Cover Image: Make Your Own Silver Jewellery

Make Your Own Silver Jewellery

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Member Reviews

Make Your Own Silver Jewellery is a tutorial guide and primer to de-mystifying silverwork using precious metal clay (artclay, PMC) presented by Monica Weber-Butler. Due out 30th Nov 2021 from Pen & Sword on their White Owl imprint, it's 192 pages and will be available in paperback format. 

I was trained as a gold-/silversmith (mostly traditional goldsmith) before PMC was really widely available. I can remember being excited by the amazing possibilities as a (relatively) young jeweler, but the constraints of family and production work meant that I didn't ever find the time to take a workshop. My second career as a medical bionerd meant that my jeweller days were relegated to hobby status and so this workshop-in-a-book was perfect for my needs. 

The author proceeds logically and accessibly: a good safety and materials introduction leads into technique and design chapters with good overviews of theory of design, balance, and originality. In the tutorial chapters, the author emphasizes design and inspiration throughout instead of slavishly following instructions for cookie-cutter identical results. The designs presented here utilise premade findings and/or simple cold-forged connectors, jump rings, beads and other components for finished jewellery. The technique tutorial for using ferrules to make shaped clay cutters is really useful and probably worth the price of the book on its own. 

There are techniques and finishings, projects, and design info shown in this book which are applicable to other crafts such as polymer clay, pottery, papercrafts, mixed-media, sculpture, and more. For making the projects as shown in this book with fine silver clay, readers should expect to expend some effort to first acquire the basic tools and materials. After acquiring (or borrowing) the minimum toolkit, the projects will be very cost effective.

Four and a half stars. This would be a good choice for public or school library acquisition, maker's groups, and home studios. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Having dabbled in making jewellery, I've also wanted to try my hand at making silver jewellery. This book has given me the confidence to take the next step. Clear lists of resources, instructions and a variety of techniques to help make your own beautiful silver jewellery to incorporate into your own designs. A  very thorough and comprehensive guide.
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Super fascinating book on Silver Jewelry making. I loved the techniques presented in the book and it came with consise directions and a reference list of supplies and materials. The pictures are well done and truly showcase what I'm sure is just a fraction of what csn be achieved using these methods. 

I highly recommend it.
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This is a fascinating book that has lots of detail and some wonderful pictures. For me this book is a little advanced as I haven’t done any jewellery making as of yet. I think I would be better to take  classes first and have hands on teaching. That said if I become able to progress then I will re visit this book at a later date.
Great book for more experienced people.
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Make Your Own Silver Jewellery is a guide to crafting in Silver Clay (also known as PMC3 or Art Clay).

The opening section gives a detailed look at the tools, findings and essentials required for making silver jewellery, basic techniques, as well as insight into design practices and how to sell your work.  Given that metal clay works with high temperatures, there is also a decent section on safety, too

The fun bits are the projects.  From creating your own findings  to making simple disc earrings or elaborate pendants and frames, they provide a step-by-step process to create stunning pieces., plus there is a gallery of of completed works, to inspire.

As a crafter, I've dabbled in silver jewellery making in the past.  I have kept my old tools, and this book has inspired me to dust them off again!
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I've always fancied a go at making jewellery so had to have a look at this book when it became available via Netgalley.

The book is divided into fourteen chapters (Overall the book has eight chapters which include details on how to make the designs):
- Safety
- Materials
- Tools
- Basic Techniques
- Aspects of Design
- Minimalist Earrings
- Lacuna Pendant
- A Touch of Colour
- Found Textures
- From Nature
- Versatile Rods
- Seamless Ring & Frames
- Combination Pieces
- Inspirational Gallery

The first three chapters provide details on how to make the jewellery safely along with ready-made clasps and fasteners, earring hoops, etc, the tools needed including using card-making stamps for patterns.  To fire metal clay you do require a blowtorch.  

Perhaps it's less of a craft to do as a hobby as it seems a lot of equipment and tools might be needed.  This is indicated in the Aspects of Design chapter as it begins with asking who is your audience before moving onto drawing designs.

Some of the designs are repeated through the photographs in the steps - the Minimalist Earrings look the same as a Found Textures picture - which is a little disappointing.  This happens again during the Inspiration chapter - pictures are repeated.

The steps appear to be quite well laid out to follow if you wish to make some of these ideas.

Overall it's an interesting book though not one for the hobbyist to use, it would have been nice to have seen the use of the card-making stamps being used rather than just mentioned.

I received this book in return for an honest review from Netgalley.
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An interesting, informative and clear guide to what is arguably a very delicate and tricky skill. 
I am very much a visual learner so this book really appeals to me. 

I find there are a lot of books on the topic of making silver jewellery but many are very prescriptive to a certain style and don't leave a lot of room for creativity. Monica Weber-Butler does an excellent job of staying informative and descriptive without squashing creativity and the chance for the maker to experiment here and there.
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As a reader and owner of multiple books on wire and silver jewelry, this book included many of the basic tips I would expect for the beginning jewelry crafter to get a background on the topic. I was pleased to see so many projects, techniques, and tips included by the author in this book. As someone who wants to enhance my jewelry techniques, this book offers great tutorials, references, and ideas for beginners through advanced jewelry smiths. It's definitely a book to have on your shelf!
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5 Stars! This is such an informative book. I can’t wait until my tools and silver clay arrive so I can try this out! The book has a ton of photos and the author explains everything in detail and gives tips to save money on tools, like using jumbo cards instead of specialty thickness slats. Highly recommend this book if you’re a newbie at silver jewelry making. The book even has an ‘inspiration gallery’ of photos of silver jewelry the author has made and sketches too!
*I received this book at no charge & I voluntarily left this review.*
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'Make Your Own Silver Jewellery' is a fantastic book but it does have a misleading title. Potential purchasers should be aware that this book is about making silver jewellery from metal clay. I feel the title and cover will mislead buyers into thinking this book teaches you to make silver jewellery using traditional techniques. Thankfully, I am interested in making metal clay jewellery so I did find this book extremely useful and I think it is more comprehensive than other metal clay books I have read. 
The book covers the basics in great detail. There are lengthy chapters covering the tools you will need and the basic techniques you will need to learn. There are plenty of clear photographs to help you. I particularly loved the section on design which includes photos of sketchbooks and ideas boards. I often find craft books of this kind focus solely on the practical side of crafting and don't discuss the design process at all. There is also a chapter on selling your jewellery which has some fantastic advice in it. 
The second half of the book features some project tutorials that allow you to put your new skills into practice. I loved these as the instructions are clear and easy to follow. I also love the author's designs and I think they will appeal to a lot of people. The last section of the book is filled with photos of metal clay jewellery made by different jewellery designers. I enjoyed seeing the variety of styles of jewellery that can be made with metal clay.
I do thoroughly recommend this book as it is both practical and inspirational. I have read a few metal clay books and I found these instructions were the easiest to follow. The designs are also stunning. I do just wish the title and cover of the book made it clear that this is a metal clay jewellery book.
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I agree with another reviewer in that I was disappointed to find that this book is about making jewelry with silver clay (a specialty product that's moldable, where you burn off the other ingredients with a kiln or blow torch after forming it), not making silver jewelry the traditional way. I really don't want to spend the money on this expensive material and the many supplies I'd need to actually create jewelry with it. That said, if you are looking to make jewelry with silver clay this is a fantastic book on how to do it. The steps are very thorough, it's full of photos, and it's incredibly in depth. The projects shown are gorgeous (though most would be completely out of my depth). This seems to be the product that most small scale jewelry designers are using to sell on platforms like etsy these days, and it even gives you tips on things like making sales.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.
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I’ve made a few jewellery items before and have been looking at how to increase my skills and learn new techniques. This book is perfect for that.

The first third of the book offers a history of silver, tools needed and the various different things you could use to add to your work. You then learn about the different types of clay and some basic techniques as well as a lot of information about design and selling (if that’s a next step for someone)

I really enjoyed the book. I read it as an arc from netgalley and so on my kindle. I’m never fond of reading craft books via kindle as when you use them you want to be able to move around easily with the book so I will definitely be buying the published paper version when it is out in September.

It’s easy to follow, doesn’t talk down to you as a beginner and there’s plenty of pictures for extra support. Overall loved this book
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I really enjoyed this book.  I learnt some valuable information that will help me with my future endeavours.  Thank you.
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This is a guide to making jewelry from powdered-metal in a clay base.  Not from solid silver metal.  Surprise!

I made silver jewelry for 3 years in high school using soldering and injection mold methods.  I set semiprecious stones such as turquoise, tiger's eye, and many others.  I was hoping this book would give me tips to set up for this type of hobby at home.  Soldering is relatively quick, and very flexible for creativity and design, and results in a solid piece.  

I admit to being disappointed at the beginning.  I had never heard of the Japanese-invented silver powder clay, so I immediately searched Amazon for sample pricing.  The least expensive was $91 for 50g or roughly 1.76 ounces.  (The next price was $136 for 50g.  Or $44 for 15 g, .52 ounces.)  If used sparingly, 1 3/4 ounces could make a couple of projects, but it's a significant expense to someone like me in a lump sum.

The cover tells me I can use everyday tools.  However, It seems that I never got around to buying a kiln, butane torch, watchmaker hammers, fire bricks, etc.  Common, then, seems to be relative.

Here are some other issues to consider before deciding to use silver clay:

1. Wear protective goggles.  Fine metal dust in your eye can cause serious damage.  Protect your breathing, a face mask will be needed sometimes, etc.  (The book gives more specifics.)  Be safe, or choose another hobby!  [This last comment is from me.  Making mistakes with these dangerous items can cause permanent injury and damage.  So please take precautions seriously.  Every master craftsman does!]

2. The clay contains "fine silver," which means it is 99.9% pure and softer than Sterling silver at 92.5% (copper or nickel is added for durability and strength).  The purity is good for people with allergies to the added metals in Sterling silver.  But softer metal means that it wears away faster and can bend more easily.  So making rings (for fingers) with fine silver is not recommended.

3. The clay product must be heated to 1,112 F or 600 C for 30 minutes--according to one package I read.  That means standing with a torch (using fuel) for 30 minutes (again, according to one package), or at least buying a tiny portable kiln at prices between $500-800.  Gulp!  However, this author only uses a kiln for larger, thicker pieces.

4. The book, suggests; "for the projects in this book a butane torch will be fine."  You will need to put a fire brick on a fireproof tabletop or mat for your firing surface.  And have--of course--a fire extinguisher.

5. Shrinkage in all directions (thickness, length, width, etc).  The product packages warn of 8-15% shrinkage during the heating process.  It's not huge, but it has to be considered.  You would not be able to set stones in a secure way; glue and/or wrap methods only.  The shrinkage, we're told, also sharpens detail.  This can be good or bad--depending on how well you smoothed it, and your intent for the design.  But files can remove unwanted edges (and precious milligrams) of the metal.

6. You will need a well-lit, well-ventilated area to work.  You must also be able to darken the room to "fire" the piece and observe the color changes well if you use a torch.  There will also be a little smoke and flame....   [This does not mean a windowless bathroom is okay because it has a fan.]

7. [You also need a sturdy table or workbench with a place to safely store your project between working sessions.  Hobbies of this type are not like scrapbooking--which can be very involved and fancy, but still packed up and put away when needed--you will need a dedicated space with a comfortable chair or stool, and preferably a lockable cabinet or locker.  As confident as you may be that nobody will touch your unfinished projects and tools, it only takes once to wish you had locked them up.]

8. Tools and accessories.  Every hobby requires some basics and add-on items. The basic tools are fairly simple and standard except a couple of special hammers, work surfaces, and the kiln.  It's easy to get too excited and want the freedom to make "everything" so you buy tons of things.  But start slowly!  Have a specific project in mind before buying out the store.  It will make things less overwhelming, and save time and money in case you don't enjoy this particular process.  [Sculpting jewelry is not for everyone.]

If you have extensive experience using polymere clay, you will be well prepared to use this product, but there are differences.

As I indicated earlier, I was a little disappointed about the subject of this book, but the author, Monica Weber-Butler, knows her subject well, and it was a pleasure to read about the simple homemade methods she uses to do more expensive effects such as rolling the clay to a specific thickness, or cutting out holes in circles or shapes.

I kept waiting for her to slip in a tiny bit of soldering, but she was consistent and stood firm!

One great thing about the clay is that if it is dry but hasn't been fired, it can still be reconstituted back into clay.

Examples of projects in the book range from beginner (awkward and rough in design) to whimsical and creative.  I saw a couple of pieces that would have taken so many more hours to make in wax, then mold and cast, than it did for her to shape out of clay, and I came to fully appreciate the genius of this new-to-me method for making jewelry.

In addition (at most), the pieces in the book were only fired for 3 minutes.  That's a significant difference from 30 minutes!

Be aware that there is a little repetition in the book, because the steps for each project are listed completely.  The author doesn't say "You remember that important part from chapter 3?"

In addition to methods, etc., the author talks about making jewelry as a business; giving tips about market research and knowing your customer, how to display merchandise, and a few related subjects that will be very helpful to people without experience or marketing studies.  Plus, she includes links to suppliers in a couple of countries including the U.S., and the U.K.  (Several of these companies did not appear on my searches.)

Reading this book was fascinating and fun.  If you don't know anything about using a butane torch, practice on scrap (non precious) metal first.  If you do, all the better!  All of these steps are easy to follow and will teach you what you need to know as a beginner, and give you a basis for advancing your skills!

*One of the best tips:  Sign your work; keep and date sketches!  It's how you identify your pieces, define your style, and establish your brand!

5/5 Stars
Not saying it's Silver Clay on cover -4
Great content, and hoping for a correction +4
Total 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for making my wish come true and letting me read this free ebook for review!

#MakeYourOwnSilverJewellery #NetGalley
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The subtitle is a promise kept:  "Using Everyday Tools and Easy to Obtain Materials."  Weber-Butler uses silver metal clay and pays attention to safety with each step.  She provides great overviews of findings, tools, and other components for the beginner jewelry-maker.  All instructions are clear and easy to follow and the book is well-organized.  Though a British publication, temps are listed in Celsius and Fahrenheit and US resources are listed at the end as well as UK and several other countries'.  Pro-tips on keeping a design/technical journal and pricing pieces for sale.  Bonus: discovering an alternate use for the food dehydrator taking up space in my pantry!
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This is a comprehensive book on using fine silver clay to make fine silver jewelry.  This is a great book for beginners, and features step-by-step instructions with full color pictures for each step.  The author explains the history and materials needed, and she goes in depth in how to create your own fine silver jewelry pieces.  I thought it would be too much, since you have to use a bow torch.  However, she makes it look simple as long as you follow safety guidelines.  I wasn't aware that they had a clay available to work with until I read this book, and I'm excited to try it!
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As a beginner to jewellery making this book gives me all the information I need to start a project. 
With a list of materials, tools and detailed instructions on how to follow projects. 
I’m sure that this book will be a great resource for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and Pen & Sword for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm currently reading this book and here is my review:

I strongly recommend this book if you wish to develop new techniques!

I truly enjoyed discovering the new jewelry techniques explained in Monica Weber-Butler's book Make Your Own Silver Jewellery! I was given a copy from Pen & Sword through NetGalley. My opinion is my own and honest. 

This book will offer you new techniques to create silver jewelry, often using everyday tools. The instructions are well explained and easy to understand. This book focuses on safety while working with certain elements. It offers you basic aspects to improve your style. Many projects help to develop your own techniques. This is a book of reference that you forever keep!
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The opportunity to read this came at just the right time, as I have just gotten in to jewellery making. 
This book is so comprehensive and indepth. 
I will 100% be purchasing a hard copy to refer to in the future.
Lots of reference pictures, and highly detailed advice
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