Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Review: Copper Jewelry Collection

"Once relegated to practice scrap, copper now shines in jewelry making." --Karin Van Voorhees in the intro to Copper Jewelry Collection

I am sent several books each year to review. Some I don't bother because I wouldn't have much positive to say about them. Kalmbach Publishing sent this one and I really enjoy it because it's not just a rehash of some projects pulled from other sources. Instead, it has pulled technique based articles for the first half of the book, while reserving the second half of the book for projects using some of the techniques. When I am evaluating a book or magazine for my own use, the one that teaches techniques is a much better value than the one that teaches a project...unless that project happens to teach a technique. 

I should take a moment to mention that I like to know what I'm buying and always appreciate it when people share what's inside the book. To that end, I've taken lots of photos, but I also did a lot of blurring. I am sharing the photos of what you can potentially learn without sharing the copyrighted instructions or materials lists. I assure you the photos and directions are all very clear. All blurring and darkening is on my end. 

The first half of Copper Jewelry Collection contains lessons for how to do certain techniques. There are five different sections on getting color on copper. One section that is not shown in the collage below is enamel scraffito. That's one I've never tried and would love to. 

I would also like to mention that here on AJE, we've had a couple posts about colored pencil on copper. Here's one by Francesca and another by Diana.

There are also sections on etching, air chasing, and wire weaving. (Note-Several people on AJE have written about etching. You can find those articles by typing in the word etching into the search box on the top right of this website.)

Once the techniques have been covered, the book moves into 10 projects created by several different artists. I am sharing photos of 8 projects. Missing is a tapered Viking knit project and a crocheted cuff using several different sizes of wire. 

There's some really great projects shared in these pages. I am especially attracted to "Woven Window" by Mary Hettsmansperger.

The last section of the book rounds everything out with safety and other metal and wire working techniques. 

Overall, I think it's a valuable book if you want to learn some of the techniques listed above and/or have directions to make the projects so you can learn how to take the new knowledge to add to your toolbox and make something that is your own. 

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