Review of Mixed Metals Mania
With mixed metal works among the hottest trends going in today's jewelry design, I’m sharing thoughts on one of my all time favorite how-to books, which was recommended to me by a super talented jewelry making friend.
Mixed Metal Mania is aptly titled, especially for the metalwork maniacs among us, but also for other designers, connoisseurs, wearers and collectors of handcrafted artisan jewelry. Subtitled “Solder, rivet, hammer, and wire exceptional jewelry," Kim St. Jean’s book never fails to instruct, entertain, inspire and delight.
After a Foreward and Introduction, discussions of Tools, from the unconventional (think clothespin, paper cutter, chicken feeder) to the basic, and a studio tool checklist, St. Jean treats us to a survey of Basic Techniques - from cold connections and sawing to soldering and fold forming, from making holes and finishing to making findings - along with some helpful tips of her own.
St. Jean explores her subject in four chapters. Beautifully illustrated throughout with color photos and well written, unpretentious explanations and instructions, each chapter presents a step-by-step tutorials for a number of specific projects.
Project tutorials include, among many others:
Twisted Paddle Earrings
Sweat Soldered Negative Space Earrings
Basic Sterling Silver Chain
Old Bones Ring
Copper Coral Bracelet
Reticulated Brass and Copper Cuff
Pine Straw Casting Bezel Pendant
Whether you’re a maniac for silver, copper, brass or an eclectic mix, you’re sure to find Mixed Metal Mania jam packed with ideas, hints and helpful suggestions. And oh, those lavish photos!
The only fault I’ve found is that there is no index -- a small matter indeed, considering the many ways this book has inspired me in my own adventures in metalwork.
Published in 2011 by Kalmbach Books of Waukesha, Wisconsin, this 112-page paperback measures 10.75” x 8.25” - a lovely presentation all the way through.