Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: New Directions in Metal Clay

By Sandy Amazeen Dec 8, 2009, 6:05 GMT

Book Review: New Directions in Metal Clay

Metal clay is the most exciting new material in jewelry design today: the procedures for molding and shaping are simple, the tools few, and the results stunning. CeCe Wire, a leader in the field, details all the newest innovations and clays, as well as the basics for beginners. She includes every form and formula, plus an extensive array of cutting-edge techniques that range from stone-setting to surface embellishment. Numerous color ...more

If you ever wished for a way to create your own silver or gold jewelry components without getting into full metalsmithing then this book is for you. After introducing precious metal clay, better known as PMC, the author then provides a detailed comparison of the different precious metal variations including the all important shrinkage percentages and firing temperatures. Each of the twenty-five projects includes a recipe list of necessary supplies, step-by-step written instructions augmented with close-up photography of the finished design. It should be noted that this paperback edition with new cover art is a re-release of an earlier hardcover version and includes the same collection of projects.

Of particular interest are the designs that make use of post-firing techniques such as epoxy inlay, the addition of gold foil and enameling, all of which add distinctive touches to the finished project. The Silver Twig Pin uses brass tubing, silver PMC and assorted cubic zirconia to transform a simple stick into a spectacular piece of jewelry. Enough information is included in the introductory chapters to provide beginners with basic skills while the assortment of projects ranging from easy yet appealing designs like the Spiral Galaxy Earrings to the more challenging Kum Boo Fan Brooch shown on the cover invite intermediate PMC artists to broaden their repertoire. It would have been nice to have had more photos of the construction process to augment the written instructions but overall, this is a solid introduction to more advanced PMC techniques.

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