Monday, August 29, 2016

Jean reviews Metalsmithing Made Easy, A Practical Guide to Cold Connections, Simple Soldering, Stone Setting, and More! by Kate Ferrant Richbourg

Metalsmithing Made Easy
A Practical Guide to Cold Connections. Simple Soldering. Stone Setting, and More!
by Kate Ferrant Richbourg

In her introduction, the author says, "You and I have something in common. We both like to make metal jewelry."
She goes on to add, "The more you learn and build on your technique, the easier new or difficult things become. That's why I wrote this book. 
I'm here to share my tips, steps, tricks, and methods, to answer your questions, and to coach you through the tough spots."

With those heartening first words, off we go into the exciting world of metalsmithing. It begins with a brief but thorough explanation of how to use the book, including how to set up your studio. The author suggests that the reader follow the book from beginning to end before a tool is even picked up. 
This overview will come in handy when you work with this book. 
The first chapter is titled "Lets Talk about Solder". This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It anticipates and answers the numerous questions a reader might have about soldering, torches, the how-tos of soldering, and more. 
The second chapter introduces you to "Tools". One of the most helpful aspects of Metalsmithing Made Easy is that the author explains each tool that the "DIY Metalsmith" might need very well. Because of this, the reader will be prepared and will have all of the tools needed. The few you might not have will be addressed by the author and there will be suggestions for substitutions. This is a wonderful chapter.
Chapter 3 covers "Metals and Materials". It includes metals such as copper, fine silver, sterling silver, gold fill and brass and looks at the forms they come in. It also discusses stones, patinas, and polishes. The photographs are excellent. The reader will see and understand how different patinas affect different metals.
When the reader reaches Chapter 4, it is very exciting, as this chapter is all about the rotary tool, a very useful tool for a metalsmith to understand. It will be covered in this chapter every which way plus loose! 

Chapter 5 is titled "Sampler". These little beauties are 1 X 1 inch and each one is packed with information from the author to the reader about a specific metalsmithing method. For example, one square ("sampler 7") teaches dapping and soldering domes. Sampler 15 instructs the metalsmith reader how to make a tube setting, which has a stone bezel set in it. 
Once Chapter 5 is mastered, the reader is ready for Chapter 6: "Projects".  As the author writes, "Time to make your skills shine!"
This lovely chapter offers earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants. All the projects are amazing and you will be able to make them because of this book. If you like one but are looking for a slightly different look, there are design alternatives, too! Gorgeous, lovely and hip designs which you can make yourself and add your own signature touches to. 

This is art jewelry of the highest quality and the reader will be thrilled to know that is is possible to create these pieces from this fun and fabulous book by Kate Ferrant Richbourg. It has everything you need to get you started on the path to metalsmithing. 

Metalsmithing Made Easy is a brilliant book by a great instructor and designer!

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