Tuesday 22 September 2015

Book Review - The Complete Jewellery Maker

The Complete Jewellery Maker - consultant editor Jinks McGrath
Published by Quantum 2012

Complete Jewellery Maker - book review by Silvermoss Complete Jewellery Maker - book review by Silvermoss

I was rather excited by this book. Firstly, it’s big and detailed, but also the spine is flexible enough to keep it open as a reference while at the work bench. Also, it’s by Jinks McGrath who is a jeweller, teacher, and writer I always have time for. However, it was only when I flicked through it that I noticed something of great importance if you’re an avid buyer of jewellery books, or even if you’ve just accumulated a few over the years you’ve been making and creating; it’s an amalgamation of a variety of other books. Some of the projects and some of the photos looked familiar; in fact one of the projects I adapted only last year to make a gift for a family member. When I looked at the inside front of this book I discovered that it consists of excerpts from half a dozen other books. I’ll list them here in case you’re wondering if you own one or more of them:

Basic Jewellery Making Techniques by Jinks McGrath - pub 1993 by Quintet
Jewellery Making Manual by Sylvia Wicks - pub 1985 by Quill
The Creative Jeweller by Claire C Davies - pub 2000 by Quarto
Jewellery (Two in One Manual) by Madeline Coles - pub 1999 by Quarto
Jewelry Making Techniques Book by Elizabeth Olver - pub 2001 by Quarto
The Art of Jewellery Design by Elizabeth Olver - pub 2002 by Quarto                                          

I also read the cover more closely and read that the book has Jinks McGrath as a ‘consultant editor’ rather than its writer.

If you own none of the above books then this edition can only be useful, covering everything from the basics of setting up a workshop, to working with different materials (although the emphasis is on working with metal), to techniques and projects, and an in-depth section on design. It’s comprehensive, well illustrated, and methodically set out. It might also be a lot easier buying this one edition, rather than buying six other books.

Complete Jewellery Maker - book review by Silvermoss Complete Jewellery Maker - book review by Silvermoss

But if you do possess any of the above books then it might be a little frustrating when you come across pages that are familiar and already well-read. I own three from the above list and, especially because I did not know initially how this book was constructed, I was a little disappointed at first when I flicked through and found projects and photos that I already knew. However on looking more closely I also discovered information that I hadn’t read before, and, thankfully, a good proportion of the book was new to me, most notably the chapter on design.

The fewer of the books above that you already own, the greater your enjoyment of this book will be. I wouldn’t say not to buy it if you already own some of the books it’s been created from, but I will say approach with caution, try and get a hold of a copy to look through, either via a library or a book shop, rather than buying online and hoping for the best. That way you can make sure that it still contains enough new information to make it worth your time and money.

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Tuesday 1 September 2015

Jewelled Web - September 2015 - Link Love

Jewelled Web September 2015 Silver Moss photo Jewelled_Web-September_2015-Silver_Moss.jpg

It's been a long summer, not that I'm implying summer is over, and I'm glad of that. Summer, and sunshine, feels like a respite from the colder, darker parts of the year; it's the reward for getting through the trickier bits. Having written that, I'm aware it makes me sound like I dislike the colder months and I don't. I like the drama of seasons, but I find the warmth of summer easier. Although this summer we've also had our share of rainy weather too in the UK, and the really hot days could probably be counted on both hands. But not feet.

This Jewelled Web is a little delayed, in some ways; despite my best intentions I missed August's edition and although I was going to upload it late, events conspired and all that, and it instead turned into September's Link Love.

I hope your summer has been long and warm and really rather nice. I hope it lasts a little bit longer too.

~jewellery links~

Making jewellery = a bad back. I'll be reading this feature over a few times, looking for some hints.

I do love the idea of keeping a kiln in a fireplace...

Soldering tips? No, you can't have too many - parts one, two and three from Art Jewelry Elements.

A tutorial for adding some thread tassels to jewellery. This could be adapted even if you don't work with beads.

A beautiful cross-over between painting and jewellery.

How to make a slide bracelet.

Cold connections, for when you don't want to solder.

From eBay, a handy guide to gauges, and the ideal size for different jewellery projects.

A video on how to get your hand-made ear wires to be matching sizes.

~non-jewellery links~

Reading is good for you. I knew it.

Such amazing photographs from the winners of the Ecology Image Competition, but Waterlilies in Madagascar in my favourite.

Still amazed by the images sent back from Pluto in July, planet or not...

Drinking customs around the world; how to drink alcohol in Uzbekistan.

And look here for amazing images of tribes from all over the globe.

How many facial expressions do horses have? Do sheep really recognise each other?

How many everyday items are actually easier to use than we think?

Heard of Myers-Briggs but not sure what it is? It seems it applies to London tube lines...

I'm going to start adding a taste of what I'm reading, have been reading, and perhaps even hope to read very soon to my Jewelled Web posts. Links will, most likely, mainly be to Amazon, and may well be affiliate ones, but don't let you put that off; whether you click them or not, buy something or nothing, it won't cost you a thing. For more info, check my affiliate info here.

My Own Personal Book Club ~ this month I've been reading...

Oh Sugar by Katherine Bassford which is about how we just eat too much sugar that we don't need and it's actually bad for us. It's a little unnerving, but if you start viewing food as medicine, why would you take something that makes you ill...It's also wonderfully sane about trying to cut sugar down, and how everything bit you avoid really can help.

Queen Mab by Kate Danley, a retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but the more I read the more I love it. Yes, chances are you know the tale but this is one of the kost refreshing versions of it I've read (still reading!)

The Complete Jewellery Maker edited by Jinks McGrath - a more detailed review will follow soon, but this large and well-illustrated compendium is giving me lots of food for though - sugar-free of course...

Have a good start to September!