The intro chapters (~20% of the page content) are followed by tutorial chapters for the (by my count) 13 projects from beginner(ish) to masterwork level. Interspersed in these chapters are really valuable tips and tricks for working with the materials and saving frustration where possible. The projects run the gamut from earrings to pendants and everything in between including rings bracelets, clasps etc. There wasn't a single project in the book which I didn't want to make. That almost never happens to me.
I worked as a bench jeweler in the traditional commercial jewelry trade for over 16 years (until I went back to school to become a bio-engineer at a ripe old age; it's never too late to take up another career). Anyhow, the point is, working as a jeweler I always wanted to flex more of my creative muscles and work more with wire as a structural element. I never got my chance as a professional working for a paycheck (I was the faceless drone re-sizing your engagement ring, or possibly repairing your necklace when you lost it down the garbage disposal *true stories*). I have set up a bench in my workshop now and share creative space with my daughter, also a budding bench jewelry artist.
I love the fact that many of these projects use forged wire as a basis. The shaped and flattened wire structure gives the entire piece stability and solidity without losing any of the fluidity and organic-ness (it should be a word) of the woven wire.
This is not a book for following slavishly. This is a book which provides loosely structured learning guidelines for developing your own style and finding and adapting your own techniques. In that sense, Sarah Thompson is a fantastic teacher. This is a worthwhile book, lavishly illustrated and photographed. Her passion for her art and her willingness to share the 'good stuff' she's learned is rare.
Well worth adding to the jeweler's library. This book will age very well and remain current as your skill progresses.
Five stars, really lovely.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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