Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Review!

Metal Jewelry in Bloom 

 by Melissa Cable
published by Kalmbach Books

When Kalmbach asked me to do a review on this book, I was thrilled! This is an outstanding book! There is so much packed into 111 pages. Many think that in order to work with metal, one must use a jeweler's saw or be able to solder. That is not so! Not only does Melissa Cable teach metal techniques without a jeweler's saw and no soldering but she also includes a wide variety of information about tools. She even includes patterns for cutting different flowers. At the end of the book and for the  more experienced metal worker/beading artist, she does include some soldering and cold connections.

Chapter 1 is all about Flower Fundamentals including tons of information, techniques, and even patterns. Five fabulously in-depth pages on Tools and Supplies with detailed pictures. I found this very helpful in determining whether I needed anything further to add to my collection. Determining petal shape, adding petal texture and dimension, embellishing, forming the flower center, riveting and adding color are all discussed in this chapter. 

Chapter 2 gets right into Forming Basic Flowers with 15 different flowers! I loved learning how to make the Lily on page 43 and the Dahlia on page 55. While I'm not good at it YET, it is so much fun and Melissa has really made it easy! Each page of information is easy to read and follow. Melissa gives the Template (pattern is included in the book) needed for that flower, Petal Shape, Cutting Notes, Edge, Surface, Center, and Assembly Notes. There is also pictures, photographs, and illustrations!

Wisteria page 61

Chapter 3 builds on the basics: Advanced Techniques for Flowers and Foliage. This chapter is broken into three sections: Crushed Flower Techniques, Tube Flower Techniques, and Leaf, Vine and Branch Techniques. On page 70, Melissa teaches how to make single & double Balled Headpins. This technique is needed to make the Wirewrapped Branch and Vine design on page 71. Safety notes are included along the way; which I found to be particularly helpful and good reminders.

Chapter 4 finishes the book with Metal Jewelry in Bloom beginning on page 76. These projects include the use of multi-media with leather, faux bone, lace, ribbon, chain and beads. There are also  a few projects that require some soldering for those who either wish to learn or already know how. I love the Delicate Lariat on pages 84 & 85.
Leather Panels page 98
While all the projects recommend a specific flower, it is completely possible to use your own creative abilities to mix it up with other flower arrangements. That is one of the best things about this book! Also, this book is designed for all areas of expertise; the beginner to the most experienced metal worker/beading artist. This book is a great asset and well worth having!


  1. I love that Wisteria picture. Will definitely have to check this book out. Thanks

    1. Me too, Kay! There are so many cool flowers in this book to make. The best part is they really aren't as hard to make as they look.

  2. Thank you for the book review it was excellent. I dont solder and would never have purchased this book. Now I know there is a possibility for me as a beginer. I am intrigued.

    1. Gloria, Soldering is not my favorite thing to do. That's what intrigued me so much about this book. There are so many cool flowers to make without soldering.


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