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This review is from: Mixed Metals: Creating Contemporary Jewelry with Silver Gold Copper Brass and More (Paperback)
There are two reasons why I buy jewellery making books. The first is to learn a new technique and such books don't have to be pretty, just informative. The second is to gain inspiration. These books have to be sumptuously photographed and something you want to look at again and again.
Mixed Metals falls into the second category. All the techniques are well known and simply make use of chain, jumprings, headpins and all the usual paraphenalia of jewellery making. What makes the book exciting is the over-the-top use of materials. The pieces are rich and extravagant.
There aren't a massive number of projects but each one is photographed twice; once in a sort of gallery preview to the chapter in which it appears and then again alongside the instructions. This is useful because you get two views of the finished project. There are no step-by-step 'how to' pictures but I find these annoying anyway (how many views of someone's hand holding some pliers do you need?).
The book is divided into chapters for each type of metal and then there's a mixed metal section. Most of the pieces would be expensive in their shown format but you can always substitute plated metals for silver and gold; glass for gems etc. Some of the pieces are simpler than they look and would make great beginner's items (Garbo, First Lady, most of the earrings).
Suppliers are listed in the back of the book and hail chiefly from the States. This could annoy some people but bead stock changes so quickly these days even if you lived over a shop in the UK you will find items unavailable to you at some stage. It is easy to find substitute chains, charms and semi-precious stones and, if there was smething you just had to have eaxctly as shown, you could always make it from PMC or wire.
The majority of the items are quite chunky, which is my style, but if you wanted something more delicate you could always make just one portion of a necklace and hang it from a ribbon or chain. There are no rings or brooches but again, ideas from the book could be adapted.
The views on Amazon give you a pretty good idea of what the book has to offer so why not try it?