Any book that quotes Yoda has to be good. Since I’ve been working with metal clay for a long time, and own a lot of books, at this point, I’m happy if I get just one good tip from a book — from Metal Clay Fusion I got many good tips.
I found a useful style of bail, instructions for combining copper and bronze clays for a married metals look and the tip on how to make fish scales is worth the price of the book right there.
The book starts with a solid fundamentals section and also includes a history of the development of base metals firing methods, which is useful.
His sense of calm and “you can do this” pervades the book. He covers design, making and using templates and thoughts on being an artist.
In what seems to be a departure from usual practice for Lark Books — brand names are used. You may have noticed in earlier Lark Books on metal clay that types are referred to as “first generation” and “second generation,” leaving you to translate that in your head. In this book, I’m glad to see brand names used. There are so many types and brands of base metal clays, I don’t see how we could have clear instructions on them without naming brands.
Overall, what most people will be looking for in a book from Gordon, is how he builds his complex pieces. While not all of the projects are signature Gordon Uyehara pieces, you will learn to create complex and sometimes mixed metal pieces. Projects include objects and jewelry.
The Silver Flora project — the one on the cover — is worth the price of the book. If you’re struggling to move from flat pieces to complex construction, this is the book for you. if you make Silver Flora, you’ll come away with a new understanding of how to build a complex piece that looks more complicated than it really is.
While there are a couple of projects that aren’t my style, I do plan to make the bi-metal cuff bracelet.
Who this book is good for:
I think it’s meaty enough for intermediate and advanced makers — you will definitely find a challenge, refinement and useful tips here. It’s also comprehensive enough for beginners. The fundamentals section is very clear and complete. A couple of projects could easily be done by beginners, and the rest will inspire you as you work up to them.
Available in bookstores and at amazon: Metal Clay Fusion: Diverse Clays, Detailed Techniques, Artful Projects (Metal Clay Master Class)