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Contemporary Metal Clay Rings, a Book Review

Gayle Dowell is known as the Prairie Jeweler. She creates jewelry using prairie grasses and wildflowers in fine silver and 22k gold.

I've been working with metal clay for several years now, and have just started making rings. This book, Contemporary Metal Clay Rings, by Hattie Sanderson is by far the best resource that I've seen for making metal clay rings. This is a great resource book not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced jewelry artist.

The book is divided into two main parts: Techniques and Projects. The first section starts at the beginning with an introduction to metal clay, safety, tools and materials, and goes into describing different techniques for forming different ring shanks, firing, finishing, and adding decorative elements such as gemstones and gold metal clay accents.

The second part of this book shows step-by-step projects starting with easier beginner projects and gradually increasing in complexity to more complicated designs. There are projects that show each type of ring shank forming process that was explained in the first section of the book. Each project contains easy to follow photographs with the step-by-step explanation under each photo which makes each project's process easy to follow.

Lastly, there is a gallery section in the book that includes rings designed by various metal clay jewelry artists, and it is a great inspirational section of many different design styles. After the gallery section comes an appendix which includes information about storing metal clay, repairing fired metal clay, reconstituting clay, oxidizing and removing oxidation on metal clay pieces. The appendix also lists metal clay related websites, global ring sizing chart and more.

Hattie Sanderson sprinkles tip and tricks throughout the book giving the reader useful information. She also is quick to add money saving tips by recommending tools that are easy to create from items around the house or alternative uses of everyday objects. She also does not limit her instruction to just fine silver clay, but adds information on the base metal clays and alloy clays as well.

I was so inspired after reading this book, that I had to try a technique for rings that Hattie suggests called the double fire method. It worked perfectly. At the end of this page are two pictures, the first is the pre-fired ring shank with pre-fired elements. The second photo is the finished ring with a pietersite stone set in a pre-made bezel. Hattie gives several different ring making techniques to insure or control sizing after firing.

This promotional video by Brynmorgen Press shows a quick view at what is inside the book , Contemporary Metal Clay Rings.

If you have specific questions about the book, Contemporary Metal Clay Rings by Hattie Sanderson, you can ask them here.  I'd be happy to answer!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on October 14, 2014:

Gayle, you'll LOVE Lisa Barth's book on setting cabochons in tabbed silver bezel wire in metal clay. She's also a sweetheart (I roomed with her at the last PMC Conference in KY) and is happy to answer any questions you may have after you get the book. Enjoy!

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Gayle Dowell (author) from Kansas on October 14, 2014:

Thank you Margaret. What a great idea! I just pinned two of my favorite metal clay hubs from your hub list. The Lisa Barth book is on my Christmas wish list!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on October 14, 2014:

Much appreciated, Gayle! :)

Gayle Dowell (author) from Kansas on October 14, 2014:

Thank you Margaret. That's great! I'm returning the favor by adding some of your hubs to my metal clay board too! Great idea.

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on October 14, 2014:

Hi Gayle, I just stopped back to let you know I'm pinning this to my metal clay books board. :)

Gayle Dowell (author) from Kansas on July 07, 2014:

@Margaret Schindel: Thanks so much, Margaret. Your comment and sharing this on facebook has really made my day.

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on July 07, 2014:

This is a terrific review of one of my favorite metal clay books. Great job on the ring, too - it's gorgeous! :)

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