The Jewelry Architect Techniques and Projects for Mixed-Media Jewelry

Embark on a creative journey of techniques and projects, combining wirework, metal clay, beadwork, and traditional metalsmithing to create one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces.

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Innovative jewelry artist Kate McKinnon takes you on a creative journey of techniques and projects in The Jewelry Architect as she uses a variety of materials and tools to create gallery-quality bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Beautiful color photographs and clearly written instructions give jewelry artists the building blocks to combine wire, metal clay, beadwork, and traditional metalsmithing to create one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces. Learn how to merge techniques to form 16 uniquely designed projects, and also how to manufacture a variety of components such as clasps, hooks, earring findings, and ring bases to customize your work. And included instructional DVD demystifies key skills and offers extra design inspiration. Revel in Kate's signature style--an earthy m�lange of metal, beads, and fibers--as she shares tips on the best ways to reinforce beadwork, bind edges, string components, form metal clay ring bands, fuse rings, create head pins, and so much more.

"McKinnon presents an intriguing, highly professional way to create beaded jewelry that doesn't resemble loving hands at home.  'I'm a maker of components, an engineer of connections,' McKinnon says, and throughout the 15 projects and seven structural elements (e.g., clasps, ear wires, ring findings) she discusses, it's clear that the engineering conceit fuels her work.  Curiously, much of the volume's presentation centers on beading, a craft she learned as a child.  Yet her incorporation of best-possible materials, whether a slew of Victorian buttons or already fashioned felt cupcakes, distinguishes each design.  Unfortunately, skill level is not always designated clearly, only indicated from time to time in introductory material.  Trial and error, though, is a welcomed technique, which McKinnon encourages through her inclusion of project notes, tips, and possible variations.  The last chapter summarizes the basics and refers readers to her previous book, Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry.  So, if today is Tuesday, do we opt to fashion and wear a dramatic mechanical chain, the whimsical Puck's bracelet, or the extraordinarily intricate corset-stitch cuff?  Many top-notch choices." - Barbara Jacobs, Booklist *Starred Review* 
“I love Kate's jewelry making philosophy: let's make jewelry that lasts a thousand years.  Buy the book  and learn to make better jewelry than you have ever made.” – B’Sue Boutiques
The Jewelry Architect may not appeal to those looking for quick fix, immediately gratification projects.  Instead, it is geared more towards the knowledgeable (though not necessarily expert) jewelry maker who is looking for ways to better construct his or her jewelry as well as find methods for combining interesting materials such as fiber, metal clay, and glass beads.” - Tammy Powley, Guide
“Let Kate be one of your teachers.  Get the book, read it carefully, and watch the DVD over and over until it is imbedded into your brain. I learned something about myself and my own creative philosophies by reflecting on hers.  I wish the same for you”. -
"My favorite jewelry-making book of all time." - Tammy Jones,
“This book is a delectable smorgasbord of color, material, and technique, which not only enticed me to try some of the projects but to dream up new ones on my own.  She offers basic skills in beadwork, metal clay, and stringing that you can incorporate into your own work no matter what style you embrace, and she teaches you how to build it so it will last a lifetime.  I value books that can give me a foundation in some area that I may build upon later with my own experimentation.” -

SKU: 10BD04

Author/Speaker/Editor: Kate McKinnon

Format: Hardcover

ISBN 13: 9781596681767

Customer Reviews

The Jewelry Architect Review by Suzanne Taggart

This is a beautifully produced book. Many many photographs to illustrate the projects. Initially I struck by the high percentage of beading and metal clay projects, having to look hard for the wirework and metalsmithing. The wirework and metalsmithing appear to be almost an afterthought and incorporated minimally, however, I have come to realize the author found her orgins in beading, so it makes more sense that the two techniques are add ons. So I take issue with the written descriptions stating wirework first and the primary techniques second and third. Kate McKinnon has no competition in me, I will not be taking up beading, but certainly can appreciate her skill as an architect. The added DVD is a bonus, I enjoy a live demonstration of technique and instructor passion.

(Posted on 4/24/11)