Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review - Heat, Color, Set and Fire and Free Tutorials

By on Thursday, July 05, 2012 2 Comments

Ever wanted to add more pizzazz to metal jewelry?  Or wonder, as one reader asked, if a torch could be used for enamel work? Then Mary Hettmansperger's new book which I received for review will definitely pique your interest and answer a few questions.


Heat, Color, Set & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal Jewelry is the latest book  by a superb mixed media artist whose creative mind knows no boundaries.  It is one of the few books where I found just the basic techniques section to be worth the price of the book.  The 21 projects which follow are some of the most free-spirited designs I have ever come across.

The avant-garde approach really does inspire those of us who aren't that experienced with metal smith techniques to experiment.  For example, it doesn't matter if you can't use a jewelry saw.  Mary's preference is actually metal scissors and sometimes using a hammer and screwdriver for cutting metal.

Blue Pencil Metal Paddle Necklace
Mary covers several cold connection methods including brads, rivets and even nuts and bolts. She does not use a kiln for the hot techniques - just a torch. She uses it for a number of different purposes such as balling wire (add a round bit to the ends of wires) and torch firing powdered enamel. She instructs on how to  fuse different metals together and shared her quick and easy way for "Keum Boo" a Korean technique which fuses a thin layer of gold foil onto sterling silver.

Dots and Loops Necklace
She really lives up to her mixed media art reputation as she uses color pencils to add hues and even uses grout and cement!  Did you know embossing inks and powders work well on metal too? I didn't.

Variations of Resin Brooch

Stitched Keum Boo Enarrings
There are a couple of free PDF tutorials which will give readers a sense of what the book is like.  The Etched Copper necklace is truly one of a kind due to its subtle etchings and patina. Doesn't the patina and copper go well together?

Etched Copper Necklace
The second tutorial is the Liquid Enamel Pendant. It is a most interesting technique because the wire coil element is dipped into liquid enamel.  The coil rests on a beveled disc which has been painted black using auto paint!

Liquid Enamel Necklace
Even if Mary's rustic style of jewelry making is not your cup of tea, her book is still a treasure of wonderful ideas and tips to really rev up your own designs.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I had been considering buying the book, now I definitely want to add it to my library :) ... love your site!! - Karla

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  2. This book looks awesome--can't wait to check it out! The etched copper necklace is stunning....

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