JewelryMakingBooks_KimSt.JeanThe scope of what can be done with metal is vast and even though I have been a metalsmith for well over twenty-five years, I’m always learning new techniques and discovering time-saving tips. Having been primarily self-taught, I have relied heavily on jewelry-making and metalsmithing DVDs and books for learning technique and am always on the lookout for new books to add to my collection. So when Kalmbach Publishing recently offered Kim St. Jean’s “Mixed Metal Mania” along with a free Xuron Maxi-Shear™ flush cutter (they are wonderful cutters!), it was a deal too good to pass up! I had taken a class from Kim at the Bead & Button show several years ago and found that she is an excellent teacher so I knew I would like her book.  It has projects that are easy for beginning jewelry-makers, but it also contains many common sense tips…the kind that make one muse, “Why didn’t I think of that!”. She devotes several pages to uncommon jewelry-making tools…simple items one may have around the house (example: a standard clothespin used as a bezel pusher that won’t mar stones). Kim’s clear, concise, and very user-friendly instructions touch on “must-know” basic technique such as soldering, making cold-connections, wire-work, and coloring metal as well as creating bezels, fold-forming, simple casting, and silver reticulation. If you’re just getting into jewelry-making or want to learn techniques you haven’t yet tried, this is a good book to own!  Below is my “Seed Pod” pendant, which I made several years ago.  It combines fold-forming (a technique shown in the book) and torch-fired enamel.