Archive for category Medium: Craft

Handmade Bookbinding Techniques || Josep Cambras

This is a book aimed at the more general craft end of the market than the specialist fine binder. However, it offers a good introduction to what can be done and the basic techniques required.

The layout takes the form of a series of projects which are fully illustrated with colour photographs and complemented by short captions which explain what’s going on. This is a style followed by a great many general craft books and it serves the subject well, being both attractive to look at and easy to follow with no unnecessary complications.

After a brief but well presented run-down of the tools required, the author introduces techniques such as sewing, gluing, cutting and folding which are at the heart of bookbinding and he includes a series of simple “makes” as he goes so that you can see tangible results even at this early stage. Four pages in the middle of the book on Simple Restorations will also give the novice the chance to get to grips with existing bindings and learn from them.

This is an entertaining and instructive book which may well prove to be sufficient on its own. However, it may also pave the way for further study and more advanced work which is beyond its intended scope.

A&C Black 2007

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Hot & Cold Connections: a bench reference for jewellers || Tim McCreight

This is a book which does exactly what it claims. Spiral-bound to lay flat for hands-free reference and hardbacked for durability, it’s a guide to fastening one thing to another in very many ways. Clear instructions and illustrations combine with the layout for ease of use and the author brings his three decades of experience to bear on techniques from brazing and riveting to modern adhesives and laser welding.

Although this is aimed at the serious practitioner, the clarity will not put off the beginner and the book has a place in the workshop of any halfway serious jewellery maker.

A&C Black 2007

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The Art & Craft of Polymer Clay || Sue Heaser

The project-based approach of this attractive book suits its market admirably. Better known by a variety of brand names such as Fimo, polymer clay is a medium that’s readily available and easy to handle and, as such, is ideal for the beginner. To finish it, you just bake it in a domestic oven.

If you’re familiar with their productions, the layout here screams, “Quarto”. Although not known for seriously advanced works, this producer long ago mastered the art of the illustrated instructional book. Each open spread works as a unit, making things easy to follow without constant cross-referencing and the quality of all the illustrations is first-rate.

Five chapters cover basic techniques, shaping, surface embellishment, inclusions (enamel, mosaic etc) and sculpting. Each contains sections that deal with a single practical idea with instructions that help you build up your technical ability as you go along, but which the more experienced crafter can also use as a reference work.

A&C Black 2007

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The Earrings Book || Yvonne Kulagowski

A&C Black are masters of the niche market. In this case, it’s craftwork for those who want something a bit more than amateur kitchen table stuff, an area that’s positively saturated with books, materials and kits.

To be honest, you couldn’t produce the kind of work that’s illustrated here (from a variety of professional makers) without quite a lot of experience, but there are good, clear explanations of the design and construction processes if you feel like having a go. There’s also a look at a selection of contemporary workers, making this a surprisingly in-depth guide for something of quite modest extent and price.

Not something for the beginner, but the book has much for anyone interested in jewellery whether as a practitioner or a wearer.

A&C Black 2007

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