Kate McKinnon's style is eminently helpful and friendly without being patronising, and it seems that all of her instructions have been carefully tested before being included in the book, which is a refreshing change from some of the other metal clay and beading books I have seen. The one thing I didn't find here is my personal favourite tip - make a test first. That way you won't be wasting expensive materials. This book provides plenty to get your teeth into, with chapters covering not just the basics, like tools and safety, but also a huge variety of elements as well as the to-be-expected projects (covering rings, chains and pendants). There is also a proper technique section, from basic through to more advanced ideas, which makes the book accessible even to beginners. Personally, I loved the elements sections, as I am always looking for new and exciting ways to finish my work. My new-found skill with metal clay has opened up a whole world of custom-made clasps, connectors, ring bands and bezels, and I can't wait to start putting the principles into practice. My favourite aspect of the book is the DVD. For something like this, being able to watch a video is an enormously helpful bonus, and I wish I'd done so before trying my polymer clay test piece. After watching the DVD, my second test piece (and final 'real' piece) came out beautifully, and look likely to last. All in all, this must be one of the best books around for those who want to start out in metal clay, or even those who know what they're doing but want to pick up some new techniques and tips. Definitely one for the reference shelf. (Tasha Mellins-Cohen)-Bead Society of Great Britain
About the Author
Kate McKinnon is a mixed-media jewelry artist who lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. Her work focuses on the engineering of how elements work together, connect, and grow into finished pieces of jewelry. Kate started working in metal clay when it was first introduced in America, and her work stands out in her field for its focus not only on professional construction, but also for her focus on safe handling. She won the prestigious Rio Grande Saul Bell award in 2005 for her innovative design with the product and has taught and lectured internationally.