Get started with 25 sure-fire projects.
In Discover Torch Enameling, professional designer and teacher Steven James shows jewelry makers how to get sophisticated results from simple torch enameling techniques. His well-planned process enables jewelry makers to get started and succeed quickly, creating quality jewelry at their own kitchen tables. He introduces 25 all-new projects in his guide to kitchen-table torch enameling. His fun, engaging style teaches readers to make colorful bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and pendants using simple enameling techniques. Readers will learn a few basic mentalwork skills - sawing, cutting, punching, dapping, and riveting - along with applying enamel effects. Armed with Steven's personal mantra, "What are you going to make today?," readers will be encouraged to get creative, experiment with color, and have fun.
"I’m thrilled to share a review of Discover Torch Enameling today! Author Steven James is one of those rare people who infuses everything they do with a little bit of magic. He possesses a palpable enthusiasm for making, doing, exploring, discovering, and best of all sharing his discoveries with others. It is, quite frankly, infectious in the best possible way. His new book Discover Torch Enameling exudes that excitement from the cover all the way to the final page. If you’ve been pondering exploring torch enameling, this book will get your creative juices and your enamel flowing! I was provided a copy of this book for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
Discover Torch Enameling: Get Started with 25 Sure-Fire Jewelry Projects really is a sure fire guide to everything you need to make beautiful torch fired enamel jewelry. The book opens with a robust and comprehensive explanation of tools and materials along with a thoughtful safety guide. The following chapters progress from basic to more advanced techniques with 25 stunning step by step jewelry projects. Long, long ago when I was a kid, we explored kiln enameling in summer camp. The process and enamel mediums have come a long way since then. Torch firing makes enameling accessible to any jewelry making enthusiast.
The book is separated into five chapters, progressing in difficulty. The first chapter, Beyond the Basics features projects that are anything but. From clever scratch art pendants to whimsical comic book inspired earrings, you’ll cut, fire, scratch, paint, and embellish plain metal blanks with lovely enameled details. The second chapter focuses on Fantastic Finishes. These projects offer an array of interesting textures and patinas including Raku created with rosemary leaves and speckled watercolor achieved using table salt.
As a wire enthusiast, the Working with Wire chapter is a particular favorite. You’ll learn how to make enamel embellished creations using headpins, fine silver wire, and craft wire. The Enameled-Wire Word Pendants are particularly appealing, as are the more organic Bouquet Garni pendants and the Connect the Dots Earrings. Next you’ll explore Manipulating Metal, with more advanced projects featuring materials like copper pipe, layered copper discs, and even scrabble inspired stamped enamel copper squares. In the final chapter, Creating Connections, Mr. James shows you how to connect and layer enameled pieces to make stunning cuffs, pins, rings, and neck pieces. I’m particularly smitten with Enameled Yo Yo Earrings, Starburst Cuff, and Rainbow Fringe Bracelet.
Discover Torch Enameling shows the reader that they can, indeed, create enameled jewelry at home with inexpensive materials and tools. The projects are all thoughtfully crafted, with a distinct eye for color, design, and wearability. Best of all, this book is an invitation for you to color outside of the lines and play. That’s a message I can most definitely get behind. Here’s hoping this is the first of many more how-to titles from Mr. James." - http://morningswithmadge.com
My image here of the cover of this book doesn't show how brilliant and full of depth the design is. More than "just jewelry", it is like an art work. You will see and understand it far better when you hold this book by Steven James in your hands. And another piece of wonderful news is that these projects are easy to make. This is torch enameling: the author uses a hand-held torch and easy to find materials. In Discover Torch Enameling the reader will enjoy 25 super-fun projects, well taught, very clearly, so you don't lose your way.
Steven James begins his introduction with one word which says a lot about the kind of teacher he is:
"PLAY!" He explains that in our work-oriented culture, we just don't get enough of that. He even invites the reader to contact him if he or she gets stuck and really needs a hand (although his projects are so well explained, I doubt that will happen). Discover Torch Enameling begins with a comprehensive section of basics: tools, materials, and even something the reader will really appreciate later on: the scientific explanation of "COE" which is imperative for understanding how glass melts or softens, as well as its fit with the metal you are using. It sounds confusing the way I have written it, but it isn't, and the reader will catch on fast. I appreciate the mindful way it is pointed out by the author.
The five chapters in this book entice you before you even get to them by introducing you to the projects with thumbnail photos and the names of the projects, along with the pages on which they are located. Even if you begin at the beginning (always a great way to learn), you will be able to look forward to what to expect down the road. And the author has an great imagination and tons of artistic energy to inspire you ! Love comic book art? Be prepared for your next Comic Con with his very first project, the "Embedded Metal Comic Book Earrings". Although they sound funky, they are extremely chic the way he has designed them. The author repeatedly takes the reader by surprise with his originality and artistic flair.
One of the projects I was extremely fascinated by is in Chapter 2: the "Ready to Raku Bracelet".
As an art glass collector, I have loved the raku style in ceramics since forever. However, the author has added another dimension to raku by using torch enameling. It gives an aged effect to this bracelet, which is made of copper plumbing tubes which have been cut apart and enameled. They are then attached to each other using jump rings and a 2-strand bar clasp to make a cuff. This cuff looks ancient and exquisite. I picture myself wearing this with a toga, wandering the streets of Rome, in 500 AD. Or maybe I just picture myself wearing it with a T shirt and jeans, any place, any time.
If you are a "delicate flower", consider the elegant "Bouquet Garni" necklace in Chapter 3. The author got his inspiration for this necklace after a day of yardwork. He was working with nature's best when he designed this, The wire is enameled in blues and greens, and shaped to resemble rosemary. What a feminine, pretty look this has! The colors are dreamy, too.\
Chapter 4 has a divine heart bracelet for those of us who adore anything with hearts. This design is enameled in lavenders, reds, purples and pinks. The hearts alternate in shape from convex to concave as they link. This is flat-out pretty and it isn't trite in any way. This could easily become your signature bracelet.
Chapter 5, the final chapter, offers a bull's eye ring which will knock the reader's socks off. It is shown three ways. It is easy, has great impact, and, as the author says, "your finished piece will be right on target!" This is so true. As will all the other projects, this has marvelous appeal. Anything which the reader makes from this book will be commented on by everyone, and if given away as a g
Discover Torch Enameling: Get Started with 25 Sure-Fire Projects, by Steven James is a great introduction to this form of easy enameling. I hope the author writes a follow-up to this wonderful book very soon! - Jean Baldridge Yates (http://prettykittydogmoonjewelry.blogspot.com/)