A lot of jewelry books make their way onto library shelves. Simple Soldering: a Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry Making by Kate Ferrant Richbourg is one of the best laid out explanations of an essential jewelry skill. I love to work with my hands and have made simple bead jewelry for years. I plan to expand my skills and soldering is one of the first things on the list. With this objective in mind, I’m mining all the Library’s new metalworking books for ideas and inspiration.
What I really appreciate about this book is Ms. Richbourg’s emphasis on organization and the setting up of the workspace—all of which is designed for a small space. Once you get past the basic explanation of soldering and the set up of the workspace, tools and materials, the author has worked out a “sampler” project list with the intention that by the end of creating these skill building projects, the reader would have the ability to try some more creative projects with confidence.
This degree of organization is hard not to admire. The projects—from the toggles through to the rings—feature clean looking, well crafted designs. No more jumping in at the middle and muddling through a project with the often insane belief that it will turn out somehow. I speak from experience.
If spontaneous creation (muddling) still appeals to you, then I heartily recommend Steel Wire Jewelry: Stylish Design, Simple Techniques, Artful Inspiration by Brenda Schweder. Steel wire is inexpensive, easy to manipulate and a great way to loosen up and explore design ideas.