The ancient, highly skilled craft of manipulating gold, silver, precious, and semi-precious stones into jewelry is here set forth in a practical text. The authors take you through a graded series of problems, progressing from simple to complex pieces, teaching you all you need to know along the way.
Making a pierced brooch is the first problem. You learn to affix a tracing of the design to the metal, and to handle a center punch, saw frame and saw, needle file and flat-round file, and emery cloth. This first problem is fully illustrated, as are all the problems, with 53 different design ideas, as well as photographs of the tools and processes involved. Subsequent problems teach you to make brooches set with stones, chased and repoussé brooches, wire pendants, rings with four different types of settings, chains, and cuff links. Executing these pieces teaches you the processes of soldering, pickling, using a gas jet and blow pipe, making a plain and shouldered bezel, annealing, enameling, making a mold for casting, and much more.
Following the section on the making of jewelry, the authors turn to a discussion of the aesthetics of jewelry design. They suggest sources in nature and in art for creative ideas and motifs, and give helpful methods for developing these into designs suitable for various types of jewelry pieces.
The authors, both formerly of the Rhode Island School of Design, animate every line of the text with the knowledge that only long experience in the craft and in teaching the craft can give. For many years, beginning and experienced crafters have kept this authoritative text beside them, using it to avoid costly mistakes and to save many hours of trial-and-error experimentation.