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[Book] Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing


The English-language edition of “Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing
is here! Our new arrival weighs in at four pounds, 560 pages and
after 13 years in the making you can bet we’re pretty darned happy to
see it. This book was published in Germany in 1961 and has been
acclaimed as a classic resource ever since. It offers scientific and
engineering data unavailable in any other metalsmithing text. For
more and an opportunity to preview a few pages, please
visit If you visit the site you’re also
invited to see a few pages from a 32-page catalog published in
conjunction with an exhibition of my work at the National Ornamental
Metal Museum in Memphis.

Best wishes,
Tim McCreight

A little over a month ago Tim McCreight and Charles Lewton-Brain
made mention of the book “Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing
by Brephol being available. Folks if you are interested in the
technical side of our craft you NEED to get this book. I have not
finished it yet but the section on precious metal metallurgy is
great and in my skimming of the rest of the book. it looks just as
good. I think this book will be as necessary to the well read
metalsmith as Oppi Untrecht’s “Jewelry Concepts and Technology” It
is not a step by step “how to” type book, It is a text book for the
goldsmith and should be required reading for graduate students in
jewelry / metal arts and JA master goldsmiths. I hope you will
pardon my exuberance but this is the kind of book I have always been
looking for.

All right I will get off my soap box now. 


James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160

Member of the Better Business Bureau

Yes, Yes, YES! This book is an absolute MUST have for every
goldsmith. The sections on metallurgy, chemistry…this information
is complex and given in detail. Every metalsmith should know this
stuff, but it’s never been all in one book before (in English,
anyway). Oppi Untract’s book, Alan Revere’s book:“Professional Goldsmithing,” and “Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing” are
probably the three most important books I have read (concerning
goldsmithing, anyway).

Hats off to Charles Lewton-Brain for an excellent translation, and
to Mr. Brephol, for writing such a comprehensive textbook!

Would make a Great holiday gift…

Doug Zaruba

I heartily concur with James Binnions opinion of the Brepohl book
that McCreight and Lewton-Brain translated and got published.
McCreight and Lewton-Brain should get the jewelers Medal of Honor
for this project. In '71 or '72, when I was just starting in the
craft, there were only Untrachts first big book, Sharr Choates, and
Murray Bovins to work with I was given a copy of the book in the
original German and would translate LABORIOUSLY a paragraph or two
at a time as I needed it. The technical German of the original was
very, very inaccesible to anyone that was not only a German speaker
with a good technical education, but an accomplished chemist/
metallurgist and experienced jeweler/ smith. Those people are rare.
And we all know how rare the same person is in English. And it
takes the two together to have done this project. Not to mention
literally years of work. To have accomplished this with the tiny
number of mistakes in the process is just astounding. Amazon was
quoting two and three week shipping, when I tracked the box from the
publisher to Rio Grande the good people jumped it ahead in line,
opened it, and sold me the first copy. There went the next two weeks!
It will take American goldsmithing to a new level. We all owe them
much more than the price of the book. Tom Hollis

Re: Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing. . .a review written by
Linda Kaye-Moses (moi) will be appearing in Lapidary Journal soon.
Check it out and check out the book. . . .great book, positive

Hi Gang,

I’ll second Jim’s comments.

I got the book & have read it cover to cover! (It wasn’t a boring
read either.) Charles & Tim have done their usual great job with the
xlation. There’s lots of good info in it. It should be in every
metalsmiths library.


Hello Orchid land, I, too, purchased this book and am very glad to
have it. Can’t say I’ve read it cover to cover, but from selected
readings, have found it very useful. It is similar to Oppi’s
Jewelry: Concepts And Technology” and provides a bit more on the
technical explanations and descriptions. Consider this book a bargain
at $70. Signed by Charles too! The only way it could be improved
would be to have more illustrations, but then the price would
increase dramatically. BTW, if you want your books signed, you might
think about taking them to Tucson. Several of our favorite authors
will be in attendance there. Judy in Kansas, where we had 70 degrees
F yesterday. I thought winter had arrived, now this!

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936

I will second everything said about this book. As an English
speaking, American educated, medical researcher by day, who fancies
themselves as a metalsmith, I lack a lot in the area of physical
chemistry and mathematics. Yet, this book is able to explain in
common sense, comprehensible, with very usable language and diagrams,
the technology of metalsmithing so necessary to take this art form to
higher levels. It has answered many of my technological questions as
to why something happens when you put "x "and “y” together in the
presence of heat, etc. It is only when you have an understanding of
the “why” as it pertains to “x” and “y” that you have the beginnings
of knowledge to experiment with “a” and “b”.

The book is well worth the price and if it had been offered through
one of our university presses here in the states (and it is of this
quality), the price would be three times what they are asking.

Nancy Logan

Hi all,

We are just getting a second shipment of Theory and Practice in. If
you are interested in a copy please contact us Off-List at
@Charles_Lewton-Brain. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

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