I was pretty disappointed with this book. From the one review posted, I thought it would have some interesting information about techniques and equipment that I could translate into my own jewelry-making. Unfortunately, most of what is included is unusable for anyone except the professional crafter who has a significant amount of money already invested in equipment like kilns, soldering tools, polishing benches and a melting furnace.
I didn't expect perfect pictures and illustrations in a soft cover book, but the images contained are one of my biggest peeves with this book. They're grainy, dark and not useful for showing technique or design at all. The illustrations are better, but don't always match the chapter they appear in, making it hard to decipher exactly what lesson you're supposed to be learning from them.
There is scant attention paid to basic jewelry making. This is almost entirely a metalsmithing book. Unless you're interested in casting, pouring and soldering, there isn't much here to attract the casual jewelry-maker. The final third of the book talks about the elements of design and function, which any high-schooler who's taken art class probably already knows. Concentrating mostly on how to translate shapes from nature into jewelry, I wouldn't call the designs in this book "traditional" in any sense. While not abstract or modern, the shapes that make up the bulk of this book do not appear in traditional, simple jewelry. This stuff is ornate and overly-large and (dare I say it?) tacky.
I'm searching for something positive to say about this book, but about the only thing that comes to mind is that it gives you a good idea about how the professionals go about making jewelry from raw base metal and metallurgic powders. I'm hoping a second reading of the design section will reveal something new to me, but the first 3/4 of the book discouraged me so much, I'm not sure I'm interested in reading it again.
First published in 1918, this book is two books in one: First, a wonderful introduction to jewelry making, walking step by step from basic sawing to casting and enameling. Second, it includes an introduction to design. If you like very modern, abstract pieces, this book is not for you. If you're a fan of the antique look, you've found a gem.