Altered Art Books
Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art, by Michael deMeng. An exciting journey into the mind of Mr. deMeng. Killer art.
Doming Silver Beads – by Nancy Howland. A great book on doming beads. Lots of technical information. This is THE book on this subject. I have the one published in 2002 (blue and white cover). “Nancy Howland’s manual on making silver beads, “Doming Silver Beads”, is now available to the members of Orchid and Ganoksin. Nancy passed away in 2009 and the second printing of her book was sold out so her family has decided to make her book available for free. Ganoksin is charging a micro fee only to cover the bandwidth costs in distributing and hosting the book.” Quote from Ganoksin.
Making Metal Beads, by Pauline Warg. Very good book on bead making. Make tube beads, wire-wrapped beads, notched, square, crescent, ya got it? Pauline teaches some very handy techniques for making beads. Who knew there could be 159 pages worth of information on how to make beads? Published by Lark Books so, nice photos and page setup.
Metal Clay Beads: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration (Lark Jewelry Book), by Barbara Becker Simon. One of the few (in my humble opinion) excellent books on metal clay.
The Art of Enameling – Techniques, Projects, Inspiration by, Linda Darty. I love this book. All the pages are gritty with enamel because I keep trying everything in the book. If you want to teach yourself enameling, start here. My only complaint is that the section on torch firing is way too brief but, hey there’s a new book out devoted solely to that subject called Torch Fired Enamels – see my link below.
The Art of Fine Enameling – by Karen L. Cohen. Published in 2002. Lots of projects from various artists, covering subjects such as Grisaille, Limoges, Decals, Cloisonné, silk screening for enameling etc. Some of the artwork is a little ’90s but, it is a good book and has in depth coverage on some hard to find techniques.
Enameling on Metal: The Art and Craft of Enameling on Metal Explained Clearly and Precisely by Núria López-Ribalta and Eva Pascual i Miró. Great technical information. Some safety issues. Images a bit outdated but, worth it if you want to know the technical aspects of enameling. I don’t like the projects. But, that’s my opinion. See my review on Amazon.
Enamels, Enameling, Enamelists – by Glenice Lesley Matthews. Published in 1984, this book is obviously dated – mostly black and white images, some color images, 70’s and 80’s style art – but, it is still a good book. There is a great index (smile). Explicit information on enameling practices. Chapters on Limoges, underglaze pencils, Cloisonné, Sgraffito and Stencils, Wet Packing, etc. Step-by-step instructions.
Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry – by Barbara Lewis. Very similar to Torch-Fired Enamel (see below). Some rather ugly and uninspiring projects (see pg. 68 for example). Introduction of a few new ideas. I like book one better and feel that not enough information was introduced into book two.
Torch-Fired Enamel: A Workshop in Painting with Fire, by Barbara Lewis. This is an excellent book on torch firing. I love her technique of dunking a red-hot bead into a container of enamel. So much more impulsive than using klyr-fire. (Although, that can be fun too). These techniques make enameling fun, easy and very accessible. Also in Kindle format!
Jewelry Design Books
The Art of Jewelry Design: From Idea to Reality by Elizabeth Olver. Published in North America in 2002. Although older, this is an awesome book. I especially like the beginning where sketchbooks are discussed and illustrated in the Essential Design Tools section. It also discusses the elements of design, creative concepts and stages of the design process. A really, really good book for all level of jewelers and metalsmiths.
Drawing for Jewelers. “This book teaches how to use drawing as means of expressing a jeweler’s creative ideas. In jewelry, there are other ways of creating which do not stem directly from working in the studio. The most important of these is drawing, an extremely useful tool for jewelers due to its speed and adaptability. Mastering this tool can be a great resource that can help jewelers to progress easily and steadily with designing jewelry and presenting their ideas and projects….”
Jewelry Design – The Artisan’s Reference by, Elizabeth Olver (no info. on her). This is not a how-to book, rather, it’s an inspiration book. I really like how they set this book up. There is a large (almost half the book) section called “Directory of Shape and Form” that lists (for example) Earrings. This is broken up into studs, clips, stone-set and complex. There are drawings, illustrating the styles, on the left and on the right page are photos of different designs within each category – usually four photos. It’s a great little book to help nudge the brain. I’ve owned this book for years and still pull it out for new ideas. It’s only 80 pages but, it feels like 200. Get yours before it goes out of print. It was originally published in 2000.
Jewelry Design Challenge by Linda Kopp. 30 artists are given the same 10 materials. This book showcases the 30 projects that result. The artists discuss their processes for creating their pieces.
Jewelry Illustration. “With almost 1000 drawings, this comprehensive book leads students systematically through the development of forms rendered in perspective, starting with simple boxes and working up to curvilinear jewelry objects. Beyond teaching the ability to render forms clearly for clients, this instruction will hone the ability to think three dimensionally…”
Maker Magic. Kindle Edition only. “Maker Magic: How to Develop Your Voice Designing Art Jewelry is written for people who want to develop their own voice in making art jewelry. At some point in learning jewelry making, it is no longer satisfying to create designs that reflect an instructor or other makers. From a marketing point of view, as well as taking personal satisfaction into account, developing your own style, your own aesthetic, is a must. Maker Magic tells you how to accomplish this.
People who have little to no design background, as well as those who need to refresh their signature design process, will benefit from this book. Many images, exercises, and links to external resources are part of the book.”
History of Jewelry (Jewellery) This can be found on another page.
PMC Technic. Tim McCreight. “In this book, ten leading artists teach their specialty, with clarity, care, and passion. Innovative techniques are presented (sic) with clear instructions and examples. Tonya Davidson: Using the PMC Syringe Celie Fago: PMC Hinges Jennifer Kahn: PMC Bezels Doris King: Fusing Sterling and PMC Terry Kovalcik: Viscosity Painting Noortje Meijerink: PMC on Ceramic Kelly Russell: Using Stencils with PMC Barbara Simon: Lampworking and PMC CeCe Wire: Water Etching on PMC J. Fred Woell: Coreless Beads”
Setting Stones in Metal Clay, by Jeanette Landenwitch. I believe that it is imperative for you to own this book if you’re going to set stones in metal clay. The book is laid out well, the descriptions are clear, the instructions are thorough. Great book Jeanette!
Behind the Brooch: A Closer Look at Backs, Catches, and Pin Stems – Lorena Angulo. Great inspiration for pin/brooch design with a focus on the mechanisms that make them work. Lorena presents tons of great brooch designs with beautiful photos and thoughts from the artists. Link to Lorena’s website.
Chasing and Repoussé – Methods Ancient and Modern – by Nancy Megan Corwin. I love Chasing and repoussé! I also love this book. It’s a great book for a beginner and everyone else who loves this fabulous technique. The author discusses, in detail, the tools, how to make them, techniques and tips. Hollow Form construction, chasing without pitch and chasing and repousseé with the hydraulic press are also written about – subjects not often found in other books. Another, “I can’t do without” book.
Clasps: 4,000 Years of Fasteners in Jewellery. Anna Tabakhova. This is not a how-to book! But, if you make jewelry, you’ll probably be able to figure out how many are made. It is a history of the clasp. I love looking at all the variations on such a deceptively simple element. Clasps is a really good inspiration/idea book for jewelers. Plus, you’ll follow the development of this integral part of jewelry. The book is not sold in the US as of this posting. You order it from overseas. Delivery was fast and not very costly. Nice book.
Creative Metal Forming – by Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid. Great book based on the techniques created by Heikki Seppä. Covers Synclastic and Anticlastic (reverse raising) forming among many other things. Really good photos, fabulous instruction. Good information on tools and tool creation. Reading this book forced me to buy new hammers and stakes. Bad book. Oh wait, that would be Bad Impulse Control.
Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths – by Heikki Seppä – Heikki Seppä changed metalsmithing. “Seppa opens new possibilities by creating a new vocabulary, new terms by which to identify the many shapes metal can take under skilled hands.” (Amazon book description of Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths). This book is not for beginners and assumes an underlying knowledge of the craft. Includes his drawings and discourses on exploring the movement of metal.
Introduction to Precious Metals. Mark Grimwade. There is a ton of information in this book on metals. It is very technical but, I’ve learned so much from its pages. Learn more about the material you work with every day and why it behaves as it does. “Creative work in the studio can benefit from an understanding of materials and processes, but too often the worlds of science and art are unable to share information. This book bridges the gap through clear language is spoken by a metallurgist with several decades of teaching experience. Through hundreds of charts, tables, and graphs, the author explains the intricacies of work-hardening, annealing, and alloying. This is a serious book for people who understand the value of technical information.”
Jewelry Concepts and Technology (Kindle edition) Hardcover Edition – by Oppi Untracht. THE bible. I have found things that are not in this book but, I probably didn’t need to know them anyway. The only problem with this book is that it is a bit dated BUT, there is soooooo much information here that it is a valuable, valuable resource.
Jewelry Fundamentals of Metalsmithing – by Tim McCreight. I owe Tim for this book – when I was a beginning jeweler this and his other book, Boxes, and Lockets (see below) were my jewelry bibles. I would dream of becoming skilled enough to make many of the projects in both books. These were the guiding stars of my inspiration, my aspirations, and my practice. So, hey thanks Tim!
Jewelry Making Manual by, Sylvia Wicks (can’t find a thing on her). Originally published in 1985, (my edition is a reprint from 1997) this book still works. Most of the jewelry pictured is from the 1970s and ’80s but the techniques really haven’t changed that much. This is one of my all-time favorite jewelry how-to books. I love the illustrations. They are black and white drawings that illustrate the steps. There’s something about the layout of this book that just “works”. I use it all the time. I mean, how many books tell you how to make an ear clip (she calls it a butterfly spring)? Or how to do jewelry illustration? There are diagrams on making marquis settings, baguette, gypsy, etc. Info. on French knitting, how to tie pearl knots, enamel, chasing and repouseé…okay, I’ll shut up. I just love this book.
Legacy: Jewelry Techniques of West Africa by Matthieu Cheminée. So you think you don’t have many tools? How about an anvil and a toolbox for a studio? See what some of the Jewelers in West Africa do with little or nothing. Learn some pretty cool techniques too. Please see my review at Amazon.
Metal Artist’s WorkBench, by Thomas Mann. This is a great book on sawing, piercing and all things related. You WILL learn to saw by the time you are done with these projects. Highly recommended for beginners and everyone else.
Metal Corrugation – Surface Embellishment and Element Formation for the Metalsmith by, Patricia McAleer – another link here. I had so much fun playing with my tube wringer (that sat in my drawer for several years – until this book came out). That sounds kinda dirty, doesn’t it? Anyway, I had a great time with my wringer AND this book. Can’t wait to make the beads. The patterns you can make with this technique are amazing. Thanks Trish. p.s. – if you own a tube wringer: check out Trish’s second link above – it’s at Ganoksin and there is a very cool tube wringer adaptation by Chris of Chris’s Cables.
Metals Technic -Tim McCreight. Published by Brynmorgen Press (Tim McCreight’s house). When this book first came out, I was mesmerized by it. It introduced techniques that I had never heard of or was completely unskilled in. It was my challenge. I got so sidetracked (some would say – “learned stuff”) like anticlastic raising (made sinusoidal stakes, bought hammers), nonconforming dies (had to buy a hydraulic press), made tools, etched, played with patinas and reticulated my butt off. This book cost me a fortune. But, what fun I had/have. Still playing with all of the above. Inspiring. Expensive – not the book – the tools you’ll want/have to buy. Have fun.
The Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets – by Tim McCreight. This book, along with Jewelry Fundamentals by Mr. McCreight were my bibles, inspiration, and joys. They are well thumbed through and always appreciated.
Metalwork and Enamelling – by Herbert Maryon. I have an edition from 1971 so, it’s a bit dated. It was originally published in 1959. Black and white images (almost all drawings – except for 6 pages of B&W photos of twisted wire – I think). So, no 3D printing info! Lots of information not often found in other books. I like the twisted wire section – haven’t seen that in any other books (pgs.137 -139.) Chasing and Repouseé, 3 chapters on soldering, filigree (2 chapters), stone setting, spinning, 7 chapters on enameling, casting, etc. Great index – Yea!
Navajo Jewelry: A Legacy of Silver and Stone – Lois Essary Jacka. History of the Navajo tradition of jewelry making, processes and stones employed. A story as well as an inspiration.
Professional Jewelry Making. Alan Revere. “When master goldsmith Alan Revere published Professional Goldsmithing in 1991, he brought traditional European trade education to the US for the first time, adapting it for an American audience. The book was a best seller (sic) and quickly became a standard text in the field. To mark the 2oth anniversary of this groundbreaking work, Revere and Brynmorgen Press offer a revised and expanded edition that includes new projects, scores of new photos, and a handsome new layout. What hasn’t changed is the precise instruction that makes this edition a fitting testament to its predecessor.”
The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing. Erhard Brepohl, Tim McCreight, Charles Lewton-Brain. “The English translation of the original German text, for many years the standard reference used by European jewelers. A comprehensive collection of information about materials, tools, and techniques of metalsmithing with a unique emphasis on the science and calculations behind familiar studio practice.”
Contemporary Patination by Ronald D. Young – Hot and Cold patinas for brass, bronze, and copper.
Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects For Jewellers and Metalsmiths by Matthew Runfola. “Patina offers a collection of over 300 metal patination recipes, application instructions, and full-sized samples for anyone working in metals, including jewelers, sculptors, and metal artisans.
This all-skill-level book covers steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, bronze, silver, and aluminum.”
Japanese Patinas. Eitoku Sugimori.
The Jeweler’s directory of Decorative Finishes. Jinks McGrath.
The Color, Bronzing and Patination of Metals. Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe.
Heat, Color, Set & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal Jewelry. Mary Hettmansperger.
Patinas for small studios. Charles Lewton-Brain
The Procedures Manual for Flame Painting Copper. Skip and Racheal Mathews. I do not own this book YET! Hopefully soon. From what I’ve heard, there is great information inside. Can’t wait.
The Art of Jewelry Polymer Clay, by Katherine Duncan Aimone. This book is a compilation of 14 EXCELLENT polymer clay artists, their work and 33 projects. While 19 of the 33 projects held no appeal for me, I am tempted to try 14 of them. This is a huge number for me. Generally, I find that most of the projects in” project books” are lame and there might be 1 project that I’ll try. The best part of the book is the gallery shots. Who can resist the work of Cynthia Toops, Kathleen Dustin, Steven Ford (Ford Forlano) or Wendy Wallin Malinow?
Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay by, Irene Semanchuk Dean. Lots of very cool techniques to create very realistic imitations of materials like slate, bronze, malachite, raku, ivory, etc. I had a great time making lots of different faux materials.
Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio. “Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio are renowned for their courses and workshops on color as well as for their outstanding polymer clay work. In this book, they offer instruction and inspiration that focuses on polymer clay as a learning tool that readers can use to explore their own color instincts and preferences and develop their own palettes.”
The Art of Polymer Clay Creative Surface Effects: Techniques and Projects Featuring Transfers, Stamps, Stencils, Inks, Paints, Mediums, and More. Donna Kato. “Polymer clay has grown and grown and grown in popularity since the publication of Donna Kato’s best-selling The Art of Polymer Clay in 1997. And there have been so many technical advances, too. Now poly-diva Donna Kato presents an all-new look at one of the crafters’ all-time favorite mediums. The Art Of Polymer Clay Surface Effects begins with the essentials of polymer clay, including its working properties, plus tools, curing, safety recommendations, and color blending (with full information on the now-indispensable Skinner Blend). Photo-packed chapters focus on exciting projects—beads, bracelets, pins, pendants, and boxes–and showcase new techniques, including image transfers, surface treatments such as stencils, stamps, paints, and inks, sculpting, inclusions, special effects, and finishing. Finished pieces by some of the biggest names in polymer clay, including Kathleen Dustin, Pier Voulkos, and Nan Roche, plus Donna Kato herself, offer ideas and inspiration.”
Masters: Polymer Clay: Major Works by Leading Artists. Ray Hemachandra and Rachel Carren. “Featuring the world’s most dazzling and innovative work, this new entry in the Masters series focuses on the incredibly popular medium of polymer clay. Curator Rachel Carren has selected 40 artists who have their own distinctive style, exhibit fine workmanship, and have a unique vision they communicate through polymer.
Vessels, jewelry, and sculptures of intricate design reflect a range of moods-from Kathleen Dustin’s poetically expressive art to the luscious colors and forms created by Lindly Huanani.”
The Polymer Clay Artist’s Guide. Marie Segal.
A directory of mixes, colors, textures, faux finishes and surface effects.
This resource provides polymer clay artists with a library of 100 finishes and techniques suitable to a wide variety of applications. Illustrations demonstrate various combinations of the finishes, with detailed instructions on how to recreate the effect. An inspiring gallery of work by professional artists puts it all in context and provides endless inspiration.”
How Terracotta (natural clay) jewelry is made in India by Kavitha Balakrishnan. Kavitha and I have been emailing for a few years now. I am so grateful for having been able to watch as she took on her dreams and made them realities. Kavita has been working tirelessly to promote jewelry making for women in her country. Her mission is to help women start businesses and become self-sufficient. I am so thrilled to see that she has published her first book on terracotta jewelry. If you want to learn how to create terracotta jewelry or want a different perspective on the crafts of India, check out Kavitha’s book.
The Art of Soldering for Jewelry Makers: Techniques and Projects – by Wing Mun Devenney (can’t find any info on Wing). Nice book on soldering. Lots of good pictures. Covered: soldering tools, types, soldering on textured surfaces, polishing, and finishing, plating, coloration, projects, etc. More in-depth than Soldering Made Simple.
Soldering Demystified. Jeanette K Caines. This is an excellent book on soldering! Really, really good, detailed, written in a manner that makes sense. Lots of great tips by a woman, who has obviously done a lot of soldering. If you buy one, I’d buy this one.
Soldering Made Simple: Easy techniques for the kitchen-table jeweler, by Joe Silvera. A decent soldering primer.
Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young – a good book on stone setting. I like that it covers a hard to find subject: back setting. Photos are beautiful. A good reference book.
Bench Magazine’s Guide to Stonesetting. A compilation of Bench Magazine articles. Bench magazine is no longer around and is sorely missed. It ran from 2001 – 2010 and was a great resource. The Guide covers various settings: prong setting, bead, and bright cut, bezels and tubes, channel, etc. There are 42 articles by 9 master jewelers. This is not a beginner’s book. It is assumed that you know what you are doing. It’s a good book, especially for jewelry professionals or bench jewelers in training. I use it often to remind myself how to channel set (for example) – setting styles that I don’t routinely practice. There is no index and that always makes me a little wacky. But, they are forgiven for all the knowledge that they have shared (for free – I might add!) over the years.
Creative Stonesetting. John Cogswell. This is a very good book on stone setting. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. He covers not only how to set stones but how to make the settings. A truly important skill for bench jewelers. Topics include: Bezel settings, prong, graver, gypsy, beads, pearls, gems and tension settings. A really wonderful book for the well rounded jeweler. One of my favorites.
Design & Make: Mounting & Setting Stones – Sonia Cheadle. I really enjoyed reading “Mounting and Setting Stones” – gaining new insights and discovering alternative solutions to stone setting challenges within its pages. I liked how Ms. Cheadle breaks the bezel down into two categories: straight sided and angled. Bezel categories are then further broken down into basic and fancy settings. She supplies step-by-step instructions for making these settings in spare, succinct prose, among many other types of settings.
One thing to be aware of, as the author states in her introduction, is that this book is designed for the intermediate jeweler. Also, some techniques and tool names will sound unfamiliar to the US english speaker’s ear, as Ms. Cheadle is British. But, I didn’t find this to be a hindrance – the inferences were quite clear. One thing that I don’t like about this book, is its very skimpy index. An incomplete or limited index makes my life a lot more difficult when I am doing research. Despite the paltry index, I like this book and use it for research and in my jewelry practice.
Stonesetting for Fine Jewelry: Tools, Techniques, Gemstones – Paul Leibold. Lots and lots of information on stone setting. Great, lengthy discussion on gravers and graver prep, tool making, working with steel, pneumatic gravers, channel setting, invisible setting, tension setting, prongs from sheet metal, etc. This is an excellent book! A new, welcome addition to my setting library.
Wire Working Books
Great Wire Jewelry: Projects & Techniques (Lark Jewelry), by Irene From Petersen (the only info on her is this bead shop in Denmark). Easy to follow instruction for Viking Knit and Chain Mail(le) among others. It is not a book on wire work or wrapping. Some claim the wire sizes are wrong. I just liked learning the Viking knit.