Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers

When it comes to the art of silversmithing, there are so many good books out there already... but Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers is another one!
What I look for in a book of this nature is lots of full-color photos—preferably big ones—thorough text, and helpful tips. This book delivers on all three fronts, providing excellent instruction accompanied by crystal-clear photography and lots and lots and lots of extra hints and tips. Author Elizabeth Bone, a tutor at the London Jewelry School, writes with authority on such topics as soldering, cold connections, casting, engraving, stone setting, filigree, cutting and filing, chasing and repousse, sawing, assembling jewelry, using various chemicals and equipment safely, and so much more.
The contents are divided into two sections: techniques & artist profiles, and materials, tools & resources. Basics such as annealing and pickling metal, soldering, wirework and chains, etc. are covered with detailed text and photos. In some cases, a technique is covered and then more thoroughly explored in a series of related project tutorials shared by contributing artists. This way, the reader is exposed to different approaches and possibilities.
Once the most basic techniques of silversmithing are covered, the author continues on with more challenging processes such as "married metals" (inlay, overlay, fusing, keum-boo, etc.) and stone setting (bezel setting, claw setting, collet setting). A chapter on metal clay is followed by tutorials on filigree and granulation. Artist portfolios with brief interviews are generously provided throughout the book, which makes it all the more valuable and inspiring.
I recommend this book to beginners as well as intermediate silversmiths who need a go-to resource of step-by-step techniques. It's the type of book that proves itself useful over time, informing the silversmith as she grows and matures in her craft.
Happy silversmithing,

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