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Book Review: Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry

by bg Tuesday, Nov. 02, 2010 at 11:15 PM

Techniques and Explorations by Kate Mckinnon

I heard about the book Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry, by Kate Mckinnon, from an opt-in newsletter I receive concerning personal adornment, and the crafting thereof. I was totally impressed with the advertisements write-up, because it highlighted an aspect of crafting I hold dear, and that is durability. The ad for the book told me how Kate considered durability of great importance in her work with Precious Metal Clay (PMC), and it went on to say that this was achieved through rigorous adherence to good construction techniques which are the mainstay of working with clay of all kinds.

This information was news to me, as I have not ever had any experience working with clay. Because PMC is something I have always wanted to experiment with, and because I was able to find the book online easily and at a reasonable price, I bought it. I am certainly glad I did.

I received my package from the bookseller quickly. Yes, the book is readily available, and this is a plus. I deal in information of many kinds, and when I want or need information, it is always nice to get it fast. Unlike my unforgettable order of three out-of-print books from France by Joseph Dechelette, which took over 6 months to arrive, and which sticks in my mind to this day as the epitome of snail mail, Kates book was here in three days, and also unlike my Dechelettes, which were written in French, Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry by Kate Mckinnon is written not just in English, but in easily understandable, even fun form. Thanks Kate, we love you too.

So I get the book. Great. I have several other projects working at that time, and decide that this can wait until later. Its the way I am, always looking out for my intellectual and creative future. Never a dull moment, I see to it. Of course I did a cursory flip through the pages, and it was like Wow, Nice Pictures, Easy To Read Print, someone knows what they are doing, this is a treasure! THEN, at the end of the book, surprise surprise, a Disk! Not just a disk, but a DVD. What is this? No one said anything about a disk. I pulled it out. I plugged it in. And then I really began to grin.


Anyway. The DVD taught me more about PMC the first time through than I had even known was possible. I have since watched it many times, and use it in conjunction with the book itself, which really is a treasure, and, dare I say? A Treat. I have completed my first project with silver clay, it was totally successful, which means I wasted none, and my custom beading hardware pieces are strong and most importantly: usable and pretty.

I have been exposed to a lot of high grade information in my time, its my business, I find it because I look for it. I can honestly say that as far as high grade information is concerned, this book definitely should be categorized as such. For any craft person interested in Precious Metal Clay, I classify Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry, The Book and DVD by Kate Mckinnon, as a Must Have.

An Interweave Book


144 pages well indexed,

Terms and Resources Included

Instructional DVD

review by Bill Gallagher

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