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While there is no substitute for hands-on learning it's also undeniable that books are a wealth of education, inspiration and enjoyment. As a jewelry designer I wanted to give you a sneak peek into some books that are actually on my shelves, as well as a few other favorites.
Even if you are not a jewelry designer, a few of my first recommendations are a must have for any accessory lover. Lark books publishes a series of books of curated jewelry that allows you to feel like you are virtually stepping into a gallery. The works in the books have all been juried and you can find amazing eye candy and see just how incredibly diverse the field of jewelry can be! 500 earrings, 500 bracelets, and 500 necklaces are just the beginning...there are lots of other books in the series as well!
If you'd like to learn how to make jewelry a hands-on class is the best way to begin, but if you'd like to teach yourself or explore different techniques there are so many books you can use for resources. If you're looking for a massive compendium of information Jewelry Concepts and Technology is a great foundation for your library. This book is massive and covers just about everything related to jewelry design.
The Complete Metalsmith is considered by many to be an essential resource.
I particularly enjoy fold-forming and the book by Charles Lewton-Brain is of my favorite books on the technique. It really shows some amazing work in is what is a relatively new field of jewelry.
Jewelry Lab goes beyond basic techniques (which are still included) but encourages the reader to explore a wide-variety of techniques such as texturing, etching, rolling, coloring, patinas, forming, connections, findings, solders, bezels, rivets, and more through a series of "experiments" It presents a lot of fun ideas, and included clear step by step photos with each. I love the breadth of concepts included in this selection.
Stamping is hugely popular and this book shows lots of different projects using the technique.
In addition to actual metalwork and jewelry techniques I have found it helpful to make a thorough study of design motifs and ornamental styles. This can give you a solid foundation of a multitude of ways to combine shapes, lines and forms and really help your creativity and expand your design vocabulary. These are just a few examples of such books:
Do you have a book you love as well? Or have you even authored your own book on design? Please share your favorites in the comments! I love to discover new books to add to the shelves.
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