Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Book Review - Metal Jewelry Made Easy “A crafter’s guide to fabricating Necklaces, Earrings and More” by Jan Loney

We asked award winning designer, Dawn Gatehouse, to review our latest title. 

Dawn has been creating jewellery for six years and has regularly had tutorials published in several jewellery making publications. Specialising in wirework, she has also more recently been developing her metalsmithing skills and was the perfect choice for this review.

I was really excited to receive this book as it is full of lovely projects. Before diving straight in though there there are some very comprehensive chapters on “Getting Started” which cover raw materials, design, measuring and safety. 

The “Tool & Supplies” section covers all the tools you will ever need and some handy tips. It also covers soldering in great depth. The “Techniques” section is well laid out and covers everything from piercing, stamping and forging to casting and reticulation.

There are so many beautiful projects in this book using both sheet metal and different gauges of wire. All have really clear step by step instructions, including images and wonderfully clear photographs of the finished pieces.

Projects using wire and metal sheet

My version of the 'Gingko' earrings
As I was choosing which projects to try I was somewhat limited as I don't yet have all the tools to make some of the items. I now have a rolling mill, nylon stake and a crucible for casting on my metalsmithing wishlist!. I decided to make the 'Gingko' earrings first. The instructions were well laid out and easy to follow. The earrings I made are not formed as the ones in the tutorial as I used thicker silver than described in the ingredients. That being said I am still really happy with the results. 

My Pearl and Wire earrings

I also decided to make the pearl and wire earrings which I really enjoyed as I love anything to do with wire. I did not have the stud and ball earposts with an eye as listed so I decided to make my own earwires for the earrings which look just as nice.

This book is great to have in your collection if you are interested in metalsmithing, particularly as a beginner. I intend to build upon my tool supplies in the next few years so will come back to this lovely book time and again.

Metal Jewelry Made Easy by Jan Loney, published by Lark (£12.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)

ISBN 978-1454709145

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