The petite projects in Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections by Kieu Pham Gray make it fun and easy to learn metalwork techniques!
You’ll start with a design concept, then learn how to execute it using either basic cold connections (riveting, tabbing, wire wrapping), or hot connections (easy soldering with a small butane torch). Don’t you just love having options?
Along the way you’ll learn how to evaluate and choose which technique works best for your own jewelry pieces.
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Author: Kieu Pham Gray
Softcover; 8 x 8; 96 pages; 536 color photos; ISBN: 9781627000505
The path we all thread as jewelry designers is a long one with plenty of diversions. Some of us find a comfortable spot and stay there. But for those of us who wander, we eventually reach the point where we consider moving on to hot techniques and basic metal work. While it is possible to make cold connections with rivets and wire work, soldering and torch work allows even more design possibilities.
One clever new book which I received for review is Kieu Pham Gray's Hot and Cold Jewelry Connections: How to Make Jewelry With and Without a Torch. It's clever because it shows the differences the techniques make to finished designs with common themes and inspires the reader to learn more.
The book consists of 20 projects which covers basic metalsmith techniques like sawing, stamping, dapping (doming), hole punching, forming, hammer texturing, patination, wire connections and soldering with a hand held butane torch. The projects are designed to give the reader the option of using either hot or cold techniques "so you can choose an approach that works for you". They do show the author's remarkable creativity in coming up with alternative designs.
The tool section at the beginning of the book was very helpful. Kieu carefully divided the tools into "must have", "tools to add over time" and "luxury" tools. While the rolling mill appears in the luxury section, the author goes over other inexpensive ways to texture metal besides buying them ready made!
Her take on some of the more popular themes like dapped discs and pearls is refreshing. One of the most stunning examples are her pod pendants.
Many of the projects are relatively uncomplicated such as these rings. She also shared an invaluable tip on how to make a simple wooden forming block to help form wider band rings around a mandrel. I found that so helpful, I got my woodworking uncle to make me one!
My favorite design were the Flourish bracelets below where copper and other metal pieces are connected to linked discs.
A small point to note, the projects are not arranged by progressive order of difficulty. It's the kind of book meant for dipping in here and there depending on which projects appeal and what sort of techniques one is interested in.
The book is well illustrated with careful instructions from an experienced instructor. It's not just about choosing your connection but also about learning more and getting comfortable with metal smithing.
-Pearl Blay, The Beading Gem's Journal
I love making and repairing jewelry, and have always wanted to try making my own design using metal. I’ve succeeded with wire wrap, but I’m nervous about using a torch. Now I’ve finally found a book that has whet my appetite to actually try that method.
The author, Kieu Pham Gray, provides wonderful and in-depth information on the basics of materials, tools and techniques; the latter of which was of most interest to me. She lists the tools that are needed immediately and those which can be purchased over time. There are excellent sections on cutting and piercing metal, working with rivets and stamping metal, and more advanced techniques. Each of these sections have detailed instructions and photos, along with tips to make construction easier.
The projects listed are no less than stunning and creative, and will augment any artist’s creativity. What I love most about this resource book is that Ms. Gray provides two technique versions for each project: cold-connection (no torch needed) and hot (soldered), so a reader can see the differences and determine which technique best suits his/her taste and style. Those that fit mine are the elegant "Pearl of Wisdom" and the "Harnessed" pendants. I'm sure you’ll find your favorites as well.
This is a wonderful resource for stirring up your creative ideas and for learning new techniques. It’s one of my favorite new additions to my library.
-Linda Morelli, MyShelf.com
I recently received this book from Kalmbach Publishing for review. It's written by Kieu Pham Gray. This is a fantastic book describing how to make jewelry with and without a torch. So many of us don't have the place to use a torch in our homes or are afraid to fire a torch in our homes. So I love Kieu's approach to this. She teaches you about the materials, tools and techniques in using metal to make jewelry so you can choose which approach works best for you or the piece, with or without a torch.
She covers connections with wire, metal tabs and other cold connections plus heating your metal with a torch to make the same piece.
She starts out with the Basics on materials, covering different metals, wire and wire gauge and strength as well as tips on how to save money on recycled jewelry wire and using less expensive metal/wire especially when starting and practicing. She then covers the Basics in tools, starting out with the 'must have tools' moving on to tools to add over time and finally the 'luxury' tools we all would like to have. Finally she moves into the Basics with Techniques. This section covers making loops, cutting and piercing metal, riveting with tube and wire rivets, metal stamping, adding color or patina, annealing and soldering, sawing, texturing, filing and sanding, gluing and finally polishing. Whew! That's a lot of information.
Then we get to the 'Projects!' And what wonderful projects they are. And my favorite part is that they are always in pairs, made with hot connections, i.e. soldering and cold connections in so many different ways. The funny thing is, that in each of these projects I had a favorite, but it wasn't always the same. Sometimes it was the hot connection and sometimes the cold connection. So I have my work cut out for me in making some of these projects. LOL I really like the little Pod pendants on the cover of the book.
And these little Memento pendants are adorable.
But my favorite project is the Flourish bracelet! And I like it both ways, hot and cold. So I may have to make one of each.
I can't wait to get started with my projects, inspired by her love of connections and teaching in this book. Plus, she's coming to my local bead store in Killeen, Texas, Bead Bistro! So, I'm planning on getting my book signed AND hopefully taking a class from her. I can't wait. So, if you've been unsure about how to use Connections in your jewelry to enhance it or weren't sure of which way was best, be sure to get over to Kalmbach books and get your copy of Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections. You'll love it.