P R E F A C E
I conceived of
Hot Connections Jewelry
asan easy-to-follow resource for people who haveexperience making jewelry with beading, wirework,or cold-connection techniques and want to expandtheir skills to include soldering in their creativerepertoires. This book is unique in that it providesa wide-ranging yet detailed survey of a varietyof techniques that use a torch and solder. I offerguidance about setting up a workspace, buying atorch, and choosing and using some essential tools.In addition to soldering, I cover basic fabricationtechniques, such as sawing, ling, and riveting, aswell as more advanced techniques like creatingsurface textures, setting stones, and using inlay.
also includes twenty-threelessons and fteen projects, each of which buildsupon skills taught previously by incorporating anew technique. The projects can be copied exactlyor used as inspiration to create unique designs.Each chapter is supplemented with photographsof my own jewelry as well as that of other jewelers,so you can see the range of creative outcomes thatare possible with these techniques. This blend ofreference and inspiration is designed to answerthe many questions asked by jewelry makers whoare new to soldering—questions I had when I wasa beginner. There are, of course, many differentaspects and tangents within every techniqueand too many variations to include in one book.I encourage you to further pursue any techniquethat interests you and experiment; it’s the best wayto learn about the tools and materials.Before you begin soldering, I’d like to offersome advice: First, there’s no one “correct” wayto make jewelry, only techniques that providedirection and encourage experimentation withtools and materials. If you’re new to soldering, Iencourage you to try the projects, use differentmaterials, and explore the possibilities. The saying“Learn from your mistakes” denitely applies here;every experience is valuable, and some of the bestideas come about through happy accident. Second,remember that a good design is nothing if thequality is shoddy: You not only want to enjoy makingyour creations but to be proud of them, too. Formany jewelers, it’s the process as well as the endproduct that make metalwork so meaningful. Havefun, and good luck!
Working with metal is a pleasure. Its versatility andmalleability allow for endless creative possibilities. I beganworking with sterling silver and gold a decade ago, and mylove of metalworking only continues to grow. The processof making metal jewelry—tactile, symbolic, decorative, andprimal—fullls many physical and emotional needs for me.There’s something very satisfying about heating metal withre and working it into a beautiful form.