One thing I love about metalsmithing is that no matter how long you've been doing it, there's always more to learn. Towards that end, I have happily accumulated a stash of favorite go-to books dedicated to jewelry and metalsmithing. My book collection has proven to be an invaluable resource whenever I've had a technical question or needed some creative inspiration.
Of these books, there's a small handful that I seem to return to again and again. I consider these books essential to my library. Here are my Essential Four:
The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook by Tim McCreight - This book is the bible of metalsmithing for beginners. There is lots of basic, practical information and even now I find myself flipping through its pages from time to time.
Knitted, Knotted, Twisted, and Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu by Stefano Catalani, Jeannine Falino, Janet Koplos - When I first discovered jewelry making at the University of Washington, Mary Lee Hu was my jewelry professor. After just two classes, I was hooked. Her work appealed to me in so many ways, but particularly because it is so intricate and precise.
1000 Rings: Inspiring Adornments for the Hand (500 Series) by Marthe Le Van and Robert W. Ebendorf - This was the first book that ever included a piece of my work. There’s even more of a sentimental aspect, as my niece was the person who chose the piece for submission.
Calder Jewelry by Alexander & Holton, eds., et al. - I love Alexander Calder’s work because he has always struck me as a tinkerer. I admire that spirit. Calder wasn’t a trained jeweler – he was open to experimenting with forms.
Which books do you find yourself reaching for again and again?