Book Review: Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry with DVD by Kate McKinnon


Book Review
Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry with DVD: Techniques and Explorations
Kate McKinnon
Interweave Press

There is something to be said for an artist who focuses entirely on one medium with a relentless specificity.  What happens is an alchemy of sorts, a magic that can only be forged from patience, tenacity and the willingness to dig deep and make glorious mistakes and in the process make amazing discoveries.  Saul Bell Design Award winning artist Kate McKinnon is that type of artist and her work with metal clay has changed the way people approach the medium and inspired countless other artists in the process.  Kate is a straight shooter and a smart cookie with a wonderfully wicked sense of humor.  I don't know any other artist in the instructional jewelry making world who has such a singular dedication to her medium and a willingness to share what she's discovered with others with such generosity of spirit. Her new book Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry for Interweave Press is the most comprehensive, concise and detailed exploration of this medium that I have ever seen.  If you're interested in metal clay, you absolutely have to add this book to your shelves.  

Not only is the book stunningly gorgeous, it's meticulously written and every aspect of working with metal clay is covered in painstaking detail.  Kate takes you through tools, kilns, torches.  You'll learn the properties of this unique medium and how to achieve success while working with it. You'll learn how to create bead caps, soldered metal rings, metal clay rings, head pins, charms, clasps, prongs, rivets, armatures and much more.  Kate is a huge proponent of safety and she shares what she's learned about the proper way to fire and finish your pieces to avoid exposing yourself to toxic fumes or particulate matter. 

This book is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to an art form.  You will benefit from Kate's journey and you will come out of the other side altered forever.  The writing is extraordinary, the photographs are stunning and the addition of a 60 minute DVD with key techniques taught by Kate in her studio makes this an unparalleled value. Kate's approach to design as a dimensional exploration appeals to me immensely.  I'm particularly smitten with her kinetic designs that incorporate spinning elements and images and her tiny skyscrapers.  This is a book lovingly created by an inspirational artist and writer that speaks to the artist in everyone.  It's a lovely gift and one from which everyone who reads it will benefit. 

Margot Potter
Author The Impatient Beader Series and Beyond the Bead

3 comments:

kate mckinnon said...

Thank you Margot! What a lovely review!
Kate

BARB said...

This sounds like an awesome book. I have wanted to put my hands on metal clay for a couple of years. I keep checking for a class nearby, but so far no luck. It is a medium that truly fascinates me, and someday I shall find that class.

Eileen Bergen said...

I took a PMC class and loved it. It's a terrific medium and the book looks wonderful. TFS

You could really hurt someone with that ring! lol.