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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2010
I already have quite a few books on jewellery making, metal clay and traditional metalworking so I hesitated before buying this one on the recommendation of a friend. I'm very glad I did.
One of the most common questions I get is about the strength and longevity of metal clay products compared to other metals and I've often only been able to give a really brief answer. I also still had my own nagging doubts about how strong metal clay could actually be given that fine silver is inherently softer than sterling.
I'm pleased to say that Kate McKinnon's excellent book addresses this question with every piece demonstrated, thinking about the final piece of jewellery as something which is made to be worn, not just displayed. Yes, it is possible to make enduring designs strong enough to be worn regularly, even as hardwearing rings, simply by acknowledging the differences between metal clay and sheet metal, embracing them in your work and handling and then firing the clay bearing all this in mind.
The dvd included is very helpful as an accompaniment to the book, presented in a friendly way, explaining carefully and never being patronising.
Workshop safety is also covered comprehensively since metal clay presents different challenges than traditional metal working.

Overall I think this is a fantastic book, beautiful projects and well thought out. I'll be pre-ordering the next book too!
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on 27 July 2010
I have been on only a few metal clay classes before so whilst I have a little experience with the material, it really is minimal! I've always been quite intimidated by its slightly rarified status. After buying this book though I feel more confident about going back to the clay and having another go - the dvd especially leaves you feeling really informed and is such a wonderful bonus to any instructional book - why haven't more folk done this before? Kate talks you through both technique and project and her emphasis on (easily achievable I might add) safety is an important aspect of this book. She also works with clay in a slightly different (dare I say possibly more efficient?) way than many people so whatever your thoughts you will learn something new here, novice or aficionado. After reading through this book and watching the dvd, I feel more informed and prepared than ever and can't wait to get stuck in once again - thanks Kate!
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on 15 October 2010
I love this book! I have many metal clay books but this and the one which precedes it - Structural Metal Clay - are the best. I wish I had had them first, but better late than never. The DVD that comes with it is like having a one-to-one tutorial, one that you can have over and over! Everything that Kate says in the book is shown in action, which suits a visual learner like me. I can't recommend this highly enough, both the beginner and the more experienced will learn from it.
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on 28 May 2010
There are a lot of books out there that purport to tell you about working with metal clay ~ and to a certain extent they do just that, work with it. But, if you want your pieces to sit well, survive longer than wet cardboard and look stylish whilst being safe during the creation process, then this is the book for you.

I would say that although the book is aimed at the beginner, it is the enclosed DVD that is more appropriate for the newly interested Metal Clay artist. Having Kate talk you through projects with easy to watch camera work is a joy, and then as you progress you can fully appreciate all the hints and tips that Kate is generously dropping at every opportunity throughout the book. And as the book & DVD combined are less than 2 tickets to the local cinema, you have a true bargain here.

I would say that this package is a great way of plotting your progress with Metal Clay, in a safe, supported environment. Kate really does care what happens to her students and when you buy this book & DVD that is what you become.

Have fun.
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on 6 July 2010
Absolutely fantastic book - comes with DVD also very imformative - best metal clay and jewellry book ever !!
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on 23 October 2012
This is a great book. I am a beginner and it gave so many useful tips on working with metal clay that none of my other books have mentioned. I just think that being able to see how it's done by way of a video is invaluable.
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on 1 June 2011
I have bought just about every book there is on PMC, but this one takes metal smithing to another level. Firstly, Kate writes in a way that is easy to understand. She gives a rationale for doing things. She gives choices. There are pictures and a DVD which also help. A beginner could probably use this book as there is a section on tools and technique. There are several projects from simple rings to more complex box shapes and beyond. Most of all I love her approach. Kate believes in handling the clay correctly in the first place in order to reduce the need for sanding, which is great because its my least favourite bit. I have already put her advice into action with great results. Not only that, but she also believes in using traditional forging techniques, easy to master and will take your work to another level. I immediately bought every other thing she has ever wrote. This book is all you will need. Her designs are also gorgeous, which helps!
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on 3 August 2010
I'm a happy flameworker trying to find oud what PMC can offer me. I discovered the work, books and Dvd of Kate Mckinnon...and this is It!!!! After exploring other pmc-artists and their books, I was so happy to discover Kate's work. It's great, healthy and it works!!! Thank you Kate for sharing you're knowledge with us!!!
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on 13 October 2014
Clear and concise instructions with a lot of commonsense behind them. Inspiring as well. I have several metal clay work books, but this is definitely the best!
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on 21 July 2015
Odd, just odd. Ok if you like unwearable jewellery but not for me
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