Monday, April 22, 2019

First Time Jewelry Making

First Time Jewelry Making by Tammy Powley is a tutorial guide with progressive lessons in starting jewelry making. Released 26th March 2019 by Quarto on their Quarry imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

I worked as a goldsmith for 16 years (before I went back to school to become a full time bionerd). I was lucky enough to apprentice to an amazing master goldsmith, however for most would-be jewelers, that's not an option, or desirable, since most people enjoy jewelrymaking as a hobby and aren't interesting in shifting careers. This book is for them.

The author begins with a thorough introduction to tools and some safety. I will note that for students just starting out, buying all of the equipment she lists in the introduction would scare away all but the most ardent/wealthy would-be-jewelers. Proceed through the lessons included in the book, by all means, but I would strongly recommend holding off on any equipment purchases until you feel the need to access holding you back or seriously hindering your growth as an artist. I am a total tool junkie and as my teacher once told me, remember humans were making jewelry thousands of years before electricity. Start with hand tools, you need the pliers and nippers listed in the introduction.  Buy the best tools you can afford; you don't want pliers flying apart at a critical moment (been there, done that).  The introductory sections cover about 12% of the content.

The following chapters start with simple materials and supplies introductions, progressing to short mini project tutorials using the techniques pictured. Highlighted sidebars provide concise materials lists for each tutorial. The techniques and processes included in the book cover: bead stringing, wirework, chain making, metal fabrication, metal clay, resin and paper.

There is a good resource and links list at the end, along with designer info and a short index. The resource lists are slanted toward North American readers, however a short internet search will provide sources for supplies which are available to readers in other parts of the world.

This book should give the beginning jewelry artist enough confidence to seek out further instruction or progress independently. I am slightly concerned that it felt as though the author was skirting around the use of a torch in the projects. Torches are mentioned in conjunction with metal clay projects and briefly elsewhere. I do understand of course that this book is 128 pages and a full discussion on torch use would take up too much of the page content. The information is readily accessible elsewhere on the internet/youtube. I strongly recommend that students do their homework before investing in any particular torch; talk to jewelers doing the same sort of work for which you want to buy a torch.

Well written and clearly photographed with attractive, easily modified projects.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment