The New Silversmith: Innovative, Sustainable Techniques for Creating Nature-Inspired Jewelry

Quarry. Jun. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9780760385692. $35. CRAFTS
As a mostly self-taught metalsmith, Ringgold has developed one-of-a-kind techniques that sometimes defy traditional conventions. In her first book, she introduces experienced silversmiths to her approach through a series of nature-inspired decorative and jewelry projects. The tutorials open with a series of four chains in unusual styles, designed to provide practice opportunities to use and control a torch. These are followed by 14 projects that celebrate the shapes of nature, from leaves and flowers to luna moths and lichen. Each project includes detailed fabrication instructions, with most steps illustrated by close-up photographs of the artist at work. The directions are extensive—these aren’t simple projects—and a solid foundation in silversmithing is assumed, to the point where beginners may find this book perplexing. Little attention is paid to silversmithing basics beyond the necessary supplies (of which there are many), and terms such as “pickling” are mentioned throughout the book without explanation or guidance.
VERDICT This is a good addition for libraries that support jewelry making or metalsmithing programs. Beginners, however, may need to first start with a more basic guide, such as Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers by Elizabeth Bone.
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