the rose with it's layers of dimpled and shaped petals to create something that easily recognizable as a rose. Even though roses are one of my favorite flowers, it was hard to pick that favorite.
The reason is because once you get past the basic technique flowers, there is a whole section with more advanced techniques, which fold, curl and bend metal in intricate ways to create drops, clusters and other amazing floral designs. While the first part of the book focused on using circles of metal and shears to create the flowers, this section breaks out of that. Tubing and balled wire with beads to create fuchsias is a good example. There is also a good explanation on creating balls from flat strip wire to turn a pretty flower into a pendant for a different look than piercing a hole and adding a jump ring.
If you've been considering getting into metalworking and really like flowers, this is just a lovely book. It's well photographed with good instructions and written at an easy level to follow if you're learning a new skill. If you know the basics, it's a good how to for creating flowers with a good set of templates you can copy.
Published by Kalmbach Books
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provided this review copy of Metal Jewelry In Bloom to me free of charge for review purposes, my reviews are always my honest opinion.
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