Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Book Review

First off, allow me to say that I am probably a little biased when it comes to this book review considering the author is the one and only person I've ever taken jewelry-making classes from.
However, I also spent a little over three years as a teacher whose job was to make information accessible, understandable, and organized, so I know a good textbook when I see it, and this one is excellent.

The book is
by Melissa Manley

I was so impressed with the way she organized the book.
It contains 52 "labs" designed to act as a springboard for the beginner metal artist.
Each lab will teach you a basic skill in metalworking and they become progressively more challenging as you work through the book.

In the first few labs, you're working with just hands and hammers manipulating metal into shapes and creating beautiful textures using found objects.
(I remember Melissa telling me one of her favorite textures for metal was concrete!)

From there, Melissa teaches the basics of etching, rolling, soldering, and riveting.
She also explains how to use non-traditional objects in jewelry to create the found look that has become her trademark.

At the beginning of the book, she explains materials and tools and at the end, she leaves you with charts and resources that will end up being your best friend in the studio.

I highly recommend this book if you're just becoming interested in metalworking, it's like a full course of Metals 101 for a fraction of the price.
The most common response I've heard from others who have purchased her book is a resounding
"I can do this!" and you can.

It's a beginning point, a springboard to creativity and I suggest buying a little notebook to keep with you as you work through the book, to give yourself space to jot down your own ideas and paths that you want to follow using her techniques as your base.

Thanks Melissa for such a great resource for us beginning metalsmithers and for taking the guesswork out of working with metal!

For more info, check out her sites:


  1. Such a great review, Miss Marcie! I have been spinning around this book for weeks. I might actually have to add it to my cart now! Enjoy the day!

  2. Thanks for the great review Marcie...I ordered this book on Monday after reading your review. I can't wait to play!


  3. Jewelry Care Guide Wonderful article!!! Thank you for the valuable information.