Book Review: Creative Silver Chains: 20 Dazzling Designs by Chantal Lise Saunders

The chain can make or break a jewelry design yet all too often jewelry makers overlook this vital component. Author Saunders likens chains to wearable, miniature kinetic sculptures. That’s why this book is such a valuable addition to the artist’s library. Beginning with the basics of materials and tools required to start construction to setting up a soldering and finishing station, this book gets the beginning chain maker started on the right foot. Experienced wire workers will probably skim the section about cutting, shaping and loop formation but it’s full of clear, step by step instructions beginners need.

The projects build in a logical progression, sharpening skills as the level of difficulty increases although none of the projects are out of reach of the new chain maker. It is in this section that the book’s weakness is revealed as there are usually only two “how to” photos included, one shows hand shaping the wire while the other shows the hot torch. As this is geared toward the beginner, more instructional photos would have been helpful.

Ample inspiration is provided by the clearly photographed, innovative gallery of work from some top designers. Once the budding chain maker completes a few of the presented projects they should have little difficulty moving ahead and creating their own designs which is really the best accolade you can give an instructional book.

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