The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making, Second Edition by Tammy Powley includes 15 new step-by-step projects (for a total of 45 projects), expanded techniques, and a new gallery of jewelry (photos only, no instructions) by designers such as Lorelei Eurto, Charlene Sevier, and Victoria Tillotson.
About the Book
The book covers bead stringing, basic wire work, metal fabrication (soldering, sawing, piercing, hammering, patina), metal clay, polymer clay, fiber (knotting and crochet), and resin. There's also a brief mention of other techniques in the mixed media section such as beadwork (brick stitch) and image transfer on fabric. The mixed media projects are by Jennifer Perkins, Carmi Cimicata, and Cyndi Lavin. There are more than 700 photos in the book, many of them are quite large, taking up half pages. The tool photos seem especially large. Having personally edited books where space is at a premium it seems luxurious to show only heavy-duty wire cutters and dowels or three spools of wire on a single page.
What I Liked Best
- The projects I liked best included the Two-Tone Teardrop Earrings on the cover (an easy soldering technique for a very wearable design) and the blue Peek-a-Boo bracelet (a knotted bracelet with square knots that looks perfect for summer).
- I liked that some techniques and materials covered various options. Often as a beginner, it's hard to understand that there isn't just one way to do something. For example, for jump rings, the book covers making them with wire cutters, a jeweler's saw, and a specialty Jump Ringer tool. For resin, projects used Envirotext Jewelry Resin and Easy Cast resin, as well as offered some general advice on using any type of resin. (Of course, not every option was given for every jewelry-making possibility; that's called The Internet, not a book.)
You Might Enjoy This Book If:
- You're very new to jewelry making and want to get an overview of the many techniques available. If you're already in love with one or two techniques, you will likely be happier with a book that focuses on them in depth.
- You're comfortable making substitutions for jewelry projects and shopping on your own. This book provides a general list of places to shop, but not a bead-by-bead list. However, the simple designs use such common materials (pearls, glass, gemstones, wire) that you'll likely find it easy to locate comparable materials in your local craft shop or online.
- You're a jewelry-making mom or grandma with a tween or teen daughter or granddaughter who likes jewelry. There's an easy stretch bracelet and sparkly kitty cat pendant project for her and a sophisticated hammered sterling silver cuff bracelet for you.
Check out the preview at Barnes & Noble to see if The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making, 2nd Edition a good fit for you. (You'll have to set up a free account to see more than a limited number of pages.) There's also a free excerpt on making a wire-wrapped bead at the Craftside blog that will give you an idea of the type of techniques included.
Standard disclaimer required by the FTC: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. I did not receive any payment for this review. I also do not receive any payment should you decide to buy a copy of the book. All opinions are my own just as with any other opinion expressed on this blog. Thanks for reading the fine print!