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Monday, 26 July 2021
TWO jewellery makers have written a book to help others learn their craft.
Machi de Waard and Janet Richardson wrote Silver Jewellery Making as a step-by-step guide for beginners.
The book show how to make seven items, including rings, earrings and pendants, while providing core techniques to make other pieces as well.
Machi and Janet have provided a list of the materials and tools to complete the pieces as well as detailed instructions and pictures to help the creative process.
There are also explanations of what can go wrong and why and how to put them right.
Machi, who lives in Caversham, said: “Jan has taught for many decades while I have been doing it for just over a decade. We both have different approaches which, when put together, we thought would make a good book. I like to read about the processes while Jan likes to visualise what she’s doing so we decided to put the two together.”
The friends decided to work on a book together after hearing that Search Press, publishers of art and crafts books, were on the lookout for an artist to put together a beginner’s guide.
It took them about two years to complete with the eventual publication date being postponed from April last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the delay gave them more time to keep working on the book, to take more photographs and do more editing.
Machi, who has been a full-time jewellery maker since 2007 and teaches at the Henley School of Art, said: “Because we have both been teaching for a long time we know exactly where to start and the route we wanted to go down.
“You start off by making two rings and the next projects builds on the skills you have learnt doing the previous one. Stuff inevitably goes wrong and we try to second guess what could happen and so we have also included hints and tips to help solve any issues. It is almost like we are there in the room with you and guide you every step of the way.”
To get started you must buy silver from a bullion dealer, which comes as a sheet or as wire, and can be sent through the post.
Machi said: “For a ring you need wire and that comes in different profiles. The easiest of these to work with is rounded and then you have to choose the right thickness. If it’s too thick or thin it can be hard to work with, so go for a middle size of 2mm. Then you use jewellery tools to get the ring shape and the magic happens when you use a soldering iron.
“Before the projects start, the book explains about the core skills that you need, such as soldering, filing and sanding.
“At the end of each chapter there are suggestions about what you could do next with the skills you have learnt. So, if you have made a ring, you could then make a circular pendant or a bangle or something a bit bigger.”
Janet, who lives in Wokingham and sells her work at the Tiny Gallery in Henley, said a book can never replace the classroom but they have worked hard to ensure it’s almost as good.
She said: “It works well because we have both taught students for quite a while. It is more in-depth than you might find other instruction books so you are not left in the lurch. The pictures show each step so you know exactly what it’s meant to look like and we give hints and tips if what you have done doesn’t, even if it is to just start again.
“We wanted to show examples of each different type of jewellery and I want it to be a book that people can come back to.”
• Silver Jewellery Making is published on February 1 and costs £17.99.
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