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The Complete Photo Guide to Making Metal Jewelry by John Sartin

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The Complete Photo Guide to Making Metal Jewelry

The Complete Photo Guide to Making Metal Jewelry

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The Complete Photo Guide to Making Metal Jewelry by John Sartin is published by Creative Publishing International and is part of the Complete Photo Guide series. This book was published in April of 2013 and includes 244 pages of full color photography and how-to text. John Sartin, the author, has had his jewelry pieces exhibited in a number of books and magazines, such as Lapidary Journal and Art Jewelry magazine. This book retails for $24.99 in the United States, L16.99 in the United Kingdom, and $27.99 in Canada.

Introductory Section

After the book's introduction, there is a section called "Introduction to Metals and Gems." This is where the author covers information related to the materials used in the book, especially metals and gemstones. It discusses measuring metal, what is a metal versus an alloy, measuring gems, and gem shapes such as a faceted gemstone versus a cabochon shaped gemstone.

Basics are covered next, and these are mainly fabrication methods that are needed with just about any kind of metal making, even if you are not soldering. Like the other books in this Photo Guide series, the instructions are all accompanied by lots of full color photographs. This includes all the techniques covered as well as the projects. Most jewelry makers that have done any simple metal jewelry work will be familiar with the methods discussed in this section because it is really meant for total beginners. For example, you learn how to handle a jeweler's saw, from loading up the blade to how to hold it while sawing a piece of sheet metal.

More Jewelry Techniques

Once basic metal fabrication methods are covered, the techniques become a little more involved, and these are sectioned out into the follow chapters: Connections, Texturing Metal, Forging and Forming, and Setting Stones. The books in this Photo Guide series are meant to be heavy on the techniques and light on the projects, and this book definitely fits into that format. Each technique is extremely detailed with instructions and color photographs that are numbered and organized to go with the written instructions. There are also a lot of good safety text boxes throughout as well as helpful tip boxes. I have to say that I was very impressed with the exacting details in the descriptions as well as illustrations of each technique covered. I know from experience how tricky it can be to get good photographs of this kind of work, and it is obvious that a lot of care was taken to make all of the information clearly presented.

Book Projects and Gallery

As I already mentioned, this series of books is not supposed to be all about the projects. Instead, they are heavy on techniques and methodology and light on the actual projects that show you how to use them all. The Complete Photo Guide to Making Metal Jewelry only has ten projects in the projects section, so just keep this in mind. I know some readers really like project heavy books. If that is what you prefer, then do not expect to find that here.

The ten projects that are included are a nice mix of the techniques from the primary part of the book. There is also a good mix as far as types of jewelry pieces made: earrings, a few pendants, pins, a ring, cuff bracelets, and a necklace. As with the techniques, there are lots of color photographs to show you "how" as well as the text to tell you "how" to make each of them. One of my favorite projects was the "Yin Yang Pendant." It was a really different piece, but I have to say that I thought most all the jewelry projects were wearable pieces.

After the projects, there is a gallery section. The pieces in this section stay true to the techniques covered in the book and show you how you can take off with them once you have a good understanding of the methods.

Final Thoughts

For anyone really serious about learning metal jewelry techniques, this book has almost all of it in there. I noticed casting was not covered, but that could almost be a book in itself. Beginners will find plenty to tackle here, and of course, they should be aware that this type of jewelry making (like most) takes a good deal of practice and trial and error. More experienced jewelry makers who have at least some basic metal skills will still be able to find a number of more advanced methods to learn here.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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