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A Review of 'Lapidary Carving for Creative Jewelry' by Henry Hunt.
Lewton-Brain © 1994 (Buy this book)

This book is an expert and concise introduction to the world of carving gem materials. You could actually do it if you studied the book carefully. It offers an insight into this world, tickles you with hints of new techniques and is a solid grounding in the thinking required for working these materials into carved shapes.

The table of contents is clear and readable, lots of white space and good headings so that if one were fishing for specifics one could easily find them. The book however lacks an index for quick searches. It begins with a comment that so much has happened in recent years that it could not be covered in this volume and so this is a re-issue of a good text first printed in 1980. It was felt it was important to get the current information out again until a new all encompassing picture and information book could be published. It is promised soon. If it is an improvement on this one it will be a major work for this field.

The text is lucid and easy to read as it is split into two columns on the page. A deep understanding of light and its relationship to gem materials and cutting is given in the first chapter. The bent is not drily scientific but instead the warm voice of experience. The black and white photographs are good and suffice for broad information but due to their high contrast suffer in the subtle details discussed in the text, and the same is true throughout the book.

A good case is made that in practice hardness is not a great consideration in choosing materials for use in jewelry. The text is sprinkled with little bits of experience and hard won information; which gem materials do this or that: descriptions of their nature. Carving materials are discussed in terms of ease of use and applicability.

This is a really knowledgeable text. It is obviously condensed with almost every sentence loaded with information. Areas apparently successfully addressed include carving principles, tool making, surface options, drilling and piercing, all manner of specific shapes and problems in carving and then chapters on specific materials from the carvers point of view. The stones described in detail include all the commonly cut materials as well as synthetic materials.

If you are interested in knowing how to carve gem materials with a minimum of fuss and specialized equipment this one is for you. It is loaded with cutter's tricks and cheap ways to make effective tools including ones own silicon carbide cutting tools. I've never seen a book before that goes through the home version of industrial firing procedures necessary to make professional gem carving tools. Henry Hunt is obviously a master cutter, someone who understands his material and how to work it. Despite an initial dry feel and rough quality photographs this is an excellent book for someone who wants to know about this field whether a collector, goldsmith or lapidary.

If we were rating it like a movie show on T.V. out of 8 stars this would be a six and a half having lost one star due to the photos. The cover of this book has a strong, a little naive graphic look to it with a 'southwest feel'.

There is a very good safety warning page at the front of the book with an 'additional safety disclaimer' in a grey box. It is a truly sad commentary that as an author one is really concerned about being sued for wrongfully applied information. Unlike other fields like medicine or science in jewelry greed sometimes seems to be uppermost and authors have in the past been successfully sued by readers who misused the information given. It irritates me that some of us 'mess our own nest' as metalsmiths and stop the information flow by suing people for their publications.

The book is published by GeoScience Press which publishes among other books John Sinkakas's extraordinary volume 'Gemstone and Mineral Data Book' which should be in every serious metalsmiths library.

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Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches for Jewelers and Goldsmiths -- Lewton-Brain

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Review by Larry Newhouse in the “Michigan Silversmiths Guild Newsletter” Winter 1998.

This is a book that belongs in every jewelers and metalsmiths reference library. It is probably the most comprehensive publication I have ever read on the subject. From the first page of introduction to the final pages of references, Charles Lewton-Brain presents hinges and related mechanisms in a manner that exemplifies his skill as a writer and educator.

High school and college instructors will find this is a useful reference book, not only for technique, but also for the methods Charles uses to encourage thinking design problems through to a workable solution.
Another nice feature about Charles Lewton-Brain’s new book is the inclusion of tips and tricks that can make our jobs easier, such as Linda Chow’s homemade flex shaft tool for rapidly upsetting a tubing rivet.
Along with an extensive discussion of history, generics and types of hinges, the book reviews the basics of soldering, making tubes and hinge design. These sections are followed by detailed discussion and drawings of basic knuckle options, hinge pins, hinge-based catch systems, locking rail catches, tension-based catches, hidden hinges, alternative hinges and much more.


This review is from the Orchid Archives

I recently bought Charles Lewton-Brain's book Hinges and Hinge-Based
Catches for Jewelers and Metalsmiths, through the link Orchid
provides to Brain Press. I want to take this opportunity to thank
the author, and to tell anyone who is interested how much I love
this book. OK, I admit it. I'm an art nerd. But at least I have you
folks to talk to--very few people I know would understand getting so
excited about a book with this title. But I'm reading it as avidly
as I would a steamy novel.
First of all, it is exactly what I need for an ambitious design I've
been struggling with for quite a while. Beyond that, though, it is
comprehensive and clearly written, with the most information in the
fewest possible words--but not too few. It really de-mystifies the
whole hinge thing. I can't wait to try some of the ideas. I
recommend it to anyone who does construction at all, and doesn't
already own it.
Thanks for giving me a chance to enthuse!

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Cheap Thrills in the Tool Shop -- Lewton-Brain Buy this book
Review by Alan Revere Jewelers Circular Keystone July 1995:

The Revere Academy Site

Once in a while a master takes time to record the tricks amassed during a lifetime, although among jewelers this is very rare. Perhaps they are too busy. In any case, jewlers are notoriously secretive about how they do what they do and they are fearful of passing on their hard-eaned secrets. After 25 years as a goldsmith and educator, I am convinced that vast quanities of tricks and techniques have been buried with the goldsmiths who use them.

But here comes Charles Lewton-Brain, a recognized master craftsman, opening his private notebook of tricks in order to save his colleagues, present and future, countless hours at the bench. Actually, Charles has made a career of researching, developing and sharing practical information for jewelers. And ove rthe past few years he has spent those long winter nights in Calgary writing down what he knows about shortcuts, tools and special techniques. The result is this collection of nearly 500 tips and tricks, any one of which is worth the price of the book.
Organizing his storehouse of knowledge by tool and procedure, Lewton-Brain presents the avid jewelry worker with some real gems of

information. Some are classical, yet heretofore unrecorded, tips such as recycling old files into scrapers, burnishers and punches. Some are his own, like using a small spray bottle of water to quench charcoal blocks after soldering, in order to extend their life.

Some tips are credited to other sources, like Doug Zaruba’s use of stretchy latex pulled over a small or awkward piece of metal to hold it in place while hammering. And some are just suggestions to try yourself, like mounting a carbide “flint” wheel from a disposable lighter onto a screw-top mandrel, as a freebie bur.
This unique book offers some great information, like using separating discs to score metal, making polishing laps out of cardboard and filing the very tip of your chuck key into the mini-screwdriver you can never seem to find when you need one.But my favorite is mounting a baby-food jar lid beneath a hole in your catch pan, then using various jars to catch and separate your filings.
With an emphasis on content rather than appearance, the simple, low-tech presentation of the book is hardly a problem for the brainful of information within.


Review by Mel Wolski
in MAGazine, Spring 1995, Vol 9, #2, page 7

Buy this book!!! Cheap Thrills works on many different levels. Firstly and most obviously it is a bench reference. Something to refer to when unsure of a technique or tool usage and procedure. But it is a more than a simple how to or recipe book.
Cheap Thrills subtly works as a gentle reminder of the basic reasoning we choose to work. Work should be enjoyable, work should be interesting, work should be profitable. Reading Cheap Thrills provides opportunity to uncover, discover and recover perspective of invention and curiousity that sometimes gets misplaced.
Charles seems to realize in presenting this book that is through exploring, inventive techniques and curious thought one can increase productivity (and hopefully profit) and expand the range of potential designs accessable to them.
Thirdly, Cheap Thrills works as an interesting read. In the introduction, Charles provides one person's answer to a lifetime of trouble free soldering. On page 10 is an emergency pickle solution worthy of McGyver or James Bond. From time to time Charles tells tales of a potential maiming or mishap to keep it exciting. One should read the conditions of the book on page 2 should they doubt his seriousness.
To test this book I lent it out to other people. Paul Zichuk, a Toronto stone setter, Mike Smiley (Modern Renaissance Jewellery), and Shaun Booth (Booth-Wilkins Goldsmith of Barrie). We all found the book useful and all had different favourite parts. We all agreed it could use more pictures and more Canadian suppliers. Considering the range of our fields of work, the years of experience and difference of our jewelley such acceptance of his book was remarkable. I'm glad my copy arrived prior to setting up my new studio. Can't wait for Volume 2!

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The Jewelry Workshop Safety Report -- Lewton-Brain Buy this book

This review from the Professional Jeweler Magazine Archives

Charles Lewton-Brain is a popular educator and jewelry designer who helped create the Web site, which has more than 500 pages of text and graphics on jewelry and metals techniques, gemology, public relations, sources and critical thought for working jewelers. He and his wife, jewelry designer Dee Fontans, also started the Lewton-Brain/Fontans Centre for Jewellery Studies in Calgary, Canada. He founded Brain Press, the publisher of his new book, The Jewelry Workshop Safety Report. The book grew out of a lecture Lewton-Brain gave at a Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in 1998.

This comprehensive book on safety was written from the viewpoint of the working jeweler, says the author, so it reads in a familiar, comfortable tone that acknowledges the realities of the working shop. Lewton-Brain is careful to note he is not a trained occupational health and safety expert, however, and advises jewelers to do research to supplement the information he provides in the book.The book begins with an overview of the biggest issues in workshop safety, with specific sections covering all major risks that jewelers face and tips for prevention. He covers the obvious hazards and also talks about less-obvious ones, including ergonomic problems and repet ition injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.Lewton-Brain discusses various metals jewelers use, as well as materials used in working with metal. He includes sections on jewelry processes using heat, chemicals and other techniques, and then conducts a shop tour, discussing how to use tools safely. Finally, he describes the safe way to perform various procedures jewelers commonly practice in their work, from alloying to welding and everything in between. Appendices, model documents (such as an accident report) and checklists for problem-solving and safety maintenance round out the report.

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A Review of 'Small Scale Photography Video and Text Book' by Charles Lewton-Brain
Buy this book Review by Jim MCarty in the Anvil’s Ring Summer 1997: 50-51.

So you’ve finally arrived on the art scene and you’ve forged something you are really proud to put your name on. You want to show it to the rest of the world, maybe even submit it for publication in The Anvil’s Ring. You need photographs.
You have three choices: Hire a professional, who might know a little about art photography. Do it yourself, and hope the results bear some similarity to the real world. Or invest $60 in Charles Lewton-Brain’s SMALL SCALE PHOTOGRAPHY.
This is one book (it also comes with a video) that lives up to its subtitle because even after a quick look through its pages you will be better prepared to show your work in its best light. Lewton-Brain, best known for his fold form technology (see part two of his article in this volume), calls his effort a “recipe book.” It doesn’t attempt to tell you everything there is to know about photography, just about a single method that happens to work well.
The author recommends you view the video first and then read the book. To help, there is an enclosed sheet that refers to you to the proper illustration when watching.
As the title suggests, it is intended for small pieces like the jewelry the author creates. But once the techniques are mastered they can easily be adapted to large-scale pieces. The book also leans towards the slide film demanded by most galleries but also applies to color and black and white prints.
The emphasis throughout is on simplicity and saving money.
“Professional photographers can charge up to $500 per hour. You can’t afford that -- I can’t afford that,” the author says in his introduction.
The system revolves around a simple box designed to control the light falling on the object to be photographed. Materials needed to build the box will run about the same as the price of the book/video.
The author has some advice on cameras and lenses (stay with conventional equipment instead of the new digital cameras, he says). He gets technical regarding filters, light meters, tripods (a must) and film types. And he has crucial advice on the selection of lights, including safety tips that can prevent fires.
There are simple yet helpful illustrations for building the pieces of the system. These show the many modifications that can be made to achieve different results, such as drop shadows. Using easy-to-scrounge items like Mylar, Plexiglas, mirrors, plastic milk jugs, fishing line and clothespins, he shows how to build a variety of structures to make it possible to photograph even highly polished surfaces.
There are tips for storing slides, a checklist on the proper way to contact galleries and even some useful addresses for self-promotion. If you like this book there is a brief description of other titles by Lewton-Brain.
Anyone who got close enough to watch Lewton-Brain demonstrate fold forming at Alfred last summer knows he is a wealth of information and ideas. Anyone positioning themselves in the art world would find this book/video a handsome return on their investment.


and from Ceramics Monthly February 1997: 24-25

Although targeted at jewelers, this video describes a “compromise photo system” for taking consistently good images of any small-scale object. “Designed for speed of use,” the system utilizes a drop-shadow effect, in which a dark background merges into a lighter foreground, says Charles Lewton-Brain. For best results, he recommends that you “keep your system the same” -- the same camera, same film, same lighting, etc. You should also try to keep the booth set up permanently.
Lewton-Brain begins by discussing types of cameras, lenses and tripods needed, then talks about lighting and film. “Front lighting flattens things and side lighting picks up texture,” he notes. He likes to use mirrors to shine light onto the objects.
He goes on to describe the photo-booth setup, using sketches to enhance the verbal description. The booth costs about $70, without camera and tripod. To prop up or suspend some objects, several items can be used: steel blocks, wire and fishing line are among those mentioned.
Before photographing any object, you need to consider depth of field (setting the f-stop to allow more or less light into the camera), advises Lewton-Brain. If you are shooting slides, you also need to take background space into account, keeping in mind that “when they go inside the plastic mounts, you lose some of the area. You need to establish how much you’re going to lose or gain through the viewfinder...once it’s mounted in the slide.”
When you’re taking photos, you must realize that “you’re taking a three-dimensional object, you’re making a piece of flat art about this object and you want the person who’s looking at this flat art -- the slide -- to have a sense that they’re seeing a three-dimensional object,” he notes. “So you have to take what’s there and accentuate it, exaggerate it.”
Lewton-Brain also talks about reflective objects and prohibiting any reflection in the photograph. Dusting sprays are often used by professionals, he says, but another method of avoiding glare is building a tent over the object. To keep the camera itself from reflecting on the piece, cut a hole in a white card, then place the lens through the hole and adjust the camera angle. He also suggests other methods for cutting down reflection, such as diffusing light with large milk jugs.


Richard D. Hamilton, Lapidary Journal 52.8 (November 1998): 114.(please note: this review is of the video only)

Photographing highly reflective and polished items such as jewelry can be a painstaking task, especially for a craftsperson whose works takes precedence and has little or no time to devote to photography. Learning the process of photographing your own work, however, has many benefits; Charles Lewton-Brain's video, _Small Scale Photography_, covers these issues in a well-organized manner. Readers may remember Lewton-Brain from the profile on him and his Jewelry Journal project that ran in the September 1997 issue of Lapidary Journal. Members of the jewelry community who access Internet jewelry forums, such as The Orchid Forum (hosted by, are also probably aware of Lewton-Brain's contributions to the field of jewelry through his fold-forming process, his teaching, his workshops, and his concise answers to technical questions. He has published several practical books on various aspects of the jewelry making field, including Cheap Thrills in the Toolshop, a guide to making inexpensive jewelry shop tools. While the video was possibly shot during a workshop on studio photography, the less than professional production quality did not deter me from learningj several new and useful things about photographing my own jewelry. The content is quite thorough, and the video is accompanied by a textbook that provides additional information and resources. Lewton-Brain stresses both the artistic and technical aspects of photography. For example, he discusses how to light a subject by using a permanent light box, a very flexible method for adjusting all aspects of lighting, and provides details for its inexpensive construction and use. He also suggests the photographic equipment to use: a manual 35-millimeter camera with a macro lens, slide film, and sturdy tripod. Several overlooked details in this video include the use of a camera with motorized film advance, the use of a longer focal length macro lens for very close-up photography, the use of an automatic camera in manual mode, and the use of color print film. Overall, these are minor omissions. _Small Scale Photography_ will help you learn the basic elements of photogarphing your work. The emphasis is on doing it in an inexpensive way, while maximizing the quality of your images. It will reduce the time it takes to learn this process, and you can achieve excellent results. For these reasons, I highly recommend this video. It wil make recording your work a very simple task.

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Professional Goldsmithing: Guide to Jewelry Techniques -- Revere Buy this book

Review by Mathew Hollern in Metalsmith Spring 1992
Chapter from this book on how to make a Box Catch

The books that we place in our libraries serve a number of purposes, from documenting the history of jewelry, its objects and its various roles in diverse cultures, to serving as references for information on materials and technology. The former often contain beautiful photographs which represent the finest examples of a given object. The reference book, by definition, is filled with information and is usually organized by material and process.
A third and a less common format would be the tutorial. Professional Godlsmithing is a very handsome book, beautifully designed and laid out, presented as a graduated course of study. The over 400 color photographs, many of which are macro 1:1 scale, are exceptionally sharp and informative. The text is organized in three sections: “Getting Started,” “Basic Projects” and “Further Projects.” It includes a fine set of appendices, glossary and thorough index.
“Getting Started” is somewhat of a well-designed crash course. In the first 48 pages of the book, the foundation is laid to allow the reader to approach the projects with an understanding of precious metals, procedures, tools, alloying and working with platinum. The text jumps from point to point in this section in an effort to quickly cover a lot of ground. Safe practices and health hazards are frequently mentioned throughout the book.
Thirty projects serve as lessons to be followed in the creation of a series of progressively more sophisticated jewelry and mechanisms. Many of the objects are generic, with good reason, as they are intended to emphasize the working skills rather than a discussion of design concepts. Each projectg is succinctly presented in a step-by-step fashion, almost all steps being accompanied by an exemplary photograph. Projects range from the most basic forged bangle bracelet to more complex linkages and a cluster ring. All are initially presented to inform the reader/student of the new skills to be exercised through the making of the object. These introductory statements are an outstanding feature of the book in their ability to present the significance of both the procedure and the resultant object or mechanism.
Alan Revere has succeeded in his desire to document the classical goldsmithing course of study and to create a book which encourages its readers to learn the material through experience. Although it is filled with useful information, I would not recommend this as a reference book but rather as a bedside reader. Professional Goldsmithing is a book to be read, as I have done for the past few nights, then referred back to. Of course it is first intended as a course of study and would elicit greater participation as a series of lessons at the bench. While it might not be my recommendation as a first book on jewelry, it would be a valuable addition to the library of anyone in the field. Two gold thumbs up.


Review by Daniella Kerner in the Jewelers Circular Keystone Magazine (JCK)

Alan Revere’s technical instruction in this book aims to bridge the gap between centuries-old techniques and modern applications. It is unlike Oppi Untracht’s fantastic Jewelry: Concepts and Technology (1982) or Tim McCreight’s user-friendly The Complete Metalsmith.
Revere confines his focus to applying bench techniques to the making of traditional jewelry of mid-20th century design. He limits himself to hand processes, hand tools, precious metals and careful strategies to construct 30 standard forms of commercial jewelry, such as solitaire ring, box clasp and hinged bracelet.
Revere’s training in Germany and background at his Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, which he founded in 1979, have resulted in this special book. The text is accurate, easily understood and well-written. Excellent color photography and many good close-ups make it easy to understand. The layout is handsome; the printing, binding and production of high quality.
The first quarter of the book deals with a basic introduction to precious metals, general procedures and the use of tools. There is a good section on making gold alloys and pouring ingots, and another on working with platinum. He offers new material alternatives and current tools to update age-old techniques. One example: the use of typing liquid correction fluid as an “anti-flux” rather than yellow ocher to inhibit the flow of solder into unwanted areas.
The second quarter documents 15 basic projects with step-by-step instruction, starting with a forged bangle bracelet. Other sequences demonstrate creating curb, cable, crochet and foxtail chains. Descriptions of five varieties of rings include a basic box ring and a hollow-constructed ring.
The last half of the book details 15 projects that move from fundamental to more complex. A hinged bracelet and two variations of square linkages and a hollow bracelet demonstrate difficult construction techniques. Chain assemblies include an attractive mesh and a standard rope. Mechanisms include a cylinder and box clasp.
A wire brooch construction demonstrates the use of investments for holding numerous parts in alignment while soldering. This section also describes five sequences of ring construction: solitaire, pierced bezel, tube, coronet and cluster ring. Detailed guidelines for the construction of settings exclude actual stone-setting because, says Revere, they encompass too many complex techniques to be included in this text. However, a student cannot appreciate the important principles involved in making a good setting until challenged to make it hold a stone.
A fine appendix contains many handy formulas for goldsmiths, including raising and lowering karat, calculating the increase in length of a sheet of metal through rolling and changing the size of a ring. The second part of the appendix provides many good tables and charts, including descriptions of the properties of various gold alloys.
Concise and visually pleasing, this good compellation of traditional jewelry skills in a handsome package makes a worthy addition to a jeweler’s library. I recommend it to beginners and journeymen who wish to advance their technical expertise. A trade school could employ it as a bench text. Students with an art school background who want to enter the jewelry marketplace can find the information useful. Experienced jewelers or those involved in jewelry repair may gain from Revere’s methods of fabrication. The designs of the jewelry depicted are generic—and that’s a benefit: jewelry designers can adapt the information to suit their own design sensibilities.


Review from

A beautiful and useful book. This book is essentially a programmed course of instruction in jewelry fabrication. It is tightly focused on goldsmithing and nothing else - not casting, not stone setting, not surface treatments, just fabrication. This focus allows a thorough introduction to the field. The book uses a series of projects to develop your skills in an incremental fashion. The projects progress from a simple forged and soldered bracelet to an extremely challenging cluster ring. The project instructions are an artfully crafted combination of explanation, instruction, and full-color photographs. I used this book while taking a one-semester course in metals and it allowed me to work a full year beyond my expected performance level. This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and effective "how-to" book I have ever seen, and rates about twice as good as the nearest example I have ever read in jewelry fabrication. Bear in mind that the author expects you to have a fairly well equipped jewelry shop available, including a rolling mill (flat, round and square wire rolls) a good torch and a drawbench with a good range of drawplates. I would still recommend going to a school to learn jewelry fabrication rather than trying to go it alone with just this book. Having said that, this is a wonderful book just to look at, even if you never build anything.


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Ring Repair-- Revere Buy this book
This review is from Professional Jeweler Magazine

Exerpt from Book / The Revere Academy Site

The premier book in Alan Revere's "Professional Jewelry Repair" series, Ring Repair, documents the repair, alteration and restoration of rings in gold, silver and platinum. Ring Repair is the first book devoted solely to repairing rings. Subsequent books in the series will focus on settings, chains, bracelets, clasps and an introduction to repairs in general.
Ring Repair offers a visual documentation of the most common repair jobs bench jewelers face. It's intended for those making the repairs at the bench, as well as store owners, managers, sales associates and students.

Clear and Concise
A combination of text and photography is designed to present every step in each project in a clear, concise manner. Revere is recognized as a leader in jewelry education through his school in San Francisco, Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, and his contributions to trade magazines. Some of the chapters in Ring Repair come from articles he wrote for JCK magazine, though all were rewritten and the majority of information has never been published before.
The 128– page volume features more than 140 close– up color photographs by Barry Blau, plus 90 black– and– white sketches by George McLean and Revere. Images of antique tools used in ring repair are interspersed throughout the text.

The book is divided into two parts. "Part I: Getting Started," covers procedures, tools and safety. "Procedures" is an instructional overview of the theory of ring repair, with topics such as measuring a customer's finger, sizing non– round rings, locating seams and a discussion of various kinds of joints. The tools chapter identifies implements used specifically to repair rings, such as ring– bending pliers, head and shank tweezers, ring mandrels and a new ring sizing shear. A chapter on sa fety reviews health and injury– prevention practices.

Part II is a photographic documentation of 15 ring repairs, complete with a job envelope and an anecdote about the owner. Tasks range from the simplest stretching job to adding sizes, reshanking, adding ring mechanisms and two– tone sizing. The book includes dozens of tips and trade secrets Revere has collected during three decades at the bench. An appendix charts the lengths of ring blanks for all finger sizes and gauges of metal and includes a unique illustration of ring mandrels from around the world.

Mark B. Mann, director of professional certification at Jewelers of America®, states in the foreword that "This book will help repair jewelers at all levels because it shows examples that demonstrate the entire spectrum of problems and situations encountered when repairing rings This volume is exceptional in scope, accuracy and readability."

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Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing-- Brepohl Buy this book

Reviewed by Alan Revere

The Revere Academy Site

At long last, the definitive text for goldsmiths. Until now, the art of making jewelry has overshadowed its science. Unlike most other technologies, old or new, that of goldsmithing has eluded the English language until this book was translated from the German. Without such a resource, jewelers have had to rely on a mixed bag of books and experience to understand what they do. But here is a readable, comprehensive reference for those who want to know more about what really happens when they solder, file, saw and create jewels in precious metals. Although jewelry making has remained largely unchanged for centuries, this volume, originally published in 1961 as Theorie und Praxis des Goldschmieds, has the potential to raise the standards and understanding of English-speaking bench jewelers worldwide. To clarify the terminology, according to the author, Erhard Brepohl, who in addition to being a master goldsmith and professor, holds degrees in mechanical engineering and industrial design, a goldsmith is "a metalworker concerned especially with pieces of jewelry and fine decorative utensils of gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron." In the German definition, goldsmiths make jewelry while silversmiths make larger items. With more than 500 pages and loaded with charts and illustrations, this publication answers questions that have perplexed goldsmiths forever: What happens inside the metal when a rolling mill reduces the gauge of sheet? Why does a shear cut and how should it be sharpened? What is it about the internal structure of precious metals that makes them workable? What is age hardening and how is it accomplished? What is the difference between sinking, raising and stretching? In a nutshell, what is the scientific basis for the way tools and materials behave at the jeweler's bench?

Organized into sections on metals, other materials, chemistry, handworking skills, silversmithing, machining, joining, finishing, special techniques, plating, settings, findings and repair, the book presents the information logically and succinctly in a form that will satisfy serious inquirers yet not intimidate novices. The visuals clarify and expand on the text, which can serve as both a manual during training and a technical reference work. Encyclopedic, it offers a complete course of study for students at all levels, covering just about any way metal can be manipulated by a jeweler at the bench.

The publication in this country of "the Brepohl" (as the book is referred to by its German audience) is cause for rejoicing among English-speaking jewelers (not to mention others for whom English is a comfortable second language). Charles Lewton-Brain, Roy Ysla and Tim McCreight deserve credit for their monumental achievement in delivering this essential text to a wider audience.

Another Review:


The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing
Reviewed by Linda Kaye-Moses at Lapidary Journal

Buy this book

From the ambitious title and a quick look at its chapter headings alone (Metals, Other Materials, Studio Chemistry, Handling Metals, Handworking Skills, Silversmithing, Machine Tools, Finishing Techniques, Joining Techniques, Specialty Techniques, Plating Technology, Setting and Findings, and Repair Work), readers of this book will recognize its unique position in the library of books on metalsmithing. This translated volume will be an indispensable tool for English-speaking jewelers/metalsmiths who have heretofore not had access to its original German edition. The author delivers concentrated information, at times beyond what might be needed daily in a small jewelry studio. However, as a research resource, it is a more than sufficient tool — and the author’s intended format, bringing the reader both theory and practice, is clearly presented.
Throughout the book, the author assumes an informal, conversational tone designed to engage the reader personally. Brepohl introduces each subject with the underlying theories that support the processes he then demonstrates with frequent, step-by-step instructions. The text is supplemented by numerous illustrations, photographs, and charts, including a series of useful charts in the Appendix.
Brehpohl’s description of tools and equipment relates their form to their function in a way that makes their proper use apparent — even to the beginning jeweler. For example, his detailed account of filing includes: how files remove metal, various cuts and shapes of files, and methods to adding handles to file tangs. His discussion of bench pins
includes methods and reasons for custom-altering this tool. His approach to measurement takes the mystery out of some of the more esoteric tools.
Distributed throughout the text are tips to use the tools more efficiently or to achieve specific results. His exhaustive examination of forging includes detailed descriptions, definitions, and the effects on metal from hammers, mallets, anvils, and stakes. Finishing, a process that can be confusing due to the bewildering number of choices available, is clarified by Brepohl’s logical presentation. His extensive exploration of catches includes a valuable chart and summary of the specific applications and mechanics in the wide range of catch forms.
When necessary, the author reminds the reader that many of the processes he is describing are dangerous if used irresponsibly, and he suggests methods for dealing with them safely.
Even though all the equipment and tools discussed in the book can be purchased, the author emphasizes that the reader can, in many instances, make tools in preparation for those times when a specific tool is needed for a specific task. The strength of The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing lies in its thorough coverage of skills and techniques for manipulating metal, and will prove invaluable to the jeweler wishing to understand and make practical use of the logically organized information. One might be tempted to compare this book to others in the field — Oppi Untracht’s contributions come to mind. However, this book is complementary to them, and no jewelry studio library will be complete without it.

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Run Your Shop Without it Running You - By Brad Simon Buy this book

Review from the Professional Jeweler Magazine Archives

Bradney W. Simon, a JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler, wrote Run Your Shop Without It Running You to help shop managers institute procedures that reduce waste, increase productivity and make the working shop an asset to any jewelry store.For too many years, Simon says, jewelry store owners have believed the fallacy the shop can’t be a profit center. He destroys that notion step-by-step with a practical book that shows owners and shop managers the keys to profitability.Simon begins by explaining why owners can no longer afford to have an unprofitable shop, then shows how to determine profitability. He points out bookkeeping might be the first problem – many jewelers don’t take into account the actual cost of bench jobs they give away free with purchases. He also shows how the shrewd acquisition of better tools and equipment can increase productivity.A chapter on fees shows how to better estimate the true cost of repairs and how to factor in profit. Market research is a key strategy so the jeweler knows what the traffic will bear. Worksheets help jewelers with calculations.Simon also shows how better take-in procedures can increase profitability and enhance the store’s image as a professional jeweler. He includes a chapter on how time is spent in the shop, as well as a chapter on better organization of the work flow and work floor. Managing a shop’s waste is the subject of another chapter. Simon also offers practical tips on motivating workers.Simon, who spent many years as a shop manager and bench jeweler before opening his own business, has won design awards for his jewelry. He also is a frequent speaker at jewelry industry events and presents seminars based on the concepts in his book.

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The Art of Jewelry Making -- Revere Buy this book

This review from the Professional Jeweler Magazine Archives

The Art of Jewelry Making showcases the work of 25 jewelry designers. Some are well-known commercial jewelers; others are educators and craftspeople better known in metalsmithing circles. Revere carefully explains the steps each took to design a single piece from his or her collection, often a signature piece. Revere, a teacher who directs the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, CA, spent many years as a designer himself, so his descriptions bear the mark of an artist as well as an educator.Before examining each designer, Revere reviews the tools jewelers need to create works of art. This text and simple photos by Barry Blau create a visual dictionary for the bench jeweler or designer. Revere follows this with a section of concise definitions of various procedures working jewelers use.Next, Revere introduces each jewelry artist in page-long biographical sketches showing the often circuitous paths they took to their craft. The sketches offer encouragement to beginning jewelers who worry their backgrounds may not have prepared them for their jobs – the author shows diverse experiences and interests are definite pluses for the jewelry artist.Each biography is followed by a photo of a piece by that artist. Revere describes the piece then lists the materials and measurements. Illustrator George McLean sketches each component of the finished design. Step-by-step directions follow, along with advice to make the job easier.Revere makes it clear each artist owns the copyright to his or her design and says jewelers may experiment with them but cannot reproduce them commercially. The idea is to get inside the creative minds of the jewelers profiled: Abrasha, Robert Grey Kaylor, Tami Dean, Sam Brown, David Clarkson, Jeff Georgantes, Ira Sherman, Richard Messina, Michael Sugarman, Dee Fontans, Etienne Perret, Marianne Hunter, Tim McCreight, Don Friedlich, Jaclyn Davidson, Thomas Herman, Charles Lewton-Brain, Loes van Riel, Neal Pollack, Paul Robilotti, Robert Pfuelb, Michael Good, Jan Maddox, Patrick Murphy and Ross Coppelman.

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The Art of Fine Enameling -- Cohen Buy this book

Book Review by Bill Helwig
Published in Glass On Metal, vol 21, No.5. Dec 2002

A Collection of Comments on the book at the Author's Web Site

Excerpt from Book at Lapidary Journal

The enthusiasm of a new kid on the block, with a book in the field of enameling going into print, creates a rush of excitement, and rightly so. The craft book publisher looks for short run, quick profit in the book business. It is all ver y circular. Rewrites have been going on for hundreds of years. It is all about ‘time frame’; out with the old and in with the new.

Fortunately for the publisher, Karen assembled a very good looking book by today’s standards that will generate a huge amount of excitement. She marshaled, like William Harper did in his 1973 book Step-by-Step Enameling, an appropriate twist; he had others write about what he didn’t know, thus filling in the field. This is a very good premise considering the vast world of glass on metal, it’s history, technology and diversity of relevance.

“How to” books are about following procedures. “Why to” books are about processing information. In order to process information one must comprehend basic concept of the materials and then understand the evidence. The reveal of this book comes from the diverse arena of those invited to participate and the visuals. Photos abound, like a carnival in close quarters. Some times they are just a bit more than postage stamp size (seldom is size given), on the other hand over enlargement illustrates what you don’t need to see published.

The contributors who wrote and photographed their input must all be commended for their effort, honesty and clarity. They disclosed with brevity their knowledge and ability, on specific techniques or projects. The contributions of Sarah Perkins, Averill Shepps, j.e. jasen, Ute Conrad and Ora Kuller are of exceptional worth for their unique distinction.

The Art of Fine Enameling, is destined to become very popular. The contributed portions refresh and inform. Without Karen Cohen, this book would not have come about in the style it did. She gave this book’s look at contemporary enameling in the United States greater importance.


Book Review
Marilyn Tendrich
Published in
Enamel Guild/ South Newsletter, Dec 2002

Seldom am I so impressed by a book that I feel you absolutely must have it, but I can’t imagine anyone interested in enameling not having it. This hardcover book contains 160 fully packed high quality pages with 423 color plates and 13 demonstrative sketches. Twenty artists have contributed a wealth of knowledge on their own unique variations of enameling techniques. The projects are: Basse Taille created by etching with natural elements by Ingrid Regula; Champlevé by Katharine Wood; a Cloisonné Brooch created directly in the setting by Karen L. Cohen; Decals and applications of other embellishments by June Jasen; Fusion Inlay Under Enamel by Charles Lewton-Brain; Ginbari Foil Embossing by Coral Shaffer; Grisaille by D.X. Ross; an amazing 8 page mosaic Limoges project by Ora Kuller; Liquid Enamel and Glass Ball Additives by Judy Stone; Minimal Firing (2-3 firings) Enameling by Averill Shepps; Mounting large enamel installations by Marian Slepian; Plique-à-jour Pierced-heart Pendant by Diane Almeyda; Raku-fired Bowl by Jean Tudor; Separation Enameling by Tom Ellis; Sgraffito Plate and Stenciled Tile by Sally Wright; Silk Screen for Enameling by Ute Conrad; Stone Setting Within an Enamel by Dee Fontans; Torch-altered Metal with Cheesecloth Stencil by Roxane Riva; Torch-fired Beads by Aileen Geddes; and Vessel Forms - how to successfully enamel vertical surfaces - by Sarah Perkins. Additionally, there are Photo Galleries scattered throughout the book representing another 51 of the finest enamelists, with a total of 71 represented in the book.

Each chapter is laid out beautifully and clearly: Tools, Materials, a short overview, Metalwork, Enameling, and Finishing, each in numbered steps. A highlighted box prior to the overview lists Techniques to Know with page references to instructions covered at the beginning of the book. Another lists colors needed to replicate the project as illustrated. “Notes” throughout include helpful hints such as how to avoid problems with a specific instruction, or special touches the author might add at this point. “Tips” include where to find specific tools or supplies. The 3” margin is filled with clear step-by step photos.
The book opens with a brief history and then a complete glossary of terms, techniques and tools used in the book. I thought it brilliant to place these terms first as an integral part of the book instead of an afterthought at the back. The Enamelists’ Tool Kit was not just a complete list of everything you could need, but warnings and instructions on how to maintain a safe studio - also important information before jumping headfirst into a project.

The section on Enameling Application covered every possibility, including tools, with referrals to project pages, and firing, including supports, heat sources and their care. Studio Basics, Tips and Tricks included where to scavenge tools, when to high fire, and excellent photos of the four stages of firing. Cohen clarifies the 6 grades of sifting and when to use each with a fine chart. Her helpful hints throughout, such as capturing silt with coffee filters when washing enamels, are wonderful and highlighted so they are easy to spot. She continues with sections on test firing and color analysis, computer-aided designs, metal patterning, soldering/fusing, metal preparation, wirework, basic enamel applications, foil application, finishing , metal finishing, and mounting. Then she added a miscellaneous section, in case she forgot anything. There are 31 tips in these sections alone. Written by Cohen, this information is referred to in every chapter in the highlighted “Techniques to Know” boxes. The final chapter confronts 14 common enameling problems with 56 possible causes and solutions.

This book is overwhelmingly well-organized and leaves out nothing. The artists represented are amongst the best and so are their projects, which can be created in any studio. It’s a treasure. It belongs in every studio and every school. Don’t miss it!

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Ornament and Object -- Barros Buy this book

Review by Barbara Isherwood in Metalsmith Magazine, Summer 1999, page 8, Vol 19, Number 3

 Note: this book is now Out-of-Print but we still have a number of copies for sale.

This is a landmark publication for Canada Metalsmithing. Chronicling makers of jewellery and holloware from the 1940’s to the present, it is the first major overview of metalsmithing in Canada. Through succinct text and numerous well reproduced photographic plates, author and metalsmith Anne Barros places the work of almost 300 artists into historical contex t. Activities within the metals community, such as the formation of guilds, , the influence of European jewellers, and the growth of schools, exhibitions, and galleries are examined alongside the broader artistic movements and social factors that have shaped the work of Canadian metalsmiths throughout the decades.

All of this is illustrated through the work of both well-known makers and those deserving of more recognition. Of particular significance is the attention paid to the early years of Canadian metalsmithing, which have suffered from inadequate documentation and the general neglect of craft history. The careers of influential makes such as silversmith Rudy Renzius and jeweller Nancy Meek Pocock warrant further investigation, and Barros’s book provides both the stimulus and tools, in the form of a bibliography and a compendium of artists.

The book also provides an opportunity to assess Canadian artists responses to tends in metalsmithing over the past fifty years. As Barros pints out, the Canadian tendency towards moderation surfaces in our artistic production. Consequently, with a few exceptions, highly conceptual work has not taken a strong foothold here. Conversely, the demands of the conservative Canadian marketplace have resulted in some work in which decoration overwhelms idea.

However, as Object and Ornament demonstrates, between these two extremes lies a large body of work that is united by excellence in design, innovation in conception, and the highest standards of craftsmanship. Sandra Noble Goss’ streamlined sterling silver and acrylic necklace looks as fresh and appealing as when it was made in 1977. A full page colour reproduction of Los Etherington Betteridge’s holloware ‘Ice Cream Cone’ elicits renewed appreciation for the consummate skills of this Order of Canada recipient, while Kye-yeon Son’s intriguing copper bowl, pieced by curved and undulating rods, evokes curiosity about the rest of this artist’s production.

Apart from its usefulness for historians and collectors, this book also serves the valuable function of fostering an enhanced sense of community among Canada’s metalsmiths, who share the challenges presented by this country’s vast landscape and undeveloped marketplace. For the relatively small but talented group, Object and Ornament will not doubt provide a well deserved boost of confidence.

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Moving Metal -- Steines Buy this book

This book is a long overdue treat for jewelers, blacksmiths, sculptors, and all artists of metalwork. It has information on chasing and repoussé in greater depth and detail than any other volume today available in the English language. Painstakingly translated from German this text is a valuable resource for both the professional and the hobbyist. Adolf Steines is clearly a master metalworker who enthusiastically demonstrates his creativity, knowledge, skill, and experience. The book thoroughly addresses the workroom, tools, materials, working surfaces (including carpeting and pitches), transfer of designs, sinking, raising, stamping, chasing, repoussé, engraving, soldering, etching, as well as the coloring and protection of metal surfaces. Numerous examples of the author's works are illustrated including large scale doors, fountains, memorials, wall sculptures and portraits, as well as many delicate jewelry pieces. A number of tricks and special techniques are described, such as using air powered hammers for forming and chasing. Profusely illustrated with very clear drawings and quality photographs of objects and procedures, this book is essential for the library of every serious artist working with metal.

Table of Contents
Translator's Note
History of Repoussé
What is Repoussé?
    Other Copper Alloys
    Steel and Stainless
    Sheet Metal
The Workshop
    Hammers, Punches, and Anvil
    Support Materials - Carpet, Pitch, Lead, Plasticine
Design and Execution
Design Transfer
Working Techniques
    Punch Work
    Pitch mounting
    Pressing into Foil
    Hard Solder
    Soft Solder
      Copper Brass Steel Aluminum
      Steel Copper Brass Aluminum,
      Pewter, Zinc
Top of Page - Synopsis - Images from Book
    Surface Texture
    Napkin Rings
    Ceiling Light Fixture
    Head of Christ
    Wall Decoration
    Reliefs for Doors
    Forming with Air Tools
    Relief for a Youth Hostel
    A Village Fountain
    Flamingos as Fountain Decoration
    Formed Portraits
    Surface Treatment
    Applying Chemical Coloring (Patina)
         to Copper and Brass
    Green Patina
    Brown Patina
    Black Patina on Brass
  &n bsp; Black Patina on Aluminum
    Copper Plating of Steel
    Disposal of Waste
    Waxing and Varnishing
    Restoration using Antique Styles
    Architectural Art

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Bezel and Flush Setting with Fragile Colored Stones and Diamonds
Blaine Lewis
Buy this book

Reviewed by Tim McCreight at Lapidary Journal

Several years ago, a friend who is a medical researcher invited me into his lab to see his equipment. Working under his sophisticated microscope, I engraved a few lines and examined a few textures I’d made. I was immersed in a world I had only slightly known. It was exciting, daunting . . . and strangely reassuring. This experience is now available on videotape thanks to a heroic effort by Blaine Lewis, director for New Approach School for Jewelers in Virginia Beach.
“Bezel and Flush Setting” is a two-tape set that combines the author’s years of goldsmithing experience with astonishing close-up views to create a new level of instruction unlike anything currently available. The tape wastes no time in getting down to business. Within the first few minutes, we are involved in a flush setting. It is not an exaggeration to say that the view on the TV screen exceeds common experience. This is not as good as being there — it’s much better. Lewis’s careful step-by-step description of each project will enable even a novice goldsmith to repeat the process. This is where the confidence comes in. The detailed photography takes the mystery out of descriptions that might otherwise be vague. When we see the relationships of stone shape, bezel height, and tool location at this magnification, the logic of the process is crystal clear.
Lewis has designed the tape around a gold ring that includes a faceted oval amethyst, three brilliants (small round faceted stones), and a triangular diamond. This well-considered arrangement allows us not only to see several kinds of settings, but provides consistency and addresses the subtle issues that can arise when setting multiple stones. Voice-over narration is accompanied by clear on-screen animations that clarify the impacts and intentions of specific tools when used in certain orientations.
The two tapes move logically through four settings on a single ring, then shift to another ring to demonstrate setting a marquise diamond in a bezel. From here we are led into a goldsmith’s Dream Studio, where Lewis demonstrates not only a few of the top-end tools, like the GRS pneumatic tool, but also shares some of the homemade tools he’s developed over the years. This section alone justifies the cost.
If “Bezel and Flush Setting” were only a matter of clear instruction through close-up photography, it would be a valuable tape and I’d be happy to recommend it. What makes it a standout, though, is the innovation that flows beneath each technique. Lewis is clearly a master of conventional stone setting, but he has gone beyond familiar techniques to invent some tricks of his own. Evidence of his enthusiasm for these is shown in the bundle of prototype tools that comes with each tape. By providing not only clear on-screen images but also real handmade models, Lewis goes the extra mile to ensure that any serious goldsmith with a desire to master stone setting can do so.
And to cinch the deal, the author has devised a 21st-century, follow-through program. Each tape is registered with an access code that will allow the owner to visit a restricted section of his Web site. There, stone setters will find updated information and have a unique opportunity to seek personal help from Mr. Lewis.
We all know that there are some tools that are luxuries and others that justify their cost by improving our skills and making us more efficient. “Bezel and Flush Setting” will instantly confirm itself as one of the best educational investments a jeweler can make. Blaine Lewis deserves tremendous credit for single-handedly taking instructional videotape to a higher level. Interested jewelers are encouraged to visit to learn more and preview two short excerpts from the tape.

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Precious Metal Clay (PMC) -- McCreight Buy this book

Reviewed by Linda Kaye-Moses at Lapidary Journal

In 1995, jewelers in this country were introduced to a new material, Precious Metal Clay (in 1999, PMCplus became available). Almost immediately, a need developed for a manual on the use of the two materials. After five years of researching PMC, Tim McCreight has published Working with Precious Metal Clay. McCreightís informal style sets the tone of this benchtop manual, and his attention to detail, immediately evident in his choice of sturdy covers intended for heavy use, and spiral binding, designed to lie flat on the workbench, make this an easy-to-use text that answers many of the questions about PMC.
The body of this book is divided into three main sections: 50 Projectsî; Technical Tips; and Tools You Can Make. There are two additional sections: a preface and an appendix, the ladder of which is explained in detail later. The preface contains a general list of tools useful for working with PMC (PMC Tool Box) and a brief discussion ofìPMC Basics. This discussion includes: a description of the characteristics and methods of handling PMC; a review of simple tools; methods of joining or assembling parts; drying; firing; and finishing. McCreight keeps the preface brief and simple, with clear references to more complete discussions of each topic later in the volume.
Each project for making jewelry and other objects included in Part One: 50 Projects is accompanied by: clear instructions; a photograph of the completed piece; a chart which indicates the amount of PMC required to complete the project, the amount of time required in addition to firing time, the skil l level, and simple color illustrations of the steps for completing each project. Although imbedded in the instructions, it would have been helpful to list the tools and/or materials for each project separately preceding the projects. However, the thorough instructions are easy to follow and the projects are engaging and challenging.
For additional information pertinent to each project, the reader is directed to other sections of the book, keeping each project page uncluttered and, therefore, more readable, without sacrificing completeness. The projects designed to introduce the material to beginning students are so carefully described that a beginner will have no difficulty navigating through them. There are enough challenging projects to sustain the interest of the more experienced PMClayer while improving their understanding and skills.
For each project, McCreight is careful to indicate which material, PMC or PMCplus, would be suitable. The author also makes certain that the beginnerís projects contain additional aids and information. For example, the ìSimple Buttonî project contains templates to gauge the shrinkage of the buttons.
The ìTechnical Tipsî section surveys aspects of PMC that are unique to the medium. In addition to thorough explanations of shrinkage, rehydrating PMC, and ring sizing (chart included), McCreight also examines mold making, stone setting, firing tips, and finishing/assembling PMC elements.
The third section, reflecting McCreightís goal to keep things simple by making tools from easily acquired materials and equipment, describes the construction of 10 tools, including: a textured rolling pin, stamps, a polishing stick, and a tumble polisher. Some of the tools may be superfluous for the reader with access to a jewelry studio, but all will find the tools easy to make.
The appendix contains seven separate sections, Health and Safety being the first. The issue of safety in the jewelry studio is addressed here and throughout the book. The use of active ventilaiton for some of the processes should have been strongly encouraged ó the ìRaku Donut Bead,î for example, or wherever oxidation or patination is suggested. The other sections of the appendix are: a chart of relative sizes (B&S gauge, millimeters, inches, drill sizes), resources (including pertinent non-profit organizations and magazines), PMC suppliers, and an index. There is also a thorough list of tool and equipment suppliers, though this list would improve with annotations indicating which specific, PMC-related material/supply/tool each supplier offers.
There are some small blips. For example, although there is a reference to an explanation of burnable bead cores (page 47), the page to which the reader is directed does not exist. Since beginners would most likely be unfamiliar with bead core materials, such an examination of the types of bead cores would have been helpful. Although this examination was originally intended, McCreight must have simply forgotten to include it.
The author's goal, to present an introduction to using PMC, makes Working with Precious Metal Clay an easy way for the inexperienced student to become familiar with PMC. The book will also find an interested audience in experienced jewelers. In fact, Working with Precious Metal Clay is so immediately useful that those using PMC will want to keep the book within easy reach from the workbench.

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Classical Loop-inLoop Chains - Stark Buy this book

Review from Lapidary Journal
Reviewed by Jeanne Jerousek-McAninch.

First published in 1997, Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains and Their Derivatives, by Jean Stark and her sister Josephine Smith, had a limited number of books printed in the first edition and could not fill the public’s frenzied demands. This insatiable need called for a “re-issue of this classic,” which fortunately Tim McCreight’s Brynmorgen Press announced in 1999. This issue is a treasure for more than just the chainmaker’s library, but also for the metals department libraries of universities, colleges, and schools. This book is a valuable teaching tool that merges neoclassical history with a comprehensive learning experience, covering concept, wirework, and fusing with repetition as the key of perfecting a technique.
As Jean Stark states in her historical overview, the origins of the loop-in-loop chain go back to the early Bronze Age in the Middle East, and this continued to be the predominant chain type used throughout the Classical Period until the end of the Middle Ages. There was a reawakening of classical jewelry techniques in the 18th century due to the world's preoccupation with archeological excavations. Renowned 19th century jeweler, Castellani, first replicated these finds and assimilated the style with contemporary overtones, lasting until the 1880s. Another resurgence occurred in the late 20th century with the popularity of Kulicke-Stark Academy of Jewelry Art in New York City. This takes us full circle to Jean Stark, cofounder of Kulicke-Stark Academy and goldsmith/teacher for 29 years (see “The Guru of Granulation,” page 18, this issue).
One of the user-friendly strengths of this book is the thoughtful organization of the 34-plus chain styles which progress and follow a natural order from the oldest and simplest loop-in-loop to cumulatively more difficult chains. Double to quadruple loop-in-loop to multiple woven loop-in- loop chains, the addition of beads, and the use of forged links culminate in the last chapter, exploring 10 different clasps. With 350 drawings and 45 photographs, an advanced beginner in chainmaking could practically follow the working sequence by looking at Stark’s exquisite (non- computerized) drawings!
The supportive text of the directions has been carefully thought out, streamlined, and “bench tested” by six chainmakers. Each project starts with a list of necessary materials, giving exact amounts of wire/gauge and dowel sizes for a specific chain length. Tools and equipment are discussed in two places: first in a “general information” chapter where the basics of metalsmithing and chain construction are explained, and in the back of the book, where Stark lists equipment, tools, and supplies in a conservative manner that should encourage new students with limited funds. I do think that safety issues should be more thoroughly addressed.
The charts in the book's helpful appendix provide a wealth of knowledge; for example, one helpful chart shows the weight per foot of round wire from fine silver wire and sterling silver to 22-karat gold. There is also a useful 36-term glossary.
Thi s new edition has two dozen changes/additions to the original text. The major physical change is the hard cover with a concealed wire binding, which makes the book lie flat, and the white pages, which better enhance the photos. Classical Loop-In-Loop Chains and Their Derivatives is easy to use with clear directions and precise drawings. I highly encourage the addition of this book to your library.

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The Complete Metalsmith -- McCreight Buy this book

Karen Christians of Metalwerx writes "Tim McCreight's books, The Complete Metalsmith, design books, Boxes and Lockets, reference books, etc., have been pored over by almost everyone in the metals and jewelry field. From his first book with its' orange cover, hand written instructions to the glossy picture books, to PMC, Tim McCreight has demystified many of the techniques and tools of our field. Tim has done it again with his newest version of Complete Metalsmith, which is spiral bound and has a handy elastic strap for marking pages. This version has it all, the approachable style of his first book, plus all the newer techniques developed over the last few years, like anodizing, die forming, patina formulas and even gemstones. All the gemstones are in color which makes for easy identification. I was very happy to see an expanded section on hinges and clasps. For $30, this book is packed with all kinds of goodies. There is a section with online references and directions for making an improved jewelers bench. With all the "how to" books published, this is the best one I have come across in years." From

"Can't be beat, a necessary book for all jewelers and goldsmiths. It is excellent for people learning the field. I would recommend the middle of the three offerings, the professional version. For the computer savvy the Pro plus version is worth it, the software fanatastic and the inclusion of his out of print books a treat"
Charles Lewton-Brain

The 2004 Complete Metalsmith Triple Edition Buy this book
"The Metalsmith Reborn!" by Tammy Powley

From her article at:

" To many of you, I probably sound like a broken record because whenever I’m asked about learning to solder or do other types of metal jewelry making, I inevitably tell the person or persons to invest in a copy of Tim McCreight’s book Complete Metalsmith, which I have long considered a valuable reference book. The reason I say this is because that’s exactly what I did when I took my first serious jewelry making class. In fact, it was a required textbook for the class. Along with a toolbox full of specific tools, I was required to buy and bring this book to class every day. That was many, many years ago, but even now when I have a question about metal, I reach for this tattered old book.

As the years have passed, Tim has updated his popular book, keeping it current and expanding on his already proven methods. He has added more jewelry information to each edition, and now he has gone a step further by expanding and finally creating three separate editions:

1) First there is Complete Metalsmith the Student Edition (retailing for $15): This is much like the first book I bought way back when, but it is slimmer in shape with a sturdier cover, perfect for the toolbox. When compared to my much older edition, it boasts more detailed information and illustrations, plus a section on metal clay, but it still covers much of the important basics such as metal data, tool descriptions, and various metal related methods. The appendices are also excellent references for quickly looking up things like the weight of sheet or wire, temperature conversions, and melting points.
2) Next is Complete Metalsmith the Professional Edition (retailing for $30): Like the student edition, it is spiral bound, so you can really use this at your bench. However, the cover is a little sturdier and made of fabric, including an elastic band, so you can add your own notes or handouts between the covers. If you teach metal work, this book is designed as a teacher companion for the student edition. If you are just a super-serious metal worker, then you’d probably like the level of detail that is provided in this edition, which is twice as big as the student edition.
3) Finally, there is the Complete Metalsmith ProPlus Edition (retailing for $45): This is a package deal that includes a copy of the Professional Edition of the book as well as a CD that provides an electronic version of the text so that you can read and use the search option on your PC. Tim also includes electronic copies of his books Design Language and also Practical Jewelry Rendering. Besides the electronic books, he has video clips and calculation software for you use.
With these three separate editions, Tim has offered basic and advanced metal information for everyone from the newbie who is afraid to light her torch to the old pro who may even make jewelry for a living. In particular, this range of texts allow for teachers to offer some practical help through a textbook that everyone in class can use."

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Hydraulic Die Forming for Metalsmiths -- Kingsley Buy this book

Note by Lee Marshall of the Bonny Doon Jewelers Hydraulic Press

Written in 1993, this is still be very best book on the subject. Profusely illustrated with more than 140 photographs and clear step-by-step directions, Susan has done an excellent job of providing information that is easily understood. It explains how to choose the appropriate press and power unit. Gives great detail on how to use the various accessories, and how to make and use simple dies to achieve great results. Includes directions on how to use the Precision Saw Guide for making blanking dies and heat-treating them for long life. Formulas and tables are included.

Keith Farley's review at the Artmetal site

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Mokumé Gane in the Small Shop: Diffusion Welded Mokumé-- Midgett
Buy this book Reviewed by Katherine Palocha in Lapidary Journal

Rarely is there a book that is as beautiful in its inspiration and artistic endeavor as in its content, but this new book, Mokume Gane: A Comprehensive Study, sets an exemplary standard. Steve Midgett continues his exploration into mokume gane for the small studio with his concise and informative writing.

Midgett’s previous book and video, Mokume Gane in the Small Shop, introduced this Japanese technique of metalsmithing to serious students and professionals. It showed how to successfully use this technique of “wood grain metal” by introducing methods that help accomplish these patterns without years of study and with low-tech studio methods. Mokume Gane: A Comprehensive Study not only covers the basic information in his first book, but also includes an abundance of new information. The superb full-color photos of the processes and the completed projects are especially enjoyable. The design layout of the book makes it easy to read and understand, with lots of graphic stimulation to help you retain the written content.
It begins with an historical introduction of mokume gane. You are brought into its world of development and introduced to its masters — from medieval to contemporary times, from one global hemisphere to the other. Even if you are not a follower of historic details, they are presented so well in this book that you will find yourself reading it just so you can learn more about the seductive examples of mokume gane.

Metallurgy is a serious consideration when doing mokume gane, especially when using more exotic metals. The section on metallurgy is thorough, providing the technical details without technical jargon. A chart of metal compatibility is included, which allows cross reference to metals that will be the most compatible when bonding. Besides the common metals of copper, brasses, and sterling, it includes shakudo, kuromido, silver alloys, white and colored gold alloys, shibuchi alloys, palladium, platinum alloys, and nickel.

Midgett also discusses important considerations that concern malleability and ductility when forming the billet. This area shares essential information to help you make a solid billet that will perform reliably. It’s nice to know if a billet will handle the stresses of being formed into a dimensional vessel, or if the metals will stretch at different rates, causing a problem with delamination; this will save you material and time. This section has lots of important hints about eutectic bonds, useful for any type of lamination.

In the bonding and firing section, Midgett covers different ways to perform the bonding according to the equipment you have. This section includes contributions by other masters of mokume gane. Midgett again presents his homemade mini-kiln suitable for small and home studios; Robert Coogan presents forge-fired mokume gane; James Binnion describes the electric kiln-fired version; Alistair McCollum shows us the solder-bonded type.
The section on patterning the mokume gane is executed very sensibly. There are side-by-side examples of the functions of various punches, gouges, and chisel patterns on a mokume gane sheet. Examples of billets before and after removing the material, and putting them through a rolling mill, clearly show the effects. It is very helpful to understand how depth, width and intersecting lines complete a pattern when an item is finally rolled. This is an integral part of developing mokume gane designs. Midgett also covers twisted patterns, hot forging, veneer, double laminations, and erosion patterning. Nicole DesChamps presents an exploration of CAD/CAM patterning mokume gane for modern applications.

Finishing is important to bring out the contrast and pattern of mokume gane. This is accomplished by etching and patination. Midgett gives formulas and helpful hints on how to bring out the details of the various metal combinations.

“The Gallery” section has contributions that should inspire you to explore this area of metal art. Astounding examples of mokume gane used in sculptural vessels and jewelry are included. You will find a rainbow of colors and a complexity of pattern and texture that surpass any two-dimensional art.

The final part of Midgett’s book consists of step-by-step projects that lead you through simple to progressively more complicated pieces. The first project uses a cast-ring base with a small strip of mokume gane inlaid for an accent. The second project is a cast ring with a mokume gane band inlaid around the entire perimeter. This one includes a nifty tip on using a hose clamp to achieve firm contact with the main casting and the inlay for sweat soldering. The third project, again a ring, uses fabrication to build an inner liner and guards on the outside of the band.

A gouge-patterned pin is the fourth project presented. Midgett demonstrates how to use a rotary tool and a bur to develop a pattern in the laminate. This is followed by forging and a subsequent round of gouging to enhance the pattern. The final project is a bangle bracelet. This bracelet has one pattern on the outside and another pattern on the inside — truly fascinating! This is accomplished by a forging method of a mokume gane end grain bar rather than by fabrication. The result is intriguing.

Whether you are a mokume gane novice or an accomplished master, this book will inspire you to stretch the limits of your creative talent and bring new life to your designs. Midgett’s tongue-in-cheek wit, attention to detail, liberal use of tips, and color photographs make this book outstanding.

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American Lapidary: Designing the Carved Gemstone -- Hunt

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The Jeweler 's Resource -- Knuth Buy this book

Booknews, Inc. , March 1, 1995
Covers gems, metals & solders, chemistry, measurement & calculation, with a large illustrated glossary. A good book that will become a fixture on the serious jeweler's bench. Published by Jewelers Press 13440 Jackson Pl., Thornton, CO 80241-1401. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
"Jewelers' Circular-Keystone," March 1996, Alan Revere, Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, San Francisco
"My Friend David at the Point Reyes Jeweler just called to find out if I knew the U. S. equivalent of Japanese ring sizes. Luckily I have a copy of "Jeweler's Resource." This wonderful book contains hundreds of facts and formulae for jewelers and gemologists, including the information I needed to answer David's question." "Browsing its pages is an excursion down the road towards a more complete understanding of jewelry and gemology."

Library Journal, Feb. 15, 1995 Therese D. Baker, Western Kentucky University
"The title says it all. Here is a handy desk-top-published compendium for jewelers and students in which hundreds of formulas are conveniently arranged for easy reference. An experienced jeweler and instructor, Knuth offers technical and professional charts . . . ."

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The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide (2nd Edition) -- Rossol
Buy this book

From Library Journal
Most artists are at least vaguely aware of the dangers their profession poses, and several high-profile lawsuits have led to complex regulations regarding the handling of art materials. These concerns are ably addressed by Rossol's manual, a standard in the field. A chemist, artist, and industrial hygienist, Rossol is also the founder and president of ACTS (Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety). Her use of the word "complete" in the title is not misplaced; other books in the field, such as Michael McCann's Health Hazards Manual for Artists, don't come close. Four exhaustive sections cover regulations and specific hazards, artists' raw materials, precautions for individual media, and reproductive risks to artists. Fully equipped with appendixes on sources, governmental agencies, and an annotated reference list, this vitally important volume is essential for any art collection. "A highly important work for any artist, craftsperson, or teacher in the arts. . . . This comprehensive guide is highly recommended for any artist's studio or art teacher's classroom and for all libraries that serve those in the arts and crafts."

From Book News, Inc
A revision of the first edition (1990) made necessary by new research that has changed safety information and threshold limit values for a number of chemicals used in art materials. Thoroughly treats an important, often neglected topic, covering hazards, art materials ingredients, compliance with health and safety laws, safe practices and protective equipment, and non-toxic products for children and those who are especially sensitive. Co-published with the American Council for the Arts; distributed by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Crafts Report
"Should be on every artist's and craftworker's studio reference shelf."

Stained Glass Quarterly
"Studio owners and employers should read this book and review their studio practices. Employees should read this book to become aware of their work habits . . . . This is not a book to read for fun but it is essential reading, nevertheless." --

Ceramics Monthly
"Intended as a resource for artists, craftspeople and teachers, this guide identifies hazardous materials and the problems they may cause, and suggests steps for safe handling and use."

The Artist's Magazine

"No matter whether your focus is fine or graphic art, maintaining personal health as well as the health of the environment should be a top priority. We all work with toxic substances, and ACHS. . . details what these substances are and how we can reduce harmful exposure by making informed choices."

American Public Health Association
"Appropriately written for the general reader, the book is also clearly organized and fairly well-referenced for ease of use. Highly recommended for individual artists, art teachers, and others with special interests in the arts."

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