Some of you may have read my previous week’s blog post where I reviewed a couple of jewelry making books, one was specifically for precious metal clays. If you missed it you can read the blog post here:
This year I’ve been on a quest to improve my jewelry making skills the way I usually do, by educating myself the most reasonably way I can. I am a self-taught jewelry artist, so I tend to research, read, watch YouTube snips and read a lot of Pinterest tutorials. We also have the most amazing library system, so the photos are of the library books!!
Another plus with reading jewelry making books and magazines is that it sparks creative ideas in your brain and you end up getting ideas for new designs that you would possibly not have had. It’s like going to a great art or jewelry show where you get inspired by other artist’s creations, only it’s from the comfort of your sofa!
Here are a few other books that I loved reading on jewelry making.
“The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques” by Anastasia Young
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, this book falls into this category. The cover is rather bland but if you look super close at the photo, you will see all the topics covered in depth in this book. I’m not even going to list all the areas, tools and techniques in this book because they are all on the cover. If I had to say which book would be a really good reference book out of all the jewelry making books that I read and that covers ALL the jewelry making techniques, I’d say it is this one. It is 300 plus pages long and is chock full of tips on EVERYTHING you need to know for jewelry making. The photos are excellent and there are also projects throughout the book with photos in progress. This one is on my birthday wish list for sure!
“The Jewelry Maker’s Field Guide – Tools and Essential Techniques” by Helen I. Driggs
This book has excellent pictures of equipment, gemstones, tools, techniques and step by step photos of projects practicing specific skills that are covered in the book. It has a good raw materials section, covers cutting, sawing, drilling, filing and polishing well. Fabrication and assembly including cold and hot connections are also covered, forming and texturing or different metals are well documented with good practice projects and excellent coverage of the tools and work bench essentials for each of these techniques. I particularly liked the back part of the book with projects that have step by step processes practicing all aspects of the skills and tools from the book.
"Making Metal Jewelry. How to stamp, forge, form and fold metal jewelry designs” by Jen Cushman
The one aspect that I really enjoyed about this book is that Jen Cushman has a style of jewelry making that is not always traditional and she sometimes incorporates mixed media in her designs, such as fabric and she mixes her metals which comes across as tastefully artsy. Like all the other books that I’ve reviewed the photos are excellent in this book too. She covers all the tools and equipment for the different techniques in her book. She documents the following jewelry making skills: forging, stamping and forming metal, etching and patinas, soldering, making metal findings such as jump rings and ear wires. In the back half of the book she has step by step projects with photos of different types of jewelry as well as different styles of designs.
As with the previous blog post reviewing books last week, these books inspired me to think of some designs that I may use in my jewelry making this year, here are some of the sketches that I made with some of these ideas.
What other sources do you creative types go to inspire your work or projects? I know people who love quilting, go to quilting conferences or conventions. Comment below if you feel like you’d like to share where you go to learn more of your art or craft. We may all be inspired to try new sources for improving our skills.
(This post contains affiliate links which simply means if you click through and buy, I may receive a commission, at absolutely no extra cost to you. Please note that I only endorse products that I’ve used and can vouch for).