Sunday, February 08, 2009
Book Review: The Jeweler's Studio Handbook
The Jeweler’s Studio Handbook: Traditional and Contemporary Techniques for Working with Metal and Mixed Media Materials (Paperback)
by Brandon Holschuh
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books
I recently got “The Jeweler’s Studio Handbook” and have to say that I totally fell in love with it. I think I have looked thru it about 40 times already. I love this book so much that I got rid of 4 other jewelry studio books I had in my own collection. I am so in love with this book that I want turn my tiny area that is the kitchen/dining/studio I have now into a proper metalworking studio. We don't NEED to cook or eat at a table, we could live off of apples or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches couldn't we???
On to the book review: I think this is an exceptional metalworking book that should be in every jewelrymaking library. Artist/author Brandon Holschuh walks you through planning and setting up your studio space, selecting tools you need, working with various materials, shows you how to master fundamental metalwork techniques, and then has the reader practice their new skills with twenty jewelry projects. Also, the book is full of gorgeous and inspiring gallery quality jewelry from dozens of contributing artists. There are tons of photos as wells as lots of sidebar tips.
The book starts with planning your home studio. This is something that I haven’t seen in other books, and it makes complete sense as to why it should be included. Setting up your studio properly and safely is important and something one needs to think about before hand. The pictures of his studio are so inspiring. and make me long to have the space of living in the Midwest.
Chapter 2 is Jeweler's studio tools, he talks about everything from bench pins to rolling mills, from soldering station to casting equipment. He shows you how to set up the different areas and talks about why you should keep separte areas for different types of jewelry work that you do..
Chapter 3 is Metals and other materials. This chapter talks about the properties of various metals-silver, brass, gold, platinum, etc…then goes into work techniques. This chapter covers annealing, sawing, soldering, drilling, filing, finishing of metals. Gemstones and found object materials are also discussed.
Chapter 4 is all about Mechanics, Contraptions and Surface treatments and this is where the fun really begins. This chapter covers cold connections, various mechanisms such as caps, clasps, bails, and enclosures like cages, frames, boxes and hinges. It also talks a little bit about patina and texturing as well as finishing attachments for your flex shaft.
The second part of the book starts with “The Projects”. There are step by step instructions for creating twenty pieces of jewelry. The first project is a plain band ring, and includes projects like a tube rivet chunky ring, bezel set pendant, cage pendant and no solder bracelet. The gallery section has even more eye candy to inspire you to keep improving your bench skills. There is an appendix with tips on how to continue your jewelry career and a resource section.
If you only have one book on jewelry benchwork, this is the one to have.
If you'd like to know more about Brandon Holschuh, please visit his website. He has has been a jeweler for nearly twenty years and maintains an active jeweler’s studio in Concord Township, Ohio. He is a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, The American Craft Council, and the Society of Arts and Crafts