Saturday, July 09, 2011

My Bookshelf: Hot Connections Jewelry

I'm a bookaholic. I've got shelves and shelves dedicated to just books in my home office/jewelry making studio.

I'm always on the look out for books on techniques I want to add to my bead and jewelry making repetoire. My current artistic vision includes metal so I've acquired a few books on metal to help me develop new skills, Mixed Metal Mania, Metalworking 101 for Beads and my most recent book, Hot Connections Jewelry by Jennifer Chin.

Hot Connections Jewelry by Jennifer Chin - Excerpt

The cover is full of Jennifer's fresh and modern metal jewelry. The front cover alone made me want to dive right into the projects. Turning to the table of contents provides you with a snapshot of what's in store for you. Chapters include: Soldering Basics; Essentials of Fabrication & Soldering Techniques; Forming Metal: Other Fabrication Techniques; Textures, Patinas & Finishing; Adding Stones & Beads; Advanced Techniques.

If you're new to fabricating jewelry, Chapter 1, Soldering Basics takes you step by step in clear and simple directions on how to set up your studio and what soldering is all about. On page 21, she discusses the different kinds of torches and makes a recommendation based on how whether you're a hobbyist or production jewelry maker.

Chapter 2, Essentials of Fabrication is quite extensive covering, measuring, drilling, sawing, filing, sanding, bending, shaping, making jump rings, making rivets, soldering and pickling in 9 lessons. You don't want to skip any of the steps. I'm not a detailed oriented person and I tend to skip drawing out the measured lines but I've learned through many mistakes, it's not a step you want to skip.

Each chapter is set up to teach a category of techniques and then the chapter is broken down into techniques and projects. So for example, the category of techniques for chapter 3 is Forming Metal. One of the techniques in chapter 3 is taught in lesson 12: Using a Dapping Block. A list of tools and materials is given and step by step full color photos lead you through the skill of dapping. Lesson 12 is followed by the gorgeous Domed Petal Earrings project where you can put your new skill to use immediately.

If you've dabbled in jewelrymaking or have some of the tools like me, the first two chapters will help you fill in your tool chest with any missing tools. I just ordered a rolling mill for my studio and was excited to see on page 94 how to emboss using a rolling mill.

The book is interspersed with black and white sketches and full color photographs. The sketches are helpful and much more informative than some line drawings you find in other books. My favorite projects from the book are the Riveted Collar Ring on pages 62-63, the Fizzy Pendant on pages 66-67, Domed Petal Earrings on pages 78-79 and the Forged Chain Necklace on pages 80-81.  

I enjoyed this book. It's lovely to look at and Jennifer's style is unique and intriguing. You'll be inspired by the book and want to learn all the techniques.  Overall, Hot Connections is a wise purchase for any crafter, jewelrymaker or beadmaker.

I can't wait to get started!

disclosure of material connection

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