Inspirational books

Just curious and trying to limit my book buying… What one book in
your workshop has provided you with the most inspiration related to
jewelry, technique, and design? Thanks, Nancy Helmer St. Louis, MO

Nancy, if you go to the Orchid Archives at the following link: , enter the search words
“inspirational books” and you will find 9804 document references on
this subject. You might need to refine your search a bit from there,
but this is a great place to start.

The and content available in the Orchid Archives is
inspirational itself!

Michael David Sturlin

What one book in your workshop has provided you with the most
inspiration related to jewelry, technique, and design? 

I’m self-taught so books have been one of my best teachers. If I had
to do the “one book” thing I’d try something like this:

For jewelry: for the sheer visual joy of the art and it’s
possibilites I’d say “Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing” by Tim
McCreight is pretty inspirational. Another great resource is Susan
Sarantos’ You could spend days going through the
links she’s collected to literally hundreds of sites of metal artists
past and present from all over the world, especially Europe and North
America (see Biographical Jewelry Books, Publications & Catalogs - Metalcyberspace).

For technique: For the beginner/intermediate “Professional
Goldsmithing” by Alan Revere is truly exceptional since it’s
basically a jewelry making course in hardcover. “The Complete Book of
Jewelry Making” by Carles Codina is also worth checking out to see
things from a contemporary European point of view.

(For a solid overall look at everything jewellery related you can’t
miss with either ‘the bible’, “Jewelry Concepts and Technology” by
Oppi Untracht, or “The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing” by
Erhard Brepohl, trans. Charles Lewton-Brain and Tim McCreight)

For design: “Jewelry Making and Design” by Herbert Maryon. And
oldie but a goodie. Cheap too since it’s out in paper from Dover.

Great topic! I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the
others suggest.

Trevor F.

Hi Trevor,

My Google search found no “Jewelry Making and Design” by Herbert
Maryon. A book with that title, which I agree is an oldie but goodie,
was written by Rose and Cirino. Maryon wrote (among other books)
“Metalwork and Enamelling,” which I have never seen. If you mean the
latter, I’d love to know, since I’m not an enamellist but I’m always
looking for books on design.

Best wishes,

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Benicia, CA

Lisa, Maryon’s “Metalwork and Enamelling” has been reprinted in the
past by Dover Press. My issue has an old ISBN 0-486-22702-2, (1971).
There is little on design in this book but the section on twisted
wires and how to make them is well worth the trouble to find the
book. 72 styles are shown! There is also much on "older"
techniques of metal working. This is one of my favorite books.


My Google search found no "Jewelry Making and Design" by Herbert
Maryon. .... Maryon wrote (among other books) "Metalwork and
Enamelling," which I have never seen. If you mean the latter, I'd
love to know, since I'm not an enamellist but I'm always looking
for books on design. 

Hello Lisa,

My apologies. You are quite right. I own both books --both Dovers by
the way-- and have found them both very useful. I’ve spent a lot of
time reading and studying the Maryon book so I think that led me to
transposing the authorship in my previous post.

The Rose/Cirino book, “Jewelry Making and Design”, does a pretty
decent job of covering the basics of fabrication, setting and casting
in it’s first half and then devotes the entire second half of the book
to designing jewelry from natural shapes and forms. I realize you
know the book but I thought I’d mention this to elaborate a little
for others.

The Herbert Maryon book, “Metalwork and Enamelling”, is also an
excellent entry-level text and a historical reference. It’s loaded
with all kinds of practical, hands-on But it is a product
of it’s time (pub. 1912) and has a much different style of
presentation that we’re used to today, very 19th century. It’s an
amazing book though covering everything from making your own solder
through gem setting to foundry casting. As much as I’ve found other
parts of the book to be of great value I’d have to say, as one who
has never tried enameling, that that portion of the book (30 pages) is
more along the lines of an introduction and comments on the various
forms of the enameling art than an in-depth or practical guide. I
found Maryon’s chapter on design brief (10 pages) but interesting

Again, my apologies for the error.

Trevor F.

Lisa, I have this book available among many others which I am
selling. I’ve put an attractive price of $4 plus shipping on it and
if you e-mail me I’ll ship it to you. If you’re interested, I’ll send
you several lists of books I have available. Joe Dule