Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jean reviews Simple Soldering A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making by Kate Ferrant Richbourg with 2+ hour DVD included

Simple Soldering
A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making
includes instructional DVD, 2+ hours
Kate Ferrant Richbourg

Demystifies Soldering and Fires Up Your Interest in Design

Simple Soldering, A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making, by Kate Ferrant Richbourg is a complete course in soldering. It is taught with all the clarity and enthusiasm for which the author is famous. The reader learns to solder from this book (assisted throughout by the two hour accompanying DVD). Then he or she is offered some wonderful projects which progress in complexity. All of them are beautiful and add major incentive to master each technique being taught.
The first part of the book devotes itself to the basics of soldering. Every step of the way, the author is a reassuring presence. The reader will learn how to set up a work space, what tools will be needed for a "Solder Setup", and the additional materials needed. You are provided with everything necessary to know how to proceed from the idea of being a jewelry maker, to the actuality. Even the littlest questions you may have are discussed in sidebars. And always, safety is a factor in the equation, in Simple Soldering. 
I was knocked out by the method of learning devised by the author. I have never seen anything like it. It is wonderful. What the reader is presented with is a step by step sampler to learn the different methods required in soldering. You go through the sampler projects one by one, until you have completed the entire sampler.
When you are finished, you have sixteen little squares, each of which has taught you a technique you need to know for soldering. These can be mounted and framed like a picture, or made into a linked necklace. Personally I would go for the necklace, because the little squares, which have served to instruct so well, are very beautiful. They each measure 1" by 1" and use copper as the base.  When linked up they would look incredibly hip and fascinating. What a way to learn and what a way to show the world what you now know!

The second part of the book is comprised of projects which will add to your understanding of soldering. It plays an irreplaceable part in jewelry design. The projects go from easiest to most complicated. It is the hope of the author that the reader will start with the beginning project and learn by making each succeeding one in order. In this way the reader masters every aspect of what is being taught seamlessly.
This is where the Sampler you created in part one really shows its stuff. Each project refers back to the Sampler squares which you made (and are probably wearing on your neck right now, and maybe sleeping in it, too! I plan to!).
The first project is the "Hook & Eye Clasp" and the "Dapped Bead Caps". In this project, you will be referring to techniques you learned from Sampler square 2 (Texturing) and Sampler square 14 (Shaping and soldering domes). Isn't this method of teaching wonderfully fun? As you progress, you will be making beautiful rings, chain earrings, a lovely pendant with a pearl dangle, stack rings, cool ear wires you would never be able to find in any store, a stunning soldered key pendant, and more.

 Each project has the charm of artisan style. The hand crafted look is very evident and completely appealing. None of the designs are anything less than keenly beautiful. Kate Ferrant Richbourg is not only one of our greatest instructors, she is one of our greatest designers.
When you reach the end of Simple Soldering, A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making you will want to keep this super book close by your side for reference. It will be able to help you always, now that you have made the leap from learning to designing using soldering. What a treasure this book and DVD set is. Soldering becomes accessible and fun, with the help of this terrific book!
Interweave/F+W; $29.95


amy said...

Fantastic review and it sounds like an amazing book - I certainly need to get my hands on a copy!!!! I have read a few books that detail soldering and when I tried it I found myself wondering exactly how MUCH solder or exactly where to hold the flame or how much to move it about - having the samplers to make sounds like a brilliant way to learn the techniques and the DVD will answer all those little tricks that you only pick up watching it in action.... I am sold! Thankyou!!

Page said...

Can't wait to get this after the holidays. The first video I ever watched on soldering that made it look easy and fun was one of Kates older versions. Only way I want to do it is the way she showed on there. Now this book is a must have for me. Can't wait.