Here are three book reviews using metal to create jewelry. While they are in serious need of some art beads sprinkled in the pages – they do offer great techniques and are all worth a look if you haven’t picked them up already.
Metal Style: 20 Jewelry Designs with Cold Join Techniques – I think I would get this book for the cover project alone. What I love about the project is after looking over the directions I realized – hey I could actually make this. I know how to do each of these techniques! And what is covered in the book? 20 awesome cold connection projects (meaning no flames or soldering) from some of today’s top metal and wire instructors. The project range from organic and earthy to modern to completely whimsical with found objects. If you haven’t jumped into metal work this book covers lot of the basics with great photos and a thorough technique section.
Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder – This books offers modern designs using this inexpensive hardware wire. The designs look like they belong in a high end gallery, yet the author provides techniques that a beginner can grapple. The book starts out with a handy guide to using steel wire and great step-by-step directions and photos showing the basic building blocks used throughout the book.
My favorite projects are the chains, I would throw in some art beads in the mix for some artsy inspired pieces. I picked up a few spools of steel wire this summer after reading the book and have enjoyed adding the blackened silver wire work to my designs. Visit Brenda’s Etsy shop for wire and tools.
Chains Chains Chains by Jaonna Gollbery and Nathalie Mornu – This a fun and inspiring book covering 25 chains from various artists with designs ranging from wire work to metalsmithing. Some of the projects require a soldering set up, but there are enough designs in here featuring wire work and cold connection projects that I think someone who plays with mostly beads would find this a nice addition to their jewelry bookshelf. The projects themselves are all metal, but it is easy to imagine a glass or clay bead as the focal for many of the chains used in the book and what a great way to showcase some of your favorite beads. What I love about this book is the way it breaks down the designs and really expands how I think about jewelry construction. Even complex looking projects are made accessible.
But if you can only get one metalworking book, my all time favorite is Metalworking 101 for Beaders by Candie Cooper. She mixes in beads with basic metal techniques in creative designs. If it’s not already on you bookshelf – I suggest getting this one first!
Disclosure: the books were provided by the publishers for review. Affiliate links to the books are provided.