Loney's book is an excellent resource for aspiring or practicing jewelers and metalsmiths. Metal Jewelry Made Easy is a clear, concise and uncrowded volume of instruction and inspiration.
Author and metalsmith Jan Loney has divided the book into sections about tools and supplies, techniques, and projects. Each section includes excellent photographs of every major concept or step. There is also an introduction to metalsmithing in general and good glossary of metalsmithing terms.
There are two things that make this book an outstanding choice for instruction. First, the writing is simple and precise. It is not overly-technical. All metalworking terms are defined and explained as they are introduced. The sentences are short and understandable. The topics are presented in a logical order. Important information, tips, and materials are clearly indicated. Second, the layout of the book makes it very readable. There is plenty of spacing between concepts and steps. The headings are in bold type and the print size is easily legible. Sidebars and captions are simple and relevant. The graphics and photography portray the project steps accurately.
Finally, the projects in the the book would appeal to many types of metalworkers of all abilities. The cuttlefish pewter casting, for example, is an excellent project for beginning school-aged metalsmiths, but interesting and unique enough to appeal to experienced jewelers. Jan Loney's work is sophisticated and uncluttered. It leans toward modern, yet the work is classy, not gimmicky. Projects such as the Leaf Prints Collection, Gingko Earrings and River Rings reflect her inspiration from nature--they are all beautiful pieces. The stamping shown in her ring collection and the textured copper pieces would appeal to metalsmiths who are not strictly jewelers.
Jan Loney's experience as a metalsmith and teacher is clearly evident in Metalsmithing Made Easy.