Metal clay is revolutionizing jewelry making, and the interest in the material and its accompanying techniques are growing. Now is a perfect time to introduce readers to metal clay with this signature series that focuses on successful results.
The third book in the popular Absolute Beginners Guide series, Making Metal Clay Jewelry follows the same signature format as its predecessors by positioning readers to learn by doing. Author Cindy Thomas Pankopf keeps in mind that beginners want to keep investment minimal so all projects use simple, budget-friendly techniques and require no kiln.
Interest in creating with metal clay is high
This basics series makes success easy for beginners
Projects start simply and progress in complexity
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Author: Cindy Thomas Pankopf
Softcover; 8 1/4 x 10 3/4; 96 pages; 300 color photos; ISBN: 9780871164315
I've been thinking of delving into the world of Metal Clay. However, I don't really want to have to have a kiln to fire it. So I started looking at Art Metal Clay. Then I received the book The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Metal Clay Jewlry by Cindy Pankopf and published by Kalmbach Books. It is a wonderful book. Cindy sets everything out very clearly, especially for someone who doesn't know anything about the Metal Clays. Right from the beginning she gives you places you might find instructors or classes to learn from in your area. Then she outlines what Silver clay is and what to expect from it as you work with it. She also sets out a little warning to not skip ahead so you won't get frustrated with your efforts and waste time and money. Then she delves right in to the different types of clay and varieties of clay. For instance, there's lump clay, paste clay, syringe clay and paper clay. There's also ACS clay, ACS Slow Dry, ACS 650, even Copper clay (which is why I got interested in the first place, since I love copper, but would like to be able to do more with it than just cut pieces of copper sheet.) She also mentions in the Basics that she designed all the projects in the book so as to be fired with a simple to use, inexpensive, handheld butane torch, which is great for beginners. That way you can get used to the firing process without putting out a lot of money/investment in the beginning, until you know if this is really for you. She also lists other materials you can use with your clay, like gemstones, wire and more. Then she delves right in outlining tools and supplies you'll need. Cindy tries to keep start-up costs minimal by suggesting tools and substitutes that are inexpensive and easy to come by. For instance, Freezer paper can be used for a nonstick work surface instead of Teflon-coated sheets. And playing cards can be used to measure your gauge/thickness instead of buying graduated slat sets. Olive oil can even be used as an oil to keep surfaces and your hands from sticking to the clay. She talks about the tools you'll need for working with dry clay, firing, finishing and adding patina's. There's even a section on specialty tools you might want/need. Next is the Techniques section where she talks about an easy way to figure out gram size for scrap clay you will have, storing your clay between sessions and recovering your scrap clay. There's tips about how to know if your firing too long and what to look for while you're firing. And then ways to get different finishes on your fired clay. And there's this handy shopping list you can print out for the projects in Part 2.
Are you ready to go? The projects start with the easiest and also grouped by the techniques you'll learn. I really liked that. At the top of the page it show you what technique you'll be learning with this project. For instance, with the first project: Stamped Charms, you'll learn Roll, Texture and Create a Satin Finish. Plus, a chart tells you how big the charm will be and what you'll need for this project. There's also extra tips with each project about how to do something easier or get rid of unwanted texture from your Teflex sheet. The projects graduate to harder and harder projects, learning new techniques with each one, right up to working with Paper (sheet) clay and how to assembly dry clay. with and overlay. The final project is one with Copper clay, since it requires a few more tools and techniques. There is only one that can be Torch Fired, so be careful if you want to work with Copper and make sure you get the right clay. At the end is 'Beyond the Basics' with tips on Making connections, reconditioning/reclaiming clay, how to fix mistakes and how to repair broken pieces. All in all this is a great book for the beginner. It outlines everything you need to know and what you need to begin working with Metal Clay. I think even ones that have worked with it for a while would enjoy it and perhaps learn something from it, even if it's just something they'd forgotten or hadn't thought about. I highly recommend this book if you've been thinking about starting to work with Metal Clay. Even if there's a class or instructor in your area, this is a great book to have on your bookshelf to refer to afterwards for more tips or reminders of what you learned.
Making jewelry out of baked clay is as ancient a technique as we know of. Its enduring popularity persists to this day. That's why "The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Metal Clay Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started" by Cindy Thomas Pankopf will prove to be as popular as it is instructive and 'user friendly.' Aspiring jewelry makers are provided with a fully illustrated text presenting everything anyone will need to know in order to get started on the projects comprising this 112-page compendium. Beginning with basic materials, tools, and techniques, "The Absolute Beginners Guide" presents a series of do-it-yourself projects ranging from Stamped Charms, to Bejeweled Cobra Earrings, to a Fairy House Necklace, to a Crossover Ring, to a Mosaic Pendant, and so much more! Clear, step-by-step, illustrated instructions will guarantee success, making "The Absolute Beginners Guide" ideal for novice individual hobbyists, as a school crafts curriculum supplemental textbook for students, and a popular addition to community library Crafts/Hobbies instructional reference collections.
-The Midwest Book Review