Here are some fantastic Books & Magazines that I own, have read, or have subscriptions to and think you would enjoy as well if you like jewelry making and metalsmithing. Some are no doubt currently out of print, but they may possibly still be available from used book sellers. All books and magazines are listed alphabetically within their respective category.
101 Bench Tips for Jewelers by Alan Revere – This book is rather expensive for its size, but it has some excellent bench tips that will save you time and resources, and come from the master jeweler himself! I was first introduced to this book when selected tips were published in Art Jewelry magazine, and appreciated learning every one of them!
200 Tips for Jewelry Making by Xuella Arnold & Sara Withers – This edition actually has “100 Bonus Tips”, so there’s more than 300 tips listed that list tips for beginners as well as more experience jewelers looking to troubleshoot problems. Subtitled “Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets”, information is given ranging from setting up a jewelry shop efficiently, to creating wire bending jigs and advice on using your tools efficiently and effectively.
Chasing & Repoussé by Nancy Mēgan Corwin – In this book, Nancy covers “Methods Ancient and Modern” in the art and process of using Chasing & Repoussé in working metal. When I first started using C&R, I was eager to learn as much as I could, and this book does not disappoint. With more than 450 photographs and illustrations covering studio processes as well as the works of artists from around the world, including some great information on making your own tools and punches, you’ll be inspired and eager to take what you learn from her and create your own works of art!
Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight – If you’re a jeweler, this spiral-bound book, though somewhat dated book, is perhaps one of the most complete, handy references to just about every technique, procedure and instruction you could imagine for most jewelry fabrication and repair. Some schools even use it as a text book for their jewelry classes. This is the book that I also used plans from to build (with my wife’s help) what morphed into my jeweler’s bench.
Creative Gold- and Silversmithing by Sharr Choate – This is one of my older books dating from the late 70’s, but covers a lot of jewelry and metalcraft techniques geared for beginning and intermediate jewelers. I don’t know if this book is still in print or not.
Creative Jewelry Making by Larry Hemard – Another mid-seventies book from my collection, and subtitled “Techniques for Craftsmen”, I used information and techniques from this book in some of my earliest works back then.
Creative Metal Forming by Betty Helen Longhi & Cynthia Eid – One of the beauties of working with metal is its fluid molecular form. It might take more work to move and form metal than say, clay, but they are both fluid in nature when in their solid state. This book includes three dozen exercises and hundreds of photographs covering contemporary metal forming techniques you’ll be able to implement in our jewelry and metalsmithing crafts.
Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young – Subtitled “The Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Styles & Techniques”, this book describes just about every stone setting style and technique you could possibly imagine. Also included in Chapter 2 is an extensive Gemstone Directory that covers most of the gems used in jewelry-making, and is a valuable resource in itself with all the useful information provided there.
Indian Silver-Smithing by W. Ben Hunt – I think I may have mentioned in my blog that when my brother and I first started with silversmithing, the majority of my work was Southwest Indian-styled in form, and this is one of the books I used for information and styles in creating some of my earliest pieces. As I grew up in Arizona and New Mexico, and reservations belonging to the Native American tribes of the Navajo, Pueblo, Hopi, Zuni and Apache are located in those states, our parents had quite a lot of books on their cultures, art and artists. Several of those books also covered the early Indian silversmiths that were first taught the craft by Spanish settlers, and some of the ornamental, utilitarian and religious items they created with silver and turquoise for their use and wear.
A few of the other books I used to read and study (but seriously doubt are still printed) were “The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair (I used to read this book over and over, as it detailed not only the artists, but the tools and techniques used by those early smiths when creating their work). “Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers” by Margery Bedinger was another book that includes a lot of history, art and both B&W and color photographs that make it a great resource as well.
Two other thinner paperback books, “Navajo Silver: A brief history of Navajo silversmithing” by Arthur Woodward and “Hopi Silver: The history and hallmarks of Hopi silversmithing” by Margaret Wright both contain good history, pictures and photographs of the Native American artists and their work that predated the Southwest Indian jewelry craze of the 70’s.
Jewelry Concepts and Technology by Oppi Untracht – Now THIS is a book I would consider an “encyclopedia” for jewelers. Big, thick and literally cram-packed with just about every technique, tool and resource you could possibly even think of, even those dating back to ancient times. It’s not cheap, so see if you can talk your library into acquiring a copy for you to read and reference… I guarantee that you’ll want, and need, to check it out more than once!
Jewelry Making by Dominic Dipasquale, Jean Delius & Thomas Eckersley – This book, an “Illustrated Guide to Technique” is another one of my other books from the 70’s that covered basic jewelry making concepts and techniques.
The New Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques by Jinks McGrath – This book covers a lot of jewelry-making techniques, definitely, but I wouldn’t consider it an “encyclopedia” really (that honor must go to Oppi Untracht’s “Jewelry Concepts and Technology”, hands down), but what information this book does contain is very good.
Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths by Matthew Runfola – This book covers a wide range of both organic and chemical patinas, including their uses and application, complete with color plates exampling their effects on various metals. This is a reference that is valuable for any jeweler to have and use.
Professional Jewelry Making by Alan Revere – I don’t think Alan Revere has written a book that is not great. Subtitled “A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Jewelry Techniques”, this book is without a doubt one of my absolute favorites. Covering 35 projects that detail just about very technique and procedure used in jewelry making, this master goldsmith makes learning both educational and fun at the same time. Although I have yet to complete every project in the book, I have completed many of them in one form or another and certainly do plan to complete them all someday. Projects range from Forged Bangles to Sister Hook and Box Clasp findings to Carved, Solitaire and Cluster Rings, with various styles of chains, pendants and other rings included in the mix as well. If you’re serious about making jewelry, you owe it to yourself to get this book and learn everything you can from this great master goldsmith. You won’t be disappointed!
Professional Stonesetting by Alan Revere – The master goldsmith has put together an excellent “Contemporary Guide to Traditional Setting Techniques” that covers, with detailed steps, setting stones and the tools and references needed to do so professionally. As I’ve already expounded on many of Alan Revere’s other books, all I can say is that this book adds more of the same greatness to the selections he’s put together for jewelers over the years. With projects ranging from a simple cabochon setting to complex settings incorporating many beautiful faceted gems, the knowledge you can acquire from Alan Revere in this book should not be ignored.
Ring Repair and Setting Repair by Alan Revere – These two books, both part of the “Professional Jewelry Repair Series” were written by the master goldsmith Alan Revere, and who also used to own and run the very well-respected Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in California. Whether you need to resize or repair a broken ring, fix or rebuild a setting, or replace a cracked or lost stone, these two books are chock full of valuable information that will make your job easier. Repairing a ring or setting on a piece of jewelry you’re currently making, or one that has been around and seen years of wear, the techniques, tools and procedures detailed in these books will help make it all become crystal clear.
Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers by Elizabeth Bone – The jewelry designs used in this book are contemporary, but the information can be used across a broad spectrum of styles. Subtitled “A Handbook of Techniques and Surface Treatments”, this is the book where I was first introduced to Delft Clay casting. I had always been intrigued with the sand casting techniques of the Native American Indians in the Southwest, though never had any tufa stone (a light and porous volcanic stone, but more dense than pumice) to try out the technique. But, I had seen Delft Clay available from vendors like Rio Grande, and was intrigued. I have since found I enjoy casting with Delft Clay, but just like many casting techniques, it does have its limitations.
Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelry Makers by Melissa Hunt – This book outlines virtually every way there is to set a stone, whether it be faceted, cabochon or “in the rough”. The book also covers various tools, metals and stones, and has plenty of charts and references to assist the jeweler in getting their stone set properly, securely and artistically in their jewelry.
The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg – This book covers a lot of essential techniques and tools used in jewelry-making that are covered in thirteen projects for earrings, bracelets and pendants, and includes a lot of tips and resources that are shown and demonstrated with scores of accompanying color photographs.
Art Jewelry – Now out of print, Art Jewelry was a magazine I enjoyed subscribing to for years, and contained lots of useful information for jewelry fabrication, techniques and tools. Unfortunately they suffered the fate of many print magazines in today’s world of online resources (even though they offered the magazine to subscribers as both print and online editions), and two issues before my subscription for that year ended, they shut down publication of the magazine. 🙁
Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist – The Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine is the only jewelry-related magazine that I currently subscribe to, and hope to continue to for a long time (there’s just something about having it in print and being able to lay it down next to you while you’re working that digital editions lack, even if they’re being viewed on a tablet).
One of the things that I really appreciate about this magazine is that not only are fabrication methods and concepts for jewelry covered, but also for lapidary, with faceted, cabochon and even carved gems with all forming, shaping and polishing procedures fully covered in detail.