All the Answers: Editor’s Picks for Essential Jewelry-Making Education from the Pros

Whenever I’m out with jewelry friends for lunch etc. and the subject of jewelry making comes up, there’s always a dilemma that needs solving. I love hashing out how to make this-or-that happen with fellow jewelry makers, and once in a while, I’m able to provide a solution to the jewelry making issue at hand. The other day one of them said, “You always have the answer!”

Ha! I don’t have all the answers, by far! But I do have access to the answers from industry experts, thanks to a fabulous library of jewelry making books and DVDs. (Is that cheating? Hmm. . . ) Here are the must-have jewelry making resources that I turn to most often or have learned the most from–in other words, the ones with the answers!

For Soldering:

How to Solder Jewelry vols. 1  and 2 hosted by Lexi Erickson

It’s no secret that I learned soldering from my dear friend Lexi Erickson, and years later, I still rely on her expertise whenever I have a question about soldering or metalsmithing. She’s a fun, thorough, masterful teacher and if you aren’t able to take one-on-one soldering classes with her, these videos will make up for it–it’s the next best thing and you’ll learn just as much. Plus, you’ll have it on hand whenever you need a refresher from a pro.

For Enameling:

Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry by Barbara Lewis

This book changed my life! That sounds pretty dramatic for a jewelry-making book, but it’s true. I’ve always had an interest in enameling, but since I’m without a kiln, I thought it was off limits to me. When I first saw this book, I was so excited to be able to learn enameling, finally! Only later did I discover the added bonus of torch-fired enameling: getting to watch the magic happen, instead of having it hidden behind a kiln door. Now my enameling supplies are a permanent fixture on my bench and it’s my go-to pastime whenever I have a few precious jewelry-making moments. Plus it was voted “Best Craft Book” on Amazon!

For Resin:

Exploring Resin Jewelry Making hosted by Susan Lenart Kazmer

I’ve been an SLK fan for years, even before I got involved in jewelry making. Her jewelry designs are mixed-media works of art, filled with all the fun materials I like to use: metal, found objects, resin, color, fibers, rhinestones, paper ephemera, and more. Who better to learn resin jewelry-making from than the ICE Queen and owner or ICE Resin herself? Learn to preserve your treasures in beautiful and meaningful jewelry with her expert instruction.


For Wire Jewelry Making:

Weaving Wire Jewelry hosted by Mary Hettmansperger

I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t use some technique that I learned from my metals class with Mary last year. This video is the reason I signed up for her two-day master class at Bead Fest, and whenever I need a refresher, I have it to rely on to remind me of all the clever ways she uses wire to add interest, support, or connections in metal jewelry. If you weren’t lucky enough to take her class, this is absolutely the next best thing.

For Cold Connections:

Riveting & Cold Connections hosted by Helen Driggs

How many different kinds of cold connections do you know? You can master riveting and beyond with Helen’s step-by-step tutorials on connecting metal pieces without the use of solder or a torch in this extensive video tutorial.


For Metalsmithing:

Basic Jewelry Hammering and Forming
and Jewelry Hammering and Forming vol 2 hosted by Bill Fretz

No matter how many times I see it happen, I’m amazed at the depth and dimension that Bill Fretz is able to pull from flat metal sheet through skillful use of hammers, mandrels, and stakes. In these two videos, Bill shares all of the secrets and steps you’ll need to learn for making and forging your own fluted, curved, and domed metal forms.

For Metal Clay:

Metal Clay for Jewelry Makers by Sue Heaser

Ever since I had the realization that metal clay is, after all, just metal when it’s fired, I’ve been inspired to apply metalsmithing techniques to it after firing. I love being able to make exactly what I want to make with metal clay–because it’s so incredibly versatile–and then apply fun metalsmithing techniques to it as well. That allows for the ultimate in creativity and boundless possibilities when working with metal and metal clay. Sue’s book is packed with metalworking and metal clay techniques to help you get the most out of both, plus bonus additions like enameling, stone setting, and more.

For Metal Stamping:

Stamped Metal Jewelry by Lisa Niven Kelly

Lisa is the queen of metal stamping, and her years of experience making jewelry and as the owner of Beaducation show through in this informative book full of inspiring personalized stamped-metal jewelry projects. You’ll learn the basics of metal stamping and then some with Lisa’s expert instruction and tips.

You’ll find these books and video tutorials along with hundreds of other jewelry making projects and resources in our Fall Sale, going on now in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop!


Post a Comment