Saturday, 1 May 2010

Book Review - Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry

I've had Kate McKinnons "Structural Metal Clay" book for a while now (it's superb) so I was very excited to see the arrival of "Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry".
Kate is a "jewellery engineer" ~ her designs are not only visually appealing, but also constructed for maximum strength and wearability. This book expands on her previous one and also includes a DVD so represents excellent value.

Inside the book you'll find a wealth of information broken into three main areas..
Basics: Tools, Basic Techniques, Firing, Finishing & Safety (The safety aspect is particularly excellent and well covered!)
Elements: This includes 19 techniques for making simple components in metal clay and fine silver wire. Even experienced metalsmiths will benefit but new users will find the info really helps in achieving professional results
Projects: 10 Detailed Sep by Step projects such as: Knobby Chains, Rivet Post Rings, Amphora Pendant and Bird on a Branch Necklace.

Favourite Parts: Chain making, easy size shanks and box building sections.
Negatives? If you have Kates first book, Structural Metal Clay there is some crossover but as this one is currently £12.99 on Amazon (a saving of £7.00) it still worth buying for the improved layout and fantastic pictures.

This book is great for metal clay artisans of all levels. Refreshingly Kate treats metal clay not just as a stand alone product but as one of the many tools and techniques that a metalsmith can employ in their design arsenal.
Kates approach is to be applauded and (if more widely adopted) would certainly help metal clays acceptance in the traditional metal smithing community.
Available at: Amazon and Metal Clay Specialists. Also available with a "Bonus Pack" direct from Kate McKinnons Website
Nicola xx
Photos used courtesy of Interweave Press & Kate McKinnon


  1. Thanks Nic, I'm definately going to order this, but you mention there's overlap with the first book. The first one $40 ish including postage - do you think it's worth it if I buy the second one?

  2. looking at both books, the first is worth it for the eye candy and lots & lots of "step by step" pictures alone (especially as she's running a reduced price on her site).
    There is crossover though, so if you only want one of them then maybe the second one as it's the most recent
    Nic x


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